Seventeen

IMG_0598Seventeen years.

In some ways, it doesn’t seem right. Wait, we’ve been married seventeen years? Are we old enough to have been married that long?

Then again, I honestly can’t remember what my life was like prior to marrying Sunny. When I sit with couples for premarital counseling, I tell them to think of their marriage as an altar. Marriage is about sacrifice, but transformation occurs when we become living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1-2). In marriage, “I” becomes “we.” When you immerse yourself in the marriage covenant so fully, holy transformation is inevitable.

Seventeen years ago, I married the best person I know.

And outside of coming to know Jesus as Lord, it continues to be the most transformative moment of my life.

If you’d never met my wife, I’d have you read a post I wrote for her birthday in 2015 entitled “Her Goodness.” The title says it all. I’m convinced that Sunny’s defining quality is her goodness. Here’s what I said about Sunny in that post:

From day one, I’ve never known anyone more interested in doing the right thing…not the convenient thing…not the popular thing…not the politically expedient thing…but the right thing, in any and every circumstance. She was that way when I met her at age 17. And she’s the same person today.

For seventeen years, I’ve been profoundly shaped by Sunny’s enduring goodness. There’s a certain gravitational pull to her purity of heart; I know she’s made me a better person because of her example and influence. It’s such a blessing to be married to your best friend. She’s been so supportive of me: through my years in youth ministry, through graduate school, through doctoral work, and now in my current role as preaching minister, I’ve always been able to rely on Sunny’s constant encouragement and quiet strength. She makes me laugh more than anyone and I’m so thankful that seventeen years ago, she met me at the altar and said “I do.”

Sunny, thank you for being my wife, my companion, and my friend. Moreover, thank you for meeting me at the altar, for modeling “living sacrifice” every day in our marriage and in our home, and for transforming me through your goodness and your grace. I love you.

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