Tomorrow I celebrate being married to my bride for 11 years. In ways it’s hard to believe. We have packed in so much in that time. Three states, five houses and four beautiful girls. There have been seasons of joy and times of great difficulty. We have seen God work through difficult circumstances and seen how He’s grown us through it.
I’m so glad that after 11 years, my wife brings out in me the desire to be a better man for her. She is my faithful support, sounding board, companion and prayer warrior. I’ve seen her be open to what God has for her and follow his leading. I’ve seen her influence on others grow. I’m so proud of her.
I’ve seen how marriage can humble me, propel me to my knees and cause me to be dependent on God’s work in me to be the husband he desires me to be. Because in myself I’m selfish, arrogant and proud. I’ve seen the benefit of seeing marriage not as a vehicle for happiness, although there is incredible joy in it, but holiness, as Gary Thomas puts it in “Sacred Marriage“(which I highly recommend).
Marriage has been an incredible personal reminder of Christ’s intense love for his bride – the church. Knowing that he is always faithful, ever true. That he is patient and keeps his promises. That his grace and forgiveness covers all her sins, my sin. That he gave himself sacrificially. That he desires me to love my wife the same way, laying aside my rights to serve her. That my marriage should be a living declaration of Christ’s relationship to his bride. Knowing what Christ has done for me, what would limit me from expressing the same to my wife? Selfishness. Complacency. Pride. I need God. It’s impossible in myself to love like that, yet through him all things are possible. If he is the one who is at work in my life, then his fragrance is going to flow out of my life. His presence will be evident. My wife will experience his love through me with the love that he has given me. I can’t take credit for it, but I can take blame if it doesn’t happen.
Whether single or married, experiencing great joy or difficulty, it’s about knowing the love of Christ and responding in surrender,a lifestyle of worship. He is our greatest need at any and every point in life. It’s not always easy, but there is incredible joy in it.
So after eleven years of this part of my journey…
To my beautiful bride…Happy 11th Anniversary. I love you.
To my beautiful Lord…Thank you. I love you.