Today is the 8th wedding anniversary of my marriage to my wife, Melissa. This morning I was looking through our photo album with our boys, telling them about what our lives were like when we got married (and before they were born). It brought me way back to those days of excitement, newness, and pure emotion. One of the photos in particular from when we were dating stood out to me. Our faces were so young and naive, but so full of joy for one another.
Little did we know, once our lives were joined together, it wouldn't all be fun and games. It's been a ton of work - in fact, if I'm truly honest it's probably the most difficult thing I've done in my life. On a daily basis I am confronted with myself and forced to deal with it. You see, the day I got married my life stopped being about me and started to become about us. Well, in theory, that is. As a young man, I didn't know that and certainly didn't always like hearing that - and believe me, I heard it often!
Thankfully, my wife loves the Lord and has sought to put Him first in her life and marriage. She has not withheld a single honest truth from me that I needed to hear. As I said before, I didn't always like hearing it but God knew that I always needed to. And I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would not have listened as carefully to anyone else in the world saying such truths than my her.
As a result, I began to actual hear what she was saying. It turns out that she knew what she was talking about all along! Through our first years of marriage and learning how to be parents together, she has been so patient with me (I'm a much slower learner than she is), so kind and gentle, understanding, forgiving, graceful, and loving. I haven't always deserved it, but she has stuck by my side anyway.
I think by now you can start to see why I fell in love with her in the first place. It's not because she's good looking, though she is absolutely beautiful. It's not because she's talented, though she has an angelic singing voice. It's because she has shown me Jesus more clearly than anyone else I've ever known. And she hasn't done it the easy way, by any means. No, day in and day out, through thick and thin she has done it. Her obedience to Christ spurred me on to get in gear myself and follow suit - to become the man that God created me to be.
Neither of us are perfect and we both recognize that who we are is completely defined by our relationship with our Creator. He has been faithful in both of our lives because we have sought Him and built our lives around knowing Him. After eight years of doing this with my wife, I am more in love with my Savior than ever before, and she would tell you that because of this I have learned to love her better. God has used her to reveal Himself to me, and He couldn't have done it with more grace and love!