By Carl Hendrickson
In our home file cabinet, there is a drawer that contains warranties and guarantees for kitchen appliances, the clothes washer and dryer, the wrist watch given to me by my wife, and for many other objects the family has accumulated over the years. I am sure each reader has a similar drawer at home.
You could spend weeks reading and trying to understand the documents — which one does not do, of course, until a warrantied item breaks or malfunctions. But if we look closely at the papers, we see that the items are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. Everything wears out, breaks down, needs periodic maintenance or a change of parts. There is no lifetime guarantee.
Eternal love is no exception. No matter how many cards, candy, flowers and words of everlasting love are exchanged, love often does not last. The tragedy of modern families is how frequently they dissolve. Statistically, one-half of marriages will end in divorce.
Every month our pastor asks parishioners if they are having a wedding anniversary. We have couples married 40, 50, 60 years. I am sure each reader notices that at his or her church. Love can be eternal.
What advice can I offer my children based on over 50 years of a happy marriage? First, people are different. We grow up in different environments. Thus, we don’t agree on everything. Learn to respect one’s differences. Learn to disagree without being disagreeable.
It is romantic to think that he or she completes you. But this is not the basis of a relationship. This makes one over-dependent on the other. It is much better if couples complement each other, if they grow because they are different in ways that the other is not.
Learn to laugh together and to enjoy each other’s company. Find new and exciting things to do together.
Cupid’s quiver is filled with many arrows for an everlasting love. May some of them land in your heart.
May each of you find love eternal.