Monday, July 20, 2009
The Moon and Marriage
Today marks a momentous anniversary: 40 years ago, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin first touched the surface of the moon. But for me, today commemorates an equally significant event that occurred five years later: My wife and I got married.
I hope it does not seem too self-indulgent to compare the moonwalk with 35 years of marriage, but both are wondrous and perhaps, miraculous.
It took much of mankind’s ingenuity, intelligence and initiative to transport astronauts to the moon, enable them to walk on it and get them home safely. But marriage is an incredible journey as well – joining two very different human beings to a lifetime partnership. Sadly, about half of these partnerships fail.
Like flying to the moon, forging a strong marriage demands hard work, dedication and determination. It requires accepting one another’s shortcomings, as well as capitalizing on each other’s respective strengths.
Love is a key part of the equation, both for space exploration and marriage. For everyone at NASA it was a love of the unknown, of going where mankind had never gone before.
The love needed to sustain a marriage is not the warm, tingly feeling we see depicted in romantic comedies or “The Bachelorette.” It’s a love 1 Corinthians 13 describes as patient, kind, not envious, boastful, or proud. This love is not rude or self-seeking, not easily angered, nor does it keep a record of wrongs. It rejoices in the truth, protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres. This love honors the vow to accept the worse with the better.
How is such a love possible? By our own efforts, I don’t think it is. But for Sally and me, marriage has confirmed that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). And it’s just as exciting as flying to the moon.