There is nothing quite like hiking up a Colorado mountain and seeing the “payoff.” There can be meadows and easy, level stretches, but there are also steep uphill strains and downhill gallops that are physically and mentally challenging. At times, you even have to stop to get a breather. But, any complaints and aggravation melts away from that mountaintop view. Whether the Crags with the Vaughts, Bergen Peak and Bierstadt Lake Trail with the Autreys, Hays Creek Falls with the Raburns, or Herman’s Gulch with a bunch of Christian friends, there are so many beautiful views en route to the summit.
It seems to me that marriage is so much like that. Sure, there are strains and difficulties, starts and stops, but there are payoffs along the way and such an ultimate payoff in persevering to the “top.” Just as there can be such an education about nature along the way of the hike, there is such an education about what it means to be married while climbing the road of life. Here are a few things I have learned, looking back on 20 wonderful years of marriage to Kathy.
- “I’m sorry” and “I was wrong” are not easy, but are essential, to say. Often.
- We can learn to enjoy each other’s diversions, interests, and hobbies.
- Quantity time is quality time.
- Together beats alone, hands down–for vacation, recreation, occupation, etc.
- Sticking together, whatever adversities and trials come (and they will come…to everybody), are so worth it that there are no words to describe it.
- Two lives can become so intertwined–through your children, your friends, your co-workers, your church family, etc. It is an amazing part of the wisdom of God!
- Intimacy is a word that grows in power and meaning with every new day.
- You will forever be “figuring out” your mate.
- In some regards neither of you changes, but in most ways you both do.
- God is the only “glue” guaranteed to hold together and grow a happy marriage!
What an awesome conclusion God reached when He said at the creation, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him” (Gen. 2:18). With similar sentiment, the inspired Paul wrote, “In the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (1 Cor. 11:11). From my vantage point, that truth makes for such a beautiful view!