Monday, June 1, 2009

18 Years After "I Do"

Not only is this week the anniversary of our arrival in the Philippines, today we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. We celebrated it by attending the Municipal Government flag ceremony and teaching for the Moral Recovery Program. What topic could be better than Sanctity of Marriage? After introducing my bride, I introduced this scene from the Fiddler on the Roof. Then Lisa and I read the parts to introduce the topic. (I was not up to trying to sing it.)

In the States we have the phrase, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Here the phrase is, "15 meters from the door, married no more." So often when we think of the sanctity of marriage it is with the idea of infidelity in mind. But I asked the police officers to think of it in another way. Sanctified means to be set apart or not common. I am blessed that my marriage is set apart from what many accept as common in marriage. I would not walk away from a room full of gold, gems, and other priceless treasure with the attitude, "15 meters from the door, mine no more." Lisa is worth so much more to me than any treasure. The treasure we have is something set apart from common relationships. 18 years ago we made a covenant with each other that has grown into a real bond -
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Not long after we got home, David stopped by to ask if he and his family could visit after lunch. David is the young man who I sat with answering many questions about salvation. (Click here to read about that.) I have tried to talk with David several times since then, but he has been very shy. So I was quite surprised when he asked to visit. We had a great time talking with him and his wife, Myla. They are both trying to learn all they can as they follow Jesus.

Recently they even went to their village and shared their new faith. Few in their village have heard the Gospel from someone they trust. We were so encouraged that they were so excited and bold in their faith. But they were a little discouraged that they were unable to answer many of the questions people asked.

Towards the end of our time together, David began mentioning that he was encouraged by talking to older people who could share their experiences. After looking around the room, I concluded that he was not talking about the girls - I was the old person! Hmmph!

Lisa and I agree that this anniversary did not look much like the anniversaries we had in the States. There was no candlelight dinner. We did not contribute to Hallmark or FTD. But together we shared in the calling God put on our hearts. It was different; but it was good.

Still in love with my high school sweetheart,

1 comment:

  1. Happy belated anniversary! You guys have a year and a half on us. :~) We will celebrate 17 years on New Year's Eve.

    Still in love with my high school sweetheart, too!
    Holly W.