Illness can offer marriage its
share of challenges, but it also
gives us a chance to serve.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us” (1 John 4:10-12).
She stood greeting the visitors, making them feel welcomed, like they were guests in her own home. She hugged each, used their names, asked about health; as if they were more important than the circumstances that brought them to her that cold, autumn afternoon.
If we did not know any better, we could imagine ourselves feeling similar to the thousands of children taught how to read more proficiently during her elementary school teaching career. She welcomed each child like they were her own, loved, educated, and made them feel like they were worthwhile–sometimes when no one else in their lives bothered.
And now on this particular Friday afternoon, she stood at the entrance-way as her husband was nearby. The love was palatable between them as she talked of their life together, how he was a good, good man, fought hard, but was tired. Tired of the cancer that had overtaken his body this last time and could not be overcome.
But as he laid in his beautiful coffin–adorned with plaques depicting his role as a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather–one thing stood out in that funeral home: The love between these two people far reached death.
They had a bond that was not broken. Her eyes glistened while talking of his heart and spirit, his love for her and their family.
Illness entered their lives years earlier but they continued to live; holding on to their faith in God and loving one another.
It is a challenge for all of us to remember to live, despite our challenges. To love, to show kindness, despite our trials.
Life throws everyone of us trials we deal with; crosses to bear. This couple remembered to love each other regardless of what else occurred in their lives. That is a tremendous testimony to their love and their God.
Prayer: Dear Lord, life is fragile. Bless this beautiful family who is grieving. Help us all to appreciate and love the people in our lives and strengthen our relationships despite our challenges. In Your name. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in 2012. She feels blessed to have witnessed the love she has written about in this devotional.
What can you do to keep your relationships strong?
This is a beautiful video about marriage from the movie Fireproof.