Your Marriage is in Your HANDS

Take a look at your hands.

Did you do it? Don’t just read on. Take a good look at your hands.

I’ll get back to your hands in a moment.

This past weekend my wife and I were away for one of our Romantic Retreats. We went to Havre de Grace, MD, a quaint old town, and we stayed in a small 2-story cottage.

On Sunday, while we strolled through the tree lined streets admiring the old Victorian Inns, we passed one that was hosting an outdoor wedding. The aisle for the bride and groom started at the sidewalk and ended at the wedding canopy just 50 feet from the street. We happened to walk by just as the ceremony began. I, of course, was interested in what the pastor would say to the young bride and groom.

Wedding ceremonies are a time for idealism not realism; so I wasn’t expecting to hear profound words from the pastor. But to my surprise, she led the bride and groom through a meaningful “exercise” and offered them sound advice. I’m going to paraphrase and use my own words, but essentially here’s what happened.

The pastor acknowledged that brides and grooms usually gaze into each other’s eyes with heartfelt emotion (she paused to notice that that’s exactly what the bride and groom in front of her were doing). She spoke about the innocence of that look and the sea of feelings shared without a word ever spoken. But then the pastor kindly asked the bride and groom to bow their heads and to look at their hands.

It’s amazing how the energy in a place can shift in a moment. When the bride and groom turned their attention from each other’s eyes to their hands it was as if the pastor had transported them from a fairytale to a drama. And then the pastor explained as follows.

You decided to spend the rest of your life together because of your FEELINGS. But the rest of your life together will be decided by your ACTIONS.

“Take a good look at your hands,” the pastor requested of them. “Because it’s what you DO in the years ahead that will determine what you SEE in each other’s eyes.”

In other words, what you see is NOT what you get. What you DO is what you will see.

We all want to gaze into our spouse’s eyes and feel the depth of their love. But in the long term, those looks are not because we met Mr. or Mrs. Right; it’s because we did RIGHT and because we earned the right over time to see that love in each other’s eyes.

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