I wanted to shout, “Run, run.” I knew it was coming for her though. Some day; like it comes for so many of us. Yup. The daughter just changed her Facebook status to “In relationship.” I don’t really know what that means but take it to be some point between a first date and walking down the aisle. There’s so much I want to say to her but so little she’ll hear. It’s first love. Raise your hands if you rushed into that head-over heels. How many tripped over themselves in the process? So many bloodied knees and hearts along the way.
Stories and statistics witness that marriage be entered with sobriety. My knees have been bloodied too-I’m five years into my second marriage. My wife and I are committed for the long haul. Just doing that is good—but not enough. I want more. I want intimacy. I want romance. I hope we all do.
Wanting isn’t enough. As a child I knew a handful of divorced people. Now I know a handful in strong marriages---and some of those are second-go-around. So what can I say to my kid? To the woman in her thirties starting her third marriage? To the oh-so-many that have settled?
Don’t settle. I’ve screwed up; sinned, stumbled—pick the verb. I have this romantic stupid streak inside. I believe it will get better. I think Bob Goff said it-Live in grace. Teacher John Piper has this thing about the manure pile. In essence he says crap crops up in marriage; look at it, deal with it, and agree with your spouse to take it out to the manure pile. Perhaps the best advice for marriage is this: Don’t settle and keep shoveling.