Let thy fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the bride of thy youth...Proverbs 5:18
Yesterday was my hubby's and my anniversary. Sixteen years ago we tied the knot! And four years before that we started dating. So later this month we will have been together for.....
And considering the fact that I only feel like I'm about 25, that sounds pretty weird to me. ; )
As I pondered this thought the other day (because I'm a pondering kind of person), as I was on my way to an appointment with Sarah which is where I so often am these days, I reflected on our lives together.
Scott and I started dating in 1990. I was only 15 years old. Friends, I would not let my daughters start dating that young!! But, my momma did, so that's what happened. I love the way our relationship started. I wasn't interested in him at first for anything more than a friend, so all the "wooing" came from him. And we really did get along great as friends to start. That's the best way to begin a relationship, for sure. There's a whole story about how we started "going together," or whatever we called it back then, but that will be for another day.
So, after 4 years of that--and 4 years is definitely a LONG time to wait when you are dating, but we needed to grow to be adults first...--we got married. I was 19 (almost 20, I liked to remind people like my parents who thought I was too young), and Scott was 21. We were oh, so very young. I don't regret getting married that young even one little bit, but when I see girls who were my age at the time, I can't believe I got married that young.
I think our marriage has been pretty typical. I don't think anyone would be surprised to know it has not always been easy. I am pretty sure no marriage is always easy, since we do not live in heaven yet. In fact, there have been times in our marriage that were downright difficult. Times when I wondered what in the world I ever married that punk for...(Did I just say that out loud??) And I know he must have thought the same about me. But after all this time, I think we have discovered the secret to a really great marriage. We learned it over time, and sometimes the hard way. And here it is:
Marry the right person. : ) I just threw that in there even though it's probably a given, but sometimes it needs to be said. I married the right person when I married Scott. I loved him with my heart, but I also thought logically about him with my head. We shared core beliefs and values. I knew he would be the kind of person who would provide for our family. I knew what a strong family background he had. I knew how much he loved the Lord. I knew he was the kind of person who would be a good leader in our home, both Spiritually and otherwise. And I really liked him as a person, and that is really important! All of these things will help you to hang in there when times get tough. So, if you are single and reading this, pray and think about who you marry. And if you are already married, go on to the next step...
Die to yourself. That means, get rid of selfishness. I know it sounds so simple, but really, the more I thought about it, when we were going through problems or bumps in our road, it ALWAYS boiled down to one or both of us being selfish. We used to both be pretty bad at this step, and thankfully, we have been growing in the Lord over the years, and learning little by little. We are still not perfect, but oh, how sweet our marriage has been growing as we have learned to grasp this. God wants to bless your marriage, but as long as pride and selfishness are in the way, He really can't do much with it. God will help you if you let Him!
And the third step is....Hang in there! Do not give up. Don't cop out and call it quits! Keep going, keep loving even when you don't feel like it. Aside from obvious reasons, like your life being in danger, or something like that, I want to encourage you to not give up on your marriage. I have seen marriages on the brink of destruction that have come back to life, and there were times in our marriage when we did feel like it was just too hard. But now I am so relieved that we didn't entertain that thought! Our marriage is stronger now than it has ever been. We are reaping the rewards of obeying God and choosing to love each other even when we did not feel like we could. I am just so very thankful for my wonderful husband! He is such a blessing and truly a gift from God. He isn't perfect, but neither am I. ; )
Happy anniversary to US!! And I pray that you will have many happy anniversaries too. : )