Tuesday, July 14, 2009

6 Years and Counting...

It's difficult to really describe marriage. I've often thought about what I would recommend to a younger couple looking to get hitched regarding marriage. In part because I still feel at times like a newlywed myself, but more so because I feel a lot of times like I'm not in the best position to be dispensing advice on a topic that I'm still taking lessons on daily.

First of all, you have to take your vows seriously. It's not just a formality to get up in front of people and recite promises to your soon-to-be spouse. It's a whole-hearted commitment, one not to be taken lighty. Sadly, too many people today discard that wedding day promise as if it were made in haste, or as if it wasn't really intended to be serious.

On July 12, 2003, Kathryn and I made those vows to one another. We promised to ourselves and to God that we would always be there for each other, never failing in our love or honor for the other. That doesn't mean everything is perfect. It doesn't mean we don't have knock-down drag-out fights from time to time. It DOES mean, however, that we always promise to be there, for better or worse.

We'ce celebrated 6 years of marriage. As we enter into the seventh year, we know it's a volatile time. Year 7 is often a "make or break" year for marriages. Statistically, if couples can make it past their seventh year of marriage together, they usually make it for a lifetime.

Having a newborn arriving in August won't make things easy. Finances tightening won't make things easy. The stress of late night feedings and budget calculations will sometimes strain things. So what to do? Maintain focus on God's word to humbly submit to one another.

Do you know what that means? That I'm supposed to put my wife's needs above mine. That I'm to love her regardless of the way she loves me. That when times get tough, I don't walk out the door, but that I commit myself to my wife, my lover, my partner, and my best friend to work things out.

The best example of marriage to me has always been my parents. Their love and affection for one another hasn't wilted in their near 40 years of marriage. I can still remember my dad coming in from work when I was younger and walking straight over to my mom to greet her with a warm hug and a kiss. That's love. That's marriage. And all I hope for is that same love shared between Kathryn and I for many, many years to come.

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