My husband and I went out for a steak dinner last night for our 12th anniversary. We had a wonderful time together. Our server was very sweet. I think her name was Keri. As we were paying the bill, we mentioned to Keri that it was our anniversary. This led into a conversation about her own marriage.
Keri has been married for about two years. They do not yet have kids, but Keri definitely wants to be a mom someday. As we told her we enjoyed going somewhere without our four children, she remarked that she had heard having kids changes everything. Yep! Once we knew our first child was on the way, our priorities shifted. We told her, though, that the kids are just here for the ride. It's important that this (motioning to each other) relationship was still more important. When the kids are gone, we still have to be with each other, and like and love each other.
Keri seemed to really take to that device. She then told us about how living with her new husband is still an adjustment, to say the least. She told us a story about a time when they were on vacation with some friends, and her husband "forgot" that he was holding her shopping bag. Instead of returning to his bride's room, he took the bag and stayed out with the friends. He even shared some of the treats that were in his wife's bag. When Keri finally got a hold of her husband, he told her that he didn't know whose bag it was and he was worried he had stolen it. Keri thought that this was a funny newlyweds story. I was thinking "Keri's husband has a drinking problem. They better get that in check, quick." As we left the restaurant, Brian grabbed my hand. He gave it an extra squeeze. We agreed to pray for Keri and her husband's marriage.
Our own marriage is not perfect in any way. We have learned to rely on each other more than ourselves. We are still learning each other's quirks, and each other's weaknesses. We have been adapting, and our relationship has been evolving. We are each other's best friends. Although we have different roles, we are still partners in ministry. We are not just companions, but God has joined us to be One. Although we have many differing opinions, we agree on the most important thing. When we put God first in our marriage, things become clear.
I encourage everyone to put God first, married or not. It is not just about "God is watching you", but is "what you are about to do pleasing and honoring God?" God wants us to honor our spouse (if you have one), and God wants His bride, the Church, to honor Him.
Ephesians 5:23 (English Standard Version)
In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.