We used to smile at each other when we’d hear people say that the first year of marriage is the hardest. And then we’d say, “If that’s the case, we have it made!”
Well, that first year was cake. Heck, the second year was cake. And now that we’re approaching the fourth year of marriage, I can distinctively feel it getting harder. A lot of things have changed for us and we’ve both grown in many ways. We live in a different place and we have different jobs and our schedules are all out of whack. And as a result a strain is being put on our communication skills, our attitudes, and our intimacy. I am such a weak person that there truly are days that I’ve woken up and thought to myself, “It can’t be done.” But it was never about me or you, was it? We agreed a long time ago that the primary purpose of marriage is to glorify God. So, if we still believe that, then we have some work to do because we’re both lacking in some areas.
Thank you for truly listening to me. For sitting down in front me, eyes and ears fully open, and taking it all in. Thank you for believing me and believing in me. Thank you for loving my fully and deeply. Thank you for apologizing, usually first. Thank you for always accepting my apologies and never holding grudges.
I hate that it’s getting hard for us. I’m ashamed of myself for those times when I allow the Enemy to plant seeds of discord in my heart. And how when I don’t seek the Lord daily, I myself am the one watering those seeds.
Thank you for honoring your wedding vows to me, part of which include these words,
“I will love you, provide for you, take care of you, guide you and honor you as my partner and my equal. I will speak truth to you in love and encourage you and strengthen your walk with God. I promise to always make you laugh and make you feel safe. Kelly, I will be there through sickness and health, house or RV… or even a little hut in Africa. I will be there for you until God calls us Home.”
And with that being said, I want to refresh your memory of my vows to you, which I still promise today.
“I love you! And I knew I was in love with you when you fought with incredible hidden strength to see my heart reconciled to God. I look forward to being God’s Hands and Feet with you — obeying His command to go out and change lives. I look forward to traveling around the country via RV and motorcycle with you. I look forward to bringing our first baby home from the hospital and raising all of our children with love and passion for God and the people of this world. I look forward to Africa. I look forward to years upon years of submitting to you out of reverence for Christ.
In a world of pain and suffering — you’ve taught me generosity and gentleness. You’re whimsical, passionate and spontaneous … but you’re grounded and patient and you’re wise. Luke, I promise to love you, honor you and support you in everything you do. I promise to make you laugh and hold your hand all the days of my life. I promise to value you and I promise to always come home to you.
I pray that we always clothe ourselves in love and that we never put a number on chances … because you truly are the love of my life. And I promise to love you whether you’re right by my side or not, whether you’re at your best or your worst, in times when God seems so far away and it’s as if the enemy is breathing us down…. I will love you and I will stand beside you and I will be knees to knees with you in the storms that will without a doubt come our way.
I love you! I know with every fiber of my being that you are the man God designed for me. And I know that it’s His love that springs your love and I’m so thankful for that. I praise God that I get to be the woman who has your rib — so, welcome home.”
Well, we’re not with each other as much as we’d like and to me it sure feels as if the Lord is far away. And I can definitely feel the Enemy’s breath on my shoulder. But we know the God we serve and we know what He’s called us to do and how He’s called us to live. The storm is coming baby, so let’s batten down the hatches.
I love you and I will never leave,