Reflections on 25 Years of Marriage

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Today my wife and I celebrate 25 years of marriage. There is much I have learned over those years and to her credit, I am a much better man because of her influence in my life. We have had our share of ups and downs, conflict and arguments, pain and sorrow, as well as joy and happiness. It hasn't been a perfect marriage, but I think it has come pretty close. People who try to tell you that they have a perfect marriage, that they never argue, or have never had disappointments along the way are foolish. Today I celebrate more wonderful, happy and blissful memories than I can count. But we also celebrate the scars, the disappointments and the bumps along the way. It's the good and the bad together that have made us stronger. There are many things I adore about my wife, but the one thing I cherish, admire and respect the most is her commitment. I'm sure there have been days when it wasn't fun, days when she felt she just didn't have the energy to keep going. I'm sure that at least once she may have thought that it would be so much easier to just walk away. But she didn't. She has stayed by my side, not only when it's been easy, but when it's been hard. She is a rare gem. Her kind is getting harder and harder to find these days and I am extremely blessed to have found her.

About five or six years ago my wife worked as a manager in a health clinic. One of her responsibilities was managing the reception department that was staffed with young women. They noticed there was something very different about her and her lifestyle, particularly the fact that she was happily married to the same man for 20 years. They would ask in disbelief, "Your husband doesn't cheat on you?" These young women they have been led to believe that all men are cheaters and liars and you can't count on them. Their fathers cheated on their mothers and every man they knew had cheated on them. They thought this was a fact of life and they had to just accept it. I came by the clinic one day to drop off my wife's lunch. When I told the girl at the reception counter who I was her eyes got real big, she softly giggled to herself, and she then buzzed by wife. While I was waiting for her to come out, I suddenly realized I was being stared at by about a dozen women and I could hear them whispering, "That's the guy who doesn't cheat on his wife!" After I got over the initial creepiness of the moment that made me want to hide, I found myself standing a little taller and a sense of pride began to well up in my spirit. A man couldn't ask for a better compliment than that. The best gift a man can give to his wife is to be known as "the guy who doesn't cheat on his wife." My life's goal is for that to be my life's legacy. What a great inscription on your tombstone that would be.

I had the joyful privilege of speaking at my father's graveside twelve years ago. The thing I am most proud of my dad, and the most thankful for, is that he was faithful to my mother. I have my share of painful childhood memories, but one memory that I will never have is my father ever leaving my mom. I've known only one father, and for that I am eternally grateful. Today I not only look back at 25 wonderful years, but I look ahead at the next 25 with a flint-like determination to stay faithful and to leave that same legacy to my son that my father left me. Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." We are being watched by a great number of people every day. What are we teaching them by how we live our lives? Let's prove to the world that it is possible to be faithful. It can be done. Let's show them an example. Be different. Don't be afraid to be that person that gets stared at because you are different. Determine to be "that guy who doesn't cheat on his wife." There is no greater legacy to leave our children than that. It's not easy, but I can tell you that after 25 years, it is worth it!


Bread Of Life Ministries said...

congradulations on 25 years of marriage. I hope you have many more wonderfull adventures together.

Phather Phil Malmstrom said...

Congratulations on 25 years of love, commitment, affirmation and understanding David. It's a rare and beautiful thing in this day and age to achieve this milestone, and I wish you and your wife many, many more to come.

Have a Blessed Day!

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