Twenty-five years ago today, I married my college sweetheart.
We were young.
We were head-over-heels in love.
We had dreams.
We had goals.
We also had virtually no money.
We had a 1984 silver Volkswagen Rabbit which easily contained all our earthly possessions.
We rented a one bedroom apartment that ran $300, including all utilities, and we didn’t know how we’d swing that payment each month on our combined Youth Pastor & substitute teacher’s salary.
Friends & family furnished our little nest for us with hand-me down furniture.
We had a 17 inch black & white TV.
And a rotary dial wall phone.
But most of all, we had high hopes of staying married “til death do us part”.
Now, over the years, while we have had tons of memory-making special times and loads of fun (we really do love to goof off together) we have also had MANY trials, bumps in the road and knock-down, drag-out, flesh ball wars.
Todd calls selfishness, harsh words and other domestic disputes ‘throwing flesh balls’, since at that point, we are not walking in the Spirit with gentleness but gratifying the desires of our stinkin’, rotten flesh!! (check out Galatians 5:15-17 for more info on what I’m talking about.)
Not only the male-female differences in our make-up, but our polar opposite (I mean from the South Pole to Santa’s workshop kind of opposite) personalities are grounds for conflict.
We often joke that if we went on an Internet dating site and entered our personality profiles, the screen would show us all of the possible soul mates. Then, at the bottom, we’d see each other’s picture with a bright red warning blinking DO NOT DATE!! TOTALLY INCOMPATIBLE!!!
We’ve discovered that the hearts and XXOO’s and lovey-dovey feelings we had in college just aren’t enough to keep a marriage together through the difficult births of three kids and the loss of one, periods of unemployment, disappointment and serious questioning as to whether or not we’d married the right person.
We’ve wondered, “Were we too young?”, “Did we just feel pressure to get engaged before graduation at our small Christian college where there was as much pressure to get a B.A. as there was to get your MRS. degree?”, “Did we hear God wrong?”
So what has kept two babies-of-the-family, prone-to-selfishness-&-flesh-ball-wars, very-different-personalities people married for a quarter century?
One word: GLORIFY.
We, as Christ followers, are told over & over to ‘glorify’ God. That means to make Him famous.
And our marriages are to be a picture of Christ & the church. He loves us, gave of Himself sacrificially to us and will never leave us.
So, a less-than-perfect match-up in marriage gives the watching world a reflection of God if we treat each other as He treats us.
And it sure gives HIM all the credit for the old silver anniversary because, if left to ourselves, we might not have made it into double digits!!!
Yep, twenty-five years ago today, I had no idea what was really in store.
And just one year ago today, I remember wondering how we’d ever have any extra cash to take a little get-away for just the two of us on our 25th.
Well, our crazy kids–spear-headed by our 20 year-old Kenna– along with some family members and several friends (you all know who you are and we’re STILL writing thank you notes) banded together to give us this (pics by Kenna):
It was a vase full of five dollar bills!!!! A total of $860 for a get-away trip for the two of us! And no, they didn’t come up with $860 because we were married in ’86. God did that.
We both were a bawling, blessed mess.
I’ll keep you posted with how we use it. (The hardest part is we had to promise NOT to use it for groceries or anything for the house or kids!)
We are seriously overwhelmed with not only the goodness of God but with the generosity of family & friends!!!
So, Todd Ehman, if you are reading this in your email in-box….
I love you.
I don’t always like you, nor you me, but together we love God & want to make Him famous.
And that, handsome college sweetheart, makes this crazy marriage work and makes you a lifelong keeper!
(And by the way, after 25 years, I still think you are hot!)
You said it to me then and it still holds true today…….“Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3