Looking Back & Looking Forward
© Aug 1996 Alan S.L. Wong
Looking Back & Looking ForwardWhen I was young, I often jogged at MacRitchie Reservoir. There I saw couples ... hand in hand or head to head. My family moved to Telok Blangah so I jogged up to Mount Faber. Guess what? Yes, I still saw couples.
I felt lonely. I told the LORD, "I need someone ... a companion for life." The LORD answered ... eight years later, I married this sweet young lady.
We had our share of misunderstandings and conflicts. There is one unforgettable conflict ... I have long forgotten the cause but my response was shocking. I wanted revenge!
I refused to go into the bedroom. But it was getting late and I was sleepy. Moreover, what would the other staff workers think. At that time, we were staying at ministry staff quarters. So I went into the bedroom but I was determined not to sleep next to her. I tried the floor but it wasn't comfortable. Finally I slept on the bed ... my back towards her!
Early the next morning, I decided to go to West Coast and not to return. I wanted her to worry. The morning was long so I had my breakfast and walked around the hawker centre. But how many times can you walk around the hawker centre?
The LORD reminded me that He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). The Bible also says, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her." (Eph. 5:25). So I bought some roses and went home.
Like to share one of my few attempts at creative writing entitled "From One to Two" (in the left column) to reflect on what happened.
Yes, the only way to have and to hold is to give of yourself to the other party ... to love unconditionally ... no strings attached. It's always good to look back to the days of courtship and the vows we made on our wedding day.
As I was reading a book, I was struck by the truth in these words:
Once you had your spouse all to yourself but now you have to share him or her with the children and often you are the loser. Children scream for attention and they get it while spouses suffer in silence.
There is never an ideal time to nurture the marriage relationship. When our children are in preschool, we want to give them a head start. When they are in primary school, we are concerned about their school work. When they are in their teens, we are concerned about peer influence and BGR (boy-girl relationships).
What will be left of the marriage when the children are grown and gone (to set up their own homes)? Will there be deeper intimacy or emptiness? Will we be strangers in the house ... exchanging glances and wondering ... wondering ... what can we talk about?
It's easy for men to be entangled with work ... the long hours at the office, the frequent business trips, the recent promotion, the constant need to upgrade knowledge and skills ... there just isn't a good time to nurture the marriage relationship. It's also easy for me to come home from work and bury myself in the newspapers or be absorbed by the TV. I have to consciously remind myself to communicate with my wife.
Marriage is not just two persons living together but two persons sharing a life together in the here and now.