My husband and I have been married for 20 years! How time flies by!
It feels like yesterday I met this tall, slender and fit young man (he was in the military) with a big smile in my first church as a new Christian. I can remember our first of firsts when we started dating, going to eat at the Olive Garden, watching movies and, if we made dinner at my house, always having strawberry shortcake for dessert (we still do to this day).
After we married, we were two young adults with so much zeal for God, ready to conquer the world with the gospel. We always talked about our dreams to win people to the Lord, and we loved talking about ministry. We started out in a one-bedroom apartment, which we made our home. I remember making my first turkey for Thanksgiving there. Of course, there were many first arguments, but great make-ups too.
Twenty years later, I can say it's been quite the journey and adventure! There were many obstacles, challenges and hurts. Because of our zeal and passion for ministry, it was obvious God would call us early on to pioneer a great work for Him. We began a ministry and, for 19 of the 20 years we've been married, we have built a ministry together.
Our marriage became the ministry and the ministry became our marriage. Our ministry is so blessed, and it has grown. My husband and I are committed today to set aside being ministry partners and simply enjoy being married. That's been a big change for us, because ministry together is all we've known. We realize we were best friends before the ministry started and we want to continue to be best friends and enjoy the rest of our lives together.
After being married for 20 years, I don't want to focus on the challenges we've endured or the mistakes we've made, so I wrote 20 things I was thankful for.
20 Things I'm Thankful for in My Marriage and for My Husband!
- We made it!
- I married him.
- We love each other.
- We both want to have a great marriage.
- For who he is as a person
- For our love life
- For our two amazing children we picked up on the way
- For the wonderful father he is
- For all the memories
- For our life together
- We love to be with each other.
- We are learning to embrace our differences.
- How much of a priority he puts into family time
- Our Chicago getaways
- Shopping with him
- He has taken care of me and the children.
- We are continually learning to love each other unconditionally.
- He brings excitement to my life.
- We still have passion for each other.
- He is my best friend.
I encourage you today, whether you are a husband or a wife, to take time to write down things that you are thankful for of your spouse. You will realize how much that will change how you see your spouse and your marriage. It's easy to focus on the hurts or negatives, but I want to leave you with this Scripture:
"Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. But if there are prophecies, they shall fail; if there are tongues, they shall cease; and if there is knowledge, it shall vanish" (1 Cor. 13:4-8, MEV).
Believe today for your marriage. God is faithful! He can restore, heal and deliver any marriage from the wear and tear of hurts, disappointments and unmet expectations, and He can even revive love that has been lost. I pray blessing over your marriage today, and if you are not married, I pray that when the time and season is right, that you will collide with the spouse God has for you!
Along with her husband, Pastor Luis Reyes, Tricia Reyes is the co-founder of The New Church Of Joy in Waukegan, Illinois. She is a blogger, author and helps manage her daughter Madison's (Maddie Rey) Music Ministry. She is a devoted wife and mother to Madison and Matthew and loves the Lord with all her heart! To learn more about Tricia's ministry or to book her for a Women's Event/Conference visit her website at triciareyes.com or thenewchurchofjoy.com.
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