I wrote this for our anniversary a little more than a year ago, but I wanted to share it again here on my blog.
Today is our anniversary. Sixteen years ago, Josh and I got married. We stood in front of 300 people, all our family, and God himself and vowed to love and honor each other exclusively regardless of what may come. We looked into the unknown future with hope and resolution. We asked God to help us uphold our commitment to each other, to the Divine institution of marriage, to God who loves us and gave us to each other.
But a couple of months before this wonderful day, I had a college friend try to talk me out of getting married. Why don’t Josh and I just live together? Why would you promise to stay with one person forever? People change, how do you know you’ll love each other 5 years from now? Then he said something really stupid, “You wouldn’t eat the same kind of cereal every day for the rest of your life, so why would you want to have sex with the same person for the rest of your life?” This guy was an idiot, to be sure, but really this is how the world thinks. And to this day, this guy is still single, lonely, and broken. Is it any wonder?
There are many, many problems with the world’s logic here. But the one I’m thinking about today is that PEOPLE ARE NOTHING LIKE CEREAL. He was right about one thing, people do change over time. And not only is that the challenge of marriage, but it is one of the pleasures of marriage too. As time goes on and your spouse changes, a couple will have to work to stay close. Yes it is hard work, but it’s never boring. Think of it this way, you are never going to be finished getting to know this person. You will never tire of exploring the ever changing landscape of marriage. You will never get to the end of discovering the details of this person. And physical intimacy just gets better and better because “practice makes perfect”, right? It’s true that cereal stays the same, never changes, and gets boring over time. But people are nothing like cereal.
I’m fully confident that God knew what he was doing when he designed humans to be monogamous partners for life. Upholding marriage as an institution is not enough to keep a couple together when times get tough. But trusting God and honoring his promises with our lives gives us the chance to participate in something so deep and fulfilling, so far beyond our human understanding, that anything less is a very poor substitute. We were created by God- God gave us marriage as a gift. And 16 years ago I took God at his word, I trusted that doing things God’s way would bring me happiness, fulfillment, companionship, security, and love. I have upheld my end of the bargain, and God has fulfilled all his promises as well. He has been faithful to us and we have no regrets in trusting God’s plan.
I don’t know very much about wine, but they say that a good wine gets better with age. Marriage is the same way. It seems to just get better and better as the years go by. But a bowl of cereal just gets stale or spoiled with age. And people are nothing like cereal.