It never fails: As we’re riding our tandem bike around town, people stare, smile and often comment. Kids especially. They’ve never seen such a thing. One boy exclaimed, “Cool! It’s like two bikes stuck together!” Even construction workers smile at us. There’s something about the retro feeling a tandem bike brings, but I think there’s also the aspect of togetherness that people think is cool. That’s the term we most often hear: Cool.
If, while we were riding along, we suddenly fell into a ditch, or started bickering about which way to go, or stopped altogether and decided not to go on, people would notice. I think what we were doing wouldn’t be seen as quite so cool anymore. Maybe people would decide that riding solo is much better.
We don’t ride our tandem bike to show off to other people. In fact, that has never once entered my mind. “Hey, let’s go take a ride on our tandem so that we can have people think we’re cool and they’ll smile at us and we’ll make them happy.” That would be ridiculous. We ride because we like to do things together, and because it’s fun, and because it’s good exercise.
We didn’t get married so that we could fit into any certain crowd, or get a bunch of gifts, or save on our living expenses. We got married because we love each other and want to spend the rest of our lives with each other, supporting each other, serving each other. We figured we could be better together than we were apart. But the fact is that people see us. If they know we’re followers of Jesus, they’re looking to see if that makes a difference. According to the statistics, it doesn’t make enough of a difference to most. We pray our marriage is different. We’re committed and we have a lot of help, but ultimately, we can’t make it without the grace and hand of God.
We like it when people comment to us when they see us riding our bike. We like to encourage people to give it a try themselves. We’re happy to help people learn how.
Same goes for marriage. We’d be very happy to mentor engaged or newly married couples. We haven’t really gotten a chance to yet, but we figure we might have some things to share after 22 years. Until that time comes, though, we can certainly do all we can to work on our own relationship and make sure we’re keeping away from the ditches. We know others are watching.
Next: Sometimes you have to weather the storms