Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 Years and Counting . . .

May 30, 1998 was a really big day for me. It was the day that Monique Joy Nickel and myself both left our "families" and came together to join ourselves to form a new family. It was the day in the sight of God and our friends that we were married. It is hard to believe that it is now 15 years later.

I was thinking the other day that in the past 15 years, we have lived in nine different houses or apartments; we have been involved in five different churches; we have had five different cars; and we have added three people to our family. It has been a rich 15 years. But for some reason, I feel like we have just started.

I believe many marriages fall apart because the daily grind of the marriage is not what they expected. I wonder if many people have wrongly bought into the Hollywood picture of marriage. The serendipity moment. It's Tom Hanks meets Meg Ryan and sparks fly. But then a few years into the marriage, they wake up next to someone that doesn't quite bring the spark they used to. The euphoria fades. And what they are left with is a choice. Will they . . . will you choose to love your spouse?

Marriage works because of a choice. It is everyday waking up to the reality that your spouse is probably going to fail you, but you are still going to choose to love them. It is that understanding that they will sin against you and you will still forgive them. The sparks are not always going to be there; sometimes they are hardly ever there. That is why our decision in marriage cannot be based on our feelings. Many people fall "out of love" because they have gone days, weeks, or even months without choosing to love their spouse.

Actually, the choosing to love your spouse finds its example in the gospel of Jesus Christ. God poured out His love toward us while we were His enemies (Romans 5:8). He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of His will (Ephesians 1:5). He cast His love upon us. He chose to love us. It certainly was not based upon any spark that He saw in us. It was because He chose to love us. The understanding of God's loving election of His children gives a solid foundation to the daily choosing to love your spouse.

Monique - today I wake up choosing to love you. I wake up to the reality that you and I will fail each other countless times in the next weeks and months (maybe even today). But I am deciding right now that I am going to fulfill my vows to you and love you like Christ loved the church. And I hope you will forgive me when I fail you in this regard. We are only 15 years into this marriage. But I can only assume that we will continue to have some great and not-so-good moments. In both of those times, I commit to look to and learn from our God as the foundation of my love for you.

It has been 15 years, but I feel as if it has just begun . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.