Rejoice in the wife of your youth. (Proverbs 5:18.)
We married in the little church my wife grew up in, on a hill overlooking San Diego Harbor. The most memorable moment was when the minister asked us if he was interrupting. Apparently we were talking to each other through the message he was trying to give about how wonderful marriage is. We apologized and he continued on.
The second most memorable moment is one that I didn’t really remember from the wedding but I did notice when we watched the video. It was taken from the back of the sanctuary and thus showed showed us from the backside. At one point you can see my shoulders heaving up and down. As we watched, my wife said a friend of hers had mentioned that moment to her, saying she thought it was wonderful that I would be so overcome with emotion during the ceremony.
I wasn’t crying. I was laughing. So was my wife. It was another part of our conversation there in the front and one of us said something that both of us thought hilarious. She just did a better job keeping herself under control than I did.
Long before I met my wife, a friend in college told me that she learned from her mother that marriage is hard work. It seems so obvious now, but that was the first time I ever heard that.
Now that we’ve been married 26 years today, I can say that I am not only aware of the concept but that my wife and I have lived it. Hard work doesn’t mean bad times, though. It just means hard work.
We’ve worked at this together, raising our son and daughter, keeping a home, serving God and the people he puts in our lives. Sometimes that’s a blast, sometimes it’s a bit of a drudge (or a lot of a drudge), and almost always it takes work. But it’s work I like, and even if I might think on occasion that I’m not enjoying the work so much I end up finding that I like the results.
Happily Married, But Looking Elsewhere For My Happiness
My wife and children and our home are great. The richness of God’s blessings is evident all the time in our family. But I don’t look to my wife or our family as the source of our happiness. I look to God.
Marriage is not my idol and my wife is not my savior. Frankly, the times I am most aware of the love God has poured down on me in my marriage is when I am most focused on him, not on my wife. It is by enjoying him more that I end up enjoying her more too.
It’s an odd equation, but that’s how it works.