Today is my 31st wedding anniversary! I am much more in love with my husband today than I was 31 years ago. I want to say that this hasn't always been easy, because both of us needed some serious refining, but it has always been blessed. We have gone through some very difficult times that had us wondering, "what in the world was I thinking?"
But God had blessed this marriage and He mustn't have felt it was something to just walk away from. There were children, and broken hearts and hurt feelings, all those things that He is so good at taking care of! So He thwarted my efforts at ever leaving, and although there were times when I felt like a prisoner in my own home, God knew exactly what He was doing. Sometimes He has to tie us down to get our attention. He will frustrate our efforts to do things our own way.
God is the originator of marriage. He thinks so highly of it that He ordained the first couple, Adam and Eve, married, and the words in Genesis are still used in wedding ceremonies all over the world today. Every marriage, although made in Heaven, sometimes finds itself on the road to Hell. We get disappointed because the honeymoon is over, and the reality sets in. She got fat, he got fat, the house is dirty, the yard looks awful. It's all about sports, it's all about shopping.
What we are seeing is exactly the picture that Satan wants us to see. He shows us the ugly things, and takes our attention away from the promises that we made to each other with God as our witness.
Dear Reader, no marriage is perfect. No one but God can make us feel as important as we are. No one but God can love us unconditionally despite our imperfections. We are not perfect! We are works in progress! Believe me, all the annoyances you have about your spouse are but a plank in your eye. We have to forgive each other, no matter how hard that is, no matter what the offense, because that's what Jesus did for us. If you have been cheated on, or ignored, or called names, or beaten, it is still our job to forgive. I know, it's more than hard, it seems insane. But that's the only way to freedom and peace.
The world tells us to just leave, we're more important than they will ever know, but God tells us that He will help us to get through it, one minute at a time if need be. We must remember that He brought us together, and He is the Author and Finisher. "Therefore, what God has put together, let no man separate." Matt 19:6
God brought my husband into the world in 1946 in Minnesota, and me in the Bronx in 1956. My husband's father was in the Navy at the time, and then joined the Air Force, so he grew up all over the world. I lived in three houses from birth until age 21, all within 20 miles of each other nowhere near a military base. My husband went to Vietnam, and lived in Germany, New Foundland, Japan, Okinawa, and several states. I met him 1750 miles from my home in New Jersey.
Tell me that God doesn't have a plan! Think of the thousands of people whose paths I crossed everyday. Think of all the people I dated, or liked, or were friends with. And then what? Out of the clear blue sky, thousands of miles away I meet the man I will marry!
What are the odds of our paths crossing? I wouldn't even take a bet. But God saw us before the earth was formed, and He had a plan for us. He knew we would go through difficult times, but He was refining us (I take more refining than most). He has a job for us, something that only Tuck and I can do for Him.
My life is extraordinarily blessed. My husband loves me as Christ loves the church. He puts my needs first. He doesn't judge me, he prays for me. He doesn't give up on me, he encourages me. I respect him above all other men, and I love him only second to our Lord. We have gone to counseling, and we attend every marriage class, seminar, and conference that we can. Making a bad marriage good is wonderful, and making a good marriage better is divine.
With Jesus' help we overcame addictions, anger, and the feeling of being insignificant.
I love you, Tuck, more than I ever thought possible. Thank you for patiently waiting for me to get it. Thank you for listening, for praying for us on our knees, for caring for me when I am sick, for holding my hand as we walk through life's storms, and for loving God the way you do. I will love you til the end of time. Thank you for letting God mold you into the man you have become. Thank you for your diligence in listening to and studying the word of God. It has made you my greatest blessing, and I am so very proud to say that I am your wife.
Happy Anniversary, my dear sweet love! May God grant us at least 30 more years to grow into the couple He sees. May we never lose sight of the Light that directs our paths, may we be a blessing to many, and an example of God's sweet mercy. I love you.