Friday, November 03, 2006
to love and to cherish
m and i recently celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary. those of you who have known us a while are aware of what an amazing milestone that is — a testament to the grace and power of God. without Him, i don't know where we'd be, but i'm pretty sure that we wouldn't be celebrating much of anything together.
in that time, we've certainly had our share of ups and downs, of joy and pain, of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (so to speak). i've learned more than i ever could've guessed from being a husband, including some not very nice things about myself. but i've also learned about receiving and extending forgiveness, about bouncing back from failure, and about the value and limitations of commitment.
that last was a surprise. there was a time when i believed that commitment was enough, and certainly, it's essential. it's just not sufficient. neither is love, if that means some combination of attraction, affection, and commitment. there comes a time, at least for some couples, when everything that you bring to a marriage isn't enough to keep it going. we've seen that time.
and it's at that point that a lot of marriages finally die. that could easily have happened to us, and knowing that has made me a lot more understanding and merciful towards those whose marriages have ended in divorce. but it's also at that point — when you're at the end of your own resources — that you can (re)discover that God really is there and that He is able.
our relationship is a concrete evidence of God's goodness and mercy, both directly and through the dozens of friends who have prayed, counselled, and encouraged us. our annivesary was as much a celebration of that generosity towards us as of the joyful fruit of our years together. it feels like a team victory, and a shared triumph is a sweet one!