"Lindsey, do you take Chad to be your wedded husband?... to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love, comfort, honor and keep him? For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health? And forsaking all others, be faithful only to him so long as you both shall live?"
This is the question that Jim Woodell asked me nearly 6 years ago before my Lord and Savior, my family and my friends. In answer to this question, I responded "I DO!"...I think I may have giggled and kicked up my heel when I said it....that's how giddy and excited I was about starting this lifelong journey with my man! All I knew that day was that I loved Chad more than life itself and that I couldn't imagine being with any other man. What I didn't know was that no matter how much I loved him on that day, and no matter how much I would continue to love him throughout our lives, that there would be moments in time where I would NOT have "that lovin' feelin'". Let's face it folks, marriage can get downright HARD!...can I get an -amen-?! ;) I've been thinking about those marriage vows as Chad and my 6 year anniversary steadily approaches and have finally begun to see just why God required this marriage contract - because without it, many of us would walk out...claiming that we: a)didn't understand the commitment we were making, or b)we aren't happy anymore and surely God cares more about our happiness then our spiritual growth and maturity (which btw:...can I just say "OH BROTHER"! to that?). But I am so thankful to God for this contract that binds us to our spouses at times when we're so angry we could spit nails - and I'm thankful to God for the maturity, and growth that comes only through hardships....Chad and I have grown so much closer to one another but more importantly, so much closer to our Savior simply because of the lessons we've learned through the hard times of our marriage.
So, as I dwell on the goodness and faithfulness of God and how beautiful his perfect plan was, is and always will be....I'll share with you the reasons I fell in love with Chad, the reasons I still love him and why I know I will ALWAYS love him! If you know Chad, you know he is the kind of man who will do anything for you....he'll sacrifice his own happiness and well-being for the happiness and well-being of those around him. He's loyal to the core to those he knows and loves and he's a man of perseverance....he never tires, never complains and is an eternal optimist. He's the kind of man that employers want to hire, he's the kind of man that women want to marry and he's the kind of friend that other's want to get to know and strive to be like. Chad has taught me that if there's something worth gaining in this life, then we should set out to attain it - never say never! He has taught me the value of words and how to control the tongue....he has also taught me what unconditional love truly means - seriousely - he is probably the best example of how to love unconditionally that I have ever seen!
I could go on and on. Bottom line though, despite all of his many attributes, we still have our moments of frustration, anger and resentment....and I'm thankful to God for teaching us that forgiving, forgetting and loving unconditionally is the best way to live...not with happiness (which is like shifting sand), but with true joy that comes from Christ alone! I love you Chad and praise God for you in my life - what a blessing you have been to me and to our children!