September 2017  
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Chappy’s corner “Happily Ever After?”

The pastor saw Ole at the coffee shop and commented “Ole I didn’t see you or Lena in church for the last two weeks is everything okay?” Ole replied, “O Pastor, Lena and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary by taking Lena back to our homeland in Norway for a visit.” The pastor very impressed said, “Wow Ole that is wonderful. What a wonderful way to celebrate your twentieth anniversary.  Most people would do something like that on their twenty fifth wedding anniversary.  So I have to ask what you are going to do for your twenty fifth wedding anniversary. “Ole replied, “I’ll go back and get her.”

This past weekend I had the joy of performing my daughter’s wedding just as I had performed her brother’s wedding last year. But this time I also had the joy of walking the bride down the aisle. It was a new experience for me but as we waited to go down the aisle we visited with the grooms little niece who was the flower girl.  As we visited she shared how she was Cinderella, her mother was snow white, and my daughter the bride was sleeping beauty. All of them were fairy tale characters who in the end marry the handsome prince and live happily ever after or at least that’s how the fairy tale ends.

In real life marriage is wonderful, but it is not easy.  To have a happy marriage requires work from both individuals. Not just 50% from the man and 50% from the woman, but a 100% commitment is required from each person. Recently Tom Osborne the famous Nebraska University football coach came to our little town to talk at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in his discussion he shared that when he and wife were first married, he suggested that all the minor decisions would be made by her, but he would handle the major decisions.  He then confessed that in all the years they have been married he never had to make a single decision.

That’s one way to keep a marriage going smoothly, but even in those marriages we need to remember that no man or woman is perfect. Instead of a happily ever after marriage, the marriage and the home are often filled with arguing, quarreling and bitterness. The fights may be over the littlest issue but it can blow up into a major crisis that can lead to more hurt, more fighting and possibly a broken home.  To prevent that disaster there are many programs like the Army’s Strong Bonds and other marriage and family programs to help couples and families communicate and work together better.  But a key ingredient to any good marriage or healthy home is the ability to forgive each other.  In the Bible all of us are encouraged to forgive as God has forgiven us in Christ and that is especially true in marriage and in the home.   It may not always be easy, but it is worth it to make a marriage work and to make life worth living… In fact it is the only real way one can live happily ever after.  That’s what I shared in the message at my daughter’s wedding and that is what I pray for each and every day for my own marriage and home.

 

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!

 

CH (COL) David Gunderson

JFHQ SDARNG