11 Years

This weekend my wife and I will celebrate 11 years of marriage. It may not be a staggering double digit number like 50 years, but it is enough time to learn a thing or two about each other and marriage. Here’s one thing I’ve learned for sure, marriage takes work. It isn’t all rose pedals and romantic dinners. Although this is part of it, marriage requires each person to dig deep and live out their vows via commitment. Gary Chapman said this, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” He poses a phenomenal question. I know this doesn’t sound romantic, but I’ve seen the implications of this question reflected in my own marriage. I mentioned I learned a thing or two so let’s talk briefly about marriage.

 Here is the problem, many people prepare for the wedding which lasts a day and not the marriage which is to last for a lifetime.

What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word marriage? A tired wife? Maybe an out of shape husband? For some of you, your first thought maybe a gorgeous wedding venue with fresh cut lilies, bridal party photographs by the lake and an awesome reception where toasts are made in honor of the beloved couple. Indeed this is wedding bliss. There is a high price tag for the wedding of your dreams. According to a CNBC poll, the average wedding cost in 2019 was $33,900. Considering many people may not make that much in a year, it is a big number. Here is the problem, many people prepare for the wedding which lasts a day and not the marriage which is to last for a lifetime. A Godly marriage will cost you more than money. It will cost you your life. Paul says in Ephesians 5:25, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her.” Love costs everything. 

 Love costs everything. 

In Genesis 2 we find the account of the very first marriage. This is significant because we hear God give the purpose for marriage. He said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper fit for him.” Everything in all of creation was good, except for the aloneness of man. God knew in order for humanity to be complete, man needed help. So God placed Adam in a deep sleep, removed a rib from his side, and fashioned the woman Eve, from his ribs. Adam awoke and God presented Eve to him, and it was in this moment that man became complete. 

The Lord provided far more than I deserved. 

This scripture deeply resonates with me because it wasn’t until the Lord woke me up to my beautiful wife, Julia, that I fully realized my purpose and began walking in it. I would also soon come to realize that it would cost me everything to love her. Which is a small price to pay in exchange for the perfect helper. The Lord provided far more than I deserved. And I can say after 11 years, God truly used our marriage to not only make me happy, but to also make me holy. I would not have grown to maturity without learning from the difficulties we’ve shared and overcame together. We have a lifetime in front of us, but what a glorious journey so far!

For those of you who are married, all things won’t be ideal. But God can and will use all of the challenges you face, to make you wiser and stronger. Marriage is work and it will cost you, but the reward is greater than you could imagine. 

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4 Responses

  1. You are so right, in your 11 years you can learn a lot. Marriage is work, but the effort you put in now, without giving up, will ensure future decades of marriage! Enjoy your love, celebrate each other, forgive each other, encourage each other, share your burdens with God and keep all the other well-meaning people out of your marriage! The three of you are doing just fine!💜

  2. Thank you so much Pastor Larry, my awesome Anointed Son. The powerful words that you wrote were straight from Heaven. God knew if we in our marriages were to experience real happiness, joy, peace within. We will have to follow and live according to God’s word and not our’s. ‘God Bless You’

  3. I must say that this is pure wisdom. Uncle James and I celebrated 53 years of marriage in June and I agree with every word you wrote. Keeping God at the center of your relationship will help any marriage to endure.
    11 years is a blessing. We live in a time where many couples feel that divorce is the answer to any issues that arise in a marriage instead of seeking God for help and following His Word.
    May God continue to bless your marriage as you live according to His Word.

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