Nightmares are typically birthed from fears.
One of my deepest fears is that I’ll have to do this parenting thing alone. Each breath is uncertain. We never know when our exhale will extinguish our viability. I’m not so concerned with my own passing as I am about the ones I love, especially my husband. Frank is an incredible man. He is a calm, collected man that I feel completely comfortable around. He is approachable. I don’t have to put on a face around him. He accepts me as I am and loves me unconditionally. If he ever died before me I don’t think I’d be able to find a human, earthly love as rich as I have with him.
Last night I didn’t dream horrific manners of his death as is my typical night fright. Instead, I dreamed that he wanted to be separated. I was too hormonal, too crazy for him now. He didn’t want to be committed to me any longer. He wanted to touch me, but not share in concerns and excitements. I was heartbroken. I had always figured myself to be a burden, especially to such a stress-free individual, but how had a love so pure, so deep simply fizzled? I was perplexed.
Waking up I saw my dear husband sleeping soundly. There he was, right beside me, faithful until our bodily existence ceases. He stirred, moaned, and awoke.
He told me about his dream. In his, we were passionate lovers. His dreams are better than mine. He also doesn’t sift out fears in his sleeping hours. Even in slumber he is a peaceful man.
My nightmare caused me to think about the devastating divorce statistics in this country. Marriage isn’t treated with the sacredness it once was. When the going gets tough we throw in the towel. If the other person doesn’t satisfy my desires than I can move on—at least that’s the trend I observe in first world nations.
We are a country obsessed with pleasure and instant gratification. Far too often, we are not concerned with the well-being of another. A couple years ago I read a book Sacred Marriage. The author espouses the idea that marriage is meant to make us sacred, not happy. I agree for the most part.
Now I understand that there are viable reasons for divorce. The dissolution of a marriage is permissible if there is abuse (physical and emotional) or infidelity. However, one of the leading causes of divorce is financial duress due to a lack of communication regarding the couple’s financial goals. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying the dilemma. Frank and I are debt free and we have a pretty great marriage. We operate from an egalitarian worldview and are very open about our disappointments, dreams, and struggles. I haven’t contemplated divorce, ever. Now, people say there is the seven year itch and I’m sure at times we might wonder about the possibility, but in Christ we are committed to this covenant and to each other.
As Valentine’s Day approaches I think of how our culture romanticizes love. Love expression shouldn’t be reserved for one day out of the year. Also, love takes work. Love is more than just a feeling. Love is sacrifice.
Christ sacrificed himself for us on the cross. He took our place for the forgiveness of sins that we might be reconciled unto God.
If the greatest display of love for humanity was God becoming man and laying down his life for his people than shouldn’t we understand that any human relationship is meant to be a reflection of that love? We are created in his image. Community, marriage, and friendship love is about sacrifice. We don’t always get what we want, but when we seek to bring another person joy, typically at the expense of our own wishes, we shall find our peace and ecstasy in that individual’s smile. I believe that sacrifice in the name of love also delights our God. If we operate from sacrifice and mutual benefit rather than self marriage will have greater endurance in this country.
I’m grateful that my husband’s love is true and squashes all that unnecessary fear about him willingly deserting me. Thank you Frank for enduring this marriage journey with me, for better or for worse.