THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

June 29, 1984

June 29, 1984

By Lisa Huddleston

Saturday was our 29th wedding anniversary. Incredible, and yes, as the cliche goes, time has flown. How did this happen to us? It seems like only yesterday … you can fill in the rest. Yeah, grown kids, gray hair–it happens to the best of us.

However, this year I have considered our marriage a little differently than I have before. Marriage is a hot-button issue and the recent Supreme Court decision has it in the forefront of my wandering brain. Those who have never been allowed to marry are fighting for their “rights” while those who have always been expected to marry are devaluing the institution by foregoing it altogether, calling “engagement” a marriage, or throwing away unions that have become “unhappy.”

Before you misunderstand me, I recognize that we do not live in a Christian nation. I even see the recent court decision as a logical one in light of the values of our country–without God why couldn’t any union be called a “marriage”? I also freely acknowledge that some marriages are better left behind even those between two believers. But I am not writing about those exceptions today. I am writing to the average Christian husband and wife. Yeah, that’s probably you if you’re reading this blog. I know it’s me. Do you value what you have? Have you looked at that man or woman you’ve spent the last 5, 10, or 20 years with lately? Thankfully eyesight is one of the first things to go so you may not see the bald spots or the wrinkles–but hopefully you can still see the boy or girl you fell in love with. I can, and I pray Chuck can, too. And it is still good!

And for you believers who aren’t as far down the road, please, accept my invitation to blessing. Try to honor God with your relationships. You won’t always do it–God knows I haven’t–but you can always try. He’ll honor your heart and give you the help you need. In 29 years it will truly be worth it, even if it doesn’t always feel that way today. It really will.

Twenty-nine years goes by in a blink. Yet, the fruit of the years remains. No, it hasn’t been easy. No, we haven’t always had the best relationship. But, yes, I would do it all again. It’s the marathon events that prove the value of anything. The tortoise–not the hare. The long obedience in the same direction. And for these hindsight truths, I am very thankful.

And today I write to share these thoughts. Take it from a gray-haired bride of 52, marriage matters. God gave it to us as a gift at the very beginning, and that gift is still there. No matter how the word is redefined by the world, no matter how difficult some seasons can be–the gift of a God-honoring union that produces godly children and represents the relationship of God and His church still matters. Can I get a witness?

THE BENEDICTION

By Lisa Huddleston

Every weekday my husband rises early and stealthily makes his way to the bathroom in the dark.  And because of the fashionable transom windows over our bathroom doors, he kindly (but unnecessarily) dresses in near-dark using only the dim light from my makeup mirror.  He is being kind.  I feel guilty.

After he dresses, eats his breakfast, and feeds the animals, he stumbles back to our bed and crawls in.  His hands are freezing as he places them on my sleep-warmed skin—belly, arms, legs—wherever they land.  It often shocks me, but I don’t complain (too much) because he has to get up and get going while I am lazily lying there half-asleep.

And then he prays for our day and the days of our children and our friends.  And I am blessed.  The benediction.

This morning I was stranded in a terribly sad dream.  The house was in disarray.  Chuck was moving out, and I couldn’t understand why, and I couldn’t get out of my tousled sheets, and I couldn’t stop crying.  Paralyzed by grief and heavy sleep, I couldn’t move a muscle.  I was trapped in the despair of the dream.

Then cold hands gently eased around my waist.  On some days I may have yelled, “Hey you!”  But today I rejoiced.  Cold reality shocking me out of the deadly dream.  Pulling back the heavy blankets and allowing  me to receive the benediction of the day.  And I was blessed.

Amen.