Marriage

25 Years

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On a fall day twenty-seven years ago my life forever changed. I was a brand new employee at an insurance company. My boss was showing me around and brought me to my cubicle. Right next to my desk was an empty cubicle with a nameplate Tom White. I only saw the name and the Holy Spirit spoke clearly to my head and my heart, “You are going to marry Tom White.”

There is no way that is happening. I don’t know who this Tom is, but I am not going to marry him. There is no way my future husband is right here at my new job. Nope. Not happening. End of story.

Twenty-five years of marriage later, obviously I was wrong. God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought Tom and I together. I have no idea how twenty-five years has flown by, but it has. The days are long but the years are short. 

When you’re a newlywed the world is your oyster. All things seem possible. We bought our first home, a fixer upper, and spent countless hours scraping layers of wallpaper, and ripping up shag carpet. But it was ours, and we were together, and we were happy. We got a dog and a cat before we had kids, to practice on. We shared our hopes about the future, and dreamed dreams together.

Once the first baby arrived, time seemed to accelerate. When the second baby arrived, we were in the fast lane of life. As I look back on these past twenty-five years it makes me happy. There are so many precious memories and painful ones too. The thread through our entire marriage is Jesus. It’s a scarlet string that is woven throughout our good and bad times. He has sustained us and He will continue to do so.

A lot happens over a quarter of a century in a marriage.

There has been so much laughter.

There have been some tears too.

We have had stupid petty arguments.

We have had some ugly arguments too.

We have apologized to each other.

We have put each other above our own needs.

There have been a million and one hugs and twice as many kisses.

We’ve had fun adventures.

We’ve had mountain top experiences.

The dessert years were the hardest.

Don’t get me started on the valleys.

We held on tight to Jesus and each other during the storms.

We know what real unconditional love looks like.

We’ve grieved and mourned over lost loved ones.

We have cooked countless meals.

Planned hundreds of parties.

Took dozens of camping trips.

Went on dozens of road trips.

Had some fantastic vacations.

Bought and sold several homes.

Fixed up a couple of those homes.

Had dogs and cats over the years.

Painted more rooms than I can count.

Disciplined little ones and big ones too.

Changed one million diapers.

Moved across the country on our own.

Made major career changes.

Suffered job loss.

Dealt with serious health issues in our children.

Prayed, and prayed, and prayed together.

Served at churches and ministries.

Worshiped God together.

Forgiven each other.

Given grace and mercy to each other.

Watched countless movies and cooking shows.

Planned gardens and remodels.

We still have so many dreams and hopes.

Jesus has carried us all the way through these twenty-five incredible years. I don’t have some magic formula of how to stay married and stay happily married. (Read my other posts below, where I go into more detail.) All I know is, God made marriage and it is good. We need God at the center of our marriage to succeed. I have learned a lot over these years. There have been some very hard lessons and God used my husband to teach me. Sometimes God has used me to teach Tom. 

Thank you Father God for these blessed twenty-five years. I do not take them for granted. Each day with Tom has been a treasure. He is the best man I know. God gave us to each other and we need to take care of this precious gift. We try our best, but fall short at times. It is God’s grace that has brought us this far. That beautiful scarlet thread of Jesus is woven through our twenty-five year history. That thread does not end. It is eternal and will carry us through until we go home, to heaven. 

Happy 25th Anniversary Tom! I love you so much. Here’s to another 25 by the grace of God. 

Love you all,

Meghan 

Check out my other posts on marriage.

Marriage Is A Blessing 

24 Years 

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Marriage, Uncategorized

24 Years

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This picture is from actual film, from an actual camera. Not a phone, and not a digital camera. Unfortunately, I had to take a picture digitally of this black and white photo, which doesn’t do it justice. I don’t even know if a wedding photographer would use film today. The point is, times have changed, but we are still in love. We may not look quite as shiny and new as that day, but we love each other more, and deeper than in 1995.

Twenty-four years ago, on September 30th, we made this covenant. I know, it sounds like a big scary word. It kind of is. I don’t think I would have even used that word then. But I get it now. It just took a whole lot of years, and God teaching me through my husband, what marriage really is. Last year I wrote about God’s definition of marriage and how it symbolizes Christ and the Church. You can read it here Marriage Is A Blessing

A few things I’ve learned about marriage:

“You complete me” is ridiculous. Thanks Jerry Maguire for putting that false mantra out there. It is not my husband’s job to be my everything. Tom does not complete me. Jesus fills me up, completes me, and is my everything. No person is designed to make another person whole. If I expect Tom to take care of all my needs, all the time, we will both be miserable since it’s not humanly possible. Younger me thought that on some level. That was foolish me.

God uses our spouse to grow us up in our faith, if we let Him. The fastest way to have your flaws revealed is to get married. It all comes out when you are married whether you like it or not. It’s what you do with it, when all the issues and weaknesses come out. Be honest when the ugly is sitting in front of you. We’ve all got some ugly stuff that needs dealt with.

It’s not my job to “fix” my husband. This is that age old stereotype of the wife wants to change her husband and the husband doesn’t want his wife to change. In our early years I made this mistake. I thought it was my job to be Tom’s fixer. Hahahaha! I am not the Holy Spirit. I can change me and that’s it.

Put your spouses needs above your own. We come into the world selfish and we bring that same selfishness into our marriages. Me, me, me. It’s all about me. I’ve got needs and my husband better fulfill those. What I have learned is to put Tom first even when I’m tired, even when I’m needy. God says:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3, NIV)

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10, NIV)

God created marriage and it is so good. God ideas are the best. He made marriage and He knew exactly what He was doing. Anything God makes is excellent. Better than any idea I could come up with.

 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NASB)

Keep God at the center of your marriage. The only way to have a healthy thriving marriage is Jesus. We cannot do it alone, just the two of us. It takes three for success. Again, God’s design, not mine. God’s ways work. I can’t explain it, but I have experienced it in my marriage.

The couple that prays together stays together. You don’t need some lengthy super spiritual prayers with all the right words. Pray together. Simple honest prayers. That’s it. Tom and I pray every night before bed. Our prayers aren’t fancy, just real.

A lot has happened in our twenty-four years of wedded bliss. There have been moments of sheer joy, like the birth of both of our sons. There have been years of exhaustion, like when Tom went back to school. He was working at night, and going to school during the day. That five year period was us just surviving. Not a lot of time for romance and gazing into each others eyes. Those would have been blood shot eyes anyway. But God, in His goodness and grace, carried us through.

I am not a marriage expert. I am good at making mistakes, and sharing what I’ve learned along the way. Marriage is an incredible blessing. God gave Tom and I to each other. We take our marriage serious, and work hard to guard it, and let Jesus grow us in the process.

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband Tom. You are the best person I know. It’s been the most incredible twenty-four years of my life. I love you always.

And…..I love all of you!

Meghan

Faith, God, Jesus, Marriage, Uncategorized

Marriage Is A Blessing

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September 30, 1995 is the beginning of us. Tom and I made a life long commitment to each other on that special day. We were excited and clueless. I didn’t completely understand the sacredness of marriage. The holiness. I believed in marriage and wanted to be a good wife and mother, but did not know what that would look like. I knew on that day, twenty three years ago, that I loved Tom and wanted to spend my life with him. I assumed we’d ride off into the sunset and the rest would take care of itself.

I know I belong to Jesus, love Him deeply, and He loves me, and my home is in heaven. I know that I love Tom, and our boys with everything that is in me. That’s pretty much what I know for sure. I am not a marriage expert, but I have learned a few things along the way. I have made the dumb mistakes and been too needy, not letting Jesus fill me up. I have disrespected my husband, and hurt him. I have been angry, and unforgiving, and had unrealistic expectations. I have tried to change my husband. That’s really stupid, by the way. I don’t recommend trying to change your spouse.

After making a lot of mistakes at first, God taught me how to do things His way. I have learned how to be a Godly wife, though definitely not perfect. I have learned unconditional love and forgiveness in a whole new way. I also have a much better understanding and respect for marriage itself and the many blessings it brings. I love being married to Tom.

Marriage is sacred, and holy, and beautiful! God created marriage between a man and a woman. Anything God makes and ordains is perfect. Anything outside of what God makes is just a cheap imitation. Now, there are no perfect marriages and no perfect people. Marriage is a picture of the church, the body of Christ.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24, NIV)

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV). 

The entire passage on husbands and wives in Ephesians is in chapter 5:22-33. Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies (Eph. 5:28). The final verse in the passage says a husband must love his wife as he loves himself, and a wife must respect her husband (Eph. 5:33).

God paints this beautiful picture of the church using marriage as the metaphor. Marriage is important to God. He created it. The passage in Ephesians also tells husbands and wives their specific roles and how to love one another. A big one for me has been to respect my husband. That’s how I show my love for him. It took me a few years to get that. I still have so much to learn about marriage. God is so gracious to me and has used my sweet husband to grow me up. To flush out my weaknesses, issues, and struggles. I know what real lasting love looks and feels like. A real Godly man loves his wife and children sacrificially. I am truly blessed with a man like this.

God knew exactly what He was doing when he created marriage from the beginning (Gen. 2:24). He knew it would be hard at times, and impossible without Him at the center. We need God to have successful, healthy marriages. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b, NIV). This verse was used in our wedding ceremony, like many other weddings. It is true that with the Holy spirit woven in our marriage we are strong. It is God’s grace when he can take two imperfect people, and bring them together, and make something beautiful.

Happy anniversary to my precious husband Tom! I have loved every day with you over these twenty three years. The good times and hard times. God has always been faithful to carry us, and keep our love strong for one another. I can’t wait to see what God has planned for our next twenty years together. My heart is always yours.

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for the blessing of marriage. Thank you for faithfully carrying Tom and I, all these years. Keep our eyes fixed on you as we serve you together. I lift up the struggling marriages right now. Bring hope and healing Father. Let those marriages be a testament of your miracle working power. For those who have been through divorce, heal those broken places. You are the redeemer and nothing is too hard for you.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Love you all,

Meghan

P.S. If you need prayer please email me meghanewhiteauthor@gmail.com or message me through my contact page.