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With the launch of my first book, Making Marriage Beautiful, I wanted to invite other writers to weigh in and share how they are making their own marriages beautiful. This promises to be an incredible series, running weekly from January through April. Count on each week’s post to be honest, intimate, and personal. I hope you are encouraged by their journeys.

First up, Aussie Bev Murrill, who has been married for 45 years.

Choosing Love

Recently we celebrated a major anniversary – 45 years of marriage. The overwhelming feeling of joy comes from the fact that we made it! Through all the ups and downs, through all the pains, sorrows, frustrations, whether they were shared between us or whether they were caused by each other – we made it! We’ve loved, laughed, fought and been irritated beyond belief. Sometimes we thought that it was too hard… but it turned out that it wasn’t. The years have shown that although it wasn’t easy, it was doable … and we’ve done it!

We began with such optimism. We thought we would never be challenged in our love for each other… but we were, again and again. With each new challenge, each violent breach of the walls of our selfishness and self-sufficiency came the choice to become more resilient, more transparent, more willing to become ONE. And every time we made the choice to do it, another layer was added to the building of our ONENESS, another brick in the walls of finding our center in God and in each other.

Our years are like a string of pearls. The hard grit of our fears and inadequacies has been gradually coated over by the essence of forgiveness and the release of our egos, so that the other would be strengthened and enlarged. Slowly one pearl joined another, different shapes and sizes to match the challenges we’ve faced, and each has its own luster, won by the secret surrender of our hearts; all because love can truly cover a multitude of mistakes and failures.

We are the living proof that two vastly different, flawed and complex beings can begin as one + one and end up as One, without losing the individuality we were created in. For a man must leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife – and the two shall become One…

It can only happen by loving each other even when we feel lost and disappointed, loving when it seems our hearts might break, embracing even when we’re afraid to trust one more time, and continuing to love even when fear and shame demand that we protect our hearts in order to survive. Loving each other because we promised we would, and we will not break the promise.

Withdrawing is too easy, hardening your heart is too dangerous, looking outside the place of your oneness for comfort is catastrophic.

“Choosing to love as a verb—not a feeling—is how souls can remain free and still be tied together forever.”

With God as the enabler, the arbitrator, the one who empowers and so many times corrects our course, through these years we have been healed and become the healer, we’ve received grace and given it, we been changed and we have been the agents of change.

Can you make your marriage beautiful? Absolutely, but it doesn’t happen through the one choice you made when you said “I do”. It’s the choices made every minute of every day that craft the miracle of beauty in the midst of the banal. Choose love instead of waiting for it to choose you.

ricknbev

Bev writes a leadership blog commenting on issues to do with the church and leadership today at www.bevmurrill.com  She is author of Speak Life and Shut the Hell Up and Catalysts: You Can Be God’s Agent For Change. She is the founder of Liberti, an innovative and funky national UK magazine designed for contemporary women who want faith with attitude! Rick and Bev have four children all of whom are happily married, as well as ten grandchildren. They have found that having grandchildren is much easier than having children and are up for having as many as come their way. She loves to restore furniture in her spare time.

You can find more on Making Marriage Beautiful by clicking this link.

I invite you to share how you are making your own marriages beautiful in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by.

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