Hershael wrote, “some variation of that story has happened many times in our 34-year marriage. In fact, without question, our relationship is the greatest evangelism tool we have…People notice that we are in love, that we cherish and adore one another and they’ll start a conversation about it. Eventually they get to the question, ‘what is your secret?’”
I had two thoughts about York’s story. The first is that surely this is one more reason for us to make even more effort to nurture, strengthen and maintain a beautiful and strong marriage. Ephesians 5:25-33 tells us marriage should be a picture of God’s profound and unconditional love for his people. If I will love my wife as God has called me to do, if I will truly cherish her, serve her, affirm her, support her, bless her and do all I can to make her radiant, not only will I reap the incredible joy that comes from real intimacy and love, but together we will draw people to our great Lord. That is something truly worth doing.
The second thought I had about York’s story is that he and Tanya have an answer for the question, “what is your secret?” Laurie and I have had the same experience the Yorks have had a number of times. We have been asked what our secret is, and oddly it has caught me off guard. I feel like my answer could have been much better had I been prepared for it. York says their secret is they have the same core value. If a husband and wife do not agree on the one thing that is more important than anything else, the one thing they will both pour their lives into most of all, then the marriage won’t be very happy. Often when he says that he will be asked, “what is your core value?” He responds, “You don’t want me to tell you.” In other words, he doesn’t push it on people, but they invariably say, “Yes, I really do.” Of course he tells them their core value is Jesus Christ.
Laurie and I have usually told people that we have always tried to serve each other with all our hearts. From now on I hope to combine that with York’s core value answer. The point is not what I will say, but that we be prepared to respond, that we have an answer for that question. An even greater point though is that we should make it a priority to have love in our relationship that is obvious to all. York says, “If marriage is a picture of Christ and his love for his church then much more is at stake than my happiness.” Exactly right.