June is a popular month to get married. I know that because recently my Facebook feed has been inundated with husbands and wives wishing each other a happy anniversary. I’m sure I will follow the herd next Wednesday.
You see, on June 17, 1999, I married a beautiful woman named Clariza.
My conundrum is what I should post on Facebook. Should I scan a picture from our wedding day? Should I post a picture of us today? Should I put a picture of only her?
What should I say? Some guys try to keep it simple and to the point. Others drone on and on. Some make jokes. Others wax poetic.
This is tough. If I don’t post enough, she may think I am not trying. If I do too much, she might think I am doing it for show.
What makes matters worse is my wife and I are polar opposites. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Just about every thought which rumbles around in my brain eventually comes rumbling out of my mouth. My wife is different. She is private. She is careful. She is guarded.
Though we struggle at times because of our differing personalities, we are good for each other. My wife balances me. She completes me. (Sorry about the reference to Jerry Maguire. Bad movie. Great line.)
Over the years, I have had the privilege of counseling many marriages. Each one is different. Some marriages are a constant struggle. Others seem to flow effortlessly. They all have one thing in common though.
They are meant to be.
I know that because Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” When my wife and I vowed to love each other as husband and wife until death do us part, God joined us together. We were meant to be together, like Adam and Eve.
Soon after God created Adam, he said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” Then he made a lifelong companion for Adam. That is the purpose of marriage. The love of a marriage isn’t primarily romantic love. It isn’t sexual attraction. The love of a marriage is first and foremost a friendship.
A while back, I was speaking to a good friend about her husband who passed away a few years ago. They were married nearly sixty years. When she speaks of him, tears well in her eyes. She struggles to speak. She misses him dearly.
What does she miss? The romance? The sex? Of course not. She misses her best friend. She misses her lifelong companion. They didn’t have a perfect marriage. They had their struggles. In the end, though, he was her partner on life’s journey.
The heart of marriage is friendship. The marriage promise is a commitment to work at that friendship and keep it strong. Honestly, some marriages are easier than others. But just because your marriage is difficult – just because your friendship is strained – doesn’t mean you weren’t meant to be together.
What God has joined together, let no one separate.
Does that mean he wants you to live together unhappily ever after? No. What he wants is for you to work on that friendship – to love and forgive as he has loved and forgiven you. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s worth it.
God has blessed you with a companion to walk beside you on life’s journey. Appreciate that gift. Grow that gift. Keep that friendship strong.
In the end, maybe that’s all I need to say on my anniversary: “She’s my best friend.”