“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.” Genesis 29:20, ESV
There are many milestone years in marriage. The first year you are on your honeymoon, number two you are trying to adjust to him just being there all the time. The shocking realization that there is another person up in your business takes some adapting and rearranging. I have read that year number three is the smoothest of the first five. They (who are they?) say if a couple makes it through number seven, their chances of a lasting, happy union are good. The odds are in their favor. Some have said that those still married by year forty, feel like honeymooners. Lary and I have been married thirty-seven. I will let you know if we begin to wear matching shirts again.
As I read about Jacob’s feelings for Rachel in our verse, my heart melted. He was just smitten. That’s how it should be. Can I remind us today that smitten comes in different forms through the years. Love grows into something we did not understand on the day we said “I do.”
Smitten comes in the form of nursing during sickness, making a home together, caring for our kids and…aging parents, holding hands, greeting and leaving with a kiss. It may look like him plugging in your phone tonight or you adding cologne before bed.
Smitten becomes deeper and more beautiful when you have weathered storms, wondered if you would make it and fought like the dickens for your marriage. As I have listened, cried with and loved on many who are struggling in their marriage, I haven’t seen many that looked like the latest romance novel or movie. What is truly exciting and romantic is seeing two people who are committed hang in there when it gets tough. Realizing that when we don’t feel it, we “still do”. Oh the look in the eyes of sweethearts who have some history, know the worst about each other but still long for each other when it’s all said and done.
If you are reading this today and your marriage didn’t make it, get up, dust yourself off and hang on to God. When we are committed to Him, He will redeem what Satan stole. He will lead to the next steps. “The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.” Proverbs 24:16, NLT
Let me encourage you today to work on the messy, beautiful, hard, amazing life you have together. Grit your teeth, back your ears and hold on tight…to your honey’s hand. Let’s all make it past that forty year mark. Living in that honeymoon period again will be priceless and may include a shopping trip for a couple of sweaters.