Today is our wedding anniversary. The Benevolent Dictator and I have been celebrating for the better part of two and a half days. It’s been a blissful break from the daily grind, even though we’re blessed that our life together hasn’t really ever felt like a grind.
That isn’t to say we’ve never had times of friction, or seasons of trial. 23 years is a long time to be together and not have any troubles, and we’ve had a few. We are unequivocally able to testify, however, that leaving was never considered an option, and we’ve never been separated or even on the brink of separation.
We’re not even sure when we decided, individually or as a couple, that this was it. That this was the real thing, and that there was no thing, no one, and no place where we could go that would be any more of a home than we have with each other. Anything less undercuts the meaning of marriage and the definition of love itself.
One of two things happens when you decide you’re “stuck”. You can respond with the agitation and frustration of a caged animal, or you can embrace the good, settle in, count your many blessings, and enjoy the ride. The latter falls squarely within the parameters of the Biblical exposition on love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
If I had to grade my mothering skills, I would probably give myself a C+. I cooked good food, kept the kids safe, and kept a hygienic house. The ‘C’ is because I was not always the most patient mother and I yelled more than I should have.
The ‘+’ is for one reason and one reason only: I know for certain that we have modeled for our children what it means -and looks like- to be joyfully married, and not just together for a long time. We gave them, mainly through serendipity, an invaluable gift.
If there is any human credit to be taken for that, I’ll present it to the Benevolent Dictator, but I know he would rather be both thank God for our blessing of wedded bliss.