I am now apparently in that phase of living (and apparently have been for several years) where many of my friends are in the "Second Marriage" stage of life.
Most of them were divorced the first time for various reasons. I do not always know the reasons and do not always ask, of course - people share what they feel they need to share when they need to share it. Some seem to have ended relatively pleasantly, others with a level of animosity. Most, on the whole, have moved on to at least acceptance and moving on with their lives.
But here they are.
It is interesting because lots of them are in that "first stage" of second marriage where everything is newly wed bliss and extreme happiness. It is odd to myself, who have been married over two decades, to see and experience this. After all, up to this point most of my acquaintances were either unmarried or had been married for a considerable time. Odd to think that suddenly I am greatly exceeding the span of peoples' relationships. I am used to dealing with younger people in the throes of a new relationship. Not so much the older ones. It is as if I have been planted into a new scene with familiar players but a plot from a previous act.
It does make one think a great deal about one's own marriage. After all, it feels like (no statistical data) here that I am in the minority. And those who are in the second round seem to be at a relational place I am not and have not been for years. The simple fact of the living through a marriage with its accompanying children, finances, and events has a way of drawing everything into the "life is so ordinary for me" scenario.
Which is why I have to constantly - and forcefully - remind myself that it is not about the simple act of relationship. It is a picture, a picture of Christ and His church. I do not know that it is always helpful to me in the most positive of ways. But it does keep me on the track of remembering that to fail here is not just a failure for me, it is a failure for my outward facing witness to Christ.
I can fail myself. I cannot fail Him.