It all began with a box of Grace Livingston Hill romance novels given to me perhaps before I was even a teenager. That box of novels I read voraciously, dreaming of true love and the Prince Charming who would someday sweep me off my feet and ride with me into a blazing sunset. Now I find myself spending hours watching the Hallmark channel during the holidays, totally caught up in one predictable story line after another.
I know only too well that life is not a Hallmark movie, though I certainly wish it could be. I was fortunate to date some fairly romantic and pleasant fellows on my way to the altar. Some were very skilled at the art of romance and stopped at nothing in their attempts to make me happy and win my heart. Others drained me dry emotionally because they carried the baggage of brokenness or addiction. God, in his mercy, gave me wisdom to break off the relationships that were unhealthy despite my tendency to hang on in an effort to "save" the other person. On a few occasions I was the one whose heart was the casualty in a breakup.
Although my spouse of nearly twenty eight years doesn't fit the persona of a Hallmark movie leading man, he has been faithful and steadfast in his love for me. When the Lord brought us together thirty years ago I was a mess! I had been in and out of one bad relationship after another, compromised the morals and scriptural principles I knew to be true, and given up on love. Shortly before we met I told the Lord that I was done. Period. My attempts at finding love had only resulted in self-destructive behavior and a great deal of hurt, not only to myself but to others as well.
Instead of walking into a local piano bar one evening I walked into a roller-skating rink--alone. All I knew was that a local Christian radio station was sponsoring the music and that my hopes of meeting a Christian were higher in the skating rink than they were in a bar. I didn't really think I'd meet my life-partner that night, but that is precisely what happened. Five years after we married we renewed our vows in that very roller rink!
Since that day over thirty years ago Steve and I have had our ups and downs. There have been times when our marriage has been rosy and seasons where disillusionment and disappointment have threatened to be our undoing. Staying married has been hard work, but we have both honored our vows and remained committed and faithful to each other. Love has not been all wine and roses and candlelight. At times it has yielded spontaneous laughter and at other times, stretched our faith muscles and our patience with one another.
I'll be the first to admit that I am not always loving or easy to love. But somewhere deep inside is undying love and a great appreciation for a man who has been faithful, steadfast, and true -- a model of Christ's love, the foundation for our marriage.
Life may not be a Hallmark movie and our marriage may not be the most passionate on the planet. But I am willing to try harder to win over the heart of my husband by becoming God's ideal of a wife wholly devoted to her Lord and her man. It will take more love and respect and sacrifice than I have given in the past, but in the end will result in our happily ever after.
Copyright © 2014 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com
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