We almost let it be just another day
This morning I asked him to run away to Cancun with me. Fourteen years ago we were on a plane bound for the sun and sand of Mexico. Our first trip alone. Our first trip as husband and wife. Less than 24 hours after the "I dos", we were escaping life to celebrate our new marriage.
A lot of days since then I wished we could escape life. We've had a great 14 years, but I won't lie and say it's been easy. Yesterday we both thought sadly of the marriages over the last year that didn't make it. Many of those we expected we go the distance. If asked, those couples would likely tell you they expected to go the distance too. It's hard to celebrate when you know so many have broken hearts.
We almost just let it be another day we said "Good Morning" and " Good Night" with a "What do you want for supper?" in between. At the last minute I decided to hire a babysitter so we could go to dinner, just the two of us. Year 14 hasn't been particularly hard, although the last two weeks have been trying. Regardless of how easy or difficult the day or week or year has been, marriages need a little time to themselves without the pressures of family (whether it's your in-laws or your kids). We're guilty of not giving it the time it needs.
The night before our anniversary we lay in the bed, laughed and told stories about our first meeting and our first date. I told him how out of the blue I developed a crush on him about 3 months before he asked me out. I avoided him because I was so sure he and everyone else could see it on my face. He said he was so scared when he finally asked me out. I laughed because he didn't know I was so ready for him to ask. God had prepared us for those moments.
Our marriage hasn't been all laughter. In 1 Peter 5:8 the Bible says "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Some days I felt like we were pushing all the furniture in front of the door of our marriage becuase I could hear that lion prowling around outside.
My heart has been heavy for many friends this year whose marriages won't celebrate another anniversary. What's so different about their marriage and mine? I wish I could say we spend more time in prayer or at church or together with our family making memories, but I don't know that any of those things are true. In fact, I'm pretty sure they aren't. Are we simply more determined or stubborn? I doubt it. Maybe we just haven't faced the trials others have faced. That one scares me the most. Would our marriage survive if we had to fight our way through what some couples have had to fight through?
I do believe there's a war on marriage, but it's not from the LGBT or our politicians. This war is headed by satan. He started it in the Garden of Eden and he's continuing to attack Christian marriages today. We can blame it on our spouse's lack of attention. We can blame it on our desire to control everything. We can blame it on the work or the busyness of life. We can blame it on the person who took advantage of a weak spot in our relationship. We can blame it on a lot of things, but it comes down to that prowling lion.
How do we survive this war? Prayer. Clinging first to God and then to each other. Not being afraid to disagree or argue. Not leaving a disagreement or agrument hanging between us too long. Taking a day to celebrate being together. Praying and clinging to God some more. I wish had better answers--a to-do list to check off or step by step instructions. We've celebrated 14 anniversaries and have plans to celebrate many more (we have a goal of 75!). But we aren't any better than the couples we won't celebrate together this year.
As satan prowls around, be praying for your marriage, pray for the marriages of your friends and siblings and the people you sit next to at church. And don't let your anniversary become just another day. It's worth celebrating!