My dad performed the wedding ceremony for Kathy and me at the Manchester church of Christ in Georgia on May 22, 1992, which, as I’ve been reminded, was also the last show for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. It was also the day Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia joined the United Nations. But, all in all, it was a quiet, ordinary day in the world. For me, it was anything but ordinary! It was day one of a life that has been full of surprises, enjoyments, discoveries, and a full array of experiences. Certainly, there have been some lows but also many more highs. It has, in so many ways, been full of blessings. Anyone who marries a faithful Christian can anticipate so many blessings. Consider just a few:
- A companion who loves your soul.
- A mate who puts God above you.
- A spouse who will influence your children to love God.
- One who is bearing the fruit of the Spirit to live life with.
- One who stays connected to God faithfully, in Bible study and prayer.
- One with whom your most important activities revolve around Christ.
- A partner who gladly embraces her God-given role and place.
- A mate who holds you accountable to the role and place you should fill.
- One who is not chasing the world’s ideals, not being led by its values and expectations.
- A companion with whom your conversations constantly involve the spiritual.
- One who knows what good clean fun looks and feels like.
- One whose orientation is to serve and not to be served.
- A spouse who creates trust and confidence that sustains you even when you are apart.
- A consort who loves the body of Christ, the church, and who is interested in its members.
- One whose greatest beauty (and attractiveness) is to be found beneath the surface.
- A partner who will treat you with respect and dignity, not demeaning you or running you down.
- One who is more focused on pursuing your happiness than passively waiting for you to cause theirs.
- A spouse with whom your most fulfilling moments are spent serving your Lord.
- One who looks for opportunities to reach your neighbors and other associations for Christ.
- A mate whose emotions are most stirred by spiritual things.
- A lover who is exciting and alluring because of her faith and not in spite of such.
- One who forms goals with you, short-term and long-term, that point toward eternity and lead toward heaven.
- A help-meet you become more desirous of growing older with every day you are growing older.
- A partner you like more the more you know her because she’s being transformed more into the image of Christ each day.
What an enjoyable exercise, literally counting the blessings of a life lived with a faithful Christian mate. Please do not interpret this as a suggestion that marriage is trouble-free, challenge-free, conflict-free, and pain-free. It is none of these, but persevering through the troubles, challenges, conflicts, and pain can be one of the forces that strengthen our marriages. Let us build marriages that cause us to celebrate our anniversaries, having a deeper appreciation for the person God gave us to walk through this vail of tears with—a person with whom we can find enormous nuggets of fulfillment and genuine joy in even life’s darkest episodes. Have you let your mate know how much they mean to you? If not, why not stop whatever you are doing and tell them. Even better, show them! They are one of your choicest blessings!