The Work Of Love

My wife and I recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. This makes 21 years. I could add the term “Lucky 21,” but that would be misleading and incorrect. This wouldn’t be a term that applies to our marriage and shouldn’t apply to any marriage.

No, to reach 21 years of marriage takes much more than chance or luck. In fact, depending on luck would guarantee only failure. It takes work. The work involved in a marriage relationship, where two become “won,” requires grace, understanding and sacrifice.  

Grace allows us to accept one another’s faults without condemnation. Understanding allows us to respect one another in spite of our imperfections. Through understanding, we also encourage each other to not settle in our mistakes. And by sacrificing we count the other more important than ourselves.  

And all of these are bound by love. In love we work at grace, understanding and sacrifice. None of these exist without the framework of love.  

I look forward to the next 21 years of loving my bride and becoming a better man.  

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Top 10 List For Newlyweds 

As my wife and I prepared to attend a double wedding, I was given the task to sign the cards.  As I thought about our wedding day and our first two years of marriage, I wanted to give the couples something that they could use and to which they could refer as a reference.  So I came up with a Top 10 list of important items for newlyweds to remember that could strengthen their marriage.


So, here it is: Top 10 Things For Newlyweds To Remember:

10 You can’t say “I love you” enough

9. Kiss your spouse often, especially in the morning and at night.

8 No matter how busy you get, never stop having dates

7 “Don’t let the sun go down in your anger”

6 Husbands want to be respected

5. Wives want to be loved 

4 Mutual sacrifice is the key to marriage. Care more about your “Woness” than about your individual selves

3. Remember 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, Love is kind, Love never fails

2. Wives, should look to their husband to lead and husbands should lead by following Christ

1. Always Keep Jesus at the center of your marriage. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Do you have anything to add to this list?

Agape Love on Valentines

According to the National Retail Federation, U.S. consumers will spend just over $18 billion on valentines. This includes jewelry, flowers, cards and clothes. 

Although there is nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day with a special gift for the special person in your life, there’s no doubt that as a society we can get caught up in the consumeristic aspect of the day. But if Valentine’s Day is truly about love, shouldn’t we focus on what kind of love should reflect this day? Or better put- shouldn’t this day reflect an overflow of the love that has been shared over the past year?  

This day should be a reflection of a love that is selfless, giving, serving and patient. The ancient Greeks called this love- Agape love. This is the love that God has for His children. It’s an unconditional, no holds barred love. It’s the kind of love that is should grow when two become “won.” 

 This love is sacrificial, forgiving, patient and kind. It’s the kind of love that I strive to show my wife on a daily basis, though I may fail. It’s the kind of love we read about in 1 Corinthians 13. It’s the kind of love that Jesus has for us.
So today, let’s celebrate the love that we were shown on the cross. Let’s celebrate Agape love.  

Why Is Marriage Fun?

You may hear this a lot- Marriage is fun. But have you ever stopped to think why someone would say that? At the same time someone may say, “marriage is work? Well which one is it-fun or work? How could something that requires work also be fun?
Yes, marriage does require work. Two imperfect people coming together to share life experiences dies require work. But anything that is worth having is worth working for. That’s where the fun comes.  

Work may carry a negative connotation when it comes to marriage. After all, we are told that “there’s someone out there who’s perfect for you” or “wait for that perfect someone.” That my friends is flawed way of thinking. Scripture tells us that nobody is perfect in Ecclesiastes 7:20: “Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” 

So what’s so fun about two imperfect people coming together in a relationship that requires work? There are 5 things about our marriage relationship that make it fun:

1. Growing to know the one you love

2. Serving each other in love

3. Making memories with your love

4. Growing in intimacy 

5. Growing together in God’s love

What do you think is fun about marriage?  

Marriage Work 

The work involved in marriage can be compared to a home improvement project. When we built our house 10 years ago there was that excitement of a newly built house and and trying to make sure that everything stayed spotless and clean. That emotional high lasted about two years. 
After that, cares of the world and other interests made us a little more complacent about keeping up with the new house. All of a sudden, the occasional dust and occasional scratches on the paint became less of an emergency. There was more of a laissez-faire attitude. Well, as we buckled down recently and decided to do home-improvement projects including painting and staining cabinets and hardwood, we are surprised at how much dust and scratches they were all around. We also got into the landscaping and found that weeds had over taken some of the plants and bushes.


Friends, if we treat our marriage like this, not paying attention to the scratches, dents and weeds all around, eventually this will be all that is seen. This will cause the relationship to become stale and lifeless. The energy involved in repairing such a situation can be overwhelming because one does not know where to start.  

Therefore, I urged those that are married to continually make small repairs, adjustments and tune ups. The life of your marriage depends on it.  

Forgetting What’s Behind-Staining Ahead 

If I haven’t made anything clear in my posts, I hope I have been clear about the fact that marriage isn’t easy. Any relationship takes work. In a marriage relationship, where two people are together so much, this is especially true.  
The thing about the perfect institution of marriage is that two very imperfect people join to be “won.” Imperfect people have a past, they have baggage, and they continue to stumble. I know that both Lisa and I fall very short of perfection and I’m sure there are times she would like nothing better dented hit me over the head with a frying pan. 

But in order for fellowship with God to continue, our earthly relationships also have to be in order. This is especially true in the marital relationship. Although not a text about marriage, in Philippians 3:13-14, Paul writes about knowing that he has not attained perfection, he “strains forward” forgetting what’s behind. “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”  

In the same way, Lisa and I must press forward, leaving past hurts, arguments and disappointments behind and straining forward to maintain our “woness.” This is definitely work. It takes determination and strength, but the payoff is great!

Love Is The Way

Marriage is not easy. It takes work, it takes sacrifice, it takes mutual submission and it takes understanding. Most importantly, marriage takes a solid foundation. 
In our marriage the love of Christ provides the necessary foundation for us to function as “won.” This is a foundation based on sacrificial love modeled after our Savior’s love for us. Not that we have attained a perfect marriage, since we are both imperfect, but this is the love for which we strive.


1 Corinthians 13:7-8a describes the love we hope to attain daily.    

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” This is my favorite part of this “love chapter” because, in my mind at least, it describes the “love work” involved in a marriage. We bear, believe, hope and endure.  

In this manner, love never ends. And this is the way of love.