10, 579 – A somewhat surprising number, isn’t it?
Rather amazing, when you stop and think about it.
That’s how many times I’ve calculated we’ve held hands. Over 10,000 times. My slim hand tucked into his large, strong one. Our fingers entwined and my wedding ring tucked in between.
Perhaps the fact that we’ve been married for 21 years may help account for this impressive number.
But then again…maybe it doesn’t explain a thing. You should be shocked that we hold hands at all. You see, the odds were against us from the get-go.
“Those two will wake up hating each other.”
That’s what a pastor-friend of ours pronounced at our wedding ceremony. He really did. Now he didn’t say it publicly – merely mentioned it casually afterward to those standing nearby. In his professional opinion, we didn’t stand a chance.
Wake up hating?? Not exactly the blessing a new bride looks for on her wedding day. It would seem we were doomed.
Declared incompatible from the very start.
Then oh! how I dreaded that day when we’d wake up hating each other. I’d always hoped we’d turn out the lights loving one another. And wake up just the same. Every day for the rest of our lives.
A few years went by and we looked on while many of our friends’ marriages fell apart. He and I lay next to each other in the dark, quietly praying and weeping for them. Our hearts breaking for their hearts – for theirs and for their children’s. It wasn’t how anyone ever wanted it.
And I wept a little from fear, too. What would happen to us? Were we going to be next?
As if he could read my thoughts, he grasped my hand and whispered, “Let’s not do that, Babe. Let’s love each other instead.” That’s all he said. But I knew what he meant and I squeezed his hand back to let him know that he could count me in.
We were going up against the odds.
Now here we are, twenty-one years later, and still holding hands. Still learning to love each other. Still determined to never grow cold or hateful toward the other.
Yes, by God’s grace, I’m still reaching for his hand.
For All Those Who Are Going Up Against the Odds
A good marriage is possible. You can do this. Don’t let others tell you that you’re never going to make it. Maybe you can’t on your own, but with God’s help you can.
A good marriage is worth fighting for. Band together and recognize the real Enemy. This is a spiritual battle. It’s not about him and it’s not about you – it’s so much bigger than both of you. Fight hard for this one. (Eph.6:12).
A good marriage is worth loving him for. Keep looking for ways to love him more. Don’t try to do it the world’s way, but seek to have a Christ-centered marriage. (Eph.5:2).
A good marriage is worth praying for. If I had one “secret” to how we’ve overcome the odds? I’d say it was prayer. Marriage has dramatically increased – and improved – my prayer life. It’s changed him. And it’s changed me. (Phil. 4:6).
A good marriage is worth staying together for. Those vows you exchanged meant something real. You’ve been joined and the two of you are one – to live, love and walk with each other. Stick together. (Eph.5:31).
So this morning I woke up loving him. One more day in our favor. Each of us with a coffee cup in one hand and holding hands with the other.
It made me think we might just beat those odds after all. By God’s grace.
Here’s to holding hands another 10,000 times . . . and I hope the same for you. And even more.
*A portion of this post is taken from 100 Ways to Love Your Husband – now available in both print and digital format. Also check out the companion book, 100 Ways to Love to Your Wife by Matthew L. Jacobson.