Today is Deanna and Eddie’s 30th wedding anniversary. When I say that in a crowd, everyone’s eyes go big and they notice (again) the number of white hairs in my beard. Their eyes go big because most folks can’t conceive something as fundamental to one’s life as a spouse being the same for three decades (and because it reminds them again that I’m a lot older than they are).
What I’d like to remind folks, first of all, is that people change. The gal I married thirty years ago and the gal I’m married to today have the same name and social security number, but they are not the same person. If I’ve learned anything in 30 years, it is that the person I am married to is not a static robot. She changes. She matures, and grows wiser, and knows the Lord better, and overcomes selfish habits, and lets me have my space, and needs her own, too. She adjusts. She improves. She works things out, and often can do so without my help or insistence. Like a fine wine, it takes time, but it is worth the wait. Were she and I both bottles of aged wine, I’m sure her vintage would be worth far more than mine.
Secondly, I’d like to remind folks that it is not my spouse’s job to make me happy. That job would absolutely suck, because what it takes to make me happy changes all the time. It’s not her job to complete me, or give my life meaning, or to become the center of my world, either. Those roles belong to Jesus, my Living God, Who is unchanging, holy, and worthy of all praise. My wife is not a god, so she is not to be laden with the kinds of expectations I could put on a god. I am sure she knows that I am not a god, too, and I’m grateful to her for not placing godlike expectations on me. I’d never make the grade if she did that to me.
So, what is my spouse’s job? She is to love me, and I tell you, she does. Through everything, she is there. We share good times, anxious time, times of great change, and times that change so little they almost seem boring. She is there when I am full of energy and deciding to change the world, and she is there when I’m hardly breathing and bored with everything. She is there when I’m fun and she’s there when I’m a pain in the keyster. She is there and she loves me.
For at least another 30 years, or however long we’ve got, by the power of the Spirit of Grace, I will be there for her just like she will be there for me. Deanna is the girl God gave me, after all, out of all the girls out there, and life has shown me over and over again that He made the right call.