Have you ever glued two pieces of wood together at a joint with carpenter’s glue? Have you noticed that many times the glued joint becomes stronger than either piece of wood by itself? This is particularly true when the pieces joined are dovetailed together each fitting their idiosyncrasies in the perfect space left void by the other. The ideal is that if you ever want to get those two pieces of wood apart again you are going to have to break one of them off at a point other than the joint. Each piece of wood is “committed” at the point of that joining once that glue has dried.
Have you applied the great Carpenter’s glue to your marriage? “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain that build it,” (Psalm 127:1). Marriage is an adventure. It’s a journey. It’s a mystery and your own personal edition of non-fictional romance. But successful marriage must be, above all, a commitment. Sometimes the adventure will lapse into boredom, the journey into retreat, the mystery into routine and the romance into disappointment. What about these times?
The answer is agape love. Agape is the love of commitment. Unfettered by circumstances and unrealized expectations, it is the Carpenter’s glue. It is what demands that one or the other of us will have to be destroyed if we are ever to be severed. We’re simply not coming unglued.
All it takes is two completely committed hearts. It doesn’t depend on the level of commitment your parents have about your union (although their premarital counsel is often very valuable). Friends who are encouraging or discouraging your union will likely soon fade from your sphere of influence. It just takes two completely committed hearts. But it does take two completely committed hearts to be the best marriage it can be.
We often tell young Christians who are contemplating marriage to picture her with drool and Post Toasties running down her chin in the dining room at the nursing home. Picture him bald and having removed his dentures before crawling into bed with you. Picture her with flabby arms and picture him with toenail fungus. It can (and likely will) happen! Can you still love him? Is she still attractive to you? If so, you have a good start on full-blown agape love.
When talking to people whose marriages are in trouble, we always ask each partner individually, “Are you willing to do whatever it takes to save this marriage?” See, we have little chance of salvaging that home if either partner answers no. “Can you both sign the following pledge? If the answer is no and you can’t be led to such a commitment, don’t study our book. Get another one…maybe one on how to survive a suffering marriage, or maybe even how to get through a divorce. And get a big box of Kleenex. There is a lot of sorrow headed your way.”
As I begin to study about marriage done God’s way. I pledge to do all I can do to make our marriage the best it can be. I understand that marriage is a lifetime commitment and I am willing to make whatever sacrifices I am called upon to make for the good of our union.
(From You’re Singing My Song, Glenn and Cindy Colley, Huntsville, AL)