What is true love? Is it what romance novels and Hollywood have led us to believe? Or when the “One” comes along everything becomes a happy ending? It’s amazing how many believe that to be true.
Anyone who has been married any length of time will tell you, marriage is not for the faint at heart. It’s hard work! Taking two selfish people and putting them together, mix in a healthy dose of in-laws, extended family, past wounds, emotional baggage and you have the makings for the “perfect storm”. Add children, financial trouble, illness, sinful habits and you soon find out that stress does not produce character it reveals it.
Many of us spend years in college learning a career or vocation and yet one of the hardest jobs we are called to do – marriage and parenting – we just blindly walk into and try and figure it out as we go along. If you always do what you have always done, you’ll always get what you have always got. That sounds like insanity to me!
At IDEA we want more for our deaf couples. Many of them did not learn a language until they were in their teens or older. Many were abandoned, abused and isolated for years. That kind of pain does not just go away, it needs to find a voice and be brought out into the light where God’s love can heal it.
For the past eight weeks 30 of our deaf couples and many singles attended a weekly Marriage Class taught by Don and Marie Hewett, missionaries who have lived here in the Philippines for 15 years and have taught marriage seminars for years.
They taught our couples how to begin to forgive those who had wronged them. How to communicate with each other, healthy ways to work through anger, budgeting, family planning and how to really love and respect each other. As well as what it looks like to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
As a culmination to this training the couples were invited to partake in a Renewal of Vows ceremony held at our Dao Diamond Hotel Santa Fe Hall. This type of event provided the perfect opportunity to include our Vocational Students from Bohol Deaf Academy and allow them to practice what they’d learned.
Our Food & Beverage Class took the time to pin and drape each of the tables, make the back drops and set the tables and serve the food. Our baking class prepared 2 wedding cakes and additional cupcakes for the guests. The carpentry class made a beautiful cake stand to display the cakes and cupcakes. They worked so hard and gave up a long holiday weekend to be there. It was a beautiful example to them of what could be possible for their future.
The couples took time to share all they had learned and the skills they now had to make better decisions and choices.
True love was in the room that day. The kind of loves that chooses to stay with someone and give them another chance even when they don’t deserve it. The kind of love that says I know what I’m getting into and I’m still willing to recommit to giving it another try. There will be ups and downs as they try to implement the new skills they’ve learned but they left with a renewed hope for a bright future and that’s what IDEA is all about!