Friday, January 13, 2012

1,000 Days of Marriage!

Today marks 1,000 days of marriage to my wonderful husband! That's about 24001 hours, 1440089 minutes, and 86405330 seconds - according to my countdown timer! For me, it is just another reason to celebrate - and I believe in today's world, where marriages end before the milk in your refrigerator expires, every single day that we choose to love each other and choose to stay married is a reason to celebrate!

I say CHOOSE for a reason - because love is so much more than an emotion. When I said my vows 1,000 days ago, I promised to choose Rusty every day of his life. I promised to love him when I felt like it, and when I didn't. I promised to be his wife when he is romantic and when he is selfish. I promised to be committed to him no matter what came our way - in good times and bad! And let me tell you - that is not just a feeling is is a decision!

A friend of ours posted this article a few weeks ago, and I thought today would be the perfect day to share it. It's all about the fact that you NEVER marry the "perfect" person - and that the belief that "the one" will be perfectly compatible with you is a lie! Friends - I can't tell you how true this is!

In our culture, we throw around phrases like "soulmate" when we talk about the search for our future spouse. We explain that we'll know they are "the one" when we find the person "perfect for us". But those are dangerous things to believe. As a matter of fact - mine and Rusty's relationship almost ended during a trip to Africa in 2008 because of that very belief! That night (after a huge fight and a difficult week of trying to work together on a project) I couldn't imagine marrying him because "it was just too hard" to be in a relationship with him. What's more - I had a list of qualities that were non-negotiables for my future husband - and he was missing some of the things I thought I needed!

Luckily, while packing to go back to America that night (a trip that would separate us for 4 months), I turned on a sermon I'd downloaded to iTunes. I still don't know why - as I never listened to sermons on my computer then - I can only attribute it to the suggestion of the Holy Spirit. The sermon was about the fact that MARRIAGE is about HOLINESS - not HAPPINESS! The truth it held floored me.

Rusty and I talked about it the next day, and it was as if a light had been turned on. We knew that God had revealed that we should get married because each of us was who God had chosen for the other - and that together we could do more work for His Kingdom. When people questioned our decision several months later, we stuck by it because we knew that truth. And believe me - we have seen God bring that to fruition!

I often tell people that Rusty was not "everything I wanted" in a husband - but God gave him to me because God knew he was everything I needed! Marriage is about a process of sanctification, and God uses us daily to refine each other and to make us more like Christ. We are shaping each other - as iron sharpens iron (and boy does it take some painful shaping some days!) It isn't always easy, but it is worth it.

Some friends of ours who were thinking about getting engaged a couple of years ago, showed us a book some other (engaged) friends gave them to read before they decided to "put a ring on it". Since we were married - they wanted to know their opinion. I took a look at the book - called "1,000 questions to ask before you get engaged" (or something like that) and laughed. The entire premise was that of COMPATIBILITY. I went back to this couple and gave them this advice -

"You don't need compatibility - you need a word from God and peace from God - and then you make a commitment. Your compatibility issues will change throughout the years - and you will never be perfect for one another. You can always learn how to communicate better, how to fight better, and how to have better sex. What you must have to make your marriage work is COMMITMENT - not compatibility!"

Though we've only been married 1,000 days - I still believe this is the best advice we can give. So for those of you out there struggling with whether or not he's "the one" - I hope you'll take that advice to heart (and read this article, and pray about your decision). And for those of you who are married and wondering if you've made a mistake (I'm convinced Satan puts that question in all of our heads at some point!) then know this is true - you didn't marry the wrong person - and there is no one else out there who is "perfect for you". Marriage is hard, but beautiful. It's difficult - but it is WORTH IT! Just remember, it is more about what God wants to do in you and through you - not just about your comfort and happiness! I am so grateful that God had our best in mind when He created marriage!