It's kinda hard to believe that it's been 11 years.... on the other hand though, it's kinda hard to believe that it's only been 11 years!
We dated for 2 1/2 months.
We were engaged for 5 1/2 months.
And yep, we're celebrating 11 years of marriage!
We've had our good times.
We've had our bad times.
There's been definite periods of poorness.
And while we've never reached richness status, there's definitely been periods of more money!
We've made up.
We've cried together.
We've laughed together.
We've been through a lot.
I believe that being dedicated to your marriage and to God is what it takes for a marriage to succeed.
Trust me, there are going to be moments (maybe even days, weeks, or months) that you honestly think that ending your marriage would be for the best. However, if you are married to a good, solid Christian man like I am, more than likely those thoughts aren't right. Even Christians get caught up in fleshly moves and let me tell you, there are plenty of things that annoys my flesh!
What does it take, though, to stay married? Being dedicated. My favorite definition is "having single-minded loyalty or integrity". It means that I'm not letting anything interfere with my loyalty. Nothing- not even the annoying fleshly things- is going to stand in the way of my marriage.
Once you've decided to be dedicated to your marriage and to God (after all, God is the author of marriage and He wants your marriage to succeed), you must then be willing to forgive. In the 11 years that I've been married, there has been a LOT of forgiveness going on. Sometimes it's me doing the forgiving, while other times it's me receiving the forgiveness. During some of the bad times and periods of poorness decisions were made that shouldn't have been. Since my husband is the head of the household and ultimate decision maker, it would have been real easy for me to use those moments and build walls in our marriage. A lot of people thought poorly of him due to the circumstances those decisions led to. I won't say that it was an easy thing, but forgiving my husband for poorly made decisions have saved my marriage. Neither one of us is perfect and we both make poor decisions, but thankfully- Thank you, God!- we've learned from at least some of our past mistakes and are diligently striving not to repeat them. There were times in my marriage that no one would have faulted me had I left it, but I chose to be dedicated to my husband, our marriage, and to God and I chose to forgive.
Happy 11th Anniversary, Nick! I love you and thank God for you!