April 26, 2013

Be Our Guest / Marcy Reuken

Love in marriage is a choice made moment by moment every day

Posted on our bathroom mirror at home is a sign that reads “How can I show you that I love you today?”

It’s hard to fully grasp that I have known my husband for more than 14 years. To some couples, this may seem like a moment in time and to a newlywed it may seem like an eternity.

I want to remember everything. I want to be able to see the moments of struggle that we manage to navigate through. I want to be lifted high in the sky by moments when we experience raw joy and passion for each other. I don’t want to forget the little things we do for each other. I want to bottle up moments with our children. I don’t want to forget anything.

As much as I want to remember every moment and hold on to everything, I choose to live here and now. I choose to be the best I can be in this moment right now. Our marriage covenant is now. It is in each moment that we live. It is not a particular length of time, nor is it a contract. Our covenant sustains us. It shelters us. It is life-giving. It cannot be removed from us. It joins us together as one, and we are called to share our light with the world.

Our story may have different chapters, but we are no more unique or special than the next married couple. God calls us to love each other as Christ loves the Church.

Wow! What a calling! It is no easy task. When you think about it, it is a daily choice. I experience spontaneous feelings for my husband, but love is not one of them. Love is a choice. Many people already know that. You either choose to love or you choose not to love. Love is an action. I choose to love my amazing husband each and every day because he is a gift from God. God placed him here for me, and I am blessed!

Three years ago, I would not have imagined that we would be facing the possible loss of our oldest son. Since then, we have provided help and hope to families with brain injuries. I also did not imagine that we would be experiencing our fifth pregnancy loss. I can now reach out to mothers who have suffered loss. I did not know I would be battling emotional distress. I am an example of determination for others.

Three years ago, I only imagined a wonderful and beautiful future. And I still do. You see, no matter what happens in my story, God can work through me to share his light.

Three years ago, my husband and I experienced the most amazing weekend of our lives. It was not an exotic vacation or trip. It was the gift we gave each other of a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend. We gave all of ourselves to each other for one full weekend in April in Indianapolis. The weekend opened up our eyes to an amazing future in our marriage. Of course, God knew it all along. We are his clay!

God brought us to serve in marriage ministry. He has chosen us. We have seen friends and family members choose to dissolve their marriages. It truly makes my heart ache.

I know that I cannot change someone’s mind, but I can offer encouragement and be an example. I choose to love because it is life giving. I know that I can do something for this world by choosing to love my husband each and every day. One couple at a time, God’s love is spread through the world and through the generations.

(Marcy Renken is a member of Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood.)

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