My favorite movie is The Family Man. (Universal Pictures 2000) It tells the story of Jack, a wealthy single executive thrown into an alternate reality where he becomes, you guessed it, a family man. Great lessons abound, but my favorite is summed up in these three words, “I choose us.”
The opening scene: Twenty-something Jack is moving away. As he bids his beloved Kate goodbye at the airport, she tries to convince him to stay, saying “I have no idea what this life is going to look like, but I know it has the both of us in it and I choose us. The plan doesn’t make us great, Jack. What we have together, that’s what makes us great.”
Genesis 2:18, 24 says, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him. … and they will become one flesh.” God created the concept of “us,” of couples enjoying one another as partners, friends, and faithful companions.
The halfway point: Jack’s achievements have all been tied to material gain. In his new reality, he is a man of simpler means. While he finds this disconcerting, he’s finally landed a lucrative position, one that will bring big changes to the life he and Kate have built. Her response? “If you need this, Jack – if you really need this, I will take these kids from a life they love and I’ll take myself from the only home we’ve ever shared together and I’ll move wherever you need to go. I’ll do that because I love you. I love you, and that’s more important to me than our address. I choose us.”
Aren’t there plenty of scriptures about loving each other more than ourselves? That’s part of what makes a marriage work well. Now on to the closing scene. (Spoiler alert, but read on anyway.)
The alternate reality has come to an end. Back in real life, Jack seeks out the Kate he lost at the airport years ago and tries to win her back with these words: “I know we could both go on with our lives and we’d both be fine, but I’ve seen what we could be like together and I choose us.”
If you’re not married, perhaps you could choose a couple you know is struggling to stay together and pray for them to reconnect. If you are fortunate enough to be married, I hope you’ll find time to go to your spouse today and say, “I choose us.”