Complete with his crown, “My Prince”…
..sent to me from the King Himself!…and this is how I know:
1. I was too young.
Our love story began almost 23 years ago in July of 1984. I had just finished my 10th grade year in high school, and was enjoying summer break. The uncle of one of my friends was on my mind, but I never dreamed it possible that he would be interested in me. Add to that the fact that he was eight years older than me, and it seemed like the greatest improbability that we would ever get together.
2. He was too old.
One night, as I was going out to pull my car into the driveway, he was driving around the neighborhood and pulled in to talk to me. (Wow!…my heart skipped a thousand beats!) We hit it off right away, not really consciously aware of it yet, but God had wonderful plans for us. The hurdle was asking my parents if they would allow me to go out with him. You see, just three weeks before, I had asked to go out with another guy who was only three years older, and their reason for turning me down, “he’s too old!”
3. We came from opposites…..and in some ways still are.
Because of our age differences, we have different perspectives of many things in general. I was a “disco”…he was a “rock”. I was just entering the real world. He had been out of school for 8 years. I wanted a new car. He had already learned the benefits of no payments on a used car.
Even in our families, there were differences. My parents divorced at my early age of five. On top of that my mother had to work long hours and endure the hardships of raising a family of four children on her small teacher’s salary alone, as well as continuing to finish her degree. Consequently, my brother, sisters and I became independent at a young age, having to cook meals, take care of the house and ourselves as the need demanded.
Kenneth’s parents were married for many, many years until his father passed away. His mother was a homemaker who still was doing his laundry for him at the age of 26! His Dad rose at 5:00 a.m. to begin cooking a feast everyday so that it would be ready for Kenneth at lunch and dinner. I remember visiting often and never seeing anything less than a tender, well-cooked meat, some sort of dried beans, cornbread, vegetables, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, bread and dessert! It was like a never-ending Thanksgiving meal!
These differences in time and family have been challenging, as many times we fail to understand the thoughts of each other, but also rewarding because we share experiences with each other, learning to appreciate our strengths and weaknesses.
4. We are good for each other.
From the “get-go” it seemed that our union was meant to be. We knew within the first four months that we would spend the rest of our lives together. In December of 1984, Kenneth proposed to me and we defied the odds of such a relationship, staying together through the rest of my high school years, finally getting married on June 7, 1986.
During our engagement period, God began talking to us about our relationship with Him. Kenneth had been out of church for some time, and began attending with me. His love for the Lord grew and grew as he devoured the Word. In no time, Kenneth quickly outgrew the knowledge and wisdom I had of the bible and all its’ wonders. God continued talking to both of us about marriage, and how our relationship should be during that time and in the future, and although we didn’t always respond as He wanted us to, we credit our Lord for the lessons we learned. We can now confidently say that when we do listen to Him, we grow, and when we don’t, we fall. When others in our family, school and community felt we would never make it, we know it was God who pulled us through.
5. We have been blessed.
I wish I could say it has been 20+ years of “bliss”, but that would be stretching it! But….it HAS been wonderful so far! We have been through good and bad times, which is all we ever expected. We have learned that through trial and hardship, God speaks the loudest. Sometimes He has to scream at us to make His voice known, but in the end, we are blessed to overcome.
He has seen us through communicational barriers, financial hardships, life distractions, illnesses, the stresses of a growing family, unemployment, and much more. Amazingly, even though we face many of those obstacles, He always has a plan that is better in the end. (Romans 8:28)
When we need a few more dollars to make ends meet, He provides it. When we need a few moments of peace, He provides it. When we do not understand what to do next, He gives us peace and assurance. Because of our Lord, we are blessed beyond measure.
6. We are committed.
I think it was during the 3rd year of our marriage that we had the most difficulty. Kenneth had just lost his job. I had just had our second child, and was battling with a toddler at the same time, — all at the ripe ole’ age of 21! We sold almost everything we owned, preparing to move to California where he had been promised a job, which never came through. So, we basically started over again, finding a little house to rent for $150.00 a month. (You can imagine what a dream home it was!?) It was stressful, to say the least!!! If there was any time that either one of us might have considered leaving, it may have been then. But…God had different plans. He showed us that we can trust Him to bring us through hard times.
We know the “secret” to a long marriage……God and commitment! Because we are committed to “forever”, I know that we can depend on God and lean on each other to get through it.
7. We want more.
Although we are content in the Lord and His provision, we are not satisfied with the way things are right now. Normally, that might be seen as a bad thing, but in our eyes, it only strengthens the union we have made. Marriage is a constant “tweeking” of what works and what doesn’t. As you become one, you realize what battles are worth picking, and what battles aren’t. One of our biggest arguments early in our marriage happened because we couldn’t agree on how to fix a box of macaroni and cheese!?!! Wow!…that was definately NOT an argument worth making!
When there is so much divorce and hurting families, we desire to keep ours together and strong…but it takes work. Work that we are willing to do, and sacrifice that we are willing to make. We want more of God’s blessings, more of God’s wisdom, and more of His infinite mercies upon our family. We pray that our children will benefit from our relationship, excusing us when we fail, but most of all seeing that we desire to be instruments of God, teaching them to live as He would want.
Selfishly, we wish we had a regular moment to spend together everyday. With our four kids, his two jobs, church, and school, we stay on the go most days….but for now, we are content to steal moments together whenever we can.
This Valentine’s Day, I declare “My Prince” as king of the Day! For today, I abolish the couch pillow rule as he described in his post, “Man Law”, forgive the undone “Honey-Do List”, praise the overflowing stack of books on the bookshelf, and ignore the misplaced items around the house! I thank God for a best friend, confidant, and love.
To my husband, Kenneth, who means so much to me, “I Love You!”