One Date Changes Everything – Introduction

fields of lavender

This isn’t really a story of mindless romance. It’s certainly not a sexual romp. And by no means is it some saccharine utopian nonsense.

This is a personal story. This is an intimate story. This is an organic, imperfect, true story.

Be warned: there’s no room for any entitlement or the slightest hint of self-absorption in this arrangement.

This story is about many things.

It’s about service, about selfless giving. About what marriage should be for a man. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (NASB). It also says we’re to cherish and nourish her (v. 29). This story reveals that when we give ourselves to her so fully, so completely, it has a powerful effect on her.

It’s about pain, about anxiety and distrust. About what marriage turns into when a man so gives of himself to another. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (NASB). This story demonstrates that when one fails to hold marriage in honor, defiling the marriage bed with adultery, it’s a detestable tragedy that haunts both minds in different ways, and it’s not easily overcome for either.

It’s about hope, about the potential for reconciliation, if not reconciliation itself. About the necessary rebuilding of trust and the sobering reality of marital vulnerability. Romans 5:5 says, “hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (NASB). This story proves that when God’s love is present, even a tormented, shattered marriage has hope if husband and wife truly give themselves to loving each other. Be warned: there’s no room for any entitlement or the slightest hint of self-absorption in this arrangement. Every moment becomes a question of what I can do for her, what I can give of myself to her. As it should have been all along.

When one fails to hold marriage in honor, defiling the marriage bed with adultery, it’s a detestable tragedy that haunts both minds in different ways, and it’s not easily overcome for either.

It’s about love most of all. About the feeling, yes, but more so the action. 1 Corinthians 13:7 says love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (NASB). Paul goes on to say that love is greater than hope or even faith (v. 13). This story teaches that when a marriage is revitalized with hope, only the decision to love can empower that hope to be fulfilled and that vitality to survive. Through love, God brought new life into our marriage, from fanning the meager flame of hope to introducing unexpected, seemingly random — but no less intense — desire and so much more.

My wife looks back on this date of ours with a smile that is equal parts wistful and lustful. Apparently I set a high bar, because for years my enterprises were compared against the benchmark I established on this date. To her, it’s a curious if slightly awkward memory, but she treasures it highly all the same.

I, on the other hand, look back on this date of ours with a grimace that is more nervous than wistful and more confused than lustful. I began that date terrified and desperate but left that date perplexed by something growing inside me like a holy, pure version of cancer. It was beyond feelings, but it was emotional. It was beyond sex, but it was sexual. It was beyond unanticipated, but it was a surprise. Something new was alive in me that would affect how I’d feel about my wife for the rest of my days.

And I wasn’t the only one.

It just goes to show what can happen in a marriage when you determine to solely focus on what you can do for your spouse and abandon any perceived right to what your spouse can do for you.

I believe this story is beautiful, though my telling may fail to do it justice. But perhaps, as it’s told from the perspective of the one who owed everything and more, this story can bless you with some small measure of what it blesses us with every time we bring it to mind.

This is the story of when one date changed everything.

This is a personal story. This is an intimate story. This is an organic, imperfect, true story.

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About Phil (251 Articles)
Philip Osgood is a Christian husband, father, and writer who considers himself a passable video game player, fiction reader, camping and hiking enthusiast, welder, computer guy, and fitness aficionado, though real experts in each field might just die of laughter to hear him claim it. He has been called snarky, cynical, intelligent, eccentric, creative, logical, and Steve for some reason. Phil and his beautiful wife Clara live in Texas with their children in a house with a dog but no white picket fence. He does own a titanium spork from ThinkGeek, though, so he must be alright.