Be happy with the wife you married when you were young. She gives you joy, as your fountain gives you water (Proverbs 5:18- New Century Version). The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22- New Living Translation) House and land are handed down from parents, but a congenial spouse comes straight from God (Proverbs 19:14 – The Message).
Susan and I were married 29 years ago today on Saturday at 6 PM. The wedding took place at the First Assembly of God church in my hometown of Florence, SC. Susan and I dated for 13 months before we were married. I was not quite 21 years old.
We met in bible school where we both took courses on a part time basis before enrolling full time the next year. We would talk for hours in the parking lot outside the school while we stood in the winter chill. She had grabbed my heart!
So here we are 29 years, 4 children, and 12 moves later! In looking back over the years, here are some things that I believe have kept us together.
First, we committed before God that regardless of circumstance and hardship, divorce would never be an answer to any problem. That word has never come out of our mouths! There will always be challenges when you get two people together under the same roof who are raised in two different households with two different ways of dealing with life and its happenings.
Second, we made a decision to accept each other just the way we were without demanding that the other person change. Getting rid of the idealistic mate in your mind brings a sense of calm that nothing else will.
I also realized that though I had a call on my life into ministry, Susan didn’t have that same personal call except by default because she married me. And I’ve never pressured her to be anything but herself.
Third, we learned to respect each other and the different opinions we held about various things. And we’ve communicated those things freely from our hearts over the years.
Lastly, we made a commitment to let the love of God rule our hearts. This love is unconditional and self-sacrificial and enables us to put ourselves last and the other person and their needs first. Since our deepest need for love is met by the love of God, we’ve been free to love one another without being “clingy” or maybe you could use the word “co-dependant.” This has freed us from making demands on each other. Jesus really is our all in all.
If you’re married make a commitment in your heart to the Lord that you’re committed to your spouse for life. Then pray and ask the Father to help you be the best spouse your mate could possibly ask for. Don’t ask the Lord to change your spouse, ask Him to change you! Then watch what He does in your life as the years bring you into maturity!
Happy Anniversary Susan! You still have my heart!