In my former church in Rome, we used the Southern Baptist hymnal (can I get an ‘Amen’? 🙂 ). The set-up was such that, unless there was a large crowd, each worshipper could have a hymnbook all to themselves. I noticed, however, a certain segment of the population who tended to forego this privilege and it was then that the hymnbook index was born.
The index takes two values: 0 and 1 (or no and yes, respectively). It only measured one thing: whether a married couple sitting in close proximity would share a hymnbook. In my very unscientific observation and subsequent conclusion, those who shared a hymnal appeared to have happier marriages than those who didn’t.
At my current church we have a projector and so the hymnbook index doesn’t apply. I was reminded of it this past Sunday, though. I sat behind a couple in their late 30s/ early 40s, who leaned into each other throughout the service. At one point I wondered whether they were holding hands. It wasn’t hard to tell that, even after 4 kids (I saw them) and over a decade of life together, there was still a fire in their marriage.
I’ve had a chance to observe not a few marriages. There were those which, unless someone told you or you connected the names, you’d probably never guess that the two people were married to each other. On the opposite end of the spectrum are those in which the two partners are virtually inseparable. I believe a happy medium is ideal. Now of course, my marriage is perfect, seeing as it exists only in my imagination 😉 Seriously though, it is encouraging for not-yet-marrieds like me to watch those who have gone before and are succeeding.