On the day my husband and I got married, back in 1979, my pastor brother spoke at our wedding and said many wonderful and witty things. But the statement we quote the most is the one when he said that Brian certainly wasn't perfect but he was definitely perfect for me. We all laughed but little did we know at the time how very true this was! Here are a few of the ways this little sentence has led to thirty-seven Valentine's Days together:
- Well, our first Valentine's Day as a married couple didn't go very well. I thought about it all day and wondered what he might have dreamed up for us to do together. All day. When he finally got home from work, rather late I might add, he changed into his gym clothes and told me he was going to play basketball with some friends. "What? It's Valentine's Day!" He was quite surprised by my reaction so he let me know that he thought Valentine's Day was something kids celebrated at school, not something adults did! Ahh. Well, every year since then has gone MUCH better after I explained my view on the matter. I guess that's what I got for marrying a man who was already thirty-five years old!
- For many years our routine, before Brian retired, found me up for an early morning walk. By the time I got home, he was already out the door and off to work. He and his partner owned their business, so putting in many hours each day and on Saturdays was normal. Some of these days were long and difficult especially when kids came into the picture. But we know that God is love. He wrote the book on love. We know that because He loves us, we have a way to love each other, even when things are hard. 1 John 4:7-8 tells us, Beloved, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. God is the one who gave us the good gift called love. When our marriage didn't feel like a "good" gift we kept at it and walked through each day simply caring for one another from one day to the next.
- I found many things to admire in Brian and this helped as we navigated the decisions facing us: children, schooling, church, friends, family. My respect for him and his kind love for me held us strong many times. Brian has a way of just being who he is. No game playing with this guy. Having come from a broken home, I was determined to have a marriage that was strong, happy and solid. For the most part, we were able to navigate it as such... but there were days when I thought he could do some things differently.
- But one day I woke up and realized that I would be smart to focus on the many good attributes of this man, rather than the things I felt he could do better. I always say it like this: I learned to focus on what IS and not on what IS NOT. It has made a great foundation for me and enabled me to really love my husband instead of trying to FIX him. (Husbands don't fix very well. Believe me, I know.)
- We have become strong believers in showing respect and kindness to one another. Good hard listening and talking things out are the magic pills for getting on the same page. Praying together, reading the Bible together and going to church together keeps us going the same direction spiritually. Its all amazing to me. I couldn't be more thankful.
We have settled in to a way to celebrate Valentines Day every year. I bake him a cherry pie and he buys me flowers. I'm so good with that. I have to admit that I need words to accompany those flowers but after thirty-seven Valentine's Days, he knows that.
Yep. He certainly is...perfect for me.