In a few days I will have been married to a man who said ‘I do’ and has meant it for 33 years.
These days it’s hard to find someone committed for 33 minutes let alone years. But this man has stuck by my side through the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It all began with a promise. We both made the decision to give our hearts to God first and He promised us:
To be with us always – to give us wisdom – to carry out His plans for us – to be our strength – to be our joy, to be our peace, to be our help…and to give us eternity.
We haven’t always cooperated perfectly with these promises. But even “if we are faithless, He will remain faithful” (2Timothy 2:13a) Two imperfect people plus one perfect God equals a marriage of a lifetime.
What if we looked on our wife/husband with eyes like the ones Jesus looks on us with? Eyes of compassion, of tender love, of mercy, of grace. I think we would see the inside of us – vulnerable, childlike, wanting approval, fearful, desperately desiring a love that isn’t based on our perfection but that totally accepts our imperfection – yet won’t let us stay there.
That is Christ’s love for us. So deep yet so knowing. Strong enough to take us as we are, wise enough to grow us beyond where we are.
The world we live in, satan in his conniving, and us in our selfish selves cannot be faithful – and we often don’t keep our promises. There is One who does: “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” (2Thessalonians 3:3 NIV)
This marriage of 33 anniversaries has been full – full of heartaches and crazy joy, full of uplifting words and sometimes cutting words, full of children and now full in the empty nest. With God’s help we will promise to make more memories together, to be so full of God that we can overflow to others, and to always be ready to be filled by a God whose bounty knows no limits.
May we til death us part always say that we will “hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” (Hebrews 10:23 NIV)
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