I celebrated 25 years of marriage with my dear husband this week.
I found myself lost in reflection as my heart and mind walked backward to that day when we stood before God and man to make a covenantal vow of marriage.
It was a beautiful warm spring day in eastern Canada. Snow covered the ground, with muddied patches of earth emerging in the sunshine. Our horse-drawn carriage made its way around a little loop on a camp parking lot. I remember feeling like a princess as I sat there beside my new husband, smiling and waving at family and friends standing around, their cameras posed to catch just the right picture.
Little did I know that my wedding vows were about to be tested over the next few years as my husband and I began to make painful discoveries about each other. My word! We were as different as night and day! How the heck did we miss that!?
The details of our long journey of pain, forgiveness, and healing no longer matter to me; What is of greater value is the discussion we found ourselves in 25 years later. Words of wonder and praise to God for His love and faithfulness., words of testimony of transformed lives…our lives; and words of wonder over how “one flesh” we had become. Believe me when I tell you that our marriage is a miracle.
As we talked, we ackowledged that our differences had become similarities. For a few years our marriage had proved to be a refining fire through which God had paved a path of redemption for each of us. We were each other’s life boat of rescue from self-absorbed actions of anger, bitterness and disappointment. The rescue revealed the power of the love of God in action.
I am more in love with my husband today than the day I married him! His life has proven to shape my own, and I his.
Both of us could have walked away in those early years, God knows it was spoken of many times, but our faith in Jesus Christ held us firmly to our covenant vow to remain together until death would separate us.
On our wedding day I sang a song to my husband that I had written for him, for us; (my talented friend Barbie, nee: Essau, wrote the music) it included the words from Song of Solomon 8:6, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm…..”
“A seal”, a binding agreement before God and in God that our marriage would BE a marriage, NOT a game of survival of the fittest and best, nor a chronic battle ground of wit and will.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends… (1 Cor. 13:4-8a).