35 Years

My wonderful wife and I just celebrated 35 years together. We should probably celebrate more years together since we dated for several years before getting married – but 35 will do.

As I pondered what to write on my anniversary card, I couldn’t help but reflect on how great God has been to me, and to us, for all these years. Our marriage, like most of yours, has been riddled with hard times and tough things. But God is faithful. Always. He cannot be anything but faithful – it is His nature, His character. In spite of all of my sin and shortcomings, He has been the one constant, and the Rock on which we have always landed.

We made a commitment early in our marriage – that divorce would never be an option. We didn’t know it then, but we were actually just agreeing with God’s view of marriage. In His eyes, and in His heart, marriage is a covenant. It is not a contract that can be broken for non-performance by one of the parties. He is a covenant-keeping God, and our marriage is to reflect that to the world. So we told ourselves, and we told each other, that we were in this together. Through thick and thin, better or worse, etc., etc., we were going to face life together.

Life is hard. We didn’t really know that at the time we said “I do”, but it is hard – dang hard. Things don’t typically turn out the way we expect, or dream of, but it is still our life. Another marriage lesson learned has been just that – giving my expectations to Jesus. I want the life He wants for me. He loves me with a perfect father’s love and He knows exactly what I need to be completely fulfilled in this life. If He wants me to have it – then I want it. If He doesn’t, then I don’t need it.

He loves me and always does what is in my best interest. Sometimes I don’t know why – but I trust Him.

He brought the love of my life into my life over 35 years ago, and looking back it is very plain to see His loving hand in the  whole story. Proverbs 31 reminds me – 

The Lord has created for me a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies. I can trust her, and she has greatly enriched my life. She brings me good, not harm, every day of her life.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

Her children stand and bless her. I too praise her, saying “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

Any of you who know her, know I’m not making this up – she is amazing. She is truly the only woman I have ever known who has no enemies, or even anyone who doesn’t like her. She is a treasure. The logical question you ask is – how did she end up with me? And I once again have to go back to God. I thank Him every day.

We have made it through these years by the amazing grace of God, and look forward to what He has in store along the road ahead. Thank you God for your faithfulness, and for your wonderful gift to me, and to my children and their children’s children.