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No Regrets
Photo: MorgueFile
What would you be willing to give up for your spouse? Watching sports all day on Sundays? A habit that annoys them? A tendency to nag? Or how about a kidney? That’s exactly what Cindy gave up for her husband, Chip. She gave him one of her kidneys.* 

You see, as a child Chip had juvenile diabetes. Later when he and Cindy married, she’d promised in advance to be a donor, should he someday need one. Last September when he was hospitalized for kidney failure, she knew that his condition was life threatening. So she kept her wedding promise, giving him a part of herself and saving his life. 

It sounds like a romantic love story, doesn’t it? But it gets even better. Chip and Cindy were in the process of getting a divorce. After ten years of marriage they’d decided to split-up, date around, and work toward divorce. But Cindy’s unselfish act of love renewed their feelings for each other and all divorce plans ended. 

I wonder what would change if those of us who are married found out that our spouses had a life threatening illness? Would we suddenly become gentler with our words? I think so. Would we quit nit-picking about the little annoyances that don’t really matter? I think so. Would we long to turn back the clock and relive the years? I think so. Would we bargain with God, promising that if our spouses live, we’d change and be better partners? Yes, I think so. So, why wait? 

Too Late

Some years ago my husband attended the funeral of a man who’d been killed instantly in an accident. After the funeral, the man’s wife burst into tears, laying out all her regrets and “if onlys” for the relatives to hear. But it was too late. He was gone. 

The time to appreciate our spouses is today—not tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, but this moment is. If we wait till they’re gone and only then realize how much we love, need and appreciate them, they’ll never know. 

God had a much higher ideal for marriage than many do today. He said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. He said husbands and wives should be so close that they become as one flesh. Through God, this form of closeness is available to any married couple. 

I’ve witnessed couples whose marriages were in such turmoil that it would have taken a miracle to get them back together. And it did. The miracle of forgiveness and unselfishness happened. The miracle of true love, actually.

Today is the day to let your husband or wife know just how much you love them. You don’t have to give a kidney, you know. You can give a note, a word, a hug, a special date, an act of kindness…. Today’s the day. Let’s begin again in our marriages. No “if onlys.” No regrets. 

“Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6).

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ® 2007.

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