Today marks 24 years of marriage to my high school sweetheart,Steve. "Happy Anniversary, My Love". As I pondered the past 24 years together, I felt led to record a few of the strengths the Holy Spirit has taught me which have afforded us a long, joyous, heartfelt, intimate relationship.
First of all, I must admit...our wedding was not a joyous, fairytale occasion that every girl dreams of. Our wedding was the direct result of me getting pregnant at the tender age of 17. My mother was a complete unhappy basket case at our wedding, realizing that all the hopes and dreams she had for her little girl had swiftly been swept away without a warning! Most people gathered for the “celebration” (and I use that word loosely) making bets on just how long our marriage would last. Few experience true love and commitment at the age of 17, so the odds were certainly stacked against us.
Steve had just finished his senior year of high school and turned 18 twenty-six days before we said “I Do”. I, on the other hand, was still in school just beginning my senior year. We had nothing to our name. My parents purchased a new home complete with an apartment where we were welcomed to reside. Steve worked at Sign Craft during the day, making $5.00/hour and pulled a second job in the evenings at the Donelson YMCA. Mainly, his duties consisted of playing basketball all evening with the other members. Neither of us ever went to college...
The first year we were married we made a commitment to serve Jesus Christ with all our beings. From that day forward, we have been on a beautiful journey “together” of the good and bad, the difficult and the easy, the painful and the glorious, the joyous and the sad, and the highs and the lows. We have weathered many storms. We have overcome the odds and when asked by others about our life and relationship we like to say:
JESUS IS OUR SUCCESS!
We owe everything that we are and everything that we have to our Father above, to our Savior Jesus Christ, and to our precious teacher, the Holy Spirit!
Ladies, I hope you recognize today that YOU are your husband’s helper. As wives, this is our main duty. Aside from God, Steve is first in my life. I arise every morning with him in mind. I drop everything to fulfill a task or an errand he needs performed. His phone call gets answered above all others. His needs come before my very own. So many wives have this backwards! Usually, the unbalance comes with the children. Many wives place their children before their husbands. Marriage does not consist of YOU, YOUR HUSBAND, and THE CHILDREN! Marriage is a covenant and a commitment of promise between a man and a woman. The children are an added gift to be enjoyed together. Placing precedence on Steve has undoubtedly contributed to the happiness of our home. Now, being empty-nesters, we still have a beautiful, fulfilling relationship that was not centered around our children, but around our commitment to the Lord and to each other! It is lasting and true.
I have created a home for Steve that he likes to refer to as his Refuge! After a long hard day of work and the chaos of the world, he can relax and retreat to a clean, comfortable happy place called home! He doesn't return to an atmosphere of bickering and controversy. He is welcomed every day from work with a kiss. Whatever our evenings hold, we are together. I can testify that in 24 years of marriage, there has never been one day that my husband has gotten off from work and desired to go any place else but home!
Respect and honor have been key in our relationship. Every day prayers are prayed specifically for my husband. I am his greatest fan...His number one supporter! He looks to me for edification as well as approval. I remind him of who he is in Christ. I compel him to dream and reach for the impossible. We laugh. We take time to Love. We share. We trust. We communicate! We enjoy the fruits of our labor together. We are true partners. When I succeed He succeeds. When He succeeds then I succeed!
Proverbs 31:11-12 declares -
“The heart of her husband safely trusts in her and she GREATLY enriches his life! She will do her husband good and not evil all the days of her life!”
Friends and fellow wives, this is the beautiful role we have been given by the Lord. YOU have the power to change the atmosphere of YOUR home and marriage! I pray that each and every one of you will renew your commitment to your husband this very day and vow to be his helpmate. Allow the order and blessing of the Lord to fill your relationship. Enjoy every single day you have been given together. Do not settle for the mundane and routine. Relight the fire and passion. Cherish growing old together and may God richly bless your marriage!