18 years of marriage....what have I learned? A couple of thoughts come to mind:
1) God loves me and my husband more than I could possibly understand.
2 )God is more committed to my marriage than I am.
3) God will do anything and everything to help me honor my commitment to Him and my husband. Usually the "anything" is protracted, painful, disorienting trials that force me to depend on God.
4) I experience severe trials quickly when I go against my husband's authority in a rebellious manner. I have come to believe this is God's quick and kind discipline to keep me in a position of safety - submitted to my husband who is under God's authority. This is primarily protective for me.
5 ) My marriage is not about me, my feelings, my rights, what I deserve, etc. It is about glorifying God in every way I possibly can with each thought, comment, act, deed, etc. toward my husband. It is the resolution of my heart and mind to love and delight in my husband and want his good and well-being above my own comfort. This is only done with complete, constant dependence on God. See # 3.
6) My daughters are watching my example as a wife, friend, and partner to my husband, their father. They are learning everything important about marriage by observing my behavior, attitudes, and words toward their father. By loving their father and trusting God for strength and biblical guidance, I provide a protective environment of peace (even in the craziness of our large family) and unity because I am submitted to Dad's authority and trusting God to lead their father. This has provided many moments of laughter, instruction, and joy in our family. This is God's doing.
7) God will reward me for my faithfulness and commitment to my husband because it is done to please my sweet, loving savior, Jesus Christ.
8)I fear God. He watches and sees and knows. He will not be mocked. He will hold me to my commitment. See # 3 and # 7.
9) No one can be happily married for the long haul without following biblical principles, regardless of whether they acknowledge God or not. Marriage works because God's commandments of submission, respect, service, and sacrifice between husband and wife are followed. Again, this is regardless of whether the couple would acknowledge that these are God's laws or not.
10) Only Jesus can satisfy the depths of my needy soul. Only Jesus can bring delight and peace to my troubled thoughts and painful emotions. He is my perfect Comforter, Counselor, and Lover of my soul.
Anyway, those are a couple of my thoughts. I love Tim. I love his sweetheart lips, which several of our daughters have (yeah!), his beautiful sculpted nose and his fabulous hair. I sound superficial, but there are many more things I love about him. He's a hard worker, an excellent provider, he has a sweet, decent, kind heart, he's very hospitable and welcoming to our home, he delights in our daughters and wants the very best for them, and he's got a funny sense of humor. He asks me out on dates on a regular basis! I love that he wants to be with me. I cherish him and see him as a gift from God.
I'm looking forward to seeing him tomorrow!
A picture of a picture taken in November of 2009