And honestly, that first year was the most difficult. I think you can kind of know what marriage will be like but you just have no idea how you will go about it until you are in the middle of it. A trial by fire if you will.
One thing that makes me crazy is when people say that marriage is "just a piece of paper". Those are fighting words in my book and I will take you down if you say them around me. Okay, so I won't physically take you down, but you better be ready to back that statement up.
If marriage had just been a piece of paper for us, we probably would have split up that first year. But as a child who came from a divorced home, divorce was not an option for me. When I said, for better or worse, for richer for poorer it is what I meant. And it has been worse, and it has been better. And we have been richer and we have been poorer. If marriage was just a piece of paper, I could just walk away when I was really mad and not had to deal with someone else's problems (or my own problems). When something didn't go my way, I could have just left. And I would have, many times, if marriage was just a piece of paper.
You see though, I stood in front of a few hundred people in this small church that my husband's parents were married in and I made promises that I intended to keep. And not only was I saying this in front of these people, I was making a covenant between my husband and myself and above all else, a covenant with the Lord. Because to me, marriage is so much more than a piece of paper. It is even more than what the law says it is. It is more than a legal requirement to stay married to my husband. It is a daily commitment of keeping my word and the promise I made before God.
To me marriage is sacred. You can rip up a piece of paper. You can burn it and spit on it and throw it in the sea. A covenant between God is different. It has eternal consequences. Therefore, I make a daily decision (yes, I said daily again) to love my husband as he makes a daily decision to love me. And believe me, there are days when neither one of us are very loveable. Haven't you heard, love is not a feeling, it is a decision. Those butterflies in my stomach for my husband come and go, but the love I have for him stays because I make the decision to make it stay with the help of the Lord.
It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Ecclesiastes 5:5
Today, we celebrate 11 years of loving each other, of renewing our commitment to each other by just daily staying true to the commitment that we made.
P.S. This is not meant to beat up on the divorced people of the world. It is just meant to let you know how strongly I view marriage in a country that is quickly devaluing it.