What's the first thing you do to start the day? Depending on how you answer that day may say a lot about the priorities you set before yourself. My morning routine usually involves me fumbling to the bathroom to get ready for work, scrambling in the closet for a clean shirt, and then the shallow attempt to eat a little breakfast before bolting out the door.
However, there is one act that I never forget and I cherish every morning. Before I leave I always kiss my wife goodbye. I tell her to have a great day and that I love her. That one act was a morning routine that I started the minute that we got back from our honeymoon and it was meant to be a reminder of rekindling my love for her every morning.
Today is our anniversary. Two years ago my day began a little before 8 in the morning, but I was so anxious that I couldn't eat more than a snack bar. Despite its starved beginnings my wedding day was a day that I won't soon forget, because it was the day when my best friend and fiancée became my wife. Ever since then we've been through some ups and downs, but the one remaining constant has been our love for each other and our faith in God.
When I think about the strength of faith that my wife has I am reminded of these verses from Proverbs that describe an "excellent wife" as someone who fears and follows the Lord, but who also does not strive for gain unless it is from Him. Reading these verses reminds me how amazing my own wife has been over the last two years.
An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. [...] Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 'Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.' Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (Proverbs 31:10-31 ESV)
The Marriage Counselor
God was guiding and preparing us for our marriage walk even before we'd met. The real counselor in your marriage if you are Christian isn't the pastor who spends a few hours with you preparing your for the ceremony; it's the One who spent a lifetime molding you for marriage. God spent the whole of our lives preparing us to walk into marriage and I won't discount His involvement in our relationship then and now. If it wasn't for His hand guiding us through the rough patches and the destructive habits before our marriage I'm pretty sure we would have called it off. Sin before and after marriage is incredibly destructive if held onto and hidden. The lucky thing for my wife and I is that we got our major sins on the table. My future wife cried terribly for me, but she also prayed that those sins would be broken and they were. She will always be an amazing woman.
"Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth..." (Proverbs 5:18 ESV)
In thinking back over the past two years I can't help but dream about the next 50 years. Where we'll be? What we'll have accomplished? Will we have taught our children right? And where our faith in God will be? A walk in marriage is meant to be cherished every day and not taken for granted. The first thing you do in the morning will set the stage for the rest of your day. I may brush my teeth first, but the last thing I do before I leave the house is kiss my wife and tell her how much I love her. Always cherish your spouse and make each day your wedding day. You may not be wearing your best suit, but you'll definitely be pouring out the best love that comes straight from God.