She rolled to her right and opened her eyes. She sighed as she stared at the not really cream, not quite yellow wall. Bare concrete was exposed where a large piece of paint used to be. Cellophane tape held a couple of little paint chips that almost fell off. Smudges of discoloration drew maps on the upper part of the wall and lines on the lower part. Evidence of rainwater that once seeped from the ceiling down the wall was not fully wiped off. A lone hole made by a nail gazed back at her. The air conditioner hangs on this wall. And so does their wedding photograph.
It was not the wedding of her dreams, but it served its purpose. The church where they exchanged vows was beautiful, though. He looked dapper in his Chinese-collared Barong. She loved how their wedding rings sparkled on their intertwined fingers. Memories of them choosing church and reception songs together, walking down flower-lined Dangwa and visiting suppliers always put a smile on her face and on her heart.
Eight years of marriage and it’s not without arguments, disagreements and silent treatments, which is very much like that worn and weathered wall. It is easy to keep her eyes focused on the unsightly marks, on their differences and their problems. Many times these cause her to be disheartened and to doubt. That wall is so big it easily occupies her whole vision. But, if she just shifts her eyes to her husband’s and her smiling faces on their wedding photo, if she just looks closely at how his hand covers hers while holding the bouquet, she’ll be reminded of these verses:
Ephesians 5:22-33 (NIV)
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
and their love. This love is not the same as before anymore. It has indeed changed through the years, and it will still change in the years to come. It has to change, to grow, to strengthen, to deepen. It has to broaden its roots and fortify its branches so it could hold the beautiful fruits.
Whenever she is tempted to take a long look at that wall and frown or cry, their picture together on their wedding day shall distract her, make her smile and let her focus on love, instead.
In what ways do you focus on love?