Twenty-Five Years

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.

Comments

  1. It is interesting how we grow and change over the years, my life today certainly isn’t anything like I thought it would look like on my wedding day. Probably just as well, if I had known I would have six kids, be home schooling them and living in the town we grew up in I would have thought that crazy!!!

  2. I think anyone who’s been married more than a week will agree that marriage is very different to what they thought it was going to be.
    God is patient with me, but I’m learning that He is teaching me bit by bit that – close as a spouse is – *nothing* ought to come before Him. That can be painful, because God can draw your husband away from you, making you depend on ‘Him’ more than on ‘him’. There are lots of painful lessons, but on a spiritual level, I wouldn’t be without them.
    On a human level, I wouldn’t want to be with anyone in the world but the husband God chose for me. Different to what I expected? Yes, yes, yes. Different….but so much deeper and better than anything I could have dreamt of.
    Happy Anniversary! Blessings to you both…and to you all x

  3. True words, Lisa!

    We have been married 23 years and I agree that we knew nothing about marriage when we got married, but God is so faithful! He has lead us along and helped us…our marriage is strong too, but still has it’s bumpy times.

    Congratulations again!
    Praise the Lord for long marriages!
    Deanna

  4. 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.

    I feel exactly the same – we will be celebrating twenty next summer.

  5. Love this post Lisa~
    I hope many young wives are reading this today.
    We are going on 21 years next month and I can echo so much of what you are saying.
    Looking back… I was so young and Idealistic. At 19 I thought all we need is love. Love will take us all the way to the end. But…after much heart break and hard times.
    I realized love was not going to be enough. We needed determination. We needed fortitude. We needed a rock solid foundation. We needed grace and most of all we needed God.
    I also thought he should take care of me and fulfill all of my needs and the desires of my heart.
    Boy was I wrong and misled.
    Wonder where I got that from…
    I’m pretty sure that was a worldly influence.
    And once I got out of my own way, and let all of my expectations go.
    Things, life, love and marriage all became much clearer.
    And the thing that really sticks out for me.
    Is that I am commanded to love him the way Christ loves me.
    Unconditionally.
    Easier said than done.
    But worth it all.
    God is good and thankfully I’m much wiser.
    To bad I have to be much older too. ;o)

  6. Thank you for sharing. Happy Anniversary!

  7. Happy Anniversary!

  8. I have been so worried about you…..I have not been receiving your post…..then this afternoon I found you in spam…..Thank goodness you’re OK hahaha….and thank God that you and your husband have had 25 years together…..That’s is wonderful. Happy Anniversary…..Now, if you will please tell me how you ended up in spam I will be so thankful…..I have really missed hearing from you and all your news of your wonderful family.

  9. Happy, happy, happy anniversary! What a fabulous accomplishment. Here’s to the next 25.

  10. Congratulations! and Happy Anniversary! What a sweet testimony!

  11. Happy 25th Anniversary!
    I love reading your story…of your love…of your faithfulness to one another…of His work through you both…of your precious children..and all are testimonies to His grace! Thank you for sharing.

  12. A beautiful testimony indeed.

  13. That’s so wonderful!! Congratulations and a belated Happy Anniversary!! I couldn’t wish you one any sooner, though, because I didn’t know of you. Nor your blog. So this is catch-up week for me here.

    John & I just celebrated our 25th on Tuesday. We were clearly more mature at 24 & almost 24 when we got married. Or not. Maybe we were just older. By a little. I’m not sure what I expected out of marriage, except that I loved him like crazy (still do) and would get to get with him for like ever. It’s had its ups and downs and sideways moments, but I agree that God has done some amazing things through our life’s circumstances. It’s been a joy to do this together.

    Wishing you (and us) many more blessed years of marital bliss. :-)

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