Thursday, March 10, 2016

Love Letters: Ten good years

My dearest children,

Your Papa and Mama got married ten years ago. People have a lot of alternative names for marriage, from tying the knot, to getting hitched (interestingly enough, this phrase came from the practice of hitching horses together to pull a wagon). Whatever you call it, marriage involves the union of two people. Since people are never perfect, you'll find that this union is also imperfect. You'll know, since you've witnessed the times when we argue and fight, the times when we get angry at each other and end up shouting at each other.

However, conflicts aside, you've also seen how a marriage is love in action (or at least, I hope you have!). I remember a Reverend once defined love as "an intelligent willingness to do what is best for the other person", and that made sense. Love isn't a feeling, because feelings are fickle and change with the minute. Love is a verb: it is a conscious act of putting someone's needs above your own. You've seen it in the way Papa stays up to load the dishwasher, so that Mama can rest, or how he works hard to provide for the family. He isn't one who is lavish with gifts or words, but he shows his love quietly in his actions.

The world will tell you that you need to find a spouse that completes you, that fulfills your every need. Unfortunately, you'll find that you'll never be able to find a person that will do that, because only Jesus is able to fulfill our every need. That being said, marriage involves a partnership, and partners complement, and build each other up. I know it is the case for us, and we help the other fill in the gaps for our weaknesses. Papa's the rational and logical one, while I help him to understand the emotional, rather irrational side of things. He brings spontaneity to our outings, and helps me to loosen up a little, while I help him to keep track of our appointments, and things to do because he just can't seem to remember. You've witnessed the debates we've had, from identifying the instrument playing over the radio (Mama always turns out to be right, because she was the one who played in the symphonic band, though she doesn't have that music diploma that Papa has!), to politics (Papa says I need to think and care more deeply about these things). Many a time, our different personalities mean that we fight like cats and dogs. However, we're learning, just like you, to love more, and to love better each day.

On to a side point: When you grow up, you'll find that you'll be given all kinds of suggestions for the perfect wedding. These days, weddings are becoming more and more magical (and correspondingly more and more expensive!). But don't you forget, that the wedding is just the beginning. It is not about how many tables you have at the banquet, or what car you use, or if you had your pictures taken against a Greek sunset by the beach, but about how you live those years after the wedding. Boring I know. However, that is a lifetime of meals eaten together, and a lifetime of rides together, be it on the train, bus or car. It'll be a lifetime of sunsets, and lots of photo opportunities along the way... and that is so much better. (And another tip if I may: Don't spend too much on those wedding portraits and albums. Many advised us about this, and I've found it to be true, since the albums end up collecting dust!)

It's been ten good years for Papa and me. There have been hard times, and times when we feel like tearing our hair out. But there have been such wonderful times too, and we've seen how God has helped us through it all. The four of you are one of the most precious things we have gained in this marriage, and we couldn't thank Him enough for each of you. But for today, here's to the two of us, for the rest of our lives.


PS: To the hubby:
Thank you for putting up with all my craziness for the past ten years! Love you!

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