I’ve Changed

“You’ve changed.” The words may be spoken with disappointment or regret. After decades of marriage, one party confronts the other. Change is often the reason for the end of the relationship. “You’re not the same person I married.”

WeddingToday is my wedding anniversary. Thirty-six years ago, I said “I do” (or was it “I will”?) to the same man I’m married to today. But I’m not the same woman.

Some changes were unplanned. Gray hairs are sprinkled among the brown and I’m carrying a few more pounds than I did three decades ago. I graduated with a master’s degree in management, but no longer work in the corporate world.

Other changes are intentional. I’ve learned the give and take of relationships—especially in marriage. To listen more and speak less. To value people more than things. To put the preferences of my husband ahead of my own.

And I’ve developed in my faith as a Christian. Discovered the gifts and abilities I’ve been given and learned how to use them. Studied God’s Word and shared what I’ve learned. Writing. Teaching. Stepping out of my comfort zone in ways I could never have imagined thirty-six years ago.

I’m not the person I was. Thankfully, neither is my husband. He has been there every step of this journey. My strongest supporter and greatest cheerleader. He didn’t marry a writer. He didn’t marry a teacher. But that’s who I am today. When I left the corporate world, I gave up more than status, travel, and other perks. I left behind a significant salary, too.

But instead of dwelling on the past, he focuses on the present and the future. When I’m discouraged, he’s the one who reminds me that God is in control. When things are going well, he thanks the Lord with me for being the source of success.

I’ve changed. So has my husband. And I’m glad. Now I wonder what changes the next thirty-six years will bring. 

What about you? Are you the same person you were thirty years ago, ten years ago, or even last week?

Loved…Times Two

Everyone has a favorite piece of relationship advice. In honor of my 34th wedding anniversary coming up in a few days, I thought I’d share a few relationship quotes:

“No matter how long you have been waiting, the man God has for you will surpass your expectations. You will meet him when God says so. Not a minute early, not a moment later.” ~ Michelle McKinney-Hammond

“The extent to which two people in a relationship can bring up and resolve issues is a critical marker of the soundness of a relationship.” ~ Henry Cloud

“In any serious relationship, if you don’t gather your partner’s opinion before making a decision that impacts you both, you’re just storing up trouble for the future.” ~ Cindy Woodsmall

“When you model your relationship on someone else’s, your partner can never match up to the fantasy.” ~ Nikki Bayley

“There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage.” ~ Martin Luther

“Love is commitment; love is a relationship that never gives up.” ~ Jerry Falwell

“Countless mistakes in marriage, parenting, ministry, and other relationships are failures to balance grace and truth. Sometimes we neglect both. Often we choose one over the other.” ~ Randy Alcorn

“God made woman not from part of man’s head to rule over him, nor from part of man’s foot to be trampled upon by him, but out of part of man’s side, from near to his heart, to be loved by him.” ~ Matthew Henry

“It often happens that when couples get their relationship with God straightened out, their relationships with one another begin to straighten out as well.” ~ Wayne Mack.

As I look back on our marriage, I am blessed to be loved times two. First, I am in a relationship with the Lord, secure in the sacrificial love of Christ that purchased my salvation. Second, I am loved by a man who has manifested to me God’s unconditional love. I couldn’t ask for more.

What’s your favorite piece of relationship advice?