People often relate seasons of the year to seasons of a marriage. While each marriage is unique, I have noticed similarities. My wife and I just celebrated our 43rd anniversary, so indulge me for a few minutes.
The springtime of our love was our meeting, our courtship and the early years of our marriage. While not stress-free, it was remembered as young love, passions, can’t-wait-to-see-each-other, not-wanting-to-say-goodnight-to-each-other and just wanting to be together all the time. When we were married, it was a magical time of seeing your best friend and lover all the time while trying to learn to blend two lives together.
The summer of our love was having and raising kids. At first, to see birth was magical…each time. But it quickly gave way to middle-of-the-night feedings and long walks burping the babies. Suddenly, there were little human beings interfering with our time together. Then, as the kids got older, we discovered that our ideas on discipline were different. That was fun (NOT)! School, sports, youth group and a myriad of other things all took time. Having time together with my lover and best friend took planning. The spontaneity was gone. And our finances got a lot tighter. Sacrifices had to be made. We seemed to argue more about everyday things. The heat of summer seemed to wither our love. It wasn’t dying, it was just changing form. It was deepening and maturing. Love making was no longer spontaneous and wildly passionate. It had to be planned and was more predictable. But sweet and very fulfilling nonetheless.
We didn’t want to make the mistakes that our parents made. We were going to do a better job. But as time went on, we realized that we were making our own mistakes. We also realized that our parents did some really good things. And we understood them better and appreciated them more. We really wanted the best for our kids. We wanted them to learn the lessons that took us so long to learn. We also learned that God loves our kids more than we do and His love can cover a multitude of sins.
In the fall of our love, we became empty-nesters. Once again, it was just the two of us. Best friends and lovers but older, wiser and a little more sag in our bodies. But the sparkle in the eye is still there. She can still melt me with her smile. We began to exercise the gifts God has so graciously given us. She to a ministry to women. Me to being an adult bible teacher in our church. Time together is easier to plan. We see our friends more often. Our boys bring their friends over to spend time with us. They start asking us for advice every now and then (surprise)! Then they enlarge our family by getting married and having kids of their own. We have daughters-in-love, not daughters-in-law, something my parents modeled for us. We include their parents and siblings in family get-togethers. God has created our own little family dynasty. Tough times still happen but we’ve learned to seek God’s guidance thru them. Our life isn’t perfect but its pretty darn good. Finances aren’t so tight. We can go on date nights again.
Now is the winter of our love. We’re retired and busier than ever. Our individual ministries keep us running. We have a church small group of friends that are our age that we’ve walked thru life with for the last 10 years or so. Precious friends that we’ve laughed, cried and prayed with thru life’s experiences. We’re blessed with great grandkids that we’re very involved with. We’re passing on what we’ve learned in 43 years of marriage by teaching our church’s pre-marital class. We travel more. We love each other more deeply. Patti walked with me thru throat cancer, just as we will walk with each other thru death’s door into the loving arms of Jesus when He calls us home.
Our winter is the reward of walking with Jesus thru all the ups and downs of life. Our seasons of love have layered upon each other, like building floors on a foundation. There were times when the floors weren’t finished and didn’t look so good. The storms came and damaged the floors. Sometimes rebuilding needed to happen. But the foundation (Jesus) stood firm. And now, the building is finished. It looks great and is functioning well. And it’s all because of the foundation.
These are the seasons of our love. No matter how your seasons have worked out, if you know Jesus when your seasons end, you’ll be welcomed into a new season of unimaginable joy that will never end.
For His Kingdom,