Sunday, November 9, 2014

Thoughts on Marriage from the Perspective of 45 years.

"The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay because love isn’t love until you give it away."

God has taught me a few things that I thought I would share with you from the perspective of 45 years of marriage.
November 8, 1969. Jan Moseley, Robert Grimes, Martha McCarty, Bill Ramsey, Rondi Bates, Rick Williams, Gail Tyson, Randy Pierce, Doug Moseley, Yancey Nowlin, Dick Moseley, Debbie Spann, John Thomas, Pam Thuss, Ed Ramsey Patt McLauchlin (out of the picture) Georgianna Grand, Sylvia Burson, Sharman Burson Ramsey, Joel Ramsey, Elkanah Burson, Philip Ramsey
1.     Never give up.

You may remember singing the song:
Here am I, Send me Lord
Here am I, Send me Lord
Make my live useful to thee. 

He sent you. The man/woman you chose, the home you made, the children/ grandchildren born or adopted are your very first and most personal mission. Not farthest Africa. Or the Rescue Mission down the street. Or the church you attend. If things are not right in your home, you are not right. By realizing that you have put God first.

Sharman and Joe Ramsey

 2.     The children in that home were not sent to you alone. No one will love those children like their own father or mother. There are exceptions to this, but they are anomalies.

3.     When you don’t feel love, let God love through you.  There are three types of love: eros (sexual that brings you together), filios (companionable love, friendship) and agape (when you CANNOT love you must let God love through you).
Pray for the love. And then follow His command and “Walk believing you have received it and you shall have it.” That means act as if you love and the love will come back. Greet your loved one with a kiss. Fix their favorite meal.

4.     If you become bored with your home and can’t afford something new, don’t take it out on your spouse. Be proactive and not reactive. Money is not the answer to everything. Rearrange your furniture. It makes everything look and feel new. Check out a new cookbook from the library and become a better cook. Learn something new. Take up gardening. Be creative around your home and build your nest.

Gail Tyson, Rondi Bates, Jan Moseley, Martha McCarty, Pam Thuss, Debbie Spann, Patt McLaughlin, Sylvia Burson, Georgianna Grand

Robert Grimes, Rick Williams, Ed Ramsey, Dick Moseley, Bill Ramsey, John Thomas, Doug Moseley, Randy Pierce, Philip Ramsey must have been seating someone
 5.    Develop friendships so you are not dependent upon your spouse for your total emotional support. It’s also fun to have “news” to bring back home and share. The caveat here is in your choice of friends. Choose friends that help you be the best you can be. Unfortunately, there are those who might want you to jump into their own situation just so they will have company there.

 6.     Don’t hold grudges. What example are you setting for your children? Does a parent's example not matter any more? Has "if it feels good do it!" become the new Commandment that replaces the former Ten? If you’re not happy, it must be your spouse's fault? Is the answer really to throw the other person away? You’re still stuck with yourself and you will probably be living with more problems than before:  financial, social, dating men/women who may not have the paternal/maternal attitude toward your children that will provide a secure home for those precious children God entrusted to your care. Will the problem of today really matter next week or two years from now?

Keep your eyes on the prize-- holding grandchildren and looking beyond them to the same man/woman who held their mother or father, the one who sacrificed so they would have the best chances life could offer.  Those babies are the reason you were born – not your contribution the GDP.  “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” will be the reward.

Joel Ramsey and son, Andrew Ramsey (9 pounds 9 oz)


7.     Keep a thankful spirit. Remember the good. Forget the bad. See your life as half full and not half empty. Give friends and family leeway. God isn’t finished with any of us yet. Most of us are doing the best we can with the situations of life and ability that we must deal with. Realize that some are more capable of demonstrating their love than are others. They may be less articulate in verbalizing feelings and expect you to see their love in their actions- their fidelity and support.

Sylvia Burson, Jean Gillis Burson, Sharman Burson 
Dr. E. G. Burson, Jr. and Sharman Burson with Jan Moseley, Martha McCarty and Patt McLaughlin
 8.     It is a spouse’s, friend’s, parent’s, child’s responsibility to bring out the good in the ones God has entrusted to them. Encourage and support the best in the ones you love. As we become older, we realize that God doesn’t just give children to the parents, but the parent to the child. It is just as important for the child to love, pray for and support the parent entrusted to them as it is for the parent to love, pray for and support the child. Remain prayerful and wait for God to do the work He has begun in those He has placed in your charge. 

Joel and Sharman Ramsey with Reverend Paul Duffey, First United Methodist Church, Dothan, Alabama

 9.     “You will teach these things to your sons and your sons’ sons.” If you have chosen to follow God, don’t be a hypocrite about the vows you took... or think you can retire. There is no more important job than making sure each of your little ones know the pathway to Heaven. Life has a death sentence. The end comes to us all. Some earlier than others. Like a military mission. So rather than cling to length, embrace the challenge of making the moment count. 

I think of the teachers at Sandyhook who heroically put themselves in front of their students. Though brief, those lives held meaning and purpose. They were true heroes. They faced bullets. Can mothers and fathers do less for their own children with simple situations in their everyday life?  

A wedding is a Sacrament, a Holy moment, during which vows are exchanged and a family begins. Somehow along the way we've lost sight of that fact and we have gotten lost in the party. Is the honor of a man/woman so much less important now than in the past? We in the South believe that a man's word is his bond. Is business more important than marriage?

"I could not love thee dear so much, loved I not honor more." wrote Richard Lovelace in "To Lucasta Going to the Wars."

Honor mattered then. Honor matters now.

10. The grass always looks greener on the other side. If only… can make you totally miserable. You have life and breath. Embrace the family that God entrusted to you, the friends with whom you are blessed … and speak your love.

Because love isn’t love till you give it away.

45 years later Steven Butterworth, Cecily Butterworth, Mike Evans, Brooke Evans and Molly, Drew Ramsey, Brittany Ramsey and Sam, Megan Evans, Sharman Ramsey, Joe Ramsey, George Ramsey, and Lily Butterworth
Thank you, God. I am so blessed.

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand who saith, 'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!” Robert Browning

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