Has it really been 6 years? or Has it only been 6 years? Both questions seem appropriate (no matter how cliche they may be). It seems like just yesterday The Man and I were exchanging vows and starting this thing called marriage. But it also feels like it's always been this way. As I consider our marriage, I look at how things are so not how we thought they'd be and yet are exactly as we planned. I remember my Nan (whose anniversary we share) telling me that some years would be harder than others, but that the hard years are worth it because the years after are that much better. This year brought us many challenges that tried hard to break us; yet today, I say with confidence we are stronger than we were a year ago.
Six years ago, I couldn't understand how a marriage goes from happy to divorce (even though my parents are divorced). Sadly, now I do. And oddly enough, I understand it because my marriage consistently grows stronger every day. There is never a day I feel it is weaker than the day before - harder, yes; weaker, no. I credit this to 2 promises we made to one another long before we took our vows. First, we promised that this was forever. This marriage, a sacrament, wasn't something to be taken lightly and we are both truly committed to 'til death do us part'. Second, we promised to never go to bed mad. This second promise has led to some very late nights, but is always worth it.
Yet, in the midst of these late nights, when I'm exhausted and feeling like I want to give up, I'm reminded that giving up isn't an option for us, and in that small reminder, I am in turn reminded that I don't want to give up. That this man, this marriage, this life is all that I want on this earth. That without it, I have nothing. That no matter where we do or don't live, what we do or don't have, or what we do or don't do, as long as I share it with The Man, my life is complete.
We truly strive to live Ephesians 5:21, "Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ". Every day, our marriage comes first. Not me, not The Man, but our marriage. And it is in the living of this that I understand how a marriage goes from happy to divorce - the people in the marriage quit submitting to the marriage, to one another. And in this understanding, I thank and praise God for the gift of marriage I have been given. I thank God that my marriage grows stronger as a result of harder times and not weaker.
On today, our 6th Anniversary, I thank The Man for living this life with me. I thank God for the many gifts of our life together. I pray for all marriages, that husbands and wives can truly live 'marriage first'.