After thirteen years of marriage, I can finally say to Mitch, “I love you more today than I did the day we were married.” I couldn’t say that 5 years ago. It took the work of God in my heart. I praise Him for this every day.
After thirteen years of marriage, I know I can submit to the strength and spiritual wisdom of my husband, trusting that he has consulted God in every matter and is leading our family in the direction God intends for us. I couldn’t say that 5 years ago. God exposed my ugly pride and has taught me to hold my tongue. He is also teaching me the importance of building up my husband and lifting him up in prayer. I’m learning that part of submission is to “duck so that God can hit His target.”
After thirteen years of marriage, I know that I can rely on the father of our children to be a Daddy. The most amazing Daddy I know. A Daddy who loves his sons with every fiber of his being. A Daddy who walks into the house every night with a big, “He-ey!’ and his arms flung out to catch a running-hug. A Daddy who takes his younger son out to coffee before school and who meets his older son for lunch and recess. A Daddy who shows up at conferences, practices, games, family math and reading nights, school movie nights, jog-a-thons and even class parties. A Daddy who stops the lawn mower and runs into the house to grab the boys to go look at a snake he found. A Daddy who takes the time to research the ugly spider his boys capture in a jar. A Daddy who reads The Chronicles of Narnia to his boys and helps them memorize their Bible verses. A Daddy who wants to spend every possible minute with his children. I couldn’t say that 3 years ago. God has taught me to stop nagging, stop comparing and start praying. God has taught Mitch about how important he is in the lives of his children. I can’t tell you how much this blesses me. Refer back to the first paragraph.
After thirteen years of marriage, my husband is on my mind day and night. I am amazed by this. I am in awe. I get emotional thinking about how much that man means to me. He is my best friend. I couldn’t say that 5 years ago. But God has been drawing us closer together as we draw closer to Him. You guys, it really does work! Draw closer to God and make Him the center of your marriage, and you will fall in love more deeply than you ever imagined. I am in awe.
There have been times over the years when I have read tribute blog posts where the perfect wife thanks her perfect husband for their perfect marriage and for being so perfect. All it ever did for me was make me angry at my imperfect husband.
Obviously, I’m not the perfect wife. And, I’m married to an imperfect man. We are all imperfect people. In Matthew 19:25-26, Jesus’ disciples ask him, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Jesus was talking about entering the Kingdom of Heaven, but I believe that verse can be applied to all of the areas of our lives. With Him, ALL things are possible. He is able to break down walls and soften hearts. He is able to shine light on the dark areas of our lives and refresh our spirits and renew our love. That is the verse I claim for my marriage, because in the last five years, I have seen how God can work in my shallow, bitter, angry heart and fill it with true, sincere, lasting love for my imperfect husband.
My heart aches and my eyes fill with tears because thirteen years ago God gave me the confidence and peace in my heart to say “I do” and marry the imperfect man who is my perfect match.
** Maybe you are in the place where I was 5 years ago. I have always been totally committed to my husband and my marriage, but I was angry and bitter inside (and, admittedly, outside as well). I figured since I was going to be married to this man for the rest of my life, I wanted more and better, but I wanted it to happen instantly.
Marriage takes work over time. If you don’t agree, or maybe you think that it shouldn’t take work if you are really in love, then you are kidding yourself. Every marriage goes through ups and downs. Sometimes you are only in your down for a week or a month, but it may be a year or more. If you stay married long enough, you will find your up again. If you rely on God and pray for a changed heart, YOUR changed heart, you might find it sooner. But, hang in there, because your imperfect husband is your perfect match, too!
With God, ALL things are possible.