We recently celebrated another anniversary by having a memory lane date. We pulled out our old scrapbooks and oh, the wonderful memories we do have! We also have some “less wonderful” ones—like our 20th anniversary. Dave, all on his own, had planned a five-star romantic getaway.
We still remember . . .
The honeymoon suite was inviting, complete with heart-shaped spa and a dozen red roses. Definitely a great setting for our anniversary celebration, but it was not to be.
We took one last longing glance at the room just waiting for us to enjoy it, grabbed the roses Dave had lovingly ordered, closed the door, got in our car, and drove back home where our youngest son was sick with the flu.
Later that evening as we munched our anniversary pizza, we remember how years ago we had pledge to love each other in sickness and in health. We were so young. I (Claudia) was barely twenty. I (Dave) was twenty-two. Two college students, desperately in love thought that the world was on the brink of World War III and about to blow up. It was during the Cuban Missile Crisis. (Maybe you read about it in your history books.) We were afraid we would never get to live together as husband and wife. So we did it. We got married right in the middle of college.
Well, the world didn’t blow up and we, at that point, had logged twenty years of opportunities to love each other in sickness and in health—both our illnesses and those of our children! And there we were again. Another disappointment. More cancelled plans. Another opportunity to live out our marriage vows. And then we realized . . . that’s what marriage is all about—supporting and loving each other when things work out and also when things don’t work out. Not only in sickness and in health, but also we vowed to be there for each other for richer or for poorer, and for better or for worse.
Marriage is a package deal.
The good comes with the bad. Health, sickness, times of abundance, times of need, times things are great, times things are lousy—all are part of the fabric of our marriage. And while it’s much more enjoyable to love in health than in sickness, both are vital if we want to have a growing, healthy, and lasting marriage.
So on that anniversary, we enjoyed our roses, cuddled on the couch and watch a romantic comedy. Perhaps next year we’d try again for the heart-shaped spa. In the meantime we would continue to love each other in sickness and in health.
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.
Can you think of a time sickness (yours or your children) changed your plans for a great date? How did you handle it or how would you like to handle it in the future?
By David & Claudia Arp
Parents of 3
Grandparents of 10
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Members
Founders of Marriage Alive and 10 Great Dates
Authors of many great books to enrich your relationship!
Adapted from the Arps’ new devotional, Day Starters for Couples – 45 Devotions from God’s Heart to Yours.
Copyright ©2016 by David & Claudia Arp, FaithHappening Publishers (FaithHappenings.com).
Click here for more information or to order the Arp’s new book, Day Starters for Couples: 45 Devotions from God’s Heart to Yours.