I asked my friend Charity if I could share some very personal things she wrote on the occasion of her twentieth wedding anniversary this past spring. I know you’ll enjoy these insights and be inspired by them.
Thank you, Charity, for putting into words these beautiful thoughts and for allowing me to share them with my readers. God bless you!
I remember it like it was yesterday. The dress. The flowers. The vows. The rings.
“I now pronounce you man and wife.” And then, of course, the kiss.
But it wasn’t yesterday. It was twenty years ago . . . twenty beautiful, wonderful years of marriage. I couldn’t help but reflect over the past years—how far we have come and where we are now.
So in honor of our anniversary . . .
20 Things I Love About Our Marriage:
- I love that we love to make each other laugh.
- I love that we haven't learned only to accept our differences . . . we have learned to embrace our differences! Beautiful, happy differences! Yes, the differences sometimes drive us nuts, but when we remember that God designed us both for glorifying Him (and not serving self) they become glorious, wonderful differences! He is slow; I am fast. I am a planner; he is a "go with the flow"-er. He loves outdoors; I love indoors. And the list is long of our differences. But we have watched God use those differences in amazing ways. We are thankful for these differences!
- I love that we can talk about anything! There is a trust level there that makes us feel comfortable about telling our fears, goals, failures, temptations, past, hopes, disappointments . . . . There was one night many years ago when we just took a chance and completely opened up . . . about embarrassing things, happy things, sad things, frustrating things. We have treasured each other's confidence and protect it. And our relationship has flourished ever since!
- I love that our marriage takes priority over hobbies, friends, work, other family, and even our children. Did I just shock you with that last line? A good, strong marriage is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children. It's their identity . . . their security . . . their comfort. They should never have to question if Daddy loves Mommy or if Mommy loves Daddy. They should know Mommy and Daddy are truly "one." Trust me, they don't feel neglected. They are thankful!
- I love that he leads! And I love that I am learning to follow. Passive husbands do so much damage to their homes and they don't even realize it. Their intent is "not to rock the boat," but they actually drill holes in the ship. And a wife who will not submit to her husband's lead shows her lack of faith in God, and her lack of trust in her husband. But a husband who will lead, and a wife who will submit even when she disagrees . . . they are building bridges of love, trust, and support.
- I love that we have a Christ-centered relationship. That means we have the same goal, same heart, same passion . . . to glorify God.
- I love that when we have a problem with the other person, we go to them and talk it out. And we listen to each other. Good communication makes or breaks a marriage.
- I love that we know there is plenty of room for improvement. We certainly haven't arrived at perfection, so improving our relationship is very important to us. When a couple stops seeking growth in their marriage, their relationship will begin to decay.
- I love that we both love chocolate. No, really! We are different, but we have similarities, too! Chocolate, walks on the beach, hiking, playing games, sunsets, Carraba's, pizza, cabins in the woods . . . .
- I love that no matter what bed we sleep in all across the globe, he sleeps on the right side, and I sleep on the left side.
- I love the four beautiful children that our marriage has produced by God's grace. (One in Heaven) Children are not guaranteed. They are a blessing from the Lord.
- I love that our marriage isn't 50/50. I love that our marriage isn't even 100/100. It's 100/doesn't matter. We try to put 100% into our marriage regardless of what the other one puts in. You see, our vow wasn't just to each other. It was to God. Jason doesn't belong to me. He belongs to God. That makes me very conscious of how I treat him.
- I love that holding hands still means something special even after all these years.
- I love that we both have a sense of humor and can make the best out of even the worst of situations. Instead of arguing if the glass of water is half empty or half full, we put the water in squirt guns and go have fun.
- I love that we still use cute pet names for each other.
- I love our GITSD meetings: Going In The Same Direction. All we have to do is say, "Can we GITSD?" Then we sit down and make sure we are on the same page with schedules, plans, goals, needs, expectations, and hopes.
- I love that we pray for each other.
- I love that we don't complete each other. Instead, we point each other to the One who makes us whole. Jason cannot satisfy that hole in my soul. Nor can I satisfy his. And to expect anyone to fulfill that God-shaped hole is selfish and unfair. But when God is the One filling that hole, we don't have unfair expectations of our spouse. God completes us and that helps us to love each other unconditionally.
- I love that we love adventures—good and bad. We tackle each adventure with trust in the sovereignty of God . . . and we do it as one.
- I love that we still date.
Charity, missionary in Southern Asia,
has served the Lord in ministry alongside her husband
for twenty years. They have three children.