In June of this year, Amy and I will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary. We have a perfect marriage! We have never raised our voices with each other, never had an argument, and have never mentioned divorce. Okay that last sentence was a total lie!!! Amy and I have been to marriage counseling twice, have argued a lot, and have mentioned divorce on numerous occasions. I will tell you that both of us are very stubborn and hard headed, so that doesn't do much for pride and selfishness. I will come back to those two marriage breakers in a bit. I would say that I bear the load for the majority of those short comings, as I never saw a functioning family, as my parents got divorced when I was 10 months old. I was raised in a very legalistic church who felt that women should be seen and not heard, and would suppress the voice and opinion of the woman by demanding submission. Needless to say, I had a lot to learn and grow into. It just goes to show what kind of a woman Amy is to put up with me, especially at the beginning of our marriage.
So who is Amy? Occupationally, she is an elementary school teacher. She is incredible at her job, and is way more educated than me, as she has two Masters degrees in Education. However, allow me to dig deeper. She is the mother of 3 incredible kids, although as any parent, they can sometimes frustrate us with their decisions. She is also the grandmother to 4 year old Thomas. She works through teaching exhaustion of little ones all day long (of which I am not strong enough to do), and then still has the strength to come home and cook dinner. She is a loyal friend to many, and a daughter of God. She has a passion and love for the Lord, like no other woman that I have seen. She is truly a Proverbs 31 woman. Of all of the verses found in Proverbs 31, the ones that resonate the most in reflecting Amy, is she is of noble character, her husband has full confidence in her and does not lack value, and she brings him good and not harm all the days of their lives. Amy also speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
My life with Amy has never been a dull moment. We have had our ups and downs, which we are very open to talk about. What I would like to talk about is how Amy is the glue that has kept this family together. When I was at a point of giving up on a situation with one of our kids, she was willing and able to stick in there and see it through. When I look back at her commitment to making sure we attended church, she was always the one leading the charge. She has consistently shown me love and to the commitment of our marriage, not as a contract, but as a covenant that was made before the eyes of God. She is well learned in scripture, and one that I enjoy carrying on a conversation with, whether it be about theology, or just life matters in general.
Recently we have watched three of our friends relationships dissolve after 25-30 years of marriage. It is not new to us to have witnessed this through the years, but there is something that goes along with the empty nest syndrome. Many couples live their marriages out through the lenses of their children. It is all about the kids, and not about building and investing in their marriage. Most of what I have been successful at in life, is not anything I have come up with on my own. It is information that I have gleaned from others that were either wiser than I, or foolish and have shown me not to take their same path. Once you build that wall up between your spouse brick by brick, it doesn't come down overnight. After the kids leave the house, many find themselves staring at each other at the dinner table with nothing to say. They just stare at that brick wall that has been built between the two of them.
One of those tidbits of wisdom that was shared with me long ago, was to continually date my wife. Men, I hate to break it to you, but you should still be dating your wives. You should be willing to spend time with them more today, then the days when you were dating them. Years ago I started taking Amy on extended weekend mini-vacations without the kids. I would encourage others to do the same, and they would say they couldn't afford to. I would argue that you can't afford not to. Invest in your future, communicate, sacrifice your pride and selfishness, and you will have a successful marriage. What makes it even better is when both of you put God first in your lives, than it is a Godly marriage, and he gets to define what successful looks like through Him.
Once I learned to stop trying to change my spouse, and instead started looking in the mirror, God started working on my selfishness and pride. Those are the two things that will absolutely destroy a marriage. I am not saying that both of those things don't rear their ugly head from time to time, of course they do. However, I think as we have matured together, we now know how to keep a lookout for those weeds, and instead to sow good seed.
In conclusion, some of you might wonder if there is a special day coming up for Amy, if I am trying to gain bonus points from her, or if I am in the dog house. I can assure you it is none of those things. This week I decided to get back on social media and reactivate my website and start typing. As many of you know, we lost our eldest son David in a car accident in December of 2020. I have stated that writing is therapeutic for me. I would be remiss if while writing I didn't give credit to the person who has breathed air into my lungs, been the best strongest arm of support a man could ever ask for, and the most all around beautiful sexy woman on this earth. I would not have been able to survive the last 16 months of my grief journey if it wasn't for Amy Beth Jacobs. Outside of Jesus Christ, she is my all and my everything. As I know all too well, life is short, and I would be negligent it I didn't shout it from the rooftops how much I am in love with my wife.
Thank you Amy for agreeing to marry this old lug of a man 26 years ago. Thank you for continuing to show me grace and not harbor judgement or resentment for my short comings. Thank you for allowing me to grow and flourish with you. Thank you for not taking our marriage for granted, but putting safeguards in place to prevent the jackals from destroying what we have built. Thank you for always being my Earth Angel.