August 1, 1998 seems like yesterday. I was woken up abruptly by my father-in-law to get the final details ready for the reception and to get ready for the wedding. On this day, a two and a half-year wait to be finally married to the woman of my dreams was coming to an end. All this time we waited to be deeply intimate and start a new life as husband and wife. Yes, we waited! We followed the original order: we became friends, we fell in love, we dated without having sex, we married, we began a life together, we had kids and we are raising two beautiful, smart, and talented teenagers who love God and people, and we are still together. It just gets better.
We are not perfect. At least, I am not. We have a nice list of flaws and shortcomings for God to work on us. From the two of us, I need more work for my issues. She is just amazing! A few things here and there that need some tweaking, but she is coming along. We are still learning and still moving forward towards the goal. I will not change this life for nothing or no one. It is a gift from God. From my perspective (and I might be a little bias about it) it is the best life you could ever wish for.
If you are still single, or even if you are married and want some insight, allow me to provide some unwanted and unsolicited advice. Each phase of life has a purpose and a reward, and there is time for everything. If you follow God’s order things will go much better than if you don’t. Check the statistics. A relationship is not about you or the other person; it is about both. Trust God in everything, forgive each other, yield, serve, talk, never go to bed angry with each other, never attack the person that will hold when everyone else is gone, and cut the umbilical cord. Yes, your spouse is more important than your parents. Stop being a baby and keep your parents out of it. They can’t be manipulating or making decisions that belong to you two. Same with kids! Love them, but love your spouse more. Keep the order.
When it comes to money, be wise. Never argue about money. It belongs to both of you, as everything else should. Stay out of debt (we learned the hard way). If you have issues in how to use money, seek help and again, be wise. There is no need to waste money on vanity. If you can’t look good in a $3 t-shirt, you are not as cute as you think you are, and no money will change that. Organize your priorities and if you are not giving, do so. The math of heaven is better than ours and God won’t mind the challenge on that. Be generous with your time and your resources.
It is important for both to understand and share a vision for life. Don’t date someone because you are desperate (in more ways than one), or because you are afraid to be alone in the future. If you are not complete by yourself, someone else won’t complete you. Avoid unnecessary pain. When I asked my wife to start dating, when we were still friends, I asked: “Would you marry me?” She was confused because we were not dating at the time, and replied: “Aren’t you suppose to ask me to date first?” My response was unusual: “If you won’t marry me, why would you date me?”
Happy Anniversary, Ivelisse!!!! I love you!!! Here until death do us part!!! It is just gets better!!!