Scuff Marks

Almost two months have passed since my wedding day and I must say that time has flown by. I am with a woman I love dearly and our time together has been wonderful. Even a trip to my accountant yesterday to bring him my tax information was a very good experience (hearing what I owe for taxes–not so much). My wife and I realize that we have been given an opportunity by our Lord to begin again our lives blessed by Him.

In looking at my wedding ring, I see scuff marks on it from the constant wear of it. It is not the pristine ring, all shiny and unmarked when I first had it placed on my finger back in January. Those small, slight scratches indicate something else as well.

For some people those scuff marks would indicate that the newness of their marriage has worn off. Aspects of their relationship aren’t quite as they were expected to be. There might be some flaws visible in their marriage partner that weren’t noticed on the wedding day. They were always there but they were ignored because the euphoria of love hid them. Time may have shown the other person as they really are and that might raise a red flag or two. Could that be the first sign of trouble?

For some, those scuff marks could point out the truth that a successful marriage takes a lot of hard work to make it succeed. None of us are perfect and it’s working in those areas of imperfection where any relationship takes a great deal of effort. This is where repentance (asking for forgiveness) and granting forgiveness are seen. It’s not easy to admit when we are wrong and ask another for forgiveness but it’s crucial to the success of a marriage (and any relationship). This is where real growth in a marriage takes place.

Still, for others, those scuff marks can indicate a level of comfort with their spouse. They have learned they don’t have to “put on a front” for their partner but they can act as they normally do (which is something they should have been doing all along) and they know they are accepted for who they are. Just as the process of breaking in a new pair of shoes involves some scuff marks and the beginning signs of wear, that process is necessary for those shoes to conform to our feet and we begin to really feel comfortable wearing them. So it is for a marriage-the comfort level grows as two people grow together as wife and husband. It feels more comfortable every day.

Finally, those scuff marks could represent some significant challenges not originally planned for and what it took to get through them. In my case, it was the receiving of a call to serve as pastor of another church on the day after my wedding that was certainly not planned for. It was by the Lord’s guidance that my wife and I went through that part of our lives and have made the decision to move to Arkansas. He has our best interests in His mind every day and we know we can trust Him to lead us in every part of our lives.

So I invite you to take a look at your wedding ring, if you are married, and see those scuff marks on the band. Recall what those scratches mean to you and what they have meant to your spouse and your relationship. I pray you can look back upon your married life and see how your Heavenly Father has walked with you every step of the way. He has brought you through the joys, the challenges and the sorrows of married life to where you are today. He will never forsake you. He wants to build you up and support you. I know I have been built up and supported in my marriage so far and I look to the future joyfully with my wife and the Lord. It will be great!

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