He's not the man I married!
As a women's ministries director I have heard those words numerous times from women who are tired of their marriages not being perfect and want out. He's changed, he's different, he doesn't do what he used to do when we were dating, he's not the man I married, etc. It makes my heart sad that we spend so much time tearing others down instead of begin grateful and lifting them up.
My husband is not the man I married. He has been ill for more than 5 years. He has had a kidney transplant, takes numerous medications to stay alive, his hands and arms are permenantly bruised as side effects and he bleeds if you touch his skin. The medications make his hands shake, make him moody and sometimes grumpy, he sleeps alot, he has lost too much weight, he doesn't often enjoy my gourmet meals (lol), and in general he is certainly not the man I married from the world's perspective.
But I still feel compelled to thank this man for his faithfulness to me and our children. He has continued to work and support us though his doctors advised him to go on disability. He gets up everyday at 3:15 am and drives nearly 40 miles one way to work, works 10+ hours and then drives home in the midst of Phoenix rush hour traffic. He never complains.
He loves our children and granddaughter tremendously and has been willing to do anything to help them even when his body wanted to rest. He has supported and loved me through the trials and joys of life.
This man I married is different. He is no longer the young, playful, energetic, spontaneous man I married 27 years ago but I wouldn't change it for the world. Today our lives are different than they were in 1981 but that is good. It is part of growing up and growing older together. Though we may not do the same things we used to do, there is still that look in his eyes that tells me 'I still love you'. There is still that pat on the back side, the kiss on the cheek, that same smile I saw on our wedding day that tells me Yes, he is the man I married.
Mark, you are the love of my life. You are the person God chose for me and I love you. Though life has brought us many twists and turns you have stuck with me like salt and pepper (go see Fireproof!). I cannot imagine a day of my life without you. You are strong when I am weak, you are determined when I waiver, you are calm when I am stressed. We stand on God as our rock and foundation but you have been a stabilizing force in our marriage.
Mark, today I take time to honor you and publicly say that I love you and I am so thankful that God placed us together. Thank you for the fun times and the times you have held me up when I was too weak to stand. You are my knight in shining armor, even though the armor may be a little tarnished, I love you just the same.
We still try to be silly once in awhile!
Considering It All Joy My Love, Cindy