I can hardly believe that it has been fourteen years since Casey and I started dating! Our marriage relationship will officially be a “teenager” this July when we celebrate thirteen years of marriage.
I tell people all the time that I truly believe neither Casey nor myself knew what we were committing to when we walked the aisle. I was twenty-one years old and she was eighteen. We had dated for about a year and a half, most of that spent planning the wedding and shopping for our first home. Casey graduated high school in May and walked down the aisle in July. We were young and in love!
When I say that we didn’t know what we were committing to, I mean that we had no way of knowing what the future would hold for us and our marriage. I don’t mean that we were not sure of the decision we were making. We were as sure as we could have been, but we were both young and still learning who we were as individuals.
Over the years, we have received compliments from time to time about the health of our marriage. Just yesterday, a lady that I work with and attend church with commented on FaceBook about it how we seem to “complete” each other. Occasionally, we are asked by friends or family how we have such a healthy marriage.
Honestly, most of the credit has to go to the Lord and Casey! Our relationship has been full of grace from the Lord! We have seen many times of celebration, our share of disappointments, and some times which we felt as if we were getting our tails whipped by the devil! I have, by no means, been the “perfect” husband and I honestly don’t believe one exists. I have put my foot in my mouth many more times that I would care to admit. I have been insensitive at times, impatient often, and spoken harshly to Casey at other times. I have also been kind, considerate, and patient with her.
But when we are asked about how we make our marriage work so well, I honestly believe it is because of the little things that we have done, such as share meals together, pray and read together, and also sharing some mutual hobbies. Just a few days ago, I told Casey that I was extremely thankful that we have hobbies that we enjoy together. We exercise together at the gym and we sometimes go jogging together. Just this past Saturday, we participated in a 6K race in Greenville, SC. These are things we both enjoy and are able to do them together.
If I could highlight a few things that I believe we have done right over the past 13-14 years, I would have to say it has been:
Our commitment to belong to a local church…
Casey and I have been members of a local church the entire duration of our relationship. We have never gone more than a couple of weeks of missing church. And we don’t just attend church, we actively serve in the church. Even when we were first married, we assisted the church we were members of with VBS and other things. And we have not been what you would call church-hoppers. During the 13-14 years of our relationship, we have belonged to 3 different churches. We have allowed ourselves to be known in the church and have grown to know others. Through this, we have learned so much that has helped us in our relationship.
Reading books together…
One other thing that I believe has helped our marriage is our commitment to reading positive books together. Not only have we read relationship books together, we have made it a habit to just read any book that has positive content. These books have exposed us to the lives of others, their struggles, and have positioned us to better navigate our own struggles.
Above all else, Casey is my friend! Just this morning as I left for work, I kissed her goodbye and told her I loved her. And I held her hand for just a few seconds. It was then that God reminded me how blessed I am to have such a friendship with my wife. We have our moments, but I can say with one hundred percent integrity and transparency that she is my best friend and I enjoy spending time with her!
The Story of Marriage…
Starting this Sunday morning at 9:15am, our church will host a marriage class (small group style) covering the material from a book by John and Lisa Bevere, titled The Story of Marriage. I have not personally read this book yet, but I have read other material from John Bevere and I am excited about this semester of our marriage class.
Ken and Kim Boggs will be hosting the class again this semester. They have been married for approximately 42 years, they have several children and grandchildren, and they have committed to leading our church through this course.
If you are married, engaged to be married, or have the hopes to be married one day, I encourage you to attend this course. There is no commitment other than to check it out and see for yourself. We meet every other Sunday at 9:15, taking a few months off during the summer and winter months.
I believe one hundred and twenty percent that the combination of going through the book together as a couple and in belonging to a family of like-minded believers will strengthen your marriage. You will learn very quickly that we all have our own struggles and hiccups. The enemy will tell you that you are the only one that struggles with these issues, but truthfully they are par for the course.
I hope to see you there Sunday morning and look forward to this journey through The Story of Marriage!
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