Wednesday, February 27, 2008

gaining knowledge and hope from married people

a couple of weeks ago i resumed my place on the creative team at my church (i'd stopped going for awhile, due to some scheduling crazyness). we meet once a week, eat together, and do all kinds of cool creative stuff around the building. most of it centers around the kids' area; we build sets that relate to whatever the kids are learning about, paint on the walls, paint the sets, etc. i love it because i'm around all kinds of different people and i get to get my hands dirty with paint and sometimes even a tool or two.

last night i had several conversations with some of my teammates that made me realize how great it is to be around people who are farther down the 'path of life' than i am. one guy on my team, who's a bit older, is getting married in june. or, as he said when i asked him when his wedding is, 'it's 6/7/8, and i can't wait!' (how cute is that!?) i also asked him how he'd met his fiancé, and that was a cute story, too. nothing crazy, just fun to hear.

he talked about the fact that he's kind of shy, and never really talked to women much (which i found a little hard to believe, as he's a cool guy, but i went with it). one night after a church event, he found himself standing next to his future fiancé as he and some friends looked at pictures from a social event on a computer. she said something along the lines of 'that looks like it was fun!' he replied, 'it was! you should've been there!' she said 'how do you know i wasn't?' his response: 'because i would've talked to you if you were there!" and the rest, as people usually say, was history. they talked for an hour after that, and now they're engaged.

i just loved it because it was so simple and cute. and, as he kept telling me, he doesn't usually talk to women. he said he just felt like god totally stepped in and kind of urged him to initiate with this woman. i love hearing stories like that. nothing crazy or weird or über-dramatic, just god bringing two people together.

i also talked a lot with our team leader, an amazing woman who's been with her husband for something like 15 years. they're still very much in love, and it very much shows. even after 4 kids!!! (maybe 5? i can't remember) they both love god so much, and have grown together in a really beautiful way. i'm also so impressed by the way she speaks about him. she never has anything but good things to say about him. how attracted to him she still is, what a good father he is, what a great family he has, etc, etc.

there's something about being around people who have solid marriages... it just gives me so much hope. i walk away thinking, wow, that is soooo cool! that is what i want! i will do the work to get it, god, i promise! and i love hearing stories of how people get together. it's like i'm soaking up the coolness and the hope of the story and filing it away in my brain (and heart!) good stuff.


Amir Larijani said...

I'd also bet money that it's the personal qualities--grace, devoted father, great family, a heart for God--that attract her to him.

I'm not saying physical attraction doesn't matter--to a point, it does--but rather that, over the course of a marriage, personal qualities matter the most. Looking at the octogenarians, here's what I see in the successful marriages:

(1) Both are forgiving.
(2) Both put the marriage before personal interests
(3) Both have a "we do what we need to do" attitude when circumstances get tough.

single/certain said...

oh yea, it was def those qualities, too. i just meant that she spoke highly of him in every area, which was impressive.

and yeah, it was his personal qualities, too. talk about wierd: this woman's older brother is my therapist. (so cool; two of the coolest people in my life are related and i had no idea!!!) she said when she dated guys she was always looking for someone like her brother, who is just an amazing, solid guy.

the even cooler thing is that neither she, nor her brother, nor her husband had an awesome christian upbringing... yet they still turned out as amazing, loving people. good stuff.

MAX said...

I'm with you! It gives me hope and inspires me. It's like, "Wow, marriages don't have to end in divorce? They can actually be awesome?! Whoa!"

Amir Larijani said...

Max: While any divorce in the Church is one divorce too many, the divorce rate among Christians who regularly attend church is actually below that of the larger population.

That is the good news. I mention that because it is often bandied about that evangelicals have a divorce rate equal to (in some cases higher than) that of the general population.

In reality, that's horse poop, as such studies lump those who identify as believers--but who do not attend church--with those who identify and attend.

So long as you marry a believer who is active in the Church, your odds are very good.