Today, Jennifer and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary. It’s so obvious to me that God had the perfect plan in bringing us together. I’m not sure what song this comes from but “she is my lover and my best friend”. Jennifer and I do not have a “perfect” marriage, but it is a pretty darn good one. There are many reasons we are still married after 18 years but here are 7.
7 reasons we are still married after 18 years:
1. We try to be the first to say, “I’m sorry”. Fights and disagreements are inevitable. We apply Ephesians 4:26-27. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold. Don’t sweat the small stuff (I.e. pet peeves). There is no need to start WWIII over an un-replaced toilet paper roll or dirty clothes laying on the floor. BTW, divorce is not an option. It never has been and never will be. We made a covenant with God.
2. We do not center our family around the kids or their activities. The kids have never been the CEOs of our family. Although, I do feel like Jessie, “our grandchild”, may call the shots sometimes. I’m only joking here. Our marriage has always been a higher priority than our kids. Our kids will come and go, but we will stay together for a lifetime.
3. We always keep the romance “hot”. The key here is looking to meet your spouse’s needs and not your own. I don’t think I have to explain His Needs Her Needs. If you are meeting your spouse’s needs, she/he will have no reason to look elsewhere. We try to keep the grass green in our own yard.
4. We focus our marriage on Jesus Christ. If the husband and wife are growing closer to God, they will grow closer to one another. A cord of 3 strands is not easily broken. I think Joel Thomas said it great in his message Sunday at Graystone Ozora: ”A heart not deliberately set on the Lord will settle somewhere else.” We need to seek the Lord with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
5. We do life together. Jennifer and I are not living two separate lives. She really is my best friend. Sure, I play basketball (BTW, Graystone has the best church basketball team in the universe.) and she goes to the spa with friends. But most of the time we do stuff together. We walk. We meet for lunch. We watch TV shows together. We talk. Actually, “we could talk or not talk all day.” Sorry, that was a quote from Best in Show, which I wouldn’t recommend watching with your church staff team.
6. We set proper boundaries. We are NEVER alone with someone of the opposite sex. This sounds extreme but it’s not. If you mess with fire, you will get burned. Also, we protect our time together. We protect family time. We spend most of our evenings together as a family. Our marriage and family is much more important than our careers. My family is a higher priority to me than the growth of Graystone Church. If Graystone doesn’t make the Top 100 Fastest Growing Churches in America list this year, I’m not going to lose any sleep. I’m married to Jennifer not the church.
7. The purpose of our marriage is so much more than us growing old together and living happily ever after. God brought us together to fulfill a great work for Him. Right now and for the next 12-15 years, He has called us to DOMINATE our community with the love of Jesus Christ. God’s purpose for our lives is so much bigger than ourselves. It’s not about us or our happiness. It is about HIM!
I hope this short list helps you, your marriage and your family.