It seems a little strange to be writing an Easter-themed Wife Rule after Easter is over, but perhaps the timing goes better with my thoughts anyway.
Easter is a celebration of life--new life--that comes to the world as a direct result of Jesus' resurrection. When He voluntarily gave His life and then took it up again early on the morning of the third day, He broke the bands of death for all mankind. All that have ever lived will likewise be resurrected, thanks to this free gift He provides.
As I awoke this morning and looked across the bed at the peaceful, beautiful face of my beloved wife, her eyes still closed in restful repose, my mind flooded with thoughts of how blessed I am because she is in my life. I have known such beauty, such meaning, such purpose, such joy as I never could have known without her. She is shelter when the world seems cold. She is comfort when the world seems unfeeling. She is escape when the world seems overwhelming. In a sense, she is my world--my true world--for she is the embodiment of my fondest hopes and my deepest love, independent and unfettered by the rest of the world. She truly has given me a little bit of heaven on earth.
The words of Paul about the resurrection seem appropriate here:
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Having tasted such sweetness in marriage as I have, I can attest how pathetic--how miserable--it would be if the joy and hope my wife and I share were all in vain because of the looming and inescapable specter of Death. How unbearable it would be to once feel the warm embrace of true, selfless love, only to have it crumble to dust in our arms. How cruel a plan it would be to tease us with such joy, only to pluck it out of our grasping hands. How tragic it would be if we were all like Shakespeare's lovers, star-crossed and destined to die prematurely when viewed in light of a love whose strength could have--and should have--lasted forever!
If I could plan our inevitable end, my wife and I would grow old together, wrinkly and gray and still holding hands, until our time was up--and then we would lie down peacefully and exit this world together. Most likely, it will not turn out that way--it seldom does. One or the other of us will likely have to endure the painful, lonely pangs of loss that true lovers feel: that half-dead grayness that seems to shroud the very light of life in a veil of perpetual sorrow.
And yet, through the haze and gloom there is a bright sun shining. The promise of an eventual reunion with a sweet, beloved companion and untold numbers of loved ones and forebears shines as a penetrating beam of hope with power to dissipate the darkness. There awaits a bright reawakening--a dawning into a never-ending day--for all who have ever lived on this earth. A joyful coming together of all that was broken; of old associations and friendships long forgotten. And for the faithful who choose to be sealed through the authority of the governing God, the promise that family, that golden standard of all happiness, can and will endure in unbroken chains of glory past the ends of eternity.
All this is possible in and through--and only through--our Redeemer, whose life and death and resurrection we celebrate each Easter. He is the resurrection and the life; our hope and salvation; the bright and morning star.
"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead.... For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:19-22).
It is the hope that springs from Easter--from Him--that sustains us each day after the holiday and gives us reason to celebrate in the first place.