How to Beat the Seven Year Itch

Today is our eighth anniversary.  Yes, eighth!  Can you believe these two young fresh faces already have eight years of marriage under our belts?

This means that we beat the 7 year itch.  I think we beat it pretty bad because we’re still crazy about each other, and while we’re not quite ready to write the book on marriage, we cretainly have learned a lot over the last 8 years.

So, do you want to know how we beat the 7 year itch?  It’s pretty simple: We have a common mission that’s bigger than ourselves.

Our personal missions/passions in life were a key factor in our being attracted to one another.  We knew before we stated dating that we both had a passion for God, for people, and for the marginalized.  The idea of having an ally in that mission was so appealing we decided to go ahead and get hitched.

Our wedding ceremony was mostly a commissioning service that had some vows thrown in.  We chose the verse, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be the glory because of you love and faithfulness.” – Psalm 115:1 because we wanted to establish from day 1 that our marriage wasn’t about us anyway.

The reality is, that having a common mission that’s larger than ourselves, is a glue that holds us together.  Because even in the toughest moments, we know that our marriage isn’t just about the story of the two of us, but that it’s part of a much larger story that involves us together impacting others.  So, we better push through, forgive, heal, team, and resolve to stay on mission because the health and togetherness of our marriage affects other people.

Our small group recently used a Donald Miller video series about marriage.  And in that video, Doctors Dan Allender and Tremper Longman discsuss the importance of marriages having a purpose bigger than just marriage and child-raearing.  That resonated with me deeply, because it gave words to what Adam and I have set out for our marriage.

So that’s how we beat the seven year itch (and made it through the 1 and 3 year challenges that everyone talks about).  Our marriage isn’t perfect.  Our marriage hasn’t been smooth-sailing every day.  We are two broken people who have found Jesus and who are on a mission together to love people well because we have been loved well.

Our larger mission has remained the same over the course of our marriage, but our short-term missions within that larger mission have shifted over seasons.  For a season, our main mission was to love a group of middle schoolers, high schoolers, and their parents well, and to learn from them.  For a different season, our mission was to learn how to form and live in real authentic community and be real about hurt in life.  This season, we are learning how to love college students well and live simply so that we can help local leaders in Africa break the cycle of poverty in their own communites.  I’m excited to think that we still have decades more to live out our mission, and excited about where carrying out that mission will take us.

We didn’t know where our mission would take us 8 years ago, but we were on board.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in life.

I love you, Adam! Happy Anniversary!

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