Posts Tagged ‘Anniversary’

Despite the fact that, when asked, I almost never know how many years hubby and I have been married (it’s twenty-eight today), I never forget how very much I felt that I loved him on that day … oh, and I still do 😘.

But anyone who has been married long enough to have had a disagreement, an all-out fight, knows that they had no idea what love was on their wedding day. For love is not a once-for-all feeling, but a gradual, ever-evolving metamorphis.

This past summer I watched a video that reminded me how very little real love was involved in the early days of our marriage. As a matter-of-fact, I would say we really only found, in each other, someone who would meet our needs.

In this video Rabbi Dr. (psychiatrist, professor, author) Abraham Twerski introduced me to the concept of Fish Love. Fish love is described as how one might say they love fish, when what they mean is that they love to eat fish, because fish tastes good to them, and it satisfies their appetite. The fish meets their needs.

Twerski said,

“True love is a love of giving, not a love of receiving.”

When we were first married the knowledge and feelings of love were greatly defined by what we received from the other. He filled my cup of needs, wants and desires, and I filled his. In a sense it might be hard to tell where the love originated … was it in the giving or in the receiving? One can feed the other, and in the early years of marriage the give and take is constant.

But, as the years go on it is not so constant, and the cups empty.

It is then that one realizes that fish love doesn’t last. For it is in the selfless, sacrificial giving to each other, even when we aren’t sure that our giving will be recripricated, that we know that we love and are loved by the other.

Ephesians 5:1-2 continues this theme of giving and sacrificial love …

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a grant offering and sacrifice to God.”

There is to our twenty-eight years, and counting, of learning to love beyond fish love, hubby. Let me take you out for dinner … but maybe not seafood.

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“One day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying, “as you wish” what he meant was, “I love you.”

“… and even more amazing was the day she realized, she truly loved him back.”

I love The Princess Bride movie. I have never read the book, but I have viewed the movie record times. It is a story that truly has something for everyone … adventure, drama, violence, comedy and romance … all wrapped up at a SciFi format. I love every element of it! The actors who play each part have become those characters, and the lines get repeated in conversations, and even in wedding ceremonies (such as the “mawwiage” scene).

But it is the line, “as you wish” that holds my attention most, especially today, as hubby and I celebrate our twenty-forth wedding anniversary today.

Marriage, really, is so much like the struggles faced by Wesley and Buttercup.

Sometimes there are sword fights, but the swords are our tongues and the hits are with words … the scars are far slower to heal than any physical blow.

Sometimes there are poisons in our drinks in the forms of what we drink that the world keeps offering, such as dissatisfaction, selfishness, arrogance, and pride.

Sometimes there are giants in our way and they might be in the forms of illness, difficulties with conceiving, job problems, financial problems, and more.

Sometimes we push each other down a steep embankment, or would like to, when it seems that we no longer know that man or woman who we married.

Sometimes we are surrounded by the enemy, and it seems that our enemy is our spouse.

Sometimes we have been tortured by regrets … maybe even the regret of having said, ‘I do’ in the first place. But regrets can come in any form that leads our hearts to dissatisfaction.

Sometimes we are temporarily paralyzed … with fear.

Sometimes there really are ROUS (rodents of unusual size) that attack your loved one, but they might be found in the form of nasty neighbors, beastly bosses, sarcastic soccer moms, malicious church members or repulsive Canadian Revenue workers (or so I’ve heard).

Always, there is an evil king, who is out to destroy you and your love, in the form of Satan who is out to “steal and kill and destroy …” (John 10:10a)

But, like Wesley and Buttercup, we have the foundation of “as you wish” as the pervading theme of our marital lives.

Whenever Buttercup ordered her farm-boy, Wesley to do a task for her, his only response was “as you wish.” He did not whine and complain, he did not state his rights, he did not compare her to other girls … he simply fulfilled her request … selflessly. Eventually the meaning of “as you wish” (I love you) was understood in the heart of Buttercup, and her requests were no longer orders, by favors accompanied by ‘please’ (perhaps her own version of “as you wish”). In time, Wesley’s choice to love Buttercup unconditionally, and selflessly created an intense response of the same from she to him.

In twenty-four years of marriage, I have blown it over and over, and hubby and I have experienced many struggles … some brought on by the enemy, but many brought on by our inability to … serve each other, with an “as you wish” attitude.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to serve without expectation of reciprocation.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to never give up when it gets difficult.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to always think the best of the intentions of our spouse.

To have an “as you wish” attitude is to say I love you in every little thing we do for the other.

After all:

“This is true love … you think this happens everyday?”

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Twenty-three years! How can it be?

What were we thinking twenty-three years ago, as we stood in front of friends, and family, and God promising to love and honor and obey (yes, obey) “until death do us part”?

I know what I was thinking, “this is going to be easy, because we are so much alike.”

Ya, right! Of course we had only met about one year earlier, so, what we knew of each other was alike, and what wasn’t was shaded by rose-colored glasses.

We were young, too young (I say that as a now older woman who can see what each of us may have missed out on … the gift of knowing God’s calling for us as individuals before we were to become one couple … but that is topic for another post). Hubby was fresh out of university, only twenty-three. I was fresh out of my drafting program, just twenty. And we embarked on a lifelong, covenant relationship.

After twenty-three years, I now know that we are more opposite than alike, and easy could never describe marriage.

I also know that what we share, similarities and differences alike, is held together by the covenant that we both hold dearly. The marriage covenant is more commonly known my the word promise, but a covenant is more than a promise, more than something you say, more than something you do. It is a vow that includes us two, and the originator of covenants.

Really the marriage covenant is a metaphor for the covenant that God made with Israel (Genesis 17:7):

“I will establish my covenant, an everlasting covenant
between me and you and your descendants after you

for the generations to come,
to be your God
and the God of your descendants after you.”

God’s covenant was that He would be the God of Israel, from before the beginning of time (everlasting) to everlasting. A marriage covenant is like this in that it is a promise between a woman and a man that nothing will separate them, like God from His people.

But, like the Israelite people, we who make a covenant with another in marriage, fail to live up to our end of the agreement. And that sometimes means we are wandering through the desert, tired, frustrated, disappointed and there is no Promise Land in sight.

Like God’s chosen people, who were probably heard muttering under their breath, “well God, where is the land flowing with milk and honey?” we wives and husbands can dwell on the (yet) unfulfilled promises of our wedding day. Promises get broken, expectations do not get met, dreams fade, and the wandering in No Man’s Land is endless. It can begin to feel that marriage is more like a life sentence.

But, it is a covenant, and God is not dismayed by the unfaithfulness, broken promises and apathy from His people. In Jeremiah (31:31-34) God provides yet another opportunity to meet at the alter:

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God, and they will be my people.
No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Let me re-write that as a wife (who has lost the rose-colored glasses from the alter):

Soon, we will simply need to start over,
you and I.
We cannot still make the vows we made back in the stone ages,
before wrinkles and cellulite
before broken promises, and disappointments,
even though we both made promises many years ago.
We need a fresh promise, a brand new covenant.
God would agree with that, and He will be faithful,
and others will see Him through this covenant He has for us
 not just because He has been faithful in the past,
but because of what He will do in the days to come.
We, you and I,
we’ve got baggage.
But, a new start, a new covenant,
That could give us the chance to forgive each others broken promises,
and remember each others sins no more.

Happy Anniversary,
From everlasting to everlasting,

Your Bride

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It all started with a picture …

The picture to the right of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I saw it, and then read the caption at the bottom, “married 50 years.” I found myself wondering, how can that happen to a Hollywood couple?

Since hubby is a pastor, we get to attend MANY 50th Anniversary parties, and they are truly the highlight of the effects of his job for me.

To participate in celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary is a unique and special thing.

When I hear of couples divorcing, I wonder how many of these celebrations will be happening in the future. Oh, but what celebrations they will be, as they will be a truly rare and special event!

Although Mr. Newman died later in the year of their 50th anniversary, the legacy of their long lasting, committed love in a world that sees that as impossible can continue to encourage those of us who are still in process.

When asked the secret to their long & happy marriage, Paul attributed it to the “correct amounts of lust and respect.” And “. . . because of great impatience tempered by patience. When you have been together this long, sometimes you drive each other nuts, but underneath that is some core of affection and respect.”

It is a great read, accompanied by beautiful pictures.

Paul and Joanne

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Memories are funny things. There are some details of the past that we remember, and other details are forgotten forever.

Twenty-two years ago today I went to a high school football game. My brother was playing on one of the teams, and my fiance was coaching that same team. It was a perfect autumn day … the sun shining brightly, the air crisp, the leaves on the trees in the early stages of turning from bright green to hues of gold and red. It is a day I remember so well, because it was the day of the biggest argument of our dating relationship … the day before our wedding.

I have no idea what we were arguing about, I can only remember the intensity of the emotions I felt. Obviously, whatever it was that had vexed us was resolved, and the following day I met him at the end of the aisle, where we traded in our individual lives for a future together.

The memories of our wedding day decrease with each passing year. If there are this many fewer memories after twenty-two years, will I even remember that I am married in twenty-two more?

But, what I do remember are the vivid broad strokes of our day.

I remember that our wedding started late, and it wasn’t because I was trying to be fashionably late … our soloist was flying into New Brunswick from Toronto, and his flight was late.

I remember that the pastor we had to marry us thought he was at a preach-a-thon … he spoke for about an hour after the processional, before actually marrying us.

I remember that my mother in law wore gray … much cheerier than the black that her mother wore at her wedding.

I remember that, as I looked at my groom awaiting me at the end of the aisle, he was gray (like his mother’s dress), and looked as though he might pass out … so much for the groom’s look of awe at the brides glowing beauty …

So, not all memories are so sweet 😉 but, alas, my memories of our wedding day were also not all so depressing.

I remember a twinge of regret as my dad ‘gave me away’ to my groom.

I remember how confident I felt as I repeated my vows, and said ‘I do.’

I remember that when my groom slipped his ring (a most simple band) on my finger I could not imagine a more wonderful, a more exquisite piece of jewelery in the world.

I remember gladly signing my name on the marriage license.

I remember driving off to our honeymoon (a trip, by car, of over 3000 miles … one way … and hubby wonders why I have little interest in road trips), reliving the details of the day, together.

The memories of that day fill my mind and my heart at times like this, when we remember and celebrate our corporate survival, and our hope of many years to come.

Happy Anniversary Hubby

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