I am a strong believer in the Institution of Marriage. Marriage was established by God and consists of a man and a women living in a covenant relationship. Marriage is not a contract...it's a covenant. A covenant os stronger than a contract.
I am so blessed to be in love with and to be loved by the most excellent woman I know. No, I don't mean Stevie Nicks. I mean my Immortal Beloved, my soul mate, my best friend...my wife. We have been happily married for over 38 years now. I still find her to be an amazing person. I feel privileged to be able to share her life. I still like to hold hands and cuddle wherever I have occasion to sit next to her. I still love going out to a restaurant and sharing a meal and conversation with her. I love seeing the woman she has become. She's an excellent wife, wonderful mother and a terrific Grannie. Yeah, I'm the lucky one. I got the better end of this deal!
How did this happen, you ask? Well, it started a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away. The evil empire had just...No, wait, that's another story!
In 1971 my wife and I attended the same high school, Manchester Memorial High...home of the Crusaders. During that summer my family moved to New Hampshire from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I was a new kid on the block.
After getting settled in my new school I became infatuated with my wife's girlfriend. We were lab partners in Chemistry Class. However, she was engaged to be married to some jerk-faced-dweeb who was in the U.S. Air Force and for some reason she failed to see that I was the far better choice. Maybe it was the greasy shoulder length hair, (mine not hers.) Maybe it was my poor sartorial choices. Maybe it was because I did not have access to a car. My theory is her engagement blinded her to a better option.
Anyways...Thanksgiving 1971 we had a northeaster hit the area with a vengeance. Also, it so happened that Memorial High was playing Central High in the annual Turkey Bowl football game at Gill Stadium. I showed good sense by staying home and keeping warm. My future wife went another way...she went to the game and froze her butt off.
After the game, as she was thawing out her re-attached butt, she called me on the telephone. We spoke for over three hours. We spoke about everything and about nothing in particular. By the end of our conversation I knew that she was the woman I was going to marry. I don't know how I knew, but deep down inside me I just knew!
We graduated High School in June 1972. We were married in July 1972. I went on active duty with the U.S. Air Force in August 1972. We moved into our new apartment in November 1972. I was stationed in Albuquerque, N.M.
There we were, a pair of newlyweds who had no clue what being man and wife really meant. We were a couple of scared, naive kids far away from home, family and friends who had no clue about how to build a life together. Over the past 38 years we learned.
One of the most valuable lessons I learned through the years was that "love" is a verb, a word denoting action. I learned that I had a choice "to love" or "to not love." Yeah, I know that there is an emotional kind of love, that warm gooey feeling that we men try to suppress...but, true love is a choice.
One of the reasons I am a Christian is that I learned about God's love. The Bible tells us that God is Love (I John 4:8 - 16). I learned over the years that God loves me more than I can imagine. As I explored the love of God for me and experienced firsthand His love for me, I learned how to love my wife.
There are times when I am not particularly Christ-like or loving. God still loves me during those times when I am not lovable. The Bible says that nothing can separate me from the love of God (Romans 8:33 - 39). God, in effect, chooses to love me no matter what!
Once I learned that lesson, I go and do likewise to my Immortal Beloved. There have been and there are times when she does things that annoy the heck out of me, that really makes me angry...I know!...I know!...It's hard to believe!...but it's true! It's during those difficult times that I choose to love her. Please note the conspicuous absence of the word "Easy." Sometimes it is not easy, but I choose to do so nonetheless. It does not matter if she chooses to love me in return, I choose to love her...no matter what!
Love is a choice, not a feeling!