News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

Rev. Barry Strong

2 mashed 'spuds' equal 1 marriage

Marriage is honorable, God's word says. Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding. That shows his sense of approval.

I like to look at the institution of marriage in a simple way. It's like mashed potatoes to me.

To get mashed potatoes, you have to do some work. You peel them, boil them and finally mash them.

First, two potatoes have to be peeled. I have experienced some situations in my marriage that made me feel "peeled." Maybe you have, too. Maybe you have felt financially unable to do all that you would like to do with your spouse, for instance. You feel like the skin is being peeled from you or your spouse or both of you. But that's part of marriage.

Then maybe you've felt the heat of a difference of opinion. You and your spouse each believe you are right because of how you were reared or because of your beliefs. Sometimes you may become angry with each other because you are just so sure your plan is the right way to go or the best solution. Your spouse may think the idea is the worst in the world. You find your emotions bringing you to the boiling point.

But you stay in the pot. You boil, but divorce is not the answer. You stay in the pot together. Challenge yourself to stay in the pot.

Then, you may feel mashed. Pressures may come from other people, like in-laws or friends. But when you marry, you are supposed to become one. God's word says to leave your parents and to cleave to your spouse. Nothing else and no one should come between you.

So when you and your spouse survive being peeled, boiled and mashed, you have something really good. You can't tell one potato from the other.

It's the only way a marriage can survive — oneness. Remember that the next time you and your spouse are feeling peeled, boiled or mashed. You two spuds are being turned into something wonderful.

The Rev. Barry Strong, pastor of St. Andrew Church of Grace in Decatur, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for THE DAILY. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468 on Tuesdays or Wednesdays.

Rev. Barry Strong Rev. Barry Strong

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