Thursday, December 02, 2010

December 2


Today, we went to visit our friend Renee.  The Renee with the lions at her house.  Don’t worry, they are just statues.  When I told Maren we were going there, Annie said she wanted to go too.  So we went after school and in a few minutes, the girls were happily eating brownies and drinking pop in front of Nick Jr. on the flat screen.

Renee grew up in Luxembourg and was a war bride.  She got married at 17 and moved to northern Minnesota.  It was a major culture shock.  She speaks German, French and the language of Luxembourg.  We talked about her family, growing up, and her career. 

We also talked about marriage.  It’s funny to listen to someone who has been married well over sixty years talk about the ups and downs of marriage.  Things like why she went back to work and how it makes her crazy that her husband is rearranging everything in her kitchen.  She shared about the struggles they’ve had over the years.  Sometimes, when I look at couples who have been married for a long time it seems things have been so easy for them.  They are comfortably retired and have a nice family and house.  But that’s not the whole story.

I remembered last week when we had lunch with a couple from church that shares our anniversary.  They have been married 47 years and called us kids.  They too shared about the years that were difficult, stressful and just plain not easy.

I started to realize something that’s important to my marriage.  More important than date night and communication and love languages.  The things these couples show us is real: brokenness, transparency, patience and faithfulness.  As a young(ish) married couple, it’s so important to spend time with people who have been doing the marriage thing longer than we have been alive.  They are a wealth of encouragement, honesty and inspiration.  They’ve been through rough times, trials, death, health issues, financial pressures and survived.  And thrived.   

So maybe our “young married’s” classes or same-aged small groups aren’t the best idea.  Our churches and lives are full of this wisdom but we often write them off as out of date or out of touch.  We need to connect to people with wisdom and experience. 

Even though I went to visit Renee as a gift to her, I was the one that was blessed.  I couldn’t be more thankful for the gift I was given.  As I was leaving, she patted my hand and told me if I ever needed someone to talk to she was there.  And I might just take her up on that.

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