SPOILER ALERT: The following blog contains large amounts of mildly sappy, personal information and is intended to be an homage to my better half. Nevertheless, I hope others enjoy and are able to glean something useful here. #SorryNotSorry
To my beautiful wife, Ashley, whom I gratefully adore and thank God for. I am a better husband, father, and man because of you.
With the New Year just around corner, and in the spirit of that often bright and reflective season, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my own life. You see, 2016 is somewhat of a big year for me. Why, you might ask? Ten years ago an awkward, bumbling young man (that would be me) mustered enough courage to ask a pretty, young brunette girl (that would be my wife) out on a date. To my surprise, she said yes.
Not only does 2016 mark ten years of being a couple, but it also marks five years of marriage. While our life together is still a young one, comparatively speaking, and while I wholly admit to having much more to learn, time is not the only thing that matures a marriage. Over the course of our life together, we have weathered a variety of trials – both good and bad: we have been blessed with two of the most adorable heathens imaginable, we have a quaint place to call “home”, and we have a community of supportive friends and family to rely upon.
The blessings are all the more sweeter when I consider them in light of the trials we have suffered as well: we have endured natural disaster and homelessness together, fought bitterly, cared for parents with disability and cancer, and borne the heavy weight of burying a parent far too early. Ashley has cared for a husband with heart problems, and (I’m sure) has worried about being widowed “before it’s time.” I have provided an anchor for her, when she was tossed back and forth in the emotional turbulence of postpartum depression. We have laughed . . . and we have wept. And, to add insult to injury, I know that our sinful tendencies have caused more than a few scars in each other.
I’m not merely waxing nostalgic here. I have a point and a purpose, and that purpose is this: We have not quit on our marriage. Nowhere near close. It is our commitment to imitating Christ that has kept our union joined, and will continue to do so. My wife is undoubtedly an amazing, beautiful, strong, and forbearing person. But the type of love that is needed for a successful marriage cannot be conjured by mere human determination. There is nothing natural about, “consider others more highly than yourself,” “love one another as I have loved you,” or “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, to maker her holy.”
As 2016 approaches, and as I consider the numerous blessings and mercies God has shown me, I will thank God for my wife and all of the admirable qualities she possesses. Most of all, I will thank God for giving us both new life in the Spirit, and a commitment to love and honor one another as we follow Him. New Years is the perfect season for a fresh start. Consider, then, starting off the New Year with me by renewing your resolve to love and honor your spouse with the strength God provides. In other words, to do that which does not come naturally. We are all sinful, imperfect people – but with God, all things are possible.
Lastly, I’d like to close with a personal note: Ashley, you are my joy, my treasure, my bride. Here’s to – Lord willing – 50 or more years of image-bearing, self-sacrificing, covenant-keeping, Christ-honoring marriage.
BY: Jeff Romine