I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time, but I have been busy teaching for the past 5 1/2 weeks and couldn’t seem to find the time or the energy. I learned a valuable lesson in the process—taking or teaching a college course in 5 1/2 weeks is a tall order. WAY too intense—just ask my students!
Today is the last day of the semester, the last day of the month and also the MLB trading deadline. Yes, I know I tend to write about baseball frequently. It’s what I know! Back on the first of this month my husband and I marked our 25th wedding anniversary. What I wanted to write about back then seems to fit perfectly today so I will proceed. Lots of Major League Baseball players will be traded by this afternoon’s deadline. Some of them will leave the only major league team that they’ve ever known. Others seem to move from one team to another on a regular basis. Some will be happy about being traded. Others won’t. Some have to approve the trade because they have a no-trade clause in their contract. Others have no say in the matter. Back in the day many players stayed on the same team throughout their career. These days it is a rare occurrence.
I believe many of these same ideas apply to marriage. When the going gets tough, and it will, it is hard to honor our commitment. Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36 NLT) It seems easier to give up and walk away, or in the case of baseball, change teams. We look around and see what we think are surely better options. The grass looks greener over there. The words that I’ve heard a number of times in response to that statement in recent years is that the grass is greener where you water it. Whether we’re talking about marriage or baseball, to persevere through the tough times requires effort and commitment from all parties involved. After suffering through 20 losing seasons as a loyal fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates, I found it especially sweet when they broke the streak last year. The reward for my loyalty was a long time in coming, but it was worth the wait. If you are going through a rough patch in your marriage, I want to encourage you and your spouse to invoke your own “no-trade clause” and honor your wedding vows (unless it is a matter of safety). Pray, water the grass, and endure. The rewards will follow.
We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. (James 5:11 NLT)