Tomorrow John and I will celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. Sometimes I struggle to believe God has really allowed me, a woman with such extensive physical disabilities, to be married to anyone. It amazes me even more that He allowed me to marry a man who loves Scripture and desires to live in a godly manner.
Of course, we’ve had our squabbles, arguments, fights and yelling matches over the years. We may be disabled, but we’re normal. We’re both wretched sinners who forget to walk in the Spirit, just like any other Christian couple. I’m not making excuses; I’m simply stating facts so the rest of this article won’t leave the impression that we’re perfect. I guarantee, we’re not!
For the most part, we we’re baffled when people say marriage is hard work. If we’re working hard at marriage, we certainly don’t know it! We enjoy spending time together, whether we have dates in Boston or we clown around with our Personal Care Attendants in the apartment. We laugh a lot, but we also invest a lot of time praying together, reading God’s Word and listening to solid Christian teaching online. Most joyous of all, we love worshiping together with our church family on Sunday mornings.
The Lord has blessed us with spiritual growth, moving us from Charismatic beliefs to the doctrines of grace. Although I can’t speak for John, I’ve appreciated growing with him rather than one of us moving in this direction without the other. Our unity in Christ has given a sweetness to our marriage that I don’t think words could adequately describe.
Both of us say these past 16 years have been our happiest, despite losing the ability to be as actively involved in church as we were during our single years. Although I can’t speak for John, I wouldn’t trade my life as his wife for all the fun I had back then. The fun we have now may be quieter and less exciting, but it has a depth of richness that often compels me to thank the Lord for ordaining this marriage.
My sense of awe doubles as I think about the circle of Christian women I fellowshipped with prior to marriage. All in our 40s, we struggled with our yearnings for marriage. Some eventually ended up in disappointing marriages, some divorced shortly after they married and some never found husbands.
Thinking about these dear sisters in Christ causes me to wonder why the Lord blessed me with such a joyful, fulfilling marriage. I’m no more spiritual or obedient than they. Some of them exhibited greater devotion to Jesus than I. Really, I can think of no reason that I have a godly husband other than the mercy and grace of Jesus.
So if you’re reading this blog post hoping for hints on having a happy marriage, I’ll have to disappoint you. The success of our marriage has nothing to do with me, and little to do with John. The Lord Jesus Christ deserves all the glory and praise. John and I can’t thank Him enough.