Not long after I graduated from the University of Arkansas, a female friend approached me for advice. She was dating a young man who also happened to be my best friend. She wanted to marry him, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit himself to her. A marriage is a major decision. I was unsure… Continue reading More than Just a Marriage

Not long after I graduated from the University of Arkansas, a female friend approached me for advice. She was dating a young man who also happened to be my best friend. She wanted to marry him, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to commit himself to her. A marriage is a major decision.

I was unsure whether they should marry for some reason. So I told her a story I’d recently heard: 

In his front yard was a little boy named Johnny playing marbles. His uncle drove up to play for a couple of minutes with the boy. The uncle then picked out a dime and a dollar in his pocket. “You want a dime today and a dollar next week, Johnny,” he asked?” 

Between shiny dime and the crisp greenback, Johnny’s boyish eyes bounced back and forth. He said, “Today, I could purchase a potato chip bag or wait until next week to purchase a rubber ball.” He felt hungry, so he took the dime, purchased some chips, and wrapped them. They were delicious. They were delicious. A week went by, and one afternoon he noticed that every other boy had a rubber ball in his neighborhood. “Hey, uncle, how did you promise me about that dollar?” Pleading Johnny. His uncle looks down and says, “Johnny, today or a dollar next week, I promised you that last week, and you’ve chosen it. Now you can’t get the dollar.” 

I asked the young lady when I finished the story, “Do you think God’s big enough to give you someone more you could love than that guy later on?” For a moment, she thought and nodded yes to her head. “Perhaps, I said, God knows that the young man you are dating is a dime in His sovereignty and has you a dollar later.” 

Well, maybe the end of my story, you guessed. Barbara Peterson, the young lady, decided that my best friend would not marry. She was my wife a little over a year later. It is difficult to believe that when we talked that day, I had no mixed motives! 

Barbara and I take our old marriage photos and take a glimpse of the youthful faces some time ago. We are with our family. There we are. Our vows are recited. Cut the cake.

The sense of relief I felt, I remember. We have done it! We have done it! It was over, finally! We felt like we had finished something physically, mentally, and emotionally—a six-week involvement filled with so much activity that we hardly had any time to rest. 

Have we known what we’ve been doing? Have we ever known what kind of engagement we have made, and what does it mean? Our marriage was, in reality, not the end of the commitment but the start of a new life. 

However, we knew scarcely what life was all about. We didn’t know so much about this marriage thing. No human relationship other than that found within the marriage commitment can approach the potential for intimacy and unity. Yet, no other relationship can lead to so much adjustment, trouble, or even harm.