It was almost twenty-one years ago that I first saw the young woman who would become my wife. No, it wasn’t love at first sight. No, I didn’t see here and say that I was going to marry her. In fact Julie was dating a fellow whose grandmother attended the church I had become the pastor of. When that grandmother’s grandson was no longer dating Julie, that sweet grandmother, we know her as “gran gran”, convinced me to call and ask her out.
It took me a few weeks, but I finally called Julie. The rest is what many people would call “history”. Yep. Twenty years have come and gone. I have often joked that we’ve been married nineteen years, and it has been ten of the best years of our lives. But that is not true. Literally these twenty years of marriage have been a blessing, and we are so blessed.
Blessed with shared life, with three great kids and so much more. She was given to me by God not as a possession, but she is my partner in life. She completes me. That is not just a cliché. It is reality.
Proverbs 5:18 NLT
Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth.
Julie is a blessing to my life. Naming all the ways that is true would take way too much time and space, yet I will tell you that I love her more now than I did back then. I also won’t tell you that every day has been perfect. That is true because I am not easy to live with, and I am sure that surprises you. We married when we were twenty-two. We were young with so much ahead of us.
Proverbs 18:22 NLT
The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.
There was no way to know then what I know now of how very much of a treasure Julie really is. Favor from the Lord comes in many different shapes and forms, and I believe that marriage is one of the ways that God favors His children.
Today I plan to bless my wife and to cherish the years that we have enjoyed and lived together. Further, I pray that the years to come will be even stronger and better. It is amazing to look back over the years and see how God connected us and gave us shared vision and ministry. It is even more amazing to claim the promises of God that our future is brighter and better than anywhere we have been to this point.
Happy anniversary, Julie. I love you very much, and I am glad that all those who read this will know these things too. You are a blessing from God. There is more, much more, to come!
1 Peter 3:7 NLT
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.