Today, March 4, 2016, is Marc's 57th birthday and to celebrate I would like to share a bit about this wonderful man and how his example demonstrates true love and commitment in relationship.
In a few months Marc and I will celebrate 34 years of marriage and 35 years of knowing each other. As my husband and best friend, we have lived more years as a couple than years being single. In today's society staying committed in relationships is not common, yet God's desire is for relationships to be long-term. I am not only speaking of marriage relationships, but friendships as well.
Those who know Marc, know he spends much of his time encouraging and edifying others with words of wisdom and prophecy, as Paul encourages to do in I Thessalonians 5:11. As Marc's wife, I can testify that he has spent the last 35 years being my biggest encouragement as well.
Knowing each other's love language is a key to keeping relationships strong. Marc's primary love language is words of affirmation followed by quality time. My love language is acts of kindness followed by words of affirmation. Since our times of dating, he has always found time to demonstrate his love and commitment through doing things for me he knew I loved. He makes me breakfast when I'm running to get to work, rubs my back when I'm in pain, drops by my office with a Starbucks Chai Tea, does the grocery shopping when I'm too tired, just to name a few. He also meets my need for affirmation by putting love notes in my lunch, texting me during the day to see how my day is going, encouraging me and reminding me of who I am and my strengths when I'm feeling down or stressed. He loves to give me gifts and is always giving me flowers and sweet thoughtful gifts, even after 35 years.
Marc always puts others needs before his own. He may be tired and need to rest, but the phone rings, someone is in need of counsel or prayer, he lays aside his desires and responds to another's need. He does the same for me, always making meals or running an errand when he could use some down time. He truly serves others and honors them above himself (Romans 12:10).
So you are saying to yourself, is this guy for real? Is he perfect? No. Do we every have disagreements and fights? Yes. But over the past 35 years we have spent more time honoring, preferring and serving each other so when disagreements happen it is easier to remember what we are thankful about each other and our lives together. The enemy loves to blow issues way out of proportion, but when we put on God's perspective glasses on, we see each other again as God sees us, and with God's perspective we can operate in forgiveness, grace and love toward each other again.
Communication is another key to relationships. Men and women are wired differently in communication and so this can be an area of difficulty in relationships as well. In our 35 year relationship we have learned that keeping communication open is vital. To accomplish this, both people must keep communication with God daily as a high priority. Marc and I find that if we are hearing from God, we can better work through our own miscommunication. We have also learned that God will break down the barriers we focus on in each other. When we first met, one of the things that attracted me the most to Marc was his relationship and communication with God. He has continued to keep communication with the Lord as a priority in his life. Being a good listener is also a strong communication skill and Marc knows how to allow myself and others to share and feel we have been heard.
I Corinthians 13:4-7 gives a description of the character of love, Jesus himself, is Mr. Love. Marc and I both used this description in our wedding vows and continue to learn how God in us demonstrates his perfect love. We cannot love correctly by our own efforts, but we can let Jesus, Mr. Love, who we are in union with, show us how we are one in love. This is how God loves us.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves.
Love never fails.
Well, we are off to catch a ferry to Seattle. It's time to show my love to Marc by meeting his other love language of spending quality time together. I thank the Lord for this wonderful man with whom I get to spend my life on earth.
Happy Birthday Honey!