Saturday, December 31, 2011

To Have and to Hold

Today I celebrate 17 years of "havin and holding" my groom.  Marriage is refining, it brings out the best and not so best at times.  It is hard, demanding, and loaded with weighty responsibility.  It is also meant to be a visible picture to the world of the covenant that God makes with His people ~ His bride.
God is faithful, so we take vows like "forsaking all others I remain true to you"  God's covenant is everlasting, so we take vows like "until death do us part" showing the world just a glimpse of what forever would be (on this temporal stage anyway).  God's covenant love is strong and consistent, so we say "in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer".  We Christians mirror this precious covenant initiated by God in our earthly marriages.  Of course we are human and sinful and faulty ~ God is not ~ so we fail at times.  Not fail as in give up on our marriage but fail in loving our spouse properly,  fail in terms of showing forgiveness and exercising grace.  Like I said marriage is hard.  I think if I were counseling young couples today that would be the first thing I would say to them, "it's tough and it takes A LOT of work!"    Young love is blind at times to the reality of putting two sinners  together to live; it's not easy.   So, when things get a little tough a year or two or maybe even five years down the road, they think that their "fairytale" idea of marriage isn't so "and they lived happily ever afterish" and they bail.  Usually the most rewarding things in our lives take some effort,discipline and grace ~ parenting, friendships and our marriages just to name a few.
And yes the reward of marriage is great.  Resting in the knowledge that, even on my worst day, my husband chooses to love me is a joy.  He protects, provides and sets the path for our family. I have the utmost respect and admiration for him and I trust him.  I can trust him and rest securely in our marriage because He loves his God far above me, and that's a good thing. He is running hard after God and in doing so he strives to be the kind of husband God sets forth in his word.   I could not imagine these past 17 years with any other.  We have had our difficult seasons and we still struggle with the ins and outs of marriage but we remain true and steadfast to our covenant.   I love this man more today than 17 years ago.  He is my groom and I pray I have lots more days of "having and holding" with him. 
Young love ~ Our Wedding Rehearsal ~ Dec. 30, 1994

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