Happy Anniversary to us!IMG_2559

Trudi and I celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary today and we are both very thankful for how God has blessed us, our marriage, our home, our family…all in spite of us.

Human nature being the way it is, we all tend to look at things we’re not part of in one of two ways – skeptically or idealistically. When we’re skeptical, we imagine all sorts of horrible secrets and dreadful things that are kept inside. We are usually skeptical (or perhaps it’s fearful) when what we’re looking at is ugly or unattractive. For instance, the old dilapidated house with weeds growing everywhere. What’s inside? Rats, criminals, ghosts…we imagine all sorts of things. It’s the “Haunted House” syndrome. The same is true of people we find unattractive. We can imagine them to be dumb, mean, or evil. But if we  were actually inside, we might find a completely different reality.

At the other end of the spectrum is our tendency to be idealistic. When we’re outside something that looks attractive, we imagine perfection on the inside. This would be the “Grass is always greener” syndrome. We might look at a shiny sports car and imagine how perfect it would be to own it. We look at the beautiful yard and freshly painted house and imagine a luxurious palace inside. We look at a relationship, see the smiling faces, and imagine 24 hour/day bliss.

Being on the pastoral staff of Faith Assembly for over 23 years, and teaching a class on relationships* for over 5 years makes Trudi and I very visible, and it would be easy for people to look at us either skeptically or idealistically. Let me assure you, either one of those views would be wrong.

We have made and still make mistakes. I won’t tell you what they are, and I won’t speak for Trudi on this point, but I fail – oh, let’s call it what it really is – I sin far too often. I act selfishly and pridefully and disobediently. It hurts the relationships I have, the relationships I have lost, and the relationships I that I should have but don’t have because of me.

There is no need to look at us idealistically. Of course, there’s no need to look skeptically, either.

We are greatly blessed. Trudi and I became friends first, all those years ago, and we have remained friends ever since. We joined as husband and wife and our friendship became intimate. That intimacy changed and deepened our relationship beyond the boundaries of best friends into a sharing and partnership that only a marriage built on a relationship with Jesus Christ can provide.

Despite our own weaknesses and failures, we always know that the grace and mercy of Christ leads us to forgive and move forward. We have been blessed with four amazing children. Again, we wish we parented perfectly and know that we don’t. But God faithfully helps us and blesses us anyway.

In fact, because of God’s provision and the hope He gives, if someone chose to look at us idealistically, they wouldn’t be far off. Trudi is an amazing woman and it has been my privilege to be her mate for these 27 years. We laugh a lot. We share. We still learn new things about each other. (I even learned something new about her today.) We both are committed to the success of our relationship with God and with each other.

I’m thankful for these 27 years and hope for many, many more.

* Wiilationships – every Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m. in the choir room. You’re welcome to join us, whether you are single, married, young or old.

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