“I don’t know what I’m doing.”
Anxiously I wait and play with my thumbs as I count every tick on the clock. Airy white curtains sway from the open window as a sweet orange scent fills the open room. I switch my legs around as I force myself to sit back in the cushions of the rest chair.
A sweet old man sits across from me in another massive cushioned chair. His wrinkles deep and smile genuine with wise eyes that’s seen over eighty years of life. Sixty as a pastor and counselor.
“So tell me why are you here Miss?” he kindly asks.
“I’m worried about my relationship. You see, it’s not a pure, sacred, or holy like a Godly relationship should be, and I’m afraid my relationship will crumble because I’m not married to him.”
Relief washing over me as I unleashed my worst fears.
His deep brow burrows and his face is solemn.
“Hmmm, yes it seems there is a problem. May I ask you some questions about your relationship?”
“Yes please!” I muttered.
“Are you and your sweetheart kind to each other, even in the mist of arguments and stresses of life?”
“Oh yes. We always put each other first and make sure the other is never lacking. He always makes me a cup of tea in the mornings before I get out of bed, and I always make him a cup of coffee and draw him a bath when he gets home from work.”
I smile thinking of every tender mornings together.
“Hmmm, and tell me do you ever resent him, insult him, or talk badly about him to your friends?” he asks.
“Oh no! I could never fathom insulting him or talking badly about him. He’s never harsh, even during fights. We have our normal arguments, but we quickly discuss it and move on. We don’t keep score.”
“I see. And how does he feel about your faith and spirituality? It must be tough to have different views and beliefs?”
“Well maybe if we were both egotistical and stubborn, but we respect and honor each others’ spirituality. He’s always asking me questions about God and how I pray, and he listens when I discover something new. I don’t shove or force anything down his throat. I certainly would never guilt him or make him practice anything he doesn’t agree with. He supports my faith diligently.”
“Interesting.” the wise old man replies.
“Now would you say this young man is your friend?”
“He’s my best friend!” I exclaimed.
“We share adventures and secrets together, and we always laugh and joke about everything. I can’t imagine him not being my best friend, even if we weren’t dating. Life would be too sad if I didn’t hear his laughter or watch his goof ups.”
Tears sting my ears even entertaining the thought without his friendship.
“I see. And I suppose since you’re not married to this man, you have no plans to stay with him for life or want to get married?”
“The opposite!” I exclaimed. Shocked at the thought of not being faithful or loyal.
“We discuss how we want to be with each other, and only each other for the long term, and we know how it feels being betrayed. We discuss it quite often.”
Thinking deeply, I sip my orange tea as my hands wrap around the warmth of the mug, hesitant to say what I feel.
“We’re very loyal to each other. One day we want to get married, but I’ve witnessed far too many expensive divorces and nasty endings. Especially from people who sworn they were soul mates. We take marriage extremely serious as a life commitment and as a legal issue. We’re taking our time and not rushing. We’ve haven’t been together for years, but I take marriage too seriously. It’s not a contract to just have sex and move in together.”
“Aahh I see.” muttered the old man.
“Well, is my relationship doomed pastor?” I nervously asked.
” There is an issue, yes, my dear.” he frowns.
“What is it!?” My heart racing.
“It seems you’re taking relationship advice from the wrong people. You have it all wrong my dear.” he smiles.
“What do you mean?” confused I reply.
The old man stands up and sits next to me, a comforting peace surrounding him.
“My dear, for nearly sixty years I’ve counseled young couples. Many turn tragic. But what’s more tragic is thinking your relationship isn’t Godly or pure or sacred.” he sadly replies.
“I’ve witnessed couples break apart and turn nasty. They cheat, resent, and cruelly hurt each other. Some break apart but most miserably stay together.”
“And you know what?”
” Most of those couples were the ones who waited til marriage, were chaperoned, lived apart, had the same faith or utter self-righteousness, and married within a year. They are the opposite of a Godly union, or anything remotely sacred, even though they followed everything in the Bible to a tee.”
“Oh.” I replied not knowing what to think.
The dear old man continues to smile at me and takes my small soft hand into his cracked, wrinkled ones. Comforting and nostalgic.
” My child, it is not me you need. Go back your beloved. Your relationship is not doomed, and is the most sacred I’ve witnessed. Remember what God says about love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. Love is kind and patient, and does not boast or hold wrong doings.”
With tears running down my face, I hug the dear old pastor.
In my ear he whispers “perhaps it is you who needs to teach these people about love and holiness.”