A recent news report on divorce struck me. More seniors in Singapore, according to The Straits Times, are calling it quits after many years of marriage. Calling it “a sad reality”, the article attributed “grey divorce” to changing views of marriage and divorce. This is a very sad reality indeed.
The article prompted me to reflect on my own marriage. My wife and I have been married for 38 years now. I can still recall how we met and where we had our first date—at Newton hawker centre! And I can remember taking long walks so we could spend more time talking and getting to know each other better. Serving together in a local youth outreach organisation also helped us to grow closer as fellow believers.
Marriage, I must admit, has not been a bed of roses—after all, roses do have thorns! But it was precisely through those prickly moments that I have learnt just how self-centred I could be in my ways and thoughts.
There were times when, after a long day at work, I just wanted to have a bit of “me” time to listen to music, read a book, or catch up with some television programs—forgetting that my wife, too, may have had a long, bad day and needed a listening ear. And there were times when I showed impatience while waiting for her, forgetting how she had shown me much grace and love in my moments of failure. Ours is not a perfect marriage, but I know I could not have been shaped and moulded to be more Christ-like if He had not brought my wife into my life.
Our marriage has also been enriched by our three sons, though my wife and I have disagreed many times on how to raise them. She tends to be more generous, gracious, and loving, while I tend to be more prudent and strict.
Now that my wife and I are in our silver years and our boys are grown up, we can enjoy the remaining years of our lives re-discovering the joys of romance in our marriage. With more time on our hands, we hope to share our experience of parenting with our children and young couples in our church, and the wonderful lesson we’ve learnt: that marriage is truly a great gift from God.
In fact, it is so great a gift that He likens it to Christ’s love and commitment to His church. Just as Christ will never leave His church, a Christian marriage is founded on the same principle espoused in Matthew 19:6: What God has put together, let no man separate. —C. H. Tan
Thank You, Lord,
for the gift of marriage.
May we learn to protect, cherish, and nourish it,
remembering the promise that
You will never leave us.
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