Yesterday my wife and I celebrated three years of marriage. We started the day like any other day; getting ready for work and together getting Grayson ready for school. This, along with other things has become our norm; a home full of laundry in and out of the washer and dryer, figuring out what is for dinner, feeding and changing Grayson and trying to find some time to just rest and sleep. I wish I could say that our marriage is great or perfect but the truth is it's not and no marriage is. Those that are honest with themselves will agree with that. We have our hard times like any other couple. We struggle, we argue and disagree but their is two things that are core for Shannon and I; we pray together every night before bed and their is rarely a day that goes by that we don’t laugh together. It’s the prayer and the laughter that I believe sustains us through the hard times. It’s these things that make our marriage amazing.
Humor me for a moment while I take us down an ugly old road. A road that is filled with heartache, poor decision making, divorce and eventually, years later... redemption. My life eight years ago was very different than what I am experiencing today. Honestly, it is eight years ago almost to the day that my first marriage ended. It ended because I believe I failed. I failed at being a husband. I failed at being the man, the human being that I knew I was supposed to be. Their is no manual on how to have a great marriage but their are core things that we should follow. We should make sure our spouse feels like they are the only woman in the room filled with thousands of people. We should put them first above work, other family, friends, money and yes, we should put them before our children. They need to know that they are your priority.
Without going into too much detail in my first marriage I was selfish. I put everything before my spouse. When I thought I was working towards a future for both of us; I look back and think that it was actually a future for me. It took me losing everything to gain EVERYTHING. I teach my students two main things; being a good person first and failure is one of the greatest things that happen to you. You need to feel that feeling of failure. It makes you stronger, it builds character, it helps make you a good person. You appreciate what you have and fight harder never to lose it.
The great thing about failure in my life is that God has loved me with his reckless love. He has an overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love for me. His love "chased me down and fought for me till I was found." He has shown me that THAT is the type of love I have to have for my spouse. Just because I have her doesn't mean I stop fighting for her. A spouse should never stop pursing and fighting for the other. All this said, I realize I'm far from getting it perfect but everyday I keep trying. I don't forget where I have come from and the failures I have endured. I hold onto the fact that I will keep trying everyday to love her with a reckless love.
Shannon is the greatest thing that has happened to me outside of coming to know the Lord. She loves me more than I deserve, forgives me when I fail her, encourages me to continue to pursue my dreams and together we are raising the most amazing son. This is my second chance and I'm so thankful for a love like hers. Here is to an amazing life filled with backpack and baby.