Where Do I Begin?
by Oliver Carlos
“Where do I begin, to tell a story of how great a love can be? The sweet love story that is older than the sea….where do I start?”
That’s the opening lyrics of the 1970 hit song, “Where Do I Begin”, which is the theme song of the movie “Love Story.” It’s composed by Francis Lai, and the lyrics were written by Carl Sigman. The original singer was Andy Williams. Gary Valenciano revived that song a few years back.
That song is also my parents’ favorite love song. They must have seen the song’s lyrics similar to their own love story. They first met when they were in college in the late 1960s. They were taking the same course BS Forestry, and they also belonged to the same student organization, the UP Varrons, Ltd. I believe they used to sing this song together at their organization’s leisure moments in UPLB. Jess and Vangie got along really well, like a hand and a glove. They were the closest of friends among their peers. A few months after my Dad’s graduation, they got married. The exact date was August 6, 1972. Today, they are celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary.
I thank God for blessing their marriage and our family. My parents took good care of us 4 siblings, built us a house and a home filled with love and happiness. They modelled to us a pattern we ought to follow. I’m sure that just like any other married couple, they too had their own challenges and woes. But because of God’s grace, we grew into the family we are today. After almost half-a-century, my parents’ love story is worth recalling just like the old song.
What makes a marriage last so long? What are the ingredients of a happy home? Many experts can pitch in their own tips, and I guess they’re all correct, as they’ve based their assertions on personal experience. There may be hundreds or even thousands of formulas, but let me just focus on Proverbs 24:3 (ERV):
“Good homes are built on wisdom and understanding.”
According to the verse, the key is wisdom and understanding. These 2 words are very similar and related to each other. The Book of Proverbs says that in order to get wisdom, one must begin with the “fear of the Lord.” It says in Proverbs 1:7 (DRA) that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Fear of the Lord means being afraid of the punishment God would give if one is disobedient to him. It’s having a deep sense of reverence to God. If a person has this, all his actions would be guided by this character. He would be “wise” enough to sense what to do and what not to do. If both husband and wife have this character, how nice that would be!
Meanwhile, the English word “understanding” is quite easy to understand. It may mean empathizing or seeing fully the situation of the other. It takes love, selflessness, and humility to understand one’s spouse. Listening skill is a staple in a married couple’s life. Take your attention off yourself a bit, and then zero in some more in your spouse’s situation or position. That is the first step to achieve understanding. Try to see people and situations in God’s eyes.
In building a home, wisdom and understanding, is like a composite block or one single concept. Without it, the worst can happen. In essence, God must be at the center of things. He must be considered in every decision, in every action. God must be in our minds when we relate to each other in the home- in husband-wife and also in parent-child dealings. Surely there would be harmony and peace if Proverbs 24:3 is applied in our home. That’s where everything begins.