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Tenacious Love

Not Easily Broken


“Awe, Mom and Dad are kissing again!” my daughter announced to her brother as she caught us in the kitchen. “Aren’t they cute?” She sounded truly delighted. When they were little, their big brother taught them to say, “Ooh, gross,” anytime they saw us kissing. My husband and I began requiring at least three positive remarks from them before their comments turned to disgust, and very quickly the delight in their parents’ affection became a habit. We don’t hear disgust any longer, and we’re trying to teach some important lessons to them, besides.

We weren’t always so cute. Brian and I experienced the transforming power of looking at each other differently through Christ. Amid a constant onslaught of deep trauma, our marriage strained to the point of breaking within the first year. Too often observers caught us using unkind words in our marriage, tearing each other down rather than building one another up towards love and good deeds. Though God had his hand all over our dating, my husband and I questioned God’s plan for our relationship after the first year of marriage. Lord, I don’t know this person.  How can I love him?

God heard my cry.  Jesus reminded me that He Himself had established our relationship from the start, and therefore we were a chord of not just two strands, but three.  Just the two of us frayed, but with Jesus we held fast. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” ( Ecclesiastes 4:12 ). God knew the fullness of who Brian was and loved him. He knew the fullness of who I am and loved me. He didn’t leave us to rely upon our thoughts, experiences, and strength to keep our marriage together.

I learned to love my husband because Christ loved me first, not because Brian loved me first. Jesus held us together when we could not hold onto each other. He was compassionate towards my husband when I could not be. Though our stories overlappe