Twenty-five years ago today James and I took the leap into wedded bliss. We had no idea what we were getting into.
We were both 21 when we got married. Mere babes. I thought I was ready, but I wasn’t. It took me about 17 minutes into the marriage to realize I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. I didn’t know that marriage meant I didn’t get my way all of the time. When we were courting I got my way. But then things changed. Life, responsibility, money problems, kids and female hormones took over. Not necessarily in that order.
I tend to think everyone else has the dream marriage. If you think the same, then take strength from knowing that while James and I love each other deeply and we are on solid ground in our relationship….it isn’t all roses and candy. Well, maybe too much candy, but that’s more of a coping mechanism.
What I have learned is that God will use the difficulties in marriage to draw me closer to Him. He takes my weaknesses and turns them to strength. I have a long way to go, that’s for sure. But after 25 years I can say that I love my husband more now than I did when we were young and naive. The love we have now is not based on emotion or feeling, but on a deep understanding of what building a life together really means.
We started as two kids with big dreams and now we are a family of eleven looking back on what God did with those dreams. I am so grateful we let God control our family size. I can’t imagine life without these nine amazing children we have been blessed with. I am grateful that James has a solid vision for our family. That vision has gotten us through many hard times, hanging on to the truth even when we were rejected by everyone else around us.
The verse that has helped me the most is 1 Corinthians 13, “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Having love defined so clearly showed me when I was giving love and when I was being self serving. Am I insisting on my own way? Am I enduring all things? Do I hope all things?
So often I fail, but 25 years has taught me that there’s always another opportunity to make it right with my husband. I can ask forgiveness and try again. Love bears all things. I know James has had to “bear” a lot with me in all these years together.
Isn’t God amazing to give us this special, intimate relationship to grow us? I have so much more to learn, so much more maturing to do.
Even though it is nothing like what I expected it to be, I am grateful for everything I have gained from 25 years of marriage and am looking forward to 25 more years with this amazing man to grow stronger in our relationship, stronger in our faith and stronger in our walk with Christ.