Today I celebrate my 11th anniversary. I have been with the same wonderful person for four thousand and fifteen days – and counting. The majority of these days have been filled with pure enjoyment. On many occasions I have found myself on the verge of tears asking God why He blessed me so abundantly. Other days, however, have been incredibly challenging. On these days, where love and bliss feels distant, I hold on to my commitment.
We live in a microwave society. Everything we want from fast-food to research is at our finger-tips and attainable in minutes. Marriage, however, is very much the opposite. Like anything of worth and value, marriage takes hard work, time, effort, and a conscious decision to recommit; day after day, year after year.
I’m never too surprised when I hear new lovers say, “I’ve never felt this way before” or “this person makes me feel alive.” What usually follows a short time after, unfortunately, is “they just didn’t make me feel special anymore” or “I wasn’t happy with her/him.” While I would never advocate staying in a loveless or emotionless relationship what I do know however is that we far too easily give up on relationships, and our commitment to stay in love.
Yes, love is an emotion, a feeling of butterflies and rainbows at times. Much more than that though love is a verb. Love takes work, a lot of hard work. A large part of that work is making the decision to commit and recommit daily. Recommit your vows, recommit your dedication, and recommit your decision to support your spouse, encourage and forgive your spouse, elevate your spouse and continually find ways that keep your marriage alive. When this is the focus, happiness overflows.
An anniversary is a medal. A marital medal is a souvenir born from the most difficult task there is; to lay your life down for another – for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. And that takes commitment.