It didn’t start out easy. It’s still not easy all the time.
In the beginning, we were young. I was selfish and immature. SO selfish. Our arguments were emotional, at least on my end. And when he didn’t react with emotion (Mr. Steady over there), it made me even more mad. There were tears.
When we found out we were pregnant the first time, 2 months after the wedding, we were terrified. And thrilled. A tiny miracle, so quickly after we said our vows.
“Grace Elizabeth” means “undeserved gift from God.” And while that is certainly true of any sweet baby, I realize that God gave us a sweet gift that November a decade ago when he gifted us – practically kids ourselves – with our 9lb 12oz baby girl.
I was newly 22, not even married 11 months. And I was now a mama.
It was NOT the plan.
We were to get married; I was going to finish college. I was going to teach for a couple of years. AND THEN we were going to start our family, and I would be a stay-at-home mom.
Instead, God knew that if I continued in my immature, selfish ways, I would most likely destroy myself and our marriage. Having a baby and learning how to parent with Luke was one huge factor in teaching me the meaning of selflessness and sacrifice. It grew me up.
What a gift from the all-knowing God, rescuing me from my sin!
It is not always easy, this marriage thing.
When we argued, we had to swallow our pride and face each other. We didn’t (and still don’t) go to sleep with unresolved issues in our relationship. We forced ourselves to have physical contact when we were arguing, even when the last thing I wanted to do was have contact with that man. There’s just something about touch that dissolves anger.
We prayed together. Every day.
We committed to read God’s Word regularly.
We had to slowly, patiently learn a rhythm of life together.
We both had to grow in maturity and (more importantly) Christlikeness.
It takes work.
I had to learn to be a submissive wife, as God’s Word calls me to be. I had to learn to hold my tongue sometimes, and use it to encourage and build up my husband more. I realized that my job is to help Luke to become the man that God means for him to be, and I’ve had to grow into that role.
A good, strong marriage takes work.
And it’s undeniably worth it.
Because here we are, 11 years later, and I feel like we just haven’t had enough time together. Like we’re just beginning this crazy life together.
Sure, there are days that I want to smack him. (That’s my sin nature, of course.)
But over all, it just keeps getting better and better with time.
Because we work at it. Because we’re committed. Because we know that it is ultimately worth it.
Those vows we took on December 20, 2003? They hang above our bed, giving us a reminder of what we promised each other, and even more importantly, what we promised God.
I’m praising that awesome God today for His goodness in giving me the gift of marriage – a sanctifying, electrifying, life-changing blessing.
I’m praising God today for giving me Luke – a man after His own heart, hardworking, intelligent, hilarious, sweet, and who loves God, the church, and his family well. I am a blessed woman.
This marriage thing is so worth it.