Not knowing how true it would come to be, I once told Tony that a song to describe our relationship should be Bon Jovi's "Livin' On a Prayer". Granted it's long held a place on my list of "Best Songs Ever Written" but in a sense it has come to describe Tony and I pretty well. See, we got in the habit of praying together - A lot. I don't say that to be some sort of uber-Christian boast, it's just a fact. Every morning when he drops me at the train station we pray for our upcoming days and every night we pray before bed thanking God for the day and both times we'll lift up friends and family too. We also do the usual praying before meals and at church but it's this morning and night routine that I know has strengthened our relationship to a huge degree. Before you roll your eyes or think that we're just weirdo religious people, think about 12-step programs. Anyone with addiction problems, grief or other life issues is encouraged to take the first step of Recognizing a Higher Power. Who among us can claim to have an issue free life? Everyone has "stuff" going on and even if you don't want to call yourself a Christ follower, hopefully you can see my view that there is benefit to connecting with something larger than oneself. It takes selfishness out of the relationship and we lift each other up and recognize that our marriage is about more than just us. But back to Jon Bon. For those unfamiliar with the song (go out and download it now, please!) the chorus goes:
We've got to hold on to what we've got.
It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not.
We've got each other and that's a lot
For love - We'll give it a shot!
(Woah...) We're halfway there, (Woah-oh!) Livin' on a prayer.
Take my hand and we'll make it I swear:
(Woah-oh!) Livin' on a prayer!
And though I'm pretty sure it was never intended as a religious anthem there is some good stuff in there. "We've got to hold on to what we've got" in a sense could say that we need to cherish and value our friends and family and each other, knowing that it's the intangibles that make life so precious. "It doesn't make a difference if we make it or not" sounds morbid but in terms of eternal life, it's a way to recognize that this world is not all there is - we have life forever with God ahead of us. "We've got each other and that's a lot" speaks to the idea that valuing each other in our marriage is a way to glorify God so "for love we'll give it a shot" and try our best to emmulate Christ each and every day. So then to say that "we're halfway there" can mean that following God is a journey. Our ultimate goal is to see God's kingdom on Earth and although that's difficult to realize, we can make progress if we try to depend on God and be "livin' on a prayer". When there are difficult times to get through we can join hands in prayer and trust God to always see us through ("Take my hand and we'll make it I swear: Livin' on a prayer").
I'm going to save the second song for another blog because this got a little too long and probably a little too cheesy too. Stay tuned for the second song and please note that the picture above is over three years old but it's the only one I had handy right now.