“So Jacob worked seven years for Rachel, and they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (Genesis 29: 20)

Today marks the 12th wedding anniversary for my wife, Kim, and I. We dated each other for 5 years before marriage and were friends for several years before that. The reality is that we have been together for nearly half of our lives. We experienced high school prom together. High school graduation together. Four years of college together. We have worked our way through a master’s program and (almost) an entire doctoral program together. We have made several moves together (houses that is; all in one town). We have enjoyed the birth and growth of two wonderful children. We have ventured into the life of pastoral ministry together. Without question, next to the Word of God, she is the most valuable resource the Lord has given me for ministry.

Any quick look at pictures from those early days of dating, or even marriage, make it very clear that time has aged us, and life has changed us. This has a tendency to happen over the years. Children have done this to us. Our thoughts on children and on parenting have certainly changed since having children of our own. Heartache has done this to us. There was no greater rock for me on this earth than the steady love and support of my wife in the days following my father’s death in 2015. Hardship has done this to us. There have been those financially difficult months when the money ended before the month did. There have been those physically difficult moments when we needed to support each other (she is still my hero for birthing two human beings). There have been those emotionally difficult moments when we felt so far apart from each other, but yet there was still a oneness that held us together. But as children, heartache, and hardship have added years to our time together… service and love have added life to those years.

As Jacob worked seven years to receive his bride (and ultimately more), every day is worth it. Each day brings new excitement and new adventure. This is a point that we must continue to make and that all married couples, regardless of age and experience, must continue to make. The circumstances of life will add years to your marriage, but you and I can make intentional decisions that we are going to add life to those years. Love each other. Serve each other. Enjoy each other. Laugh together and cry together. While twelve years has come and gone, and we look to what the next twelve have in store, I can honestly say that I feel like we are just getting started and that “they seem like only a few days.”

So to my wife on our wedding anniversary… I love you, I honor you, and I cherish you. You are a gift from the Lord and I am undeserving of your love. This journey is often times difficult, but thank you for walking with me through it. Life is better because you are there.