Like many young couples in love, Rick and Marian were confident of their relationship. They were beginning their life together without so much as two Smart Phones to rub together.
But Rick did have a brand new pick-up truck. He was a macho man and his truck said it all. More than just for hauling hay and loads of building materials in the rural ranching area, his shiny four-by-four pick-up had testosterone written all over it.
Like many before him, Rick had used his pick-up as a bargaining point in his and Marian’s relationship. Now and then, he would let Marian–first as girlfriend then as fiancé–drive the pick-up. For all who saw her behind the wheel in the four-wheel drive macho mount, they could appreciate Rick’s claim on her. Many more would notice the three-quarter ton truck over a little bitty ring on Marian’s finger.
Pastor Bob noted that when he and God bound couples together, a groom was all for sharing their worldly goods. You know–the bed, the bathroom, a lint brush, toothbrush, horse, tack, or hound dog with ear mites—anything, but not the pick-up.
As the pastor led Rick and Marian through their vows during the ceremony, the groom repeated the words, “I, Rick, take you, Marion, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day on through sickness and health, and with this ring, I share my life and all my worldly goods…”
Pastor Bob added, “Except my pick-up…”
He asked Marian to repeat the vow, “I, Marian, take you, Rick, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day on through sickness and health, and with this ring, I share my life and all my worldly goods…”
The bride responded confidently to the amended contract with, “I do.”
Pastor Bob chuckled and asked if that was her final answer.
“Yes!” she affirmed with a twinkle in her eye.
The next day, Rick did what no newly married man in his right mind and with a new pick-up had ever done before in the entire county. Maybe after his wedding night, he wasn’t in his right mind! It was unthinkable! But it also was thoughtful and loving! He gave the pick-up to Marian. Too far to walk to commute from their place with her not-too-dependable car, he knew she needed it.
Rick realized that the truck and their marriage really wasn’t about him, but them. He had learned to look at the needs of his wife, just as Christ guides us to do. For in Philippians, Paul advises, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” [Phil. 2:3-5.]
It’s about the other person, not us. That’s the essence of real love in relationships.
[Jo Russell is a Christian teacher, speaker, author of many articles, contributor to several anthologies, and Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women, available from this website. For more chuckles and to hear a speech, enjoy excerpts of her book and tips, check her entire website options and weekly blog on www.button-to-god.com.]