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Love is the Answer

I have married an imperfect husband.

The day we stood side by side before the altar, I was engulfed with a thrill only a person about to embark on a breath-taking journey knows. There was a strange tickle in my heart when the officiating minister asked, “Will you love this man for better or for worse?” For better, well, that's easy. It's a man's natural impulse to love when things are rosy. But for worse, what could that be? In that very solemn moment I found myself praying, “Dear Father, let it not be too hard to bear.”

Sitting on the porch of our new home one day, I prompted my husband, “People say couples show their true selves or color after the novelty of marriage fades away.” He took my hand and exclaimed, “Why, darling, are you not what you really are?”

Colors, like the true nature of a person, come in different hues. As the shifting and sometimes conflicting colors give beauty to a sunset, so have colors taken part in our marriage.

I was on the road to discovery and so was he. So many wonders lie hidden which may bring sad or happy surprises. But we were determined. We banked on the love which time and ourselves must prove.

And the day came! To me, here was one of the worst the pastor was talking about. My husband was a workaholic! He would wake up with the cocks, take the rounds on the school farm and come back announcing, “It's morning, darling.” I would curl under the warmth of the covers once more but soon he would come bursting into the room, pull the blanket and open the windows. Imagine my horror and chagrin when in the evenings before retiring he would dump ledgers, calculator and all on our bed and pour himself over them. I would lie down, face the wall and pour my heart out in silent agony. The last time I entertained the rebellion welling up in my heart was when I took a peep under the covers and saw my darling with wrinkles on his forehead-he could not balance his statement! I wonder now how new brides can be as sensitive as I was before.

Women, generally, have the notion that love and chocolates, roses or diamonds go together. And this silly notion made its way into my head one day. After all, I reasoned, must not loving mean giving?

The day my husband came home from an official trip, I erected a high wall. So high, that I could not hear him on the other side. So thick, that I could not feel the warmth of his touch. I added piles of bricks to make my wall higher when he had not asked me what was wrong. As I sang a lullaby for the baby to sleep my heart was delivering a bombastic sermon but before I could end it with a bang the object of my seething anger was lying in bed, sound asleep.

My dreams that night were far from sweet. But somehow my anger had mellowed a little when I woke up at dawn. When I stirred, my husband spoke, “Mama, why were you angry?” The most-awaited opportunity had come! Now this man should hear my speech and let us see! To my surprise, the well-rehearsed, eloquent words never flowed. Why, I was choked with tears. Between sobs I confessed, “You did not bring me something.” Now that I told him what would he say? Defend himself? Incredibly, hot tears wet my sleeve. He reached for my hand and in a very sincere tone said, “I am very sorry.”

Love is the Answer

I have married an imperfect husband.

The day we stood side by side before the altar, I was engulfed with a thrill only a person about to embark on a breath-taking journey knows. There was a strange tickle in my heart when the officiating minister asked, “Will you love this man for better or for worse?” For better, well, that's easy. It's a man's natural impulse to love when things are rosy. But for worse, what could that be? In that very solemn moment I found myself praying, “Dear Father, let it not be too hard to bear.”

Sitting on the porch of our new home one day, I prompted my husband, “People say couples show their true selves or color after the novelty of marriage fades away.” He took my hand and exclaimed, “Why, darling, are you not what you really are?”

Colors, like the true nature of a person, come in different hues. As the shifting and sometimes conflicting colors give beauty to a sunset, so have colors taken part in our marriage.

I was on the road to discovery and so was he. So many wonders lie hidden which may bring sad or happy surprises. But we were determined. We banked on the love which time and ourselves must prove.

And the day came! To me, here was one of the worst the pastor was talking about. My husband was a workaholic! He would wake up with the cocks, take the rounds on the school farm and come back announcing, “It's morning, darling.” I would curl under the warmth of the covers once more but soon he would come bursting into the room, pull the blanket and open the windows. Imagine my horror and chagrin when in the evenings before retiring he would dump ledgers, calculator and all on our bed and pour himself over them. I would lie down, face the wall and pour my heart out in silent agony. The last time I entertained the rebellion welling up in my heart was when I took a peep under the covers and saw my darling with wrinkles on his forehead - he could not balance his statement! I wonder now how new brides can be as sensitive as I was before.

Women, generally, have the notion that love and chocolates, roses or diamonds go together. And this silly notion made its way into my head one day. After all, I reasoned, must not loving mean giving?

The day my husband came home from an official trip, I erected a high wall. So high, that I could not hear him on the other side. So thick, that I could not feel the warmth of his touch. I added piles of bricks to make my wall higher when he had not asked me what was wrong. As I sang a lullaby for the baby to sleep my heart was delivering a bombastic sermon but before I could end it with a bang the object of my seething anger was lying in bed, sound asleep.

My dreams that night were far from sweet. But somehow my anger had mellowed a little when I woke up at dawn. When I stirred, my husband spoke, “Mama, why were you angry?” The most-awaited opportunity had come! Now this man should hear my speech and let us see! To my surprise, the well-rehearsed, eloquent words never flowed. Why, I was choked with tears. Between sobs I confessed, “You did not bring me something.” Now that I told him what would he say? Defend himself? Incredibly, hot tears wet my sleeve. He reached for my hand and in a very sincere tone said, “I am very sorry.”

Love Can Do Anything

Love. What can it do? It can melt a heart of stone, it can tame a loose tongue, it can break down walls.

How could I be so rude that I gave him a cold welcome? Wasn't it enough that he, who is God's greatest gift to me, was back? How could I overlook the pot that never went empty, the evenings that he would occupy himself with the children, the meals he would volunteer to cook, that “something” for the rainy days which was kept upon his insistence and frugality, and above all the confidence and love that was always there. Aren't they gifts more worthwhile?

And love brought me back to my senses.

One Sabbath morning one of my co-teachers was scheduled to speak. As he was delivering his sermon, his wife who happened to sit next to me said, “Cel, don't you get stiff muscles and butterflies in your stomach when your husband speaks?”

I gave her; a mischievous smile for how could I lie?

A few Sabbaths later, it was my husband's turn to speak. Just before the service, our four year old girl insisted that we go home for a drink. (Our house was a short distance away.) After having a drink, she asked , “Mama, are you going back to church?”

“Yes, of course,” I said. “Daddy is the speaker, you know. How about you?” “I'm not,” she bluntly answered. “But why? Don't you like to hear Daddy speak?” “I don't,” was her emphatic answer. “You know, Mama, I saw Daddy read a very big book. He read that over and over aloud. I'm sure it will take him a long time to finish that. I don't want to go hungry.”

With all the convincing power mothers are endowed with, I was able to persuade our daughter to go back to church. Soon, we were sitting in the front row. Needless to say we were there to give Daddy a handshake and our affirmation.

The message he gave was not wrapped and woven in eloquent speech. His presentation bare and naive. His ideas not clothed with literary garb. His gestures never elaborate. But to me he deserved my appreciation for I know what labor was put into it - the many evenings and dawns of study and practice. Most of all, his message reached my heart; I know the man.

Love, indeed, is mysterious. It smoothes the rough comers of marriage and provides detours to what seem to be dead ends. When the going is dark and gloomy, love is the eye salve that enables one to see through and beyond all imperfections and flaws.

Relationships | Love


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