We live in a world where clerks in virtually any store upon meeting you for the first time will talk to you like you’ve been close friends for about thirty years.
Like the other day at the bank.
I don’t normally go to this branch but it was convenient and I needed to do a little banking so . . .
Guy, girl, girl guy – that was the line up of the tellers and since there were no customers, I thought I’d approach the first one who looked my direction. The guy in his early 20s, on the right.
Now, I didn’t know this guy from Adam but, if I wasn’t mistaken, I’d say he was gunning for the ladies. The first clue? Men’s cologne slapping me in the face from four feet away. Add to it stylish clothes, sparkling eyes, the “happening” hairstyle, a winning smile, and an engaging personality attempting to keep the attention of the two young lady tellers and, there you have it.
After the transaction began, he asked, “So, any big plans today?” Because perfect strangers should share things like that.
I often can’t help myself, making some joke about bearing my soul only if the other person is willing to do the same but, I decided today was going to be different.
“Oh yeah!” I responded enthusiastically while placing my cash in my wallet. “I’m on a hot date with my girlfriend,” At which point, the other three tellers immediately looked our way and leaned in to listened.
The girls (instinctively?) looked at my left hand. That older guy is wearing a wedding ring and he’s talking about dating his girlfriend?
“Niiice!” my teller responded approvingly, giving me that “knowing” smile while nodding his head to the ladies.
“She’s also my wife and the mother of my 8 children,” I quickly added.
As if I had revealed the secrets of their hopes and dreams, all four young people stared at me . . . all approvingly, but as if this older man was somehow proof of something they dared not hope for.
One young lady couldn’t help her self, “That’s amazing!” The other melted into a puddle on the floor, smiling all the way down, “Ooooh, that’s so nice!” My teller looked at me and said, “Wow, that’s awesome!”
And it is . . .
Not because Lisa and I are special, or lucky, or just plain good at this ‘marriage thing.’ We have an excellent (yes, imperfect but excellent) marriage because we are determined, by God’s grace, to walk in fellowship with each other and in obedience to Christ. We want depth, richness, love, fellowship, comfort, and joy – everything God intended for us to enjoy in a loving marriage. We really want it, so we pursue it and purpose to make each other the priority we must be to experience a marriage that rises above mediocre.
But, there’s another reason.
Every Christian marriage bears an added level of responsibility to be a model of the love Jesus Christ has for His Church, The Bride of Christ. Lisa’s and my marriage isn’t our own. And, if you’re a true believer, neither is yours. It belongs to Christ, for His purposes in the world.
. . . Which is why I believe that encounter happened with those young tellers, yearning to find what (Whom) they were created to know. The world offers a counterfeit that seems good in the moment. I wanted to begin the process of sharing with them something authentic, real, lasting, desirable, and True. As the Word says, some plant, some water, and God gives the increase. (1Corinthians3:6)
And that’s why I keep dating my girlfriend, even though I’m married.