Marriage – A Gateway To Companionship

Thorns & Thissels2.18.2013 @ 3:35 pm

Rick Langer’s article, A Beautiful Defense of Marriage begins with a visual image – Boards and Thistles – a photo by renowned artist Ansel Adams. The reference to the image was more than enough to take me back to my front porch in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia). I spent many hours sitting on that front porch, enjoying the beauty of our weather beaten front gate and the vivid purple flowers that framed both sides of the gate. Why did this image come to mind so strongly as I read Rick’s article on marriage companionship? Because I believe this little front porch led to the door of the unusual little home where our marriage companionship was tried, purified, and deepened as Karen and I both struggled to survive living with our two small children in this strange little communist country.

We were there as missionaries – a bit “underground” at the time – our visas called us students…..and for both of us, the initial adventure of living there quickly turned into cross-cultural thistles that poked and prodded our marriage almost every day.

Karen and I approach life very differently – she likes to establish structure, routine, get settled. I enjoy the daily unexpected things that show up – the adventure of going to the corner store and seeing IF I can pronounce the word for bread (Kruh)….then being instructed by the “bread lady” in how to ask for a specific type of bread (remember, this is communism, so everyone has a job, hence the bread lady!)

Our companionship began to deepen as we learned, slowly, to appreciate each other’s strengths, shore up the non-strength areas that discouraged us, and took daily steps of faith together that wove the chords of our companionship more tightly together around the Lord Jesus, the great Sustainer of the marriage companions He joins together. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Let me invite you to read and be nourished by Rick’s thoughtful and beautiful defense of marriage. Share it with your spouse, and perhaps talk about ways you can both strengthen AND enjoy your companionship as husband and wife.

A Beautiful Defense of Marriage


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Larry Shoemaker – Pastor of Marriage & Family
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