This week your dad and I are celebrating 20 years of marriage and I need to tell you a few important things.
First of all, twenty years.
Your dad married me two days before my 22nd birthday. It was the best birthday of my life.
He surprised me on our wedding day and sang to me and we’ve been making music together since.
(Yeah, this officially makes us old. And gross. Keep reading.)
You know how as musicians you play a piece over and over again, until you get it right? And sometimes even with all the practice and perseverance, you don’t play it perfectly, but you still make music? And then sometimes, you play it and the sound fills the room and you know you’ve nailed it?
That’s what marriage is like.
It’s a lot of hard work, it takes a lot of practice, a lot of redoing and fine tuning. There are missed notes and off days mixed with magical moments and beautiful melodies. And if you ask an accomplished musician if they’ve ever played a piece perfectly, they answer no. But they keep playing.
A good marriage isn’t about one bad day or one good one. It’s about not quitting on either.
Your dad and I have had both. You’ve seen some good and bad and there are stories of freedom and forgiveness we will tell you when you’re ready.
A good marriage is about looking for the small gifts that we don’t always see.
Like when your dad got home in the middle of the night recently from his out-of-state trip. It wasn’t because of a delayed flight, it was because he stopped to help a man in the parking lot jump his car. I used to get angry about things like this–arriving home late, making dinner wait, but when I really look past the small inconveniences, I see the big heart of a good man, always looking for ways to help other people.
Daughters, this is the kind of man I married.
And it’s the kind I pray for in your future.
I pray you’re the kind of wife who counts the good your husband does more than you count the bad.
I pray you’re the kind of wife that says I’m sorry first.
I pray you’re the kind of wife who asks Jesus for help.
Because that’s the kind of wife I want to be.
Son, since you were a little boy, you’ve been trying on your dad’s shoes. Keep following his steps.
I pray you’re the kind of husband who makes your wife laugh until her sides ache.
I pray you’re the kind of husband who whispers over your wife in prayer when she’s asleep.
I pray you’re the kind of husband who will love God more than anything else.
I pray you’re the kind of husband who will bring sweet tea on sour days.
Because that’s the kind of dad you have.
I pray you know deep, abiding love. I pray you are each other’s favorite people. I pray you are good forgivers when you drive each other crazy and believe in each other when you can’t believe in yourself.
I pray you have half of what we have.
Most of all, I pray you keep God in the middle to draw you closer to each other. I pray you keep Him above you to remind you that life is a breath and to look for the gift in every day. Because He can take the bad days and hard moments and turn them into beautiful years.
And one day when you look back, it will sound a lot like music.