Jody and I had our awesome anniversary back on November 26th and are soooo happy that we are, well, still happy and still in love now more than ever! Marriage is a tough thing and all of you married couples who also work together and shoot together probably know all too well that it takes a certain type of personality to hang out pretty much 24/7 with your spouse! Jody and I rarely are apart from each other and it is totally normal for us to be together when we are here at the house almost non-stop. If one of us is upstairs, so is the other one. One of us eating some breakfast or making coffee, there is the spouse. We love being together, but that does not mean that this past 6 years has been a piece of cake, either.
Jody and I have worked through tons of difficult circumstances in our personal lives, with family and with friends. Nothing truly great in life that really has a big payoff comes easy. I like to compare marriage to a true relationship with Jesus (as Jesus himself did many times). Anyone out there who has known the Lord for more than a few months knows just how hard it is to do what God calls us to do, which is the opposite of what YOU want to do, most of the time. Today, love is thrown around and used and abused when needed, and passed off when you don’t feel like doing it anymore, but Jesus said this;
“There is no greater love than this, that a man would lay down his life for his friends.” Wow. What a statement. What He is saying is that true love does something much more powerful then give YOU a nice feeling inside or make YOU happy, but rather “great” love is one of sacrifice. One that “does not what the one being loved wants, but what is deemed right by the One (meaning God) who loves.” (The Hebrew translation of God’s love.)
God cared about us and our relationship with Him so much that He sacrificed his own son to get his bride back (God thinks of us as His bride, someone that He cares deeply about). Jesus was not stoked about going to the cross and dying a terrible death that He did not deserve, but He did it willingly because He knew that was the only way for us to be reconnected to Him, so He did it.
That lesson is one that I, Zach, have had the hardest time living out in my marriage to Jody. When she needs me to be tender and loving and I am in a crabby mood, what do I choose to do? When she is not being the most loving person to me, do I still choose to love her back and do what is best for her? I can tell you, the times that we have both sacrificed ourselves, our wants and our selfish desires and instead done something good for the other person, are the most fulfilling and best times we remember.
We challenge all of you married couples out there to love in action, instead of in feeling. If we only act based on how we feel on any given day, then the world will be a terrible place to live. But if we could spend more time doing what is right regardless of how we feel, then we could change the atmosphere of our marriages and those around us. That is our continued commitment to each other. My old youth pastor used to say “Right actions produce right feelings.” How true that is.
So, with that being said, we celebrated 6 years together on Nov. 26th! Because we travel allot, we really didn’t want to go anywhere, so we stayed home and found something to do together (other than business :); we went and painted pottery on our anniversary! We thought we should do something creative that would get us talking, instead of watching movies or being entertained by someone else.
We then headed out to a nice steak house for a fancy dinner and then, well, OK, we hit up a movie. But we did talk first! It was a blast!!
We hope that your marriage is going strong and is doing well, though honestly, no one’s marriage is perfect and we all have our ups and downs. You’re taking two TOTALLY different people and bringing them together “until death do they part” and it’s not roses all the time. BUT there is hope! Marriage is a CONSTANT work in progress. Great marries just don’t happen. They take a lot of continual work and maintenance. There is always hope in marriage if YOU are willing to sacrifice and change. If you’re interested in a great marriage book, we highly recommend Love and War (the title comes from all of our love stories are set amidst a war :). We have been going through that book this year – good stuff! We wrote a little bit about it here in a previous blog post. We hope it blesses you!
Here’s to another 6 more years….