I will confess that the day after I got married, I looked at my wedding band and thought to myself "What in the world have I done? This is for forever!" But I also knew I wanted to be married to Jim. It's true we had a whirlwind courtship, but I could think of nothing better than "happily ever after" with this man. Fortunately, before the reality of the disillusionment of "happily ever after" hit, we saw a movie, that profoundly impacted my commitment to my marriage vows. I wish I could tell you the name of the movie, but I can't. Basically, it was the story of on old couple, looking back on all the good and mostly bad times in their marriage, and when asked what was the reason they were still together, they answered "We vowed a vow."
As kids came, and moves were made, and degrees were earned, and jobs were started, and things got harder I came across another life line, this one by C.S. Lewis.
"Love is a deep unity,
maintained by the will
and deliberately strengthened by habit."
I knew then that not only was marriage a vow to be kept, but it was work. It takes maintaining and deliberate strengthening. It takes working; by forgiving, by encouraging, by accepting, by giving, by loving, by correcting, by arguing, by taking time, by challenging, and by so much more.
Approaching our anniversary this weekend causes me to stop and reflect on the wonderfully challenging marriage Jim and I have had. We've had our work cut out for ourselves with each other, but we are closer today than I ever thought possible. Our deliberate maintaining has paid off. And it has been possible only because we vowed a vow. And meant it.