On June 15th, my husband and I will celebrate nineteen years of wedded bliss. We both agree that our one regret is that we did not get married sooner.
Josh and I met the summer after our highschool graduation. We were friends for about nine months before I realized that I loved him. Before that, I was convinced that he was the last guy that I would ever marry, He wasn’t my “type”. He was an outgoing, middle class, southern boy. He was smart, refined, athletic, and maybe a little cocky.
I was a quiet, northern girl. Sitting in a classroom was a struggle for me and college was not in my plans. I was vey insecure and had a bit of a chip on my shoulder. For most of my childhood my mom was single and money was tight. You might say that my husband and I grew up on opposite sides of the track.
We did a Christian Training School together in 1991, and that’s where sparks started to fly. Sometimes we fought. He could make me madder than anybody and I’m pretty sure that I got under his skin too. We had a few arguments that summer! But, one night as our group sat in a room praying, he started to pray out loud. I loved his heart for the Lord. The things that he was praying for were the same things that were in my heart. I sat there, head bowed, eyes closed and said to myself, “I love him!” I knew that he was the man I wanted to marry. Five years later, I got my heart’s desire and we were married.
Here is where I would like to add that the sweetest thing I ever heard my husband say was, “My one regret in life is that I didn’t marry my wife sooner.” I was there. I was waiting. I actually gave up and decided to move on at one point. That’s when he started to pursue me. My point is, I wish he had married me sooner too. But, that’s all water under the bridge, and it was worth the wait.
We were twenty-four and twenty-five when we married. Our claim to fame is that we did our wedding on a thousand dollar budget. (Our wedding is the best one that I have ever been to!) He was going into his third year of medical school and I was a coffee barista. We lived in a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment near campus. I rode a bike to work and he walked to school. We lived lean! Every Sunday we would go eat dinner at his granny’s house. At the end of the evening, she would sneakily slip grocery money into one of our pockets when she thought Grandpa wasn’t looking. He pretended not to notice. Occasionally, if we had grocery money left over, we would go on a date. We would walk down the street and buy shaved ice. Every evening we stood side by side in our tiny kitchen and washed dishes together.
We didn’t have smartphones, internet or cable T.V. We had one car and every bit of furniture that we had was given to us. We didn’t care about stuff. We always had people in our apartment. We didn’t serve fancy meals, but the fellowship was always great. We loved God, we loved each other and we loved people. Those are the happiest memories!
I do not wish that we had waited until we were more financially stable. I am thankful for Granny who took care of us in those early years, but we would have been happy to live on ramen noodles. I am glad that my husband did not wait until he could afford to buy a house or support me, before he proposed. I was the bread winner for the first two years and I didn’t mind a bit. We were finally a family, and it didn’t matter who brought home the paycheck.
I know that a lot of people believe that a man should finish school, have a stable job and own a house before he gets married. I respect that desire to be an excellent provider, but I wonder if there is too much emphasis on that. The most important foundation is common love for Jesus and a commitment to each other. Out of that flows all of the other issues of life.
I know some of you might be irritated with me right now. I know what you are thinking! Some say that financial stress is the number one marriage killer. I would say that a lack of commitment is why most marriages don’t last. I am not suggesting that two people get married, go into debt and live beyond their means. You don’t need a high falutin’ wedding, a fancy house, or a brand new car to get married. All you need is love, baby! And by love, I mean REAL, lay your life down, we are in this forever, no matter what, kind of love.
May your fountain be blessed,
and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. Proverbs 5:18