We took our wedding vows and made a promise to live together until death does us part.
No one told us how hard it would be those first couple of years. It was the little things that caused frustrations. Like laundry on the floor, who slept on what side of the bed, what kind of toothpaste would we use. Whose house would we go to for the holidays. Everything seemed to cause a struggle. Sometimes those struggles turned to an all out war.
It was hard for two individuals becoming one. It takes time for a young man to gain confidence and take the lead. It takes time to become a man and become responsible for another life.
It takes time for a woman to grow in confidence in the role God places her in. She will grow to come along side and be a helpmate to her husband.
It goes against our flesh, it goes against what the world tells us about marriage. The only hope is that God must be allowed to work in our hearts. In our marriage. In our life.
There were many years filled with love, laughter and tears. Learning to understand one another, to love one another. There were sorrows and disappointments shared. Deep struggles that caused growth in both of us.
There were children, moving, losses, death, and decisions to be made. All allowed by the grace of God to mold and shape us.
This was life, it was our life. It is still life. No one promised an easy road. No one said life or marriage would be a piece of cake.
Marriage can be an amazing life shared with one who loves deeply, sacrificially and unconditionally. Dates planned, intimate talks, holding hands or just sitting in silence knowing we are not alone. Sharing our future, hopes, dreams, desires, and our fears.
Oh, and those moments when you look into one another’s eyes and know just how loved you are. You see your beauty in the way the other looks at you. You feel safe in their embrace and you know the depth of their commitment to you.
This is life, this is marriage. Both are filled with love, joy, pain and great sorrow.
We made a promise on the day of our wedding. A promise to work through all things no matter how hard. We didn’t know just how hard it would be. We have grown to a place where we realize that marriage is more than a promise, it’s a covenant. A solemn binding agreement between parties, made by blood, and not breakable. God is the sovereign administrator of this covenant.
A covenant means that we became one flesh, its death to independent living. We put our partners needs before our own. This is love, this is marriage. If someone hurts your spouse they hurt you for you have truly grown to be one.
A covenant means that you will stand and fight for as long as it takes to defeat the enemy. You’ve got one another’s back. It means that you will be there for one another no matter how hard the road is. You are in it for the long haul. There is no giving up when it gets hard and messy. There is no divorce – it’s not even in your vocabulary and certainly never mentioned.
When recently asked how we have managed to pass our 30 year anniversary I simply said,“we made a covenant, and a covenant is more than a promise. A covenant can not be broken. We are committed to making it work. We choose to love one another even in those moments when it’s hard.”
Marriage does not come with an easy button, it takes work, sacrifice, steadfast commitment and prayer. It also takes those around you to build a community of faith and support. We allow others into our lives to help keep us accountable. We allow them to speak truth into our marriage.
It means allowing God to rule over your marriage and be obedient to do what you know is right. It means that you WILL be there for one another no matter what. You will always choose to stay and work it out instead of leave and give up.
Marriage is more than the worlds definition of a promise which is so easily broken– it’s a covenant. When we walk in marriage the way God meant it to be walked we have a marriage that will last through the joys and sorrows of this life.
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