Thirty-seven years ago, after a church Valentine banquet, my husband and I shared our first kiss. He was in graduate school and I was merely a high school senior. We had met the end of December at a Campus Crusade for Christ conference, not knowing at the time that our lives would soon merge and we would walk side by side for decades.
I was 18 when we married. A very innocent, naive girl, but sure that marriage to John was what the Lord had in mind for me. I still have love letters we wrote during our engagement, where I pictured the perfect marriage lived in a house surrounded by a white picket fence covered with climbing roses. You might have imagined the same house!
As you know, life doesn't turn out quite like that. We all experience times when marriage is not joy and bliss. When we either throw up our hands and give up, or determine to do the hard work necessary to see it through and build a vibrant, growing marriage.
If I had it to do over again, would I marry John? For sure, but I would make some different choices. I would find better ways to show him how much I respect him. How much I love him and need him. I would never cause him to doubt that he's the most important person in my life.
Luckily for me, I can do it all over again. Each day is a fresh start. Another chance to choose the right responses and to put him first. Another day to walk side by side till death do us part.