This month is also very important to me because 10 years ago, on August 17th, my wife Jen stood in front of her parents, family, friends, and even her pastor, and publicly agreed to put up with me for the rest of our lives. I couldn’t believe it! When I asked her to marry me a year before that, she responded by saying, “Your crazy!” I had always assumed that the question “Will you marry me?” was supposed to evoke a “Yes!” or “No” answer, but she used the occasion to call my sanity into question. Fortunately, she did not have me committed and our marriage has been the greatest joy of my life.
She was right, though, to boldly claim that our journey together would be full of craziness. Ten years-ago when we stood before the congregation and promised our lives to one another there was no way that we could have known what this decade would entail. We did not know that Jen would have a terrible time finding work in one of the most hirable professions because the greed of the world’s biggest bankers rocked our generation of graduates the hardest in 80 years. We did not know that we would be moving to Iowa for seminary, Wyoming for internship, and had no idea that ten years later I would be writing this from the small town of Ronan, Montana. (I had never even heard of Ronan ten years ago!) I had no idea then that I would write a book, Jen would surprise me with a trip to Greece, or how much our two beautiful children would one day love to pee in their kiddy pool! I suppose that is the beauty of marriage – you don’t know where the journey will lead until you travel life’s paths together.
One of the readings we used for our wedding service was the popular passage from 1 Corinthians 13. “Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful…” I have always loved this passage because it lays out the virtuous aspects of what love entails and what it does not. I especially like the last verse of this passage: “Now faith, hope, and love abide; and the greatest of these three is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). These words of Paul speak truth through the ages. There is much that can get us worked up, worried and afraid, but, at the end of the day, the love that we share with others is what really gives our lives meaning and purpose. A life lived in love of others, is a life worth living – the life that God wants for all of us.