And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I'm looking far back today, almost twenty years, to the first fight Rob and I ever had as husband and wife. We'd been married about three months and I never imagined we would fight about anything (yes, I was naive).
Then I came home from school one day and got the mail from the box (I love getting mail). Our bank statement had arrived. I opened it, expecting the usual: a little money into the bank and slightly less out. Just enough to stay in the black -- that's what two full-time students do. Live paycheck to paycheck, statement to statement.
Only our account was overdrawn. I freaked. Big time. In all my years, I'd never overdrawn my checking and savings. Never!
My dear husband came home -- no doubt from a long day at the hospital -- and I was waiting. He came in and I pounced. I yelled at him. I screamed. Stamped my feet. Screamed. Slammed doors.... Oooooooh...
He just took the papers, sat down on the floor with a calculator, and back-tracked. He never fought back. He never yelled. He never said a word.
I went to our bedroom -- one last door slam just to make sure he knew how upset I was -- and cried.
Several hours later, long after it was dark, he came to our room. He stayed calm. He explained a few things.
First, he said, "No matter how mad you get, I'll always love you."
Then, he explained what happened. It turns out that we both had used the ATM a few times that month without writing the withdrawals into our checkbook. It wasn't his fault. It wasn't my fault. We both did it.
We talked about our fight -- more importantly, my fears. We decided to cut up the ATM cards, right then. We apologized, both of us, for what we had done. Though, I'm not sure my apology was entirely heartfelt at the time. And we prayed for wisdom.
That argument has come up often with friends and our kids. People ask why we don't have an ATM card -- and I tell them. Our marriage is not worth fighting over money. It was -- and is -- easier to live without the "so-called" convenience than to use the cards and set ourselves up for another argument.
Ever since that first fight, we have taken a similar approach: if it causes us to fight do we really need it?
As the Bible says in Mark 10:9 (and is often quoted in wedding ceremonies), "What God has joined together, let man not separate." (OR "let man not put asunder.") My husband made sure we both remembered that our marriage is more valuable than any thing, any convenience, or any luxury. He kept his focus on God's priorities and didn't stoop to my level.
There's no question what will go in my memorial box this week! A picture of my husband and me on our wedding day, the day we promised to love each other, in good times and bad. God has truly blessed our relationship. I am thankful.
If you don't know what Memorial Box Monday is, it all started here: "A Place Called Simplicity." A friend of mine introduced me to it, and I love it! love it! love it!!! Memorial Box Monday provides an opportunity to remember all the good things God has done. Huge, gigantic things and little things that might seem insignificant. God's word is clear: "Cast every care on Me, for I care for you." (1 Peter 5:7).