The Cost Of Marriage, And 25 Years A Bride

Perusing through an article on marriage just one week before a milestone Wedding Anniversary, I am challenged with a thought provoking question.

“WHEN YOU THINK OF THE COST OF MARRIAGE, WHAT COMES TO MIND?”  

Sarah and Tyler 2016,  Me and Rick 1991 

Having recently witnessed the marriage celebration of our daughter Sarah and son-in-law, Tyler,  it was easy to quickly recount the budget and the cost (still fresh in my mind) that went into making it a most exquisite event, a near perfect wedding day–I like to say, it was one for the ages! 

Just as quickly as thoughts and happy memories of our daughter’s beautiful wedding day flooded my soul, they faded into the realization that in little more than a week (April 13, 2016) I too would be celebrating happy memories…
25 years a bride.  
Although I remember it as one of the happiest days of my life, I am far removed from the financial details of my own wedding day.  Twenty five years has a way of showing me,  THE COST OF MARRIAGE isn’t about the dollars and cents at all, nor is it really about the happiness, although happiness is a great byproduct.
Rather, what comes to mind has more to do with the giving, the investment, the sacrifice, the commitment and being refined like gold time and time again.  

(Left)engagement picture 1990  and (Right) today 2016
Time may weather our physical bodies but it strengthens our souls

“THE GIVING 

THE INVESTMENT 
THE SACRIFICE 
THE COMMITMENT 
AND BEING REFINED LIKE GOLD  
TIME AND TIME AGAIN”
Standing strong thru the years, started with a shared faith and commitment to walk through whatever we faced together.  It continues with an obedience to God’s Word, not just when it is easy and we feel like it, but also when the days are difficult and we don’t feel like it.  
Our Wedding Day,  April 13, 1991

                                                                  Often times, the cost of marriage means laying down our pride (which can be really ugly at times), and taking up our cross (which can be really painful at times).  It means putting you before me and we before I.  It means admitting our mistakes and falling to our knees in both offering  forgiveness and receiving forgiveness.  It means being intentional about us, through every season, protecting, guarding and keeping watch over that which God has joined together….our marriage relationship, our dreams and our purposes, both as a couple and as individuals.  

Rarely if ever, do we go it alone. There is both cost and great risk to staying transparent and vulnerable. Surrounding ourselves with good couples, family, and friends, means we always have people who are there to cheer and celebrate with us when life is great, but who also don’t hesitate to roll up their sleeves and fight alongside us for our marriage and when times aren’t so great.   
A recent Friday night date. 

Loving together, serving together, making great memories together, sharing the deepest levels of intimacy together, raising a family together, laughing together (we’ve done a lot of laughing), crying together (we’ve done a lot of crying too), facing victory and defeat together, facing triumph and tragedy together, playing together, praying together….we still don’t always get it right,even after 25 years, but we always always invite His Spirit to inhabit every little (and big) detail along the way.

WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, THE REAL COST OF MARRIAGE IS GREAT!  

With the helping hands of our Heavenly Father and a deep love and devotion, we count the cost and we pay the price….not just for weddings, but for marriage too.     For it is in doing so,  that we know and experience…

 REAL LOVE
 REAL LIFE
 AND REAL MARRIAGE.

   You and Me Rick Steimling, together forever…..in love, being refined like gold, time and time again, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.         

  Happy 25th Anniversary to the Love of my life!
Crystal

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