I once heard a wise preacher say to an eager couple standing at the altar, “There are three rings in marriage: the engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.” Considering the amount of laughter that followed, there must be some truth to those words! The greatest joys as well as the greatest hardships we experience often are wrapped up in this one-of-a-kind, God-given relationship called marriage.
So what do you do with these extremes? The Bible talks a lot about forgetting. It also talks a lot about remembering. So which is it?
Whether or not you’re married, I’ve concluded that these extremes of life are a lot about editing. Some things just aren’t worth remembering. What’s the point in dwelling on things in the past that can never be changed, seek to enslave, or drag you down?
Then again, many things are worth remembering – things that inform, inspire or influence our present actions – from lessons learned to priceless moments. It’s pretty simple to me: choose to remember the good – “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things (Philippians 4:8 NASB). Editing.
A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge in our thirty-one years together. And like you, maybe we’ve thought about jumping off a time or two as the pendulum swung towards “worse.” But in Christ, “better” days are always ahead and the good news is the stream is still flowing. We rejoice that His healing waters have such tremendous redeeming power to erase regret, blot out sin, refresh the soul, and move us continually downstream toward His purposes.
I frequently tell my wife that she becomes more beautiful with each passing year. Of course, she always says I’m biased or my eyesight is failing. Perhaps. But I think it’s because God has given me a greater appreciation of just how resilient she is, how more deeply in love she is with Jesus, and how much she wants the best for the days that lie ahead.
A well-trained memory is one that knows what to forget. Call it forgiveness. Call it love. Call it sanity. It’s still about editing as God continues to unfold His amazing story in our lives.
“…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 NASB)
© 2012 Tim McKenzie – www.OnEveryWord.com