My wife and I were married almost 9 months ago – July 26th, 2008. Its hard to believe how fast time flies but over our 3 quarters of a year marriage, I have learned a lot. Let me just say upfront that our marriage has been the happiest time of my life – we have a great marriage and have already grown so much together.
For those of you who aren’t familiar withour story, let me just briefly share how we met and eventually started a relationship. In the fall of 2004, I came to to Ohio to intern with my uncle Walt at Hope church, which is the church I am now pastoring. We hit it off from the beginning and developed a strong friendship. After I left Ohio and returned to Saskatchewan, right before Christmas that year, we stayed in touch through email- thank goodness for technology. Over a two year period, there were times where I wanted to ask Stephane if she was interested in starting a dating relationship, but everytime that I would pray about it, the Lord said no. In March of 2007, this happened again and I prayed about it for a full month. This time the Lord was very clear with me and gave me the green light to ask Stephane out. I didn’t phone her, but just sent her another one of those emails. She agreed, but the first question she asked was – how is this going to work? You live in Vancouver (I was in Seminary) and I live in Ohio. I responded that I did not know, but lets just start talking on the phone. So we did, and the rest is history. After 8 trips back and forth, I eventually moved to Ohio and we got married last summer. When we first started dating, we could never have imagined how it would all work out, but the Lord took care of everything.
Now, let me just share some of the lessons I have learned from our short marriage.
1. The importance of family devotions. Steph and I read the Bible and pray together every morning before work. This has been a wonderful time of learning and growing for us and it reminds us that Christ must always be at the center of our marriage. As a couple, we are now a unit -we are one. And not only that, but we are one in Christ. Our theme verse for our wedding was, “a triple- braided cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
2. How much God loves me. One time I was thinking about how hard I pursued Stephane during out dating relationship and the Lord said to me – that’s how hard I pursued you and am still pursuing you- and even more so! And now in our marriage when I think about how much I love Stephane, God reminds me, that’s how much I love you – and so much more! And when I think about the wonderful intimacy that Stephane and I share together, the Lord reminds me – that’s the kind of intimacy I want to have with you – and even more! It is amazing to me how instructive marriage can be when it comes to our relationship with the Lord.
3. That I am a sinner. Ok, ok, I guess I knew that before. But marriage has a way of exposing all those warts and not so pretty aspects of our character that we used to like to hide and pretend they did not exist. Now, I am more aware of my own selfishness and pride than before we got married.
4. That as the head of our home, I have a lot more responsibilities. It used to be that I only had to look out for myself and my own interests. Now I have my wife and eventually, some children as well. Obviously, this is a big change – but at the same time, its a good change. I have been blessed with a wonderful wife, and it is my great joy to provide for and protect her and lead her. At the same time, to listen to and submit to her. Even though I am the head of the home, there have been so many times were I have felt the Lord saying to me – LISTEN TO HER – SHE IS MY GOOD GIFT TO YOU! It is at those moments where I have to let go of my pride and submit to Stephane – which is a good thing
5. Marriage is a lot of fun. Yes, I did anticipate this but it has been far beyond my expectations. We do everything together and it is so great to have a companion on this journey we call life.
6. If you commit your way to the Lord, He will take care of you. There has been so many things that we have dealt with over the life of our relationship – immigration, moving to a new town, new jobs for both of us, lots of travel, etc. But the Lord has taken care of us every step of the way.
7. That our love for one another just keeps growing and growing. Before we got married, I had heard other couples talk about how they keep growing and growing in love for one another through the years. But for me, it was hard to imagine loving Stephane any more that I did at that moment in time. Now, after several months of marriage, I better understand what they meant as we have grown so much in our love for one another.
In summary, our 9 months of marriage have been wonderful, but they have also taught me (and us) so much. I so look forward to spending the rest of my life with Stephane and learning all the things that the Lord wants to teach us.