Too Long!

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My wife and I were invited to a sign language class by our deaf friend. She was teaching us ASL (American Sign Language), and she wanted us to meet the people from her church. Most of the people were like us, learning how to communicate through sign language. We were greeting other folks when I asked a couple how long they were married. The woman replied, “Too long!”
At work one day, an elderly couple was checking out at the register. I appreciate hearing from older people how long they have been married, so I asked them, “How long have you been married?”
“Too long!” The husband replied.
I said, “Don't say that.” And I asked again, “No, really how long?”
He said, “Fifteen years.” I said, “Really, were you married before? What happened to your first wife?
He said, “We are divorced. My wife and I are both on our second time around.”
I encouraged them to spend time studying what the Bible teaches about marriage and remarriage.
It is that answer that bothers me: “Too long.”
What is it about marriage that causes people to answer that way? Do people appreciate marriage? Especially among those who profess to follow the teachings of Christ? Shouldn’t a long marriage be a testimony to how a Biblical marriage should be?
What is your answer when people ask you about your marriage? Are you able to tell them how many years the Lord has blessed you and your spouse? Or deep down inside, if you were truthful, would you answer the same way? “Too long.”
Today if you tell someone you have been married 5-10 years that is impressive to them. If the answer is 15-20 years, they will start asking questions. If a couple is married over 20 years, people are amazed at how long they have endured. People will either respect you and want to know the secret to your marriage, or will think you are just a miserable couple who just puts up with each other.
I like to share with them; “The reason we are married so long is that we read the best marriage advice book.”
Some have said, "Really, what is it called?”
I tell them, “It's the Bible; it is the only marriage book you will ever need. It offers free lessons if you are committed to putting it into practice. Christ is a patient, loving, merciful teacher who cares a lot about our marriages."
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing and obtaineth favor of the Lord (Pro 18:22).
And said, For this cause shall a man leave a father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder (Matt 19: 5-6).
So how long does God want a marriage to last? There is a saying we hear in connection to weddings: Till death do us part. Does the Bible support that saying?
Let’s look at Romans 7:2-3. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.
The Bible says that marriage is for life. When you made the vow to your spouse, it was for life. You agreed to a life sentence with the spouse who you became one with. You were to leave the closest of all earthly ties, father and mother, and form a closer bond with your spouse— together as one. What God joined together; no man should separate.
The Bible even tells us that life is short. James 4:14 says, Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. So how could we ever think that our marriage is "Too Long" when the Bible teaches us that life is short?
The society we live in today cannot wait very long for things. If they are getting a meal and it’s not ready quickly, they feel things are taking too long! This influences us. We want things to happen quickly. When people desire a companion, some will say, “I can’t wait until I am dating!” Then, “I can’t wait until we are engaged!” Then, “I can’t wait until we are married...” then shortly afterward, things are not as they had hoped. They rushed into their relationship, and now they have the privileges of marriage, and its responsibility weighs on them. It seems to be nothing exciting left to wait for. Marriages built on this foundation cannot value what they have.
We need to appreciate each day the Lord gives us, no matter where we find ourselves in life. If the Lord blesses us with a spouse, let us not rush through life or grow weary when responsibilities come.
We must treasure each day we have with our spouse. Our commitment is for the rest of our earthly life. We should read the scriptures and obey the commands of the One who planned marriage between one man and one woman. We must treasure the leading He revealed in our lives to give us the spouse He chose for us. We must never let anything separate us from the plan he had for us. The direction is clear that men should love their wives as Christ loves the church. Ephesians 5:25.
Christ intends for us to live together until earthly death separates us, and then we are to become His bride. Does your marriage and commitment to your spouse reflect this kind of dedication?
Song of Solomon 8:6-7 says, Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned.
Marriages should be long, full of love, and devoted to Christ. When someone asks you how long you have been married, what will you share with them? What will your testimony be?