It has been an exciting two weeks for the Rispoli’s and this is why it has been a while since I posted. My Son graduated from Parris Island Marine Corps Basic training and was home for ten days. Anthony is 18 years old and has been talking about being a Marine ever since he could walk. He is what is called a legacy Marine. When Anthony graduated from Boot Camp he became a fourth generation Marine. I was already proud of the young man that he has become, but his carrying out the Marine Corps tradition in our family has been incredibly special. While I was at Parris Island I took a picture of the door that Anthony walked through the day he arrived for recruit training. It is the same door that I walked through, my father walked through, and his father walked through. When Anthony arrived the bus stopped at yellow foot prints painted on the asphalt. He arrived under the cover of darkness, after midnight. His drill instructor explained to them that you only pass through this door one time. Above the door it reads, “Through these portals pass prospects for America’s finest fighting force United Stated Marines”. The truth is no one ever goes through those doors again. Even the Commandant of the Marine Corp is forbidden to go through those hatches a second time. You do it one time and only one time. It is the pathway from becoming a civilian to becoming a United States Marine. And once you are a United States Marine, you are always a Marine. I love the image of having a door that you pass through one time and one time only. It is a great image for marriage. You walk through the door one time and one time only. Above the doors it could say, “Through these portals pass two people making a lifetime commitment to one another, through good times and bad times, through better and worse, through sickness and health, for richer or for poorer till death do us part”. Like Anthony’s journey at Parris Island, it is not easy. But the legacy you leave for your children, your family and your friends by keeping your marriage together and honoring that commitment is a legacy like none other. We have an entire generation of people who are going to have regrets because they reached a fork in the road ~ and they took the easy way out. What kind of legacy is your marriage leaving? Make a decision today that you are going to leave a lasting legacy with your marriage. Have the type of marriage that your children say, “That’s the kind of marriage I want someday!” Have the type of marriage that your friends say, “That’s the kind of marriage we want!” Have the type of marriage that leaves people positively talking and envious of the connection that you share with your spouse.
This past Sunday, I lost my wedding ring. I looked down at my hand during church, and it was gone. I was shocked and panicked. When we got home, Cathy and I tore the house apart looking for my ring. We checked everywhere. We called the restaurant we had dined at the night before and they said that no one had found a wedding ring. Cathy asked, “When was the last time you knew that you were wearing it?” This was the problem. I could not be certain, when I last noticed my ring. All I knew was that it was gone. I had to leave on a three day business trip to Des Moines Iowa. I was embarrassed as I met with several clients who I am certain were wondering, “Why does this marriage coach not wear a wedding ring?” I wondered if my colleagues were thinking, “Are Dave and Cathy having problems, what happened to his wedding ring?” The worse thought was that maybe Cathy was thinking, “Did he loose his ring on purpose before this out of town trip? Is this a sign of how he views our marriage?”
When we make a conscious decision not to wear our wedding ring we send our spouse and others all of these messages. We leave our spouse wondering, “Do they really love me?” We leave others wondering, “Are they married?” The ring is a symbol of love and faithfulness forever. It should always be worn, and it should be a coveted sign of love to your spouse. If you have consciously taken off your wedding ring because you are angry with your spouse, put it back on immediately. Even if your partner is making the decision not to wear theirs, put yours back on. Wear it because the day you were married you said, “I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness forever”. You received a ring on your finger with the same promise. The ring becomes a symbol of two lives becoming one. It is a sign to the individual that they have made promises and are the recipients of a great promise. They are a sign to their partner that they are loved forever. And the ring becomes a symbol to others that says I am in this committed covenant relationship and have become one with my spouse.
My mother in law found my wedding ring on the floor in our laundry room. I am so excited to have my ring back! Today, if you are in a great marriage that you are striving to make even better, take a picture of your finger with your wedding ring, and text it to your spouse with a message that celebrates your marriage. If you are in a broken marriage that you are trying to save, take a picture of your finger with your wedding ring, and text it to your spouse with a message that says, “I still believe in you, I believe in us, and I am not giving up on our marriage”. Broken marriages are restored every day because one person is willing to fight for the relationship. Put your ring on your finger, keep the promises that the ring represents, and never give up.
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