Monday, March 31, 2014
Young Marriage and Role Models
Zeke and I have been married for almost two years. I think I've learned a lot in in these two short years, and I know that I've changed for the better.
One of the biggest blessings in our marriage thus far has been the wonderful marriages we've been able to see around us. Both Zeke's parents and my parents are still married, and I know that isn't the case for many. We've also witnessed the lasting love between our grandparents (the hands on the right of the picture above are my grandparents, who have been married for sixty-eight years). We each have had great examples of strong and faithful marriages in our own families.
We've also been incredibly, incredibly blessed to have other, non-related couples pour into our lives and become role models to us.
Couples like Dennis and Sarah.
When Zeke started his job at Camp, the Director of Maintenance, and thus Zeke's boss, was a guy named Dennis. Dennis and his wife Sarah actually lived in the house where we're currently living.
Zeke started at Camp the month before we got married, so I wasn't really around, but for that first month, I heard so many stories about Dennis. About how Dennis planned this project, how he remodeled that cabin, about how he plotted the layout of bathrooms. Zeke talked about him with such admiration- and that was one of the ways I knew Camp was a good fit for us. Dennis was a great role model for Zeke, and Zeke was learning a lot from him.
After we got married and got settled in to our new little home, Dennis and Sarah threw us a dinner party and invited all the other Camp staff families. The one thing that struck me, right from the moment I met her, was that Sarah was so loved. She practically glowed with love, confidence, and joy. And it didn't take long for me to find out why.
Dennis cherished her so deeply, and she respected him unquestioningly. They were best friends. They were sappy together- Dennis only calls Sarah four things: "Cutie," "Sweetie," "My Love," and "My Bride." They hold hands while praying, every single time.
After a couple of months of living at Camp and working with Zeke, Dennis made the decision that it was time for his family to move on. We later found out that he had told the executive director that he felt he could retire now, because he knew Zeke would take good care of Camp- I could see Zeke stand taller after hearing that incredible compliment- what an honor.
About a month ago now, Sarah called me to tell me that they'd be coming for the marriage retreat that Camp hosts. I was so excited! Sarah is so much fun, and I was looking forward to seeing her again and catching up.
I told Zeke that they were coming, and after saying that he needed to "clean the shop so it looks nice for Dennis," we started talking about Dennis and Sarah's marriage. And Zeke said something I won't soon forget:
"The way Dennis treats Sarah has really impacted how I treat you."
And as I thought about it, I realized that the way Sarah responds to Dennis has made a difference in my actions, too. I watched as she greeted him at lunch time- full of love, obviously glad to see him- and I try to do the same thing when Zeke gets home from work. Her trust in him, even in a time of transitioning to a new home and new time of life, is something I (rather unsuccessfully so far) am trying to emulate as well.
Zeke and I were thinking, a while back, about joining a Life Group with all young couples- couples married five years or less, most without children. I'm sure that group is great, but I'm kind of glad that we chose a different one, with a mix of young marriages and more mature marriages. Having those role models, people who have been there before and came through it, is really important for my marriage right now.
I hope that some day, my marriage will be an example to a young couple. I know that our young marriage has really been impacted, changed, and bettered, because of role models like Dennis and Sarah.