In a few days, my wife and I are going to be celebrating our 14th year of marriage together. Some people look at their time with their spouses as something less than ideal–some even view it as a jail sentence of sorts, something to be endured. Jeff Dunham’s “Walter” is a perfect example. When asked about his marriage to his wife of forty-six years, Walter’s happiest time of life was forty-seven years ago. According to him, “til death do us part” is a goal to be reached.
As for me and my wife, though, I can honestly say that these have been the best fourteen years of my life. That can easily sound corny to some, but when something is true, it should be simply stated as such. She is my best friend; my confidante; my “sounding board”; my one and only lover; my “secret weapon”; my support system that puts all others to shame. (Since you’ve been walking with me for a while, you probably remember an earlier story about how we found each other; if not, look under “The Journey” and see what you find.)
I fully believe that there are a few very big reasons for our relationship and our marriage being what they are today (follow me on this….the direction is very specific and you’ll see why): First, we kept ourselves for each other, which is pretty remarkable for not having found each other for the first thirty years of my life and the first thirty-two of hers. I so wish the young people of today could see the value of saving themselves for their future mates. They are well worth waiting for! It also keeps a whole lot of unnecessary baggage out of your lives and your marriage.
Secondly, we both chose to become better people long before we met each other. We were both reading marriage and relationship books as well as other self-help type books as early as thirteen years of age, preparing ourselves for each other and the people we would encounter as we live out our lives on this planet. So much of life is about the choices that we make and those choices lead in very specific directions. Our relationship and our marriage have both taken a lot of work to make them what they are today. But that started years ago with us choosing individually to change…and change for the better.
Third–and most importantly–our lives individually and together, our marriage and our family all have one thing in common: Jesus Christ is the foundation. (No worries, I’m not going to preach at you if you don’t believe the way I believe. Walking in each other’s snowshoes, remember?) But with that said, you cannot argue with facts. God gives us human beings–made in His image–guidance through His Word (the Bible). If we do what it says, we’re going to benefit; if we choose not to, we won’t. Plain and simple. My wife and I have chosen to make Him the cornerstone of this marriage and He has honored that choice by helping us get to where we are today in every area of our lives. It’s not been easy–things worth having and doing never are–but it’s certainly been the best choice we ever made. You can tell a tree by its fruit: if the fruit is bad (or non-existent) you’ve got a bad tree; if it’s good, you’ve got a keeper and you do what you can to help that tree get even bigger which will produce even more fruit. Jesus made it pretty simple and we have the tendency to complicate things.
Kids get it….why don’t we?