We Did More Than Survive

Photo Credit: Photography by Julia (Creative Commons)

Photo Credit: Photography by Julia (Creative Commons)

Fifteen years. Fifteen. Years. I repeated the words slowly to myself about 10 am yesterday, as I realized it was our anniversary (insert pithy comment about a typical male here). Two thoughts come to mind when I ponder the last fifteen years with my wife: Boy have we grown up, and has it ever been eventful!


Our first year of marriage was nearly an unmitigated disaster. We were so convinced we knew how to communicate that we wouldn’t listen to the other speak. Now we have taught classes and mentored couples on effective communication techniques in marriage. We have seen marriages rescued by using these strategies.

We have grown in comfort with one another. In the first few years of marriage, there was a great deal of uncertainty and insecurity:

Does she really love me?

Will he be drawn to her – she is skinnier than I am?

What will he say if I make THAT purchase?

Will she defend me THIS time against her family?

Now, we are mostly past those insecurities. We know each other. We are known by each other. Fully accepted. Fully loved. Moles, farts, body odor, and everything else are nothing compared to this love.


Over the last fifteen years, we have gone from wide-eyed twenty one year old babes, just trying to figure out the world, to now having the privilege of sharing what wisdom we have learned with our children and others.

I was working at a bookstore, and Barbara was decorating pies at Marie Callender’s. Now, I am a CPA consultant and Barbara is an RN. I was skinny, now I am comfortably filled out.

We were a family of three, with our oldest a toddler. Now we are a family of six, with our oldest nearing high school graduation and our youngest in third grade.

I hope our next fifteen years is just as eventful. One of the most wonderful things about being married to my wife is that she is always willing to jump into a new adventure. At times it is with a bit of trepidation, but she does it any way. I love that about her!

After fifteen wonderful years together, I finally start to understand what Paul spoke of in Ephesians 5 when he compared the relationship of Jesus and the church to a husband and wife. When Jesus looks as us, He sees only love. Moles, farts, body odor, and everything else are nothing compared to His love.

How do you see the love of Christ reflected in your marriage?

14 thoughts on “We Did More Than Survive

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      I often wonder what the wonderfully kind couple who mentored us our first year thought about us, and what they said when we left their home. We assume they just shook their heads, then prayed for God to break through.

  1. annepeterson

    Liked this post. We’ve been married 36 years. To answer your question. I would say Christ is reflected in our marriage in acceptance. I’m not perfect and yet, my husband accepts me. He’s not perfect and I accept him. Why? Because we are accepted by Christ. Just as we are.

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      That is a wonderful image of Christ’s relationship with us. My wife and I have grown greatly in this area. Particularly since we were so young when we first got married. I consider who I was at 20, and who I am now — there is nearly no resemblance. And yet my wife has loved me and accepted me all the same throughout.

  2. Anastacia Maness

    Ah! Your marriage sounds a lot like mine and my husband’s. We’ve been married 16 years and have 6 children. We didn’t have any mentors in those rocky first couple of years but I read a lot of marriage books. 🙂 We did take a short marriage class before we married and another class right after. The rest we just learned over the years as we learned to communicate. Communication is so important!

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      Absolutely on the communication piece! We were raised in VERY different homes, with VERY different communication patterns. We had to learn that both were unhealthy, then bravely forge a new healthy pattern of communication. This is still a work in progress, by the way 🙂

  3. 7feetnorth

    I can relate! We too got married young (20 and 21) and thought we knew it all! Now, 17 years and 4 kids later, our life has drastically changed and so have we. We’ve grown up together and still continue to grow!

    1. sometimeshope Post author

      It’s amazing how little we actually knew right? The flexibility to allow each other to grow and change is so important. Something I think many stumble over in marriage, particularly when marrying young.

      Congrats on 17 years…and four kids. I know the four kids can overwhelm on some days, right?

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