Today marks eighteen years since my amazing wife, Jennifer, and I were married. Eighteen years. Wow. It’s extremely difficult to believe that much time has transpired.
To say we’ve been through stuff would qualify as the understatement of the century. While the first seventeen years of our marriage had some enjoyable moments, we went through Hell. Primarily because of my pornography addiction.
I repeatedly broke her trust, let her down, and shattered her heart.
I was so lost in darkness, it was impossible for me to cultivate any kind of intimacy with Jennifer. It was impossible for me to truly love her. It was impossible for me to modify my behavior.
Fifteen months ago, everything changed.
God radically and completely overwhelmed me and breathed new life into a dead man. He gave me a new heart. One designed to love. He supernaturally removed my addiction and restored everything it had tried to destroy.
We have been growing closer together like never before. Even after so many years, it’s as if we were just married. We are finally standing on the solid foundation of righteousness and covenant. We’re learning to trust God with everything.
It’s been absolutely amazing.
Last year, around this time, we wrote each other new vows. I remember trying to read them through my tears as the realization of a restored marriage became even more clear. It was such an intimate moment and one that will make me cry every time I think about it.
Every day, we fall a little more in love with each other. We used to spend our evenings sitting in the living room, across the room from each other, on our phones, or me playing video games while Jennifer watched Hallmark movies on the laptop. Now, we are side by side, talking, reading, sharing, and growing in relationship. It’s amazing.
Our marriage is a complete miracle.
A while back, Jennifer said something to me that still to this day almost makes me weep. She said, “I would go through all those seventeen years again if I knew our marriage would end up like this.”
That is God. There is no other explanation.
I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this life with my amazing bride. I know men who have lost everything because of addiction. Their wives, children, even ministries. It breaks my heart. I don’t like seeing the enemy destroy lives.
I don’t take this new life for granted. It’s a privilege and honor to have the Holy Spirit inside of me. Guiding me. Teaching me. Growing me. Leading me into truth. I get the pleasure of opening my Bible every day and seeing what God thinks about me.
I read Paul’s letters to the churches, encouraging them to walk in righteousness. To seek after unity. To esteem others better than themselves. To seek those things which are above. To be rooted and grounded in love. To put love first in everything they do.
I read those letters and see my life beginning to mirror those truths. I see God moving inside our home. I see our faith growing. I see our marriage flourishing with Jesus at the center of it all.
My dearest Jennifer, I love you so much. I am honored to finally be the husband you truly deserve. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for allowing Papa to soften your heart and grow you up in mercy, compassion, and love. The past fifteen months have been nothing short of incredible.
I thank God every day for what he has done. For giving me a new heart. For restoring our marriage. For the amazing blessing of having you in my life. For the opportunity to fall asleep next to you every night and wake up to your beautiful face each and every morning.
I love the new us. I love what God is doing in our relationship. I love our intimacy. I cherish each day we have together. I can’t wait to see what God does next.
Happy Anniversary, my love.