This morning I woke up and looked at the person sleeping next to me. For the last 22 years, this wonderful man has been a steady constant in my life. Brave, noble, humble, strong, smart, funny, romantic- my husband is such a blessing to me. As he began to stir, he opened his eyes, smiled, and mumbled "Happy Anniversary." I lifted my hand up to his, as we did the same thing we've done every year on this date..... we've given each other a big, fat, enthusiastic high five. It may seem like an unromantic gesture, I know, but this simple tradition is special to me, and I look forward to it year after year.
We already celebrated our anniversary earlier this week with a road trip up the coast, retracing the path we took 20 years ago on our second wedding anniversary. We had a great time, laughing and chatting, and seeing the sights. Today's going to be special, too. Like always, we'll celebrate our anniversary twice- once, just the two of us- and once with the kids. We like to include the kids because it's important for them to experience the joy of marriage- it's their celebration too. Our years of wedded bliss are a gift for them, as well. It's my prayer that they'll want this kind of marriage for themselves someday.I'm excited too because, in a new twist, instead of going out to a restaurant they're working together to cook us a fancy meal. I can't wait to see what they come up with.
It would be easy to walk around pridefully today- our marriage is succeeding in a society which seems to value vows, commitment, faithfulness, and hard work less and less. We are seeing married couples struggle all around us. If we've learned anything, though, it's that nobody is immune to the viruses of discontent, selfishness, temptation, and discord. As soon as you let your guard down, any one of those can sneak right in your front door and take up permanent residence in your home. Having a long-lasting marriage is actually more humbling than you'd think. Each passing year is a reminder that we are powerless all by ourselves. It is truly the equipping we get from Christ alone that gives us the strength and love it takes to protect this marriage from ending up in a heap of flames. Our high five is less a touchdown dance and more a indicator of gratitude. We are thankful that, despite the odds, God has given us enough grace to allow us another year of marriage to celebrate, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. We hope that our anniversary will be an encouragement to others- including our children- and a testament to what He can do with two dumb sinners who love Him and each other very much. How wonderful and mighty is our God!
Let us hold tightly, without wavering, to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.
Hebrews 10:23-24 NLT