Thoughts on Marriage on My 20th Anniversary!
I married Carolyn 20 years ago today. It almost doesn’t seem real. When I think about how blessed we are compared to most people, I almost feel a little sad. Our culture is robbed by the toxic idea that marriage can fill our God-shaped voids. To many, marriage has been reduced to a ‘right’…a tool for personal satisfaction – something to enhance our careers & selfish sexual consumption – the twin towers of discontentment. And by the time most people wake up from these broken pursuits, they’ve already forfeited or hobbled the legacy God intended to give them. Their marriages & families are nothing more than a fragmented set of relationships… with each individual enslaved by their own twin towers.
Today, I was thinking about all of the compounding dividends of 20 years of intensional intimacy…
I suppose I could talk about the classic things…like the fact that my wife & I know how to meet each other’s needs more than ever… the joy of worshipping God together… the amazing adventure that erupts when two people live in full surrender to the One who created all this.
But today I’m feeling obsessed with all the things our marriage covenant has multiplied into…
our kids, our broad network of lifegiving mentors, our staff, our church…
Over the last 20, there were many years we could’ve settled for a codependent marriage…a non-cohesive family… a mercenary staff who aren’t a true extension or adoption of our family… or pseudo mentors who masquerade as spiritual parents yet are not. But instead we fought for something better in all of these areas… And we found it.
My wife & I made the decision to painstakingly pursue intimacy & longevity with a network of authentically Godly people. And after 20 years, the benefits are almost overwhelming. Honestly, I feel like I’ve found a sort of divine invincibility… Not that I couldn’t louse it all up – (because, let me tell you, I have that ability!) But that, because we have such a beautiful & symbiotic extended family, I just won’t. And no matter what comes, I’ve got a rich network of friends that simply can’t be taken from me. And it’s wonderful.
I pray that all of you can experience this. I pray that your marriage could be saturated in a divine kind of love – free from idolatry and lust. And I pray that your kids, mentors & church experience could be as rich as mine.
And if you don’t have this… Don’t sweat it. There were many years when this feeling was elusive. And I didn’t even have a clue about how to find it.
So here is the good news: God is into adopting people. (And, by the way, He’s also good at transforming families too). But it all starts with being around another healthy family…healthy marriages…healthy mentors…healthy churches…all of which are a reflection of God.
Thank you God for allowing me these 20 amazing years. I love you God. And I love you Carolyn. Happy 20 to the three of us 😉