On October 12, 1984, Elizabeth and I walked hand in hand on our first date across the Auburn University campus to attend a concert by a Christian music group named “TRUTH.” I can still remember my pride in being with this captivating blonde Auburn head majorette almost four decades later. One year later, on October 12, 1985, I would propose to her at the Auburn/Florida State football game as the plane I had hired pulled a banner through Jordan-Hare Stadium that simply said, “Elizabeth Decker, I love you. Will you marry me? Scott.” No last name, just in case she said “no!” As I remember, that plane came through the stadium five times, each to the roar of a crowd that suspected something fresh and special had just been set in motion when she said “YES!” On February 1, 1986, we each said “yes” again to begin an amazing adventure that would equally thrill and challenge us in ways we could never imagine.
The most compelling stories in this world are those that tell of adventure. As Legolas said in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, “Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end.” Even the famous Dr. Seuss wrote, “Oh, the places you’ll go!” Looking back across three apartments, seven houses, three children, and a host of experiences spanned six continents, our adventures have formed us in ways we could not have foreseen.
What is adventure? It is the willingness to do something fresh and new, to take risks with an unknown outcome. As John Amot wrote, “Adventure isn’t hanging off a rope on the side of a mountain. Adventure is an attitude we must apply to the day-to-day obstacles of life.” Adventures, then, are experiences that God can use to train us since everyone carries within them the chance to turn towards or away from Him.
In a very real way, the Bible is a book about marriage. It begins in Genesis with the first couple in a Garden and ends in Revelation with the great marriage banquet of the Lamb. In between, and very explicitly in the New Testament, we find the story of a people whom Scripture describes as “the Bride of Christ.” Don’t miss that God chooses the marriage metaphor to describe His relationship with us. Our marriages become an opportunity for us to show the world something of God’s remarkable love for His people. And our partner is the one with whom God allows us to explore our outer and inner worlds. He hopes that we don’t just get old but grow old… together.
Some adventures will come your way that you would not court. There are others that you can plan and pursue. When is the last time you’ve done something for the first time? Adventures get us off the daily treadmill and provide freshness and excitement in marriage. Let me challenge you to consider pursuing some marital adventures to godliness!
Challenge—List some adventures you’ve had as a couple and how you’ve enjoyed or benefitted from them. Brainstorm some new and fresh adventures, perhaps a bit risky, that you’d like to consider in the next several years. These can be as diverse as travel, learning new skills or hobbies, changing a job, riding bicycles, trying a new routine, or hiking the Camino Santiago!
Scott E. Wigginton, Ph.D., serves as Professor of Pastoral Ministries & Counseling at Campbellsville University and Executive Director of Winterpast Counseling, Inc. He has enjoyed adventures on six of seven continents and is excited to have an Antarctica expedition scheduled!
His new book, Adventures to Godliness: Filling the Hole in Your Bucket List, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, and Target. The book is full of stories, practical wisdom, and biblical insights about the role of adventure in spiritual formation and Christlikeness.