No, that’s not my age, and neither is it the amount of time since I finally left medical school as a qualified doctor. Actually it is how long I have been married – and yes, it has been to the same person for those 42 wonderful years. Now with 4 children and 9 grandchildren (and no great-grandchildren that anyone has mentioned to me yet!) I find myself amazed at the blessing that has been brought into my life by my wonderful wife. As I count my blessings, I am also aware of the tragedy of the slow collapse of marriage as the foundation stone of stable, western societies. Our national experiments with social engineering both here in the States, my adopted home, and in the UK, my former home, do not leave me with great faith in the up-to-date utopian fancies of the modern elites. In the wealthiest nations on earth, we have a permanent underclass of poverty precisely because we have lost our faith in the classic Biblical virtues that include stable homes and hard-working and self/God reliant families. (Self/God reliant is not a theological statement, but more a statement of Biblical values of taking personal responsibility for our actions).
As Felicity and I shared a lovely meal, followed by a great movie (GrandMaster – an eloquent and artistic look at the world of Kung Fu in China in the pre-communist era through the eyes of the “Grand-Master), we had plenty of time to reflect on what makes a great marriage. Probably the most moving thing for both of us was the card we received from a close friend and family member telling us that our marriage is what gives her faith to still believe in marriage. To what do I attribute this?
I think it is very simple. The doctor who was in charge of student health at my medical school was very concerned for Felicity and I as medical students who were about to get married. He shared this one simple truth. He told us that Felicity and I were like two points at the base of a triangle, and that Jesus was at the apex of that triangle. He pointed out that as we choose to get closer to Jesus, we would also automatically get closer to each other. That comment has stood the test of time in our marriage, and so I pass it on to readers of this blog as a foundation for relationship that is a living demonstration of what Jesus taught when he told us that “a wise man builds his house upon a rock.”