Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Celebrating 13 Years

Yesterday was my 13th wedding anniversary. My aunt Judy was in town and she watched the kids so that Monique & I could get away for just about 24 hours. We took off on Sunday afternoon for the Cleveland area and came back Monday afternoon. We spent a lot of time talking, planning, and thinking about the past & the future. We did have some great food as we went to an early dinner at Maggiano's and then a late dessert at Cheesecake Factory. That's a pretty good combination, if you want my opinion.

As we thought about these past 13 years, we were overwhelmed at how the Lord has been gracious to us in so many different ways. We have lived in 8 different homes & have served in 5 different churches during this time (of course, we hope those trends do not continue). We have connected with many, many people that we consider dear friends. We have been blessed with three wonderful children. I am not sure the next 13 can be as great as the previous 13 were, but I pray they will be.

All of this made me think that if we are going to have another 13 great years, we are going to need one thing in more abundance: God's grace! Here is why: I am going to mess things up a lot. There are going to be lots of times in the next 13 years that I am going to be selfish. I am going to be mean with my words. I am going to focus on trivial things instead of what's important. And during those times, I am going to need God to give both of us some special grace to seek & offer forgiveness. Monique might even occasionally mess something up (maybe once every 13 years or so). And during those times, we are going to need more of God's grace.

I need more of God's grace for a very important reason. Because as I receive more of God's grace, I will be constantly reminded to reflect more grace towards my wife. And vise versa. We need to live with the grace of God constantly in our forefront of our minds. When I think of this concept, I am reminded of one particular passage in John 1. Listen to these words about Jesus and the grace that He gives.
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth . . . For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace." (vs. 14, 16)
Let's beg God for grace upon grace in our marriages!

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