This week will become known not for the wonderful Easter and its perfect weather just enjoyed, but as a week where the institution of marriage is once again re-affirmed.
I am writing this on a day when Mrs Acular and I are celebrating our fourteenth wedding anniversary. You may be pondering why I am wasting good anniversary time writing my Blogette when I could be thinking romantical thoughts with my life's-love. The truth is, she is off helping her sister pick a wedding dress for her nuptials, so here I am (praise the Lord).
In three days, the whole wide telly-watching world will be tuned in to see Prince William marry the fragrant Kate Middleton (who is related to a fryer of fish, by the way). I have heard that this will number into the 700,000,000s of people. Perhaps it is no accident that we in our church-life have seen a little surge in requests to marry this year, and for that we thank God. I pray fervently that they enjoy a happy, long, fruitful life together. Their happy day is a happy day for us, and I thank them for that.
I speak as one who knows what I am talking about, as I have been in relationships outside of marriage as well the one within it. Many men and women baulk at the idea of marriage, regarding it as outdated, pointless, 'just a piece of paper'. Rubbish! The only reasons not to marry someone, as far as I can see, is that a 'quick-release' mechanism remains desirable, or that two people just don't love one another quite enough that it can last a lifetime. There, strong words, but it is how I feel.
I believe very strongly, that marriage is the very best one person can offer to another person whom they love with all their heart. Why would you not marry? And it is different. After I married Jo, it felt different compared to before. It felt different in the very best of ways. Loose affiliations are fine if you wish to be loosely affiliated to someone, but to stand up in front of the 'world' and say 'I do', takes courage, commitment, and is surely the keenest demonstration for that love that there is (and should be available to all adults who love one another).
For me, it has been fourteen wonderful years with a faithful kind and beautiful woman who has endured much that I may live my dreams. I hope that I have done the same for her. As a couple we have brought to life two gorgeous children, no better fruit of our love. It hasn't all been plain sailing, and to pretend otherwise would be daft - and oh my word how she nags. I jest, but we have had many good days and few bad. Being married meant that we had days when it felt that love wasn't quite enough, and when just duty to our vows was the glue. It happens in all marriages, not just ours. In simple terms, I have agreed to love this woman-without-taste-in-men for the rest of her life, and she has agreed the same. That simple promise changes my whole world, every day.