I just had to do it

drumroll…

today is the 37th anniversary of our wedding day.   time flies when you’re having fun.

true to form,  we’ve messed up another one!   i’ve got my weekly breakfast with a bunch of guys at whataburger in the morning.   wanda’s gonna babysit our grandkids until late in the afternoon.  i’ve got volleyball camp from noon till 3:00.   i’m hoping to shovel another truckload of dirt and deliver it to another dirt-starved friend before the young adult bible study tonight at our house at 7:oo.  we’ll finish off the day boo’ing at lebron in the nba finals with friends until it’s time to go to bed.

man…if that isn’t a picture of our married life,  i don’t know what is!

you can wag your head in judgment or reprimand us for our wrong priorities,  but you would be wasting your time and breath.   like i said yesterday,  every marriage is unique.   this one has worked for us…and it’s still working.   let me give you four notions we have built our relationship on for over four decades (including five years of dating):

first,  surrender yourselves to something bigger than your own happiness.   i am so weary of couples who live in conflict and turmoil in their relationship …all because they cannot live above their own self-centeredness.   it’s all about their world…their lives…their kids …their happiness… their contentment …their little kingdom.   life and love is meant to be given away.   to as many people as possible.

it is in the giving away of ourselves to others that we can find depths of love to share with our partner that we never dreamed was possible.   this is how god has designed us to live and when we consistently choose the path of self-centeredness,  we miss what we were created to be…especially for the one we choose to marry.

second, do things together.   find things you both enjoy and never stop doing them together.   work is a drag.  there will never be enough money.   kids totally get in the way.   extended family will always make unrealistic demands.   stuff breaks and needs to be fixed.  the urgent always screams louder than the needed.   life just gets in the way.   i get it.   but don’t give up doing things together.

play games together.   travel together.   watch tv together.   read books together.  talk together.   study the word and live in god’s presence together.   for us,  the most practically useful thing we’ve ever done for our marriage has been to serve together.  to invest our lives for the good of others and the good of the kingdom has shaped us,  taught us,  held us accountable,  changed us,  challenged us,  and moved us from the center of the universe.   it’s given meaning to our marriage.

third,  don’t let money (the pursuit of it…the lack of it…or the love of things it can buy) control you.   learn to be content with what you have.   learn to give it away.   learn to trust that god will always take care of you.   learn to be grateful for what you have.   the freedom from worry will give you time and emotional energy to spend loving each other and serving those around you.

fourth,  don’t stop laughing.  laugh at yourself.   laugh at each other.   laugh at the situations you find yourself in.   there is plenty of sadness to go around.   life is difficult and demanding and unrelenting.   laugh with each other anyway.

a huge thanks to david for posting the lyrics to the song “in spite of ourselves” yesterday.   it’s a funny love song by country singer, john prine…sung as a duet with iris dement.   the song is funny,  geeky,  off-color,  moving,  and pure genius.   and it could be one of the greatest “love” songs ever.  *wanda rolls her eyes*

even if pg-13, goofy, country songs are not your cup of tea,  you’ll have to admit the song has one of best lines two people in love (for life) could ever say to each other:

“…against all odds, honey, we’re the big door prize.”   

wanda,  that pretty much says it all.   happy anniversary!

for those of you who need to satisfy your curiosity,  here’s the video.   and try to keep from laughing.   go ahead.  just try.

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