So I’m sure by now you are 18 and have mustered up the courage to read this blog your mother wrote about Intimacy. I know no one wants to think about their parents this way. I understand. So let me set your minds at ease: this isn’t really about “that”. Although that is part of it, I can assure you that we don’t. Well, there are one…two…three of you so I guess three times. That’s it. So stop thinking about it.
This week is our 10th wedding anniversary. I met your Dad on the beach 15 years ago and we’ve been together ever since. He pointed out actually that we have been together for almost half of our lives! So, we’ve pretty much grown up together in a lot of ways. Here is a picture of us from one of our first dates:
Don’t laugh. Ok, I know that’s impossible. There is so much crazy going on in this picture. Don’t say, “OMG, that is embarrassing”, because we are embarrassed of it. I made sure I got your Dads permission to share this photo. (No, he is not sitting on me. I’m crouched down…forget it.) Once you get past the gorgeous blonde doing the double bicep pose, you will notice the child-I mean young woman who is your mother. (You may have noticed the cow first I don’t know…) And before you give Dad any grief about wearing hammer pants (MC Hammer was a rapper…nevermind. Just listen to the oldies you’ll hear it.), and a fanny pack, just know that I was wearing a fanny pack also. And my fly was about a foot long. This was back when whoever had the longest fly had the hottest jeans. And by now you may be thinking “Who took that picture?” Well, it was actually his camera on a timer. On the top of his white Honda Accord. Hey-love has to start somewhere.
We were crazy about each other then, and we are still crazy about each other now. We know everything about each other and that is my definition of intimacy: to fully know someone and be fully known by them. No secrets. Since the beginning of our relationship we have been open and honest with each other even when it was hard to do. He knows everything about me. The good. The bad. And the ugly. I know the same about him. I think this kind of transparency is crucial to the intimacy of a relationship. I know this may seem impossible, and I realize you can’t have honesty without safety. That’s why it is so important to find someone who will guard and take care of your heart, so you can share all of it with them.
Society will tell you that intimacy is only one thing-physical. That is so untrue! (not that we do that sort of thing…) Intimacy is physical, emotional and spiritual. When one of these areas suffers the other parts suffer. A marriage will thrive if you both are actively working in all three areas of intimacy. Every other weekend your Dad takes me on a date. And every other weekend you guys cry and say, “We don’t want you to go on a date!” But we go anyway. Because we see the value in spending (quiet) time together. We go out to eat and talk about work, triathlon, crossfit, and you guys. We get to know each other all over again. We stay interesting, and interested. We invest in each other emotionally.
We pray together. We pray for one another. We pray for our family. We pray that we will always be growing closer to God and therefore (since He put us together)we will be growing closer to each other. We believe that if God is the center of our marriage we can weather any storm. We’ve been through some hard times. The first few years of marriage weren’t the “bliss” we expected. We both see in hindsight that God was using those hard times to build a strong bond between us and a complete reliance on Him. And even now, our close friends will tell you that as much as we are crazy about each other, we drive each other crazy. Me and Mr. Right are complete opposites, and struggle in our communication, but we know its worth the fight.
So to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary we are renewing our wedding vows. The vows that we said when we were young(er) and before we understood the weight of them. For better, or for worse. For richer, for poorer. In sickness and health. This is some heavy stuff. Marriage isn’t easy. But as someone once said, “When a marriage works, nothing on earth can take its place“. I feel as excited as I did on our actual wedding day except instead of hopes and dreams I know exactly who I am marrying. I am marrying a man who loves Jesus first and me second. I’m marrying a man who is leading our family to walk in Biblical principles. A man who speaks my love language daily, and knows my basic needs are food, sleep and compliments.
A man who knows every constellation of freckles on my body. (Oops. Sorry). I’m marrying a man who encourages me to be my true self, because he thinks that person is beautiful. Someone who can laugh hysterically with me about a ridiculous picture of us from 15 years ago. A man I know everything about and who knows everything about me.
That is true intimacy. That is what I pray for the three of you to find someday.
Love, love, love,