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The Right Person

Then and Now

Today is my anniversary (number 32) so I have been thinking about what has really worked to keep us in love over the years. When I was young, I have to admit that I believed a successful marriage was about finding the right person who would fill in the gaps of your life with an almost magical ability to make you feel stronger. As I have matured, I now realize it is more about being the right person who can love another human being through the ups and downs of life. In my opinion, “being the right person” includes:
• Enjoy the journey. Our lives are filled with great memories and our relationships hold the potential to create new memories. They are surrounded with responsibility, difficult decisions and challenges so it is easy to lose sight of the fact that every week contains the ability to bring joy to life. Jesus even prayed this would be true of our lives in John 17:13, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”
• Give grace. We are all imperfect and we live with imperfect people. We have all learned to give ourselves grace in the areas of life that need work. It is much harder for us to be patient and be kind with the areas in our spouse’s life that need work. If I am going to be successful for the long haul, I will need to get good at forgiving “whatever grievances I have,” (Colossians 3:13) and being “completely humble and gentle.” (Ephesians 4:2)
• Laugh often. Marriage is a perfectly imperfect journey with lots of accomplishments, crazy experiences and funny moments. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Since I can’t get it all right, I might as well learn to laugh about it. The things we laugh about the most today are the things we least enjoyed going through at the time. We chuckle about the yearlong argument we had. We snicker over the days we didn’t know what to do with our kids. We now fondly remember the year we didn’t have a car and had to ride bikes everywhere we went. They certainly were not pleasant at the time but we now fondly remember them as experiences we would not have had with anyone else on earth.
• Remember your purpose. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10) Our lives are not accidents and our families are not experiments. God has faithfully been working on our behalf for generations. We are part of a world-wide, history-wide plan being orchestrated by the God of all creation. As a result, our influence goes at least three generations deep. People we have not even met will be impacted by the decisions we make today. There are seasons of marriage that are highly enjoyable and easy to navigate. There are other seasons of marriage that are severely challenging and disappointing. They are all valuable, however. Some add to the value of our relationships while some add to the strength of our character. Either way, they add to the development of our future family members.
Happy Anniversary Pam. I have had more fun because I am married to you than I would ever have figured out on my own. I have also become a stronger person because I am married to you than I would have accomplished on my own. You truly are a gift to my life!

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One Response

  1. 1. Thank you for modeling what a Marriage should be! It has been a gift to be raised with parents who value the development of God, marriage, family, and friendships. Mom and Dad you have shown us what is like to really “earn Degree’s” in marriage. I would say that I am looking forward to getting my first degree in June!

    Thank you and Happy Anniversary,

    Zach Farrel

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