Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Marriage Hike

Twenty-eight years ago today, we promised "for better or worse." Marriage has been far better and far worse than the 23-year-old anticipated, but a great deal of that was solely dependent on what perspective I brought to the situation.

Looking back today, I see that I am far better for Brent loving me. And far more mature for the choice to love him. Love is a verb. A choice. A lifestyle. An action. Many actions. Any fool can say they love someone, that's about how the fool feels. Love chooses to live it out every day by acts of kindness, words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time and giving/receiving gifts (material and personal).*

Not that I've attained this, some days I've rebelled. Somedays I've acted in very unloving ways. But as one friend reminded me today, it's a good thing God chooses to love us, even in our unloveliness. That is the only way I can love others - through Him.

I think marriage is similar to hiking. A good hike includes companions. It's not safe to hike alone. A good hike involves perseverance, a lot of long and sometimes grueling effort, occasional trip-ups over tree roots and the odd scramble over boulders, sometimes even danger; yet along the way there are lovely vistas, refreshing streams, amazing waterfalls and, hopefully, a breathtaking summit with spectacular views. A marriage has perseverance, trip-ups, detours, obstacles to overcome, and yes... sometimes even danger; but it also has vistas, refreshment, amazing treasures and occasional high points that take your breath away.

The point of both a hike and marriage is that we can't stay on the summit. We have to enjoy each other along the way. When we get home, we don't treasure pictures of the tree-roots, we frame and revisit the pictures of the summit and the beauty. I need to remember this when I trip up with my spouse today. Choose to love. Give, touch, affirm, spend time, act kindly.

I think it's a pretty rewarding hike.

*Learn more about love languages here: The Five Love Languages


  1. Happy Anniversary, and congratulations!

    There's a lot of truth in the hiking analogy. I've been listening to some classic Don Francisco music (from the pre-cd days) and he has a few songs about marriage and how we have no idea what we're getting into when we take those vows -- but with God's help we can make them and keep them.

  2. Happy Anniversary, sis! That wonderful week in Missouri seems like a lifetime ago! As you may recall, Max's birthday falls on your 20th, so I admit I forgot the connection today. We took him to the opening day of the PNE and saw superdogs and the RCMP musical ride (my first time ever - I've been waiting 35 years to see them), and a Beatles tribute and we ate fair food and a deep fried Mars bar and o boy! we're going back tommorrow to see one of Miley Cyrus' co-stars do a concert. Hope your anniversary day was great! Hi to you all from the BC Harbax!

  3. Joanna, Don Francisco - wow- we are the same generation. :-)

    Thanks buddy Brad, nice day for you guys. I like having kids along so I get to do all the fun stuff too. That musical ride is something else. Love the pageantry. We saw their stables in Ottawa last year - that was cool. Enjoy the "concert" - hope it's good.