Thirty Six Years Ago Today!

I posted this last year on my anniversary. I think it's worth a repost. Enjoy!

The day dawned with the sun peeking through the clouds. A warm breeze was blowing. But for all I cared it could have been dark, dismal and damp. For on that particular day I was going to become a husband to the woman who had won my heart! That was thirty five years, three children and 6 grandchildren ago. But is some ways ... it seems like yesterday (note: the adjacent pic was taken on Sharon's college graduation day which was about a week before our first wedding anniversary! And yes, for all you doubters out there ---- I did have hair!!!).

So ... have I learned anything about being a husband during these 3 1/2 decades of married life? Probably not as much as I should have .... but I have learned (and am still trying to get these lessons down!) some  things. Here are just a few  ... especially for you husbands out there!

1. I am far from being the "perfect" husband. All of us as fallen people tend to think more highly of self and less highly of others. This is the bent of our sinful nature. And so when it comes to my marriage, my tendency is to think I am doing OK and my wife, well ... she has some work to do! This was driven home to me at a recent marriage conference I attended. Paul Tripp was the speaker ... and his first marriage principle that he gave us was this: "The greatest problem in my marriage is ME!"  So true! So ... before we go and point our finger of blame at our spouse, we should stop by the bathroom and take a long, hard look in the mirror!

2. A good marriage takes work. A great marriage takes a lot of work! A marriage that is solid just doesn't develop on its own. It takes a lot of intentional effort. I must admit, far too often, I forget this. Often it is because life is happening all around me with so many people and things shouting for my attention. And so I lose sight of my marriage ... or I figure it's OK and that's good enough. Or I just get so tired from doing everything else, that my marriage gets what's left over - and that isn't much! Yet when I read God's instructions to me as a husband, that I am to "love my wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25), I realize that I must give my marriage a high priority in my life. It's what God demands and my wife needs!

3. Marriage is "for better or for worse." When I spoke those words in my marriage vow, that's all they were - words. Now some thirty five years later, those words are filled with meaning. "The worse" would include unwelcome moments of conflict between us; significant health needs, as in 1991 when my wife underwent a serious back surgery that left me sleeping on the living room sofa for three months and my kids eating boatloads of hotdogs, grilled cheese and pizza!; all the challenging issues that tend to arise in the raising of children (and the differences of opinion as to how best to proceed!). By far, however, for us "the better" has outweighed "the worse." The joy of being parents, serving together as houseparents and in the various churches we have served, and seeing God work in our relationship are just the tip of the iceberg of the blessings we have enjoyed in our marriage - for which we say, "Thank you God! Your goodness to us is far more than we deserve!"  Bottom line -  whatever our circumstances... in better times and in worse ... I am committed to my wife (and she to me). This concept of marital commitment to one another no matter what ... is something our society sorely needs to rediscover.

Thanks for stopping by . . .
pj


Comments

Scott said…
Congratulations, John and Sharon, on 35 years of marriage! What a tremendous milestone. And thanks for the sage advice.

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