To my Best Friend on Her Anniversary

To my best friend and her sweet husband, Happy Anniversary!!!

Let me preface this by saying that this bride has been a sister to me for so many years. She and I have had some major up and downs but I do not regret a moment! I consider her family. Seriously. She's even on my Christmas budget! Her husband, even though I do not know him as much as I know I will in the years to come, I hear nothing but wonderful and beautiful things about him! He's a great man and the RIGHT man for my wonderful friend! God is using him daily to minister to his wife's heart and soul! He has now entered into our non-blood adopted-family relationship thing we have going on. Just as Rachel is my family, so is Jonathan. He's now a brother in our eyes...and I am so excited to get to know him more!

Marriage is a beautiful thing. It's seriously beautiful! I love Chris FAR MORE today than I did when we got married, and it is through hard times, good times and God's love and mercy that has brought us to where we are today. Cling to God's Truth! Stand firm to the faith He has given you. Do all that you can to GROW and remember that marriage is a union. You are here, together, to pursue God in the greatest sense!

It is very easy to hurt each other in the process of growth, but remember it is just that! GROWTH!!! Your spouse will see things about you and in you that you sometimes may not see...and many times the changes, convictions and confrontations are painful, but it is all for the glory of God! You are united now so that you can join together and spread the Gospel, for two are far stronger than one (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)!

God has brought you two together for a purpose. I have no doubt. You are going to do WONDERFUL things in the name of Jesus Christ. You already are, whether you feel like it or not.

There is SO MUCH that I want to share with you but I know that if I did, this post would be ridiculously long and probably too serious for the liking of most readers. So I will make it short!

I simply encourage you both to remember that you are ONE. You affect each other 
in everything you do, even if it's something you've done in secret. Even if it's 
something you thought you let go of a long time ago, but really haven't. I spoke 
about this in my letter to my brother (post here).

It is best just to recognize that your spouse is human. This means that they sin and that they are very capable of hurting your feelings more often than you'd like. It's a sad truth, but we just need to drop our pride and get over this little fact. USE THE HARD TIMES to learn more about your spouse and yourself. USE THE HARD TIMES to learn more about Christ. Getting into fights (even silent ones) can be so painful and challenging, but God uses some of our darkest moments to teach us about HIM! REMEMBER THAT!


Your marriage is just a tool that God uses. Don't get me wrong! God blesses us so much in marriage, with joy, pleasure, excitement, and thrilling adventures, but His will for us is so much BIGGER!!!
God comes first, but your spouse should come second.

Rachel should be first priority. Learn how to listen to her. 
You may think you know how to listen to her and that you hear her well, but you will find years from now that she's not as easy to read as you think. Her heart and mind are far more complex than you know! It's a good thing, but be patient and try to listen as best you know how. Pursue her even if it seems that she doesn't want it. You will know if she truly needs her space. Remind her (and yourself) of all the reasons to wanted to marry her and of all the reasons you thought she was attractive when you first met her and got to know her. Just like men, women deal a lot with guilt. We often feel as if we are not enough or that we're not doing enough. Constantly show her that you recognize all that she's done, even if it's below your standards. Even if it doesn't matter to you, compliment her hard work and beauty and compassion for others. Make it your goal to know her heart and soul. More than anything, pursue God. She NEEDS you to pursue God! God gives SO MUCH WISDOM in the most simplest of things and in the grandest of schemes!

Jonathan should be first priority (other than Christ). Learn how to listen to him.
He will be hard to open up on many occasions, but keep trying. Learn how to ask the right questions and he will be like an open book! Keep pursuing him even if it doesn't seem like he's interested. We never know what may be on someone's heart and mind. Men have a lot of pressure on them when they get married. It's almost instant. Remember that he has the weight of the world on his shoulders! Do all that you can to ease his heart and mind! (Even if it's something that comes unnatural to you!) Be patient with him. He's learning how to love you. Pursue God. He NEEDS you to pursue God! God can tell you exactly what to do or say to your husband and just at the right time! Do all that you can to help your husband grow closer to God! Do all that you can to show that he is the respected head of the household, especially when around friends AND family! (There are ways to share the truth about your marriage without making him look bad, but you know this!)

You are each learning so much right now. You are learning about yourself and about the other person. It takes a lifetime if not longer to really know a person, so don't expect this to be an easy journey. So be humble and patient. Serve each other and remember that sometimes, giving your spouse what they need may mean putting yourself last. Learn each others love language! This is amazingly important!!! Put yourself around encouraging and godly friends. Even if it's awkward at first (and trust me, it can be), it's worth it!

Jonathan, make sure you have good godly male friends that you can go to and confide in. Rachel, make sure you have good godly female friends that you can go to and confide in. You might have to seek out those relationships, but they are worth it.

This is a new phase of life. Embrace it and make the most of it!

You are both in my prayers daily. I am so excited to see what all God does 
in your lives now that you are so greatly united with Him! 
God is good and ALL good things come from Him (James 1:17)!

Yes, of course there are lots of photos... :)

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