so TBV (the beautiful Val, my lovely wife) and i arrive at a pastor’s breakfast this morning and as we walk upto one of the pastors there he looks at her and says says something along the lines of, ‘So you have to put up with this hey?’ or some other kind of jesty vibe dunno-what-to-say-so-let-me-open-my-mouth-and-see-what-spews-forth witty reparte’… he was trying to be funny and it was fine… but a little while later they were introducing some new people to the meeting and the one dude’s wife was there for the first time and when she indicated she was with him an ‘oh shame’ or something emanated from someone’s mouth…

no big deal right? just a joke.

i have heard weddings where the pastor or best men make jokes like ‘marriage is like a phone call in the middle of the night – you get a ring and then you wake up’ and a hundred variations of that.

it’s just a joke. lighten up. it means nothing.

but actually i feel very strongly that it may mean quite a significant lot!

in fact for my wedding to TBV 4 months ago (this wed) we banned people from any negative wedding humour saying that for our special day we only want to hear stuff that builds us up and blesses and speaks hope and so on for the future.

if we look at the statistics (not a big statistics fan but these ones are pretty sound whichever way you look at them) we see that marriages as a whole in South Africa (and the western world at large) are not doing so great – in fact we are doing badly – as a nation we suck at marriage – and taking it further if you look at the stats of Christian marriages here they are no better – pretty much exactly the same as non-Christian marriage stats… as Christians we suck at marriage…

could it be that to some part where we curse marriage (in jest by little comments we make and insinuations and jokes breaking down marriage) verbally that curse takes up home in our lives (an invited guest)?

i am not saying that negative jokes/comments about marriage are the reason for our high divorce rate. but i am saying that i don’t think they are healthy and that they start to imprint the smallest suggestions or hints of ideas that we may later cling to as truth. and that can have disastrous results.

a marriage does not end in a moment – it is eroded over time – like water from a waterfall flowing onto rocks below that have become smoothed with age, gradually worn away again and again until they are no longer there.

and so i strongly urge you to speak blessing into your relationships and over your relationships and especially into/over other peoples relationships. speak life into them and not even a hint of pulling down. marriages and in fact all relationships are difficult enough (constantly under external attack) without us adding anything to make them even harder.

let’s FIGHT TO REVERSE THE NORM!!! we made bold declarations at our wedding that we want our relationship to succeed and that we hold ourselves accountable toall our friends and family who witnessed it and that we see them as being responsible for assisting us in living out a good and Godly and positive and role-modelling relationship.

relationships do work. marriage can succeed. But it’s largely about being intentional and persevering and fighting for and loving (with Christ’s self-sacrificing love) and doing that day after day after day – killing compromise and pride and dealing decisively with anger and selfishness and more.

my name is brett FISH anderson and i am VERY HAPPILY MARRIED to THE BEAUTIFUL VALERIE and i will fight for that as i choose her again every new day. how about you? let’s do this thing!