Journey with John

In I Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul writes: “Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  Love is always looking out for the other, always finding ways to encourage, always growing and ever changing.  For forty years, I have had a masterful teacher of Paul’s kind of love.  Please indulge me as I express my gratitude to my teacher – my wife, my friend, my heart.  Forty years ago on July 15, we entered the adventure of marriage together and she has given it life!

Marriage is a sacred covenant between two people that unites in the most glorious of human relationships.  Marriage links you to another soul just as prayer bridges you to the heart of God.  When you meet the right person (as I was so blessed to do!) magic happens.  You have a reason to wake up in the morning, a sacred purpose in going to work and a satisfying joy in returning home.  You have a partner who helps carry the burdens and divides the chores.  You have a friend who cheers you when victories are won and cradles you when they are not.  In marriage, there is someone walking the same direction with you, who wants the best for you.  Marriage frees you to accept new challenges, because you have someone who supports your need to explore, expand and experiment.  And, marriage makes you a better person, because not only do you receive these gifts, you desire to give them as well.  You never make a decision without considering how it will affect your life partner.  You sacrifice your wants sometimes to satisfy their needs.  Your concentration moves gladly from “me” to “we.”  These are among the lessons my wife has taught me the last forty years.  There was a reason Paul spoke of Christ and the church in terms of a marriage.  Marriage teaches you to live for someone else.  A loving marriage brings you closer to God because it models a Christ-like love.  It gives you someone to share all the tears and laughter, the hopes and dreams that are life.

Marriage is such a big thing because its foundation is love.   I like what Mignon McLaughlan said, “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person!”  How blessed I’ve been to fall in love many times with the same person – my teacher, my wife. To my precious bride of forty years, I simply say… “Thank you.”  Thank you, Cherilyn Williams, for making beauty of my life.  Thank you, loving God, for gracing my life with hers.  I am so humbled and so very grateful….

Love and gratitude,

Pastor John