Monday Musings – January 4, 2016

Dear Friends,

I had a pre-marital counseling session with a couple yesterday.  That’s a pretty big deal because we’ve hardly had any weddings in this church in quite some time.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with couples who are planning to marry.  I insist on at least three sessions.  I use the same questionnaires and exercises that I have been using for decades. I don’t remember that I ever talked anyone out of getting married, though I’m sure there have been a number of instances where that would have been a good thing.

Marriage is wonderful.  I speak from personal experience.  But marriages that are wonderful are marriages where both partners are happy to give more than they get.  I call it the 60% rule.  Marriage can’t be 50-50, because when I think I’m at 50%, Helen’s probably not going to agree.  But if we both contribute 60% or more to the relationship, and if we both do so joyfully, out of love, not grudgingly, out of duty, then we have a fighting chance of having one of those marriages that truly is wonderful.

Mayor LaGuardia never attended a ballet performance at New York City’s Center of Music and Drama.  Someone asked him why, especially since he was such a supporter of the arts and he had so much to do with the building of that Center.  He said, “I’m a guy who likes to keep score.  With ballet,  I never know who’s ahead.”

Love does not keep score (my 60% rule notwithstanding).  Love gives without expecting to get.  And by a wonderful paradox, love always seems to get more than it gives.

I have a good feeling about the couple I met with yesterday.  Of course, we never know.  I’ve known couples who married way too young with everyone telling them they were making a huge mistake whose marriage turned out to be long and wonderful.  And vice versa.  It’s never a sure thing.  But it’s worth the risk.  I’m sure glad I took that risk 36 1/2 years ago.

In Christ,

John