Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Darling

Every year on or around our wedding anniversary I write what I affectionately call the state of the union missive to my wife.  The title is purposely tongue-in-cheek.  The sole reason for writing it is to celebrate my beautiful wife, to remind her again how much I love and adore her, and to guard myself from ever taking for granted the undeserved blessing she is to me.

Another tradition is our anniversary pilgrimage to a popular get-away vacation spot in our state.  The place we retreat is also where we were first hitched.  In fact, I'm writing this while sitting on the porch of our favorite B & B.  The day is absolutely idyllic, much as it had been the afternoon of our nuptials.  Earlier today we picnicked down by the water.  It was just us, a couple of young families enjoying their lunches, a light breeze, the periodic calls of the resident sea gulls, and a pleasure craft motoring out into the bay.

Why am I telling you this?

It is in the kinds of moments such as the one I related above, where we have our best chance at seeing our spouse.  In the calm serenity and the temporary withdrawal from the cares of life, we have an opportunity to peer into the heart of the companion God has blessed us with.  There are imperfections to be found, there, to be sure; such imperfections are also within us for our spouse to see.  But I'm suggesting in these tranquil moments, if we really want to, we can call an amnesty, and for a moment see our spouse from his/her perspective--nay, God's perspective--rather than our own.

Some of you at this point might be thinking, "You don't know my wife!" or "You don't know how much my husband hurt me."  Of course I don't, at least not in the specific details of your situation.  But trust me, I've lived long enough to understand what you are going through; I can empathize with you.  But I'm suggesting things will never change for the good if you keep looking at your spouse in the harsh light of accusation and resentment.  Despite your take on the history, your spouse carries within him or her the same fears, hopes, failed dreams, and need to be loved as you do.  I'm suggesting if you simply take a moment to weigh out each of those areas in your spouse without doctoring the balance with your personal weights and measures, you will suddenly know how you can love your spouse for his/her benefit.  And in the process you will be better able to assess your own true situation.

Here's what I propose:

Love you spouse
Forgive your spouse
         never look back again
Love your spouse
Tear down the wall between you
         even if certain you're not the mason
Love your spouse
Hear his cry
         it may be inaudible
Love your spouse
Dry her tears
         the well might run deep
Love your spouse
Celebrate his success
         it might be all that's left him
Love your spouse
Rejoice in her strength
         she might have much to carry
Love your spouse

And never, never, never, seek to make him or her in your image.  One can never love one's spouse unless one first loves God.  And that begins with understanding He wants all of us to bear His image.

Happy Anniversary my dear, Sara.  Thank you for making it so easy to see the love of Christ.