I got the guy, even after that “Scarlett letter” had been delivered. I would like to tell you that we lived happily ever after but (there is that dreaded word; if you missed it see The “Scarlett” Letter, part 1) that would be stretching the truth!
The truth is “Happily-ever-after” was not the outcome for my self-centered approach. And there was no prince riding in on a white horse to save the day when I got poked with the metal rib from the umbrella (I’ll explain that in a minute)!
I was lazy, self-centered, perfectionist, fiery blue-eyed blonde who had vowed in her heart no guy would ever bully her!
But, at age 18 (four months shy of 19), I said “I do!”
The “I do” I spoke that day didn’t exactly mean I would follow “The Excellence of Love” chapter that was read at our wedding: “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a, NASB).
My thought was the excellence of love chapter had been written for the groom! I so was looking forward to being on the receiving end of all of that!
In my mind, the “I do” constituted taking his name and going wherever he went; Decorating his home and having his babies! So, when the Ephesians 5 passage came up, that really didn’t fit my blueprints either: “For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
The hubby, being the head and symbolizing “The umbrella analogy,” sounded like the security of which I dreamed, that is, as long as the umbrella was see-through, held squarely over my shoulders, at just the right height, and I was never poked in the eye with one of the metal ribs. I could see myself walking confidently through life as he flashed that heart-thumping smile my way with a twinkle in his eye!
Long-suffering and forgiving were exempt from the daily grind! But, Glory Hallelujah!, A humble Savior was Not! Waiting patiently for willing hearts to bow, our Savior, the Redeemer of hard hearts and Rescuer of sinners, brought restoration and rehabilitation to our marriage. In the end, it wasn’t a cord of two strands that proved victorious but a cord of three which kept our fingers from slipping and undergirded the rainy seasons that poured down on us. The reality is, “a cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
Who’s really holding the umbrella?
With the arrival of 38 years of marriage, once again we claim victory through the Lord Jesus Christ Who always holds the umbrella! Praise Jesus! We have learned when the clouds appear, and the rain falls, the steadfast transformational work of our Savior covers us with the greatest canopy of happily-ever-after this world has ever seen.
“It is raining tenderness, love, compassion, patience, and a thousand other flowers and fruits of the blessed Spirit, which are bringing into your life such a spiritual enrichment as all the fullness of worldly prosperity and ease was never able to beget in your innermost soul.”Streams in the Desert