We Were Young
It was a beautiful day in 1994 when my beautiful bride agreed to subject herself to a life with me. Had she known what she was getting into, she might have backed out. Of course, she would be the first to disagree with that assessment.
We were young, even though we were in our mid-twenties. It’s hard to say, however, if we had any idea how things would be once we reached our 40’s. I must say, though, that it’s funny to think back at how we thought we were starting marriage a little late. We were so young, full of energy, potential, and hope.
My wife just said, “I really thought we were old.”
The Odds Were Stacked
Most people are aware of the odds against people staying married for any real length of time. But what most people are not aware of are how dramatically the odds turn against long-term marriages when just a few factors are thrown in.
A marriage made up of two people from perfect backgrounds, with no emotional baggage, will inevitably have its struggles. But when you take two people who bring into a marriage enough emotional and spiritual baggage to fill a cattle car, well, the odds of staying married are not great. Thankfully, we serve a God who doesn’t care about the odds (Prov. 16:33).
We Started Right
I can’t tell you how many marriage proposals I have seen on YouTube! Some were so elaborate…I mean, how’s a guy to compete with a million-dollar musical?!!
Let me tell you how I did it – I took her to the altar. No, I’m not talking about going to the altar to get married; I asked her to marry me at the altar.
You see, the first time I quasi-proposed (I never really asked her to marry me) was when we both picked out her first ring – yes, her first ring. Then, later that evening, like an idiot, I took it back because “I wasn’t sure about things.”
The second time was a little different. After being told not to come back unless I brought a bigger ring, I bought a full-carat solitaire and went to church.
During a communion service, one in which it was our custom to go to the altar and pray before we partook of the elements, I asked Valerie to go with me. Once we knelt, with both of us holding hands, I officially proposed in front of God and everybody. I wanted our marriage to be something built on a holy foundation, so after she said “yes,” our first meal together was the Lord’s Supper.
Still At It
When I say we are “still at it,” you can take that any way you like. The fact is that we still struggle, still have arguments, and still act like people who never learn. But on the other hand, we still pray, still play, still love, and still worship together, and we’re still married.
There’s nothing wrong with people who never struggle, somehow always on perpetual honeymoon. However, any marriage worth working for, worth fighting for, will leave a few scratches on your wedding band.
My advise to others? Just keep at it.
“This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song of Solomon 5:16).
Happy anniversary, Valerie! I love you!