On June 14, 1997, I woke up excited. I got dressed and drove to Scottsville Road Baptist Church and sat in the parking lot for a long time. My bride was inside wondering if I was sitting outside having second thoughts. I was really just thinking about how I was going to get through the rain and into the building without seeing her. The rain stopped. I made it inside. The day was awesome!!
It’s been awesome since then too. This is not a brag session about how great our marriage is. In fact, I’d be the first to say that marriage has its ups and downs, and it takes a lot of work and sacrifice. Anybody that says they’re happily married can only be right part of the time because the truth is, nobody is always happy. But I will say I’m joyfully fulfilled in my marriage. I’m secure and delighted with the wife God chose for me so long ago.
As we’ve talked about the fact that we’ve been married twelve years today, one thing has surprised me, and that is the number of people who have acknowledged that twelve years together is a big accomplishment in today’s times. True.
As a Pastor, I’m often asked to perform weddings and I don’t always accept. In fact, I’m starting to tell people that I’m simply not interested in performing wedding ceremonies. I am, however, interested in preparing couples for a lifelong Christian marriage, and a wedding ceremony is just a really small part of that.
Marriage has lost its meaning to some degree, even among Christians. More and more people consider it optional, and more an more consider it a temporary arrangement at best, and seek to loosen its definition to almost any kind of relationship.
I’m thankful to have made it twelve years. I’m thankful that God picked out the ideal wife for me. I’m thankful that at the end of a busy Sunday, with its stresses and pressures, I get to go home, and love doing so!
I only hope that during this month of weddings, couples across the nation will realize what they’re stepping into and won’t take it lightly. You’re signing up for a lifetime of adjustments to someone who is more different from you than you realize today. You’re committing to love someone until death even when things change physically, financially, and emotionally. Get married, but only if you’re willing to embrace it for all that it is. Only then is it a source of lifetime joy.
Twelve years… I’m thankful. And I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives hold in store.