Sometimes you make huge life decisions after a lengthy process of debating pros and cons, weighing your options and researching every conceivable angle. Sometimes, however, everything in you just tells you to go for it and you do. You take a great big running start and you just leap out into the unknown with faith and hope.
Getting married to my amazing wife Gretchen, 15 years ago today, was definitely a running jump into the future. I was 21 when we got married and she was 22. We had just graduated from college and were about to enter adulthood. We had no idea about just how difficult being on our own would be. We had never had to pay the rent before. We had never scrambled to find jobs before. We had, thankfully, never lived with someone of the opposite sex before (siblings aside). We jumped into marriage with joy in our hearts and somewhat ignorant bliss. It was the best decision I ever made.
Gretchen and I had known each other for 2 and a half years when we got married. We had dated for a long time, broken up, gotten back together (despite Gretchen taking a swing at me when we broke up, she missed because I was quick on my feet), and been engaged for 8 months. All that being said, we still had such a small idea of what it would take to be married. We had no idea how much growth it would require from each of us in order to survive.
So today, 15 years later, I rejoice. The great mystery of marriage, as St. Paul says, is that it is intended to sanctify us. The hidden purpose of marriage is to make us holier. Well look at that, it has worked. Being married to me has forced my wife to learn patience, sacrifice, grace, and forgiveness! In 15 years of marriage everything I thought I knew about love has been transformed. This has completely changed my understanding of Jesus’ love for us. God describes Christ love for the church as a husband for his bride. I never knew God could love me so much, as my love for my wife continues to grow and amaze me. Oh the great depths of God’s love for us if he loves us more than I love my wife.
So today I rejoice, and ask you to rejoice with me, for I married well, exceptionally well. I married a woman who has devoted herself to me and our family. She has embrace her role as a pastor’s spouse with a steady hand and great faithfulness. I have married a woman who is fiercely loyal and will love me to the end of her days. If that isn’t a sign of God’s blessing on my life then I do not know what is.
I love my wife with all that I am. The first 15 years have been a great start. I can’t wait to see how the next 50 years turn out. Happy Anniversary Gretchen.