I have much to celebrate but among all the wonderful blessings God has bestowed on me, the one I’m most thrilled about right now is to be able to celebrate 23 years of marriage to my best friend!!
My better half, however, is visiting his family several hundred miles away as family and friends come together to celebrate his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.
One important fact you need to know before I continue is that my husband and I share the same wedding date as his parents.
I remember the stunned look on his face and the tears in his eyes when I suggested that he take this trip to celebrate this momentous occasion. Though the idea tickled him pink, he was stubbornly determined not to miss out on us marking our 23rd year together as husband and wife. In all those years we have always managed to spend our anniversary day together. I, however, was equally determined he should not miss out on celebrating his parents’ 50th with them. It was an important mile stone, one that I concluded in my heart was worthy of this sacrifice.
Feeling the tug of war in my husband’s heart as he struggled with the impossible, wanting to be in two places at the same time, I proceeded without his knowledge to purchase his airline ticket and presenting it to him.
More than anything, I would have much preferred to have my husband home with me, celebrating our own mile stone together.
So why did I do what I did?
First, the 5th commandment in Exodus 20:12
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”
That right there is a commandment, followed by a promise. An act of obedience to be greatly rewarded.
To honor our parents is to revere them, to put value to them and show them appreciation. It is to show them the respect they deserve, even in situations where we may not be in agreement of how they have lived or conducted their lives. God’s commandment is just that, a commandment. It comes with no conditions and no loop holes to worm our way out of acting them out in full obedience in our lives.
We honor them not because they necessarily deserve it but because, as our parents, it’s what we should do. And as we obey God’s commandment, we learn what it is to honor and respect others including God Himself and even our spouse. The amazing thing is, as we walk in obedience to God’s word, not only does He fulfill His promises to us but we bring honor to His name!
How exciting is that!
To honor God is way more than enough, but I figure, when my husband functions in obedience to God, his life is blessed, my life is blessed, our children’s lives are blessed and so on!!
A great gift for a small sacrifice in comparison.
My second reason?
Marriages are under attack! Satan is doing all he can to destroy them.
Marriage is an institution created and ordained by God. This relationship between man and woman is intended to be a direct reflection of our relationship with Christ, thus a powerful display of the gospel.
According to Timothy Dalrymple in his article What really is the institution of marriage?
“When you find a spouse you are finding one of the greatest tools that God will ever use to shape you and one of the greatest vessels of God’s grace into your life.”
Well the enemy hates that. He hates anything that closely resembles the love of God and the grace of God and he hates the benefits healthy marriages have in our homes, on our children and in our society. In his desire to stump God’s plans for our lives, Satan’s aim is to destroy and eradicate anything that would be beneficial to our emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. That includes our marriages.
Twenty three years ago when I walked down the aisle to my groom singing my bridal march, I had no idea what our life together would hold. I would be remiss to say to you, it has been 23 years of marital bliss because it has not. We have endured hardships, disappointments and the death of some of our dreams. But through our struggles, we have learned to work together as a couple, implementing biblical principles necessary to protect and nurture our relationship. From this we have watched our marriage flourish and our love for each other become stronger with each passing year.
For this reason, I believe marriages need to be celebrated, whether it is the first, the 23rd or the 50th year. When we acknowledge and celebrate our yearly victories, it keeps our attention on our marriages focused and in doing that we learn not to take this God ordained relationship for granted.
It shows that we not only honor the covenant of marriage but also each other, making it difficult for the enemy to penetrate the sacred wall of our marriages.
“Great marriages don’t happen by luck or by accident. They are the result of a consistent investment of time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, affection, prayer, mutual respect, and a rock-solid commitment between a husband and wife.”~~Dave Willis
Needless to say, I await my husband’s return with great anticipation because what we have is most definitely worth celebrating.
Come on, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!