I’m writing this prior to leaving on and my annual anniversary trip to the beach with Denise.  For several years, we have been blessed to head south to a beach that we love to spend time on.  It’s supposed to be Florida’s best kept secret, but I’m afraid the secret has gotten out.  The beach for us is a place of calm renewal, rest, and relaxation.  If you’re a beach person you understand that, and if you’re not, then you may have another place where you like to go to experience the same rest.  Our beach time is also a time to celebrate our anniversary - when we consider God’s blessings to us in sand, salt water and salt air.

This year, though, it’s even more special because it's our 25th anniversary.  It’s been the best 28 years of my life!  Why 28?  Because Denise and I dated for 3 years prior to getting married May 14th, 1993.  Family is God’s best gift to us though, even better than the beach.  He began with a husband and wife and said, “Here’s what I have given you.  Take good care of it,” (paraphrased with my emphasis).  He was not just talking about the earth and its care, He was also talking about the relationship between husband and wife, and then children.  I’ve heard that to be the best mother or father you can be requires that you be the best wife or husband for your spouse.  Family is at the core of what shapes our society.  As the family goes, so goes the culture.

Denise has taught me a lot over the years about what it looks like to love, give, and learn.  Her skills as an RN carry over from home, not vice versa.  Her family is her top priority, right after her relationship with God.  She lives out her faith at home, in church, and at work, and I’m most blessed to receive her gifts on a daily basis. To be with her is blessing enough, but what I've learned from her has helped shape me into the man I am.  She was the one who encouraged me to attend the Great Banquet.  She was the one who encouraged me to serve on teams for both Chrysalis and the Great Banquet.  She was the voice of wisdom who helped me know when to say “no,” and taught me how to keep life in balance when I got out of balance.  She was the one who prayed with me as we listened for God’s call for a career change that would significantly affect our lifestyle and income.  She has stood by me and been my encourager, cheering me on when I needed it, and giving me words of wisdom and direction.

So, on our 25th anniversary I thank God for blessing me with the best wife I could have ever dreamed of.  I can honestly say that my love for her now is stronger and deeper than it has ever been, and each day He gives us will be a day I’m thankful for.  Because of His love, our love is complete in Him!  We are not each other’s savior and we know that.  Our Savior is Jesus, and our purpose is to reflect Him and love Him as we love one another and those around us.  I thank Denise for leading me to the love that Jesus created and offers in redemption and renewal.  Thanks so much for the best 25 years of marriage.  I love you!!

Jesus replied, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’  ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  Mark 10:6-9

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but your surpass them all.”  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”  Proverbs 31:25-31

In Christ’s Love,

Rob, Romans 12