#4) I love that we communicate openly with each other. It is a treasure to be able to be completely open and real about the good and the bad... Successes and failures... Temptations and triumphs... feelings and fears... Goals and dreams... With no fear of being judged, ridiculed, embarrassed. My deepest, darkest secrets are open to him and his to me. We trust each other... Marriage trust is priceless.
#5) I love that we share the same main goal in life... to glorify God. The closer we get to Him, the closer we get to each other. How exciting it is to share life with someone who edifies, encourages, and walks the journey with you as you seek to grow in Christ. I am so glad we chose to seek God's will before we decided to marry. Thankful we didn't settle for less than God's best.
#6) I love that we have learned to accept and even treasure our differences. Some differences were a sore spot at one time... I am a race horse doing everything quickly. I work well under pressure. Jason is a work horse doing everything slowly, methodically until perfected. I was always waiting on him and he was always being run over by me. Our differences use to drive us nuts until God showed us that He designed us that way for a reason... He has a purpose and plan.
So now instead of trying to change each other, we have learned to encourage each other's strengths and help each other deal with weaknesses. I love my work horse husband who does everything to the best of his ability, and he loves his race horse wife who can fix the situation when we are running late. I love that we can embrace our differences.
#7) I love that holding hands means something special even after 17 years.
When we first arrived here, we refrained from holding hands in public because this culture is very reserved when it comes to physical affection. Last week, we had a GITSD meeting and one of our topics was how much we truly miss holding hands in public. We determined to seek counsel on this because it was such a precious thing to us. After seeking counsel, we found that the older generation is still reserved (though not offended) about husbands and wives holding hands in public, but that the middle and younger generation were perfectly fine with it! So when we had our very next walk to a local pasal (shop) our hands were intertwined and our faces were beaming with happiness. I love that even the little things are treasures in our marriage.
#9) I love that we still date... And boy oh boy are those dates special. Sometimes candlelit dinners, sometimes hiking, sometimes just going out shopping without toting three talking children around! We just love the one-on-one time. And we make the most of it! Unless it is a hiking date we get dressed up nice, too. No jeans and a t-shirt for Jason... And my nails get painted and my hair gets fixed up nicely. I love dates with the sweetest gentleman on Earth.
#10) I love that we put effort into our marriage. Great marriages don't just happen... They are the product of work. And we REALLY want a great marriage! So we read marriage books and we are not afraid to seek counsel. We spend time learning and then practicing what we learn about having a great marriage. We invest time, money, energy, and effort into it. We sacrifice for it... And we reap the benefits of it. I love that we are investing in our marriage... The rewards are priceless.
#11) I love that we share an adventurous nature... Willing to try new things together. Back in the States, we use to love to go driving on the Parkway... But even more we loved when we would find an unmarked dirt road. We just HAD to explore it to find out where it ended up. I guess we would hate to just live the same boring life everyday. Maybe that is why we love the adventures here. Everyday, something new and unexpected... And there is no one else in the world I would rather share these adventures with.
#12) I love that we value each other's opinions and counsel. He is the head of our home and I submit to his authority... But he makes it so easy to submit! He doesn't rule with an iron fist. He really listens and values what I have to say. I trust his final decision because I know he loves me and is seeking what is best for our family. He doesn't always follow my advice, and I am glad! I have been wrong on more than one occasion! And I love that I can go to him and trust that he will give me good, sound biblical advice. He doesn't sugarcoat it to make me feel better about myself... And neither does he belittle me for needing his help. I love that we both have a voice in this relationship, and I love that it still follows the biblical design of the husband as the head of the home.
#13) I love that our marriage is a testimony of God's powerful, amazing grace. Face it... Jason and I are two totally different people... And we both have a selfish, sinful nature. But the Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to mold, shape, convict, correct, instruct, and encourage us in the right direction. As we submit to His leading, our marriage has become something that is indescribably beautiful... Breathtaking... More than we could have ever imagined, and definitely more than Hollywood could ever hope to achieve. I love that everything good about our marriage is because our God loves us enough to help us have the very best.
#14) I love that our relationship isn't a 50/50 proposition. It isn't even a 100%/100% deal. It's a 100%/doesn't matter commitment. I am committed 100% no matter what Jason does because I made a promise to God... My commitment was to the Lord! But thankfully, Jason has the same attitude... To give this marriage EVERYTHING no matter what I do. We are commanded to do the right thing in every situation no matter what other people do, and that includes our spouses. I love that we both take our marriage commitment to the Lord very seriously.