Let’s have no illusions. Life is sometimes very hard. So.. when I put up a picture of me and my bride… celebrating 23 yrs of marriage.. and when I post a video of us dancing, blissfully in love at our wedding reception… do not be mislead. I am not even pretending to say that life is free and easy and that we have remained forever, hopelessly, romantically in love every moment of the last 23 years.
Yes, there has been and still is wonderful partnership and romance. I married WAY up… and I am so very blessed to have Jana as my bride. But, truth-be-spoken… we are both incredibly bull-headed. We don’t give in easily. And we are opposites in SO many things.
There have been times, truthfully, that either one of us … or BOTH of us wondered if our marriage would survive. Sometimes we still do. The blessing of the last 23 years is not that it has all been easy.. and lovey-dovey … and always filled with rainbows and sunshine. The blessings is that, despite our tendencies to be self-focused and inconsistent in our expressions of love for each other, God’s grace has been the foundation of this relationship.. even when we ourselves screwed it up.. and when, to this day, we continue to do so.
The blessing of the ring on the finger is that we have made a commitment to hold tight, even in the seasons when the emotions and the fun and the romance are not highly present… due to arguments or the business of life, or parenting, or work problems, or survival.. you name it…. OR… in seasons of poor health, and loss of loved ones.. and other major life transitions… where the grief and fear and yes, even the healing and recovery can be all consuming.
Let’s face it. 2013 … the 23rd year of our marriage will NOT go down as our favorite year. But even though we can be completely unworthy of the gift of a life partner, God has been gracious to us.. and kept us standing in the midst of all of these storms. THAT truth, as part of the gift of life in Christ, is the greatest gift I have ever received.
So, again.. no illusions. No Facebook fantasy or projection of a marriage or a life that is “problem-free or hassle-free or marital-argument-free or temptation-free or life-threatening-experience free.” It is by Grace alone that we are still together, poop-heads that we can sometimes be. And for that I am forever grateful. And BECAUSE of that, my wife is able to forgive me… and I, her… and as a result, we ARE forever “in love.” Real love. Sometimes Tough Love. Graced-Love. That’s marriage, right my friends? The hardest and best of all human relationships.
23 yrs. Wonderful, Romantic, Tough and Hard and Beautiful.
Grace of God. No illusions.