1. Laughter ~ Every marriage has its share of heartache, but overall our laughter has definitely drowned out the tears. My friendship with Jayson deepened dramatically after we each lost a parent in the same year. Despite that pain, we can laugh together at the many joys we continue to experience. We understand each other’s humor, and we can laugh at ourselves and each other. And we do. Often.
2. Adventure ~ Jayson is outdoorsy. I am not. If I had married someone like myself, I would probably never venture into nature. But thanks to Jayson’s gentle nudging (I can call it that... now), I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and into some interesting exploits. I’ve rappelled down a mountainside and tried wakeboarding. My life is infinitely more exciting with Jayson than it was before Jayson!
3. Prayer ~ Something my husband insisted on very early in our relationship (soon after we started dating) was praying together every night. I was very uncomfortable with this at first, as I didn’t used to like praying out loud. But it has become a crucial component of our marriage. It’s proven especially helpful during arguments, because, knowing that we are going to pray before going to sleep, we force ourselves to work out whatever our issue is and solve it so we can pray with a clean conscience. Talk about not letting the sun go down on your anger!
4. Encouragement ~ When someone knows you from the inside out, they can encourage you in a way that no one else can. And it means more coming from that person. It’s beautiful to be able to encourage each other out of love, with an accepting heart despite the outcome.
5. Spiritual Growth ~ Being equally yoked has enabled both of us to grow closer to God. I’ve learned to understand what spiritual headship means, as well as embrace God’s concept of submission. I’ve grown so much in my faith because I married someone already strong in his.
6. Unity ~ My definition of marriage is that of a power team for God. I see us as one unit. Yes, we each have our own interests, likes and dislikes, but we are unequivocally joined as we face the world and everything it throws at us. We fight as one; we celebrate as one.
7. Intimacy ~ By this I mean that no one knows me better than my spouse. Who else would know that the way to my heart is French fries, and that I dislike flowers? Sometimes it’s the little things that stand out.
8. Balance ~ Our marriage is not perfect by any means, but one way we keep it healthy is by balancing each other out. Where I’m extreme, Jayson mellows me out. Where he panics, I calm him down. We’re not two halves that make a whole – we’re two wholes that complement each other. It’s a puzzle that I would never have put together, but God, in His infinite wisdom, made our pieces fit.
9. Faithfulness ~ Marriage is an ongoing effort. It’s continually keeping things fresh, exciting, open and genuine while meeting each other’s needs as well as staying personally fulfilled.
On that bridge over the
Charles River, when Jayson asked on bended knee if I would be his helpmate, I entered into a marriage of three. My wedding day was the happiest day of my life. These past nine years have been ones of extreme growth, but we’ve had a lot of fun along the way. And we’re looking forward to more.
OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.