Saturday, June 06, 2009

Billy Graham Association

In the first week of February, 1992, my husband, Scott, and I expectantly watched the due date of our first child come and go. Slightly daunted by the prospect of a prolonged wait, we set our sights on a Valentine's baby. Once again the date passed by. But the Lord smiled on us the following morning, and the moment that we had beren waiting for arrived. As the waves of labor intensified and I became more vocal about them, Scott envisioned himself sprinting out of the hospital door and across the parking lot to escape the pain of watching my pain. Of course he quickly suppressed the urge to run and returned his focus to me. A few hours later we joyfully greeted our newborn son. How often in our marriages do we get the urge to bolt, whether in the physical or emotional sense? How often do we suppress that urge and stay the course? Like many other people, I grew up on a steady diet of romantic ideals. Falling into love and being in love were the rich themes of youth that I carried with me into our marriage. But what about staying in love? When the euphoric cloud slowly lifted to reveal a calmer, quieter landscape with occasional twists and turns in the road, how then would we navigate our relationship? My choices were either to remain the thrill-seeker of the past, and head for the nearest emotion exit or to become the promise-keeper of the covenant that I made with God and Scott--to settle in for the long haul. Early in our marriage Scott and I set the theme for staying in love and chose a quotation from C.S. Lewis: "Love as a distinct from 'being in love'is not merely a feeling. It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit; reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both [partners] ask, and receive, from God....'Being in love' first moved them to promise fidelity:this quieter love enables them to keep the promise." * And so I embrace the times in our marriage when our feelings of love are strong and passionate. Scott and I work hard to tend those fires and keep our hearts tender toward each other. But in those moments when we don't feel "in love," we know that our firm foundation is a sacrificial Saviour who reminds us to build with the pillars of humility, forgiveness, and faithfulness. Here we are now, after nine years of marriage and three children. This quieter love, though sometimes quite noisy, has brought greater and deeper joy than we could have imagined. Had Scott or I run out when the waves of difficult days threatened to crush us, we would never have known the greater blessings that come with staying in love. --Christine Denté Christone Denté is a contemporary Christian musician and recording artist. She and her husband, Scott, form a singing duo know as Out of the Grey. Together the have won numerous awards for their work, including Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association(GMA). They are the parents of three children and make their home in Nashville, Tennesee. They attend Christ Community Church (Prebyterian Church in America), in Franklin. Copyright ©1997 Billy Graham Evagelistic Association. *From "Christian Behaviour," by C.S.Lewis, 1943; in "Mere Christianity,by CS Lewis Copyright 1943, 1045, 1952 Macmillan Publishing Company, New York, NY; Harper Collins Publishers Limited, London, England; used by permission of the Estate of C S Lewis, London England.