Bindings: Reflections on faith, life, and good books
3/13/13 at 03:25 AM 0 Comments

The Tough Work of Marriage

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Fifty years of married life is a time for reflection. I told a friend yesterday, the first 49 years are the hardest. I wish I could say it gets easier. Maybe for those less stubborn, it does, but I still knock my head against a brick wall (my husband—oops, or it that myself?)

Marriage is a divine dance—sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow, sometimes you miss your steps, but when you move in harmony and rhythm, it is graceful and lovely. A great Bible teacher, Derek Prince, once said, “When my wife and I agree together, I feel sorry for the devil sometimes.” God designed for two to become one so the power of a couple united in prayer could impact the world.

Why is so hard to get along with those closest to you: family, church, work? Because, if we ever get it together, nothing can stop us. Christ’s high priestly prayer in John 17 is all about unity. Not unity of gifts, not unity of personality, or purpose, but the unity of God that rejoices in the differences contributing to the fulfillment of the divine plan. I’m definitely not the legs or hands—not coordinated enough for that. My husband would say I’m the mouth (only my dentist thinks I have a small mouth!). Unfortunately, all too often my mouth is not under discipline—that’s why I need your prayers!

I attribute our fifty years together to two basic beliefs:

1) Marriage is a covenant, a covenant with God and those assembled. Covenants cannot be broken, therefore, divorce is not an option. (God, ever the Redeemer, Author of new beginnings, picks up the wounded and gives hope and a future.)

2) Love is a choice, not a feeling. Likewise forgiveness. Choose love. Choose forgiveness. Feelings follow.

Charlotte S. Snead is a mentor for her local Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), she teaches young moms to love their husbands, train their children, and serve God. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Duke University with a B.A. in psychology, Charlotte completed her master’s in Social Work at the University of North Carolina. She and her husband, a surgeon, parented five children and fostered several others. One child and two grandchildren are adopted, motivating her pro-life work. In 1985, Charlotte founded a pregnancy help ministry and still serves on that board. She has been active in the pro-life movement for many years, writing bi-monthly for Life Matters, the state pro-life publication, and op-ed pieces in state newspapers. She has been published in The Pentecostal Evangel and Harpstring and has spoken in schools, meetings, conferences, and on Christian television and radio, as well as interviews with secular media. Her first novel, His Brother's Wife, was published by OakTara.

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