Angie 3_2012Today’s post is from my friend Angie. She wrote it for our local newspaper and I told her that it had to be shared on the blog.

I hope it encourages you in the same way it encouraged me!

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I didn’t know what I was signing up for when I stood in front of a crowd and vowed to love and cherish the handsome smiling man in front of me.

My imagination dreamed of my husband and I caring for each other through age, sicknesses, and the basic good and bad life events. Those big things I had thought about.  I see now that I overlooked the commitment to love in the daily grind of priorities, words, and agendas.

But the commitment to love during these things is what those vows were for.

Yes, I am committed to the big things.  I will be faithful to my husband.  I will stick by him and encourage him. That’s what I knew when I signed up ten years ago. And now I’m discovering the unexpected commitments that require me to be selfless and love without condition among other complexities I have yet to discover about my marriage commitment. Along with those vows to the big stuff that I publically made ten years ago, I am daily learning that I’m also committed to:

  • Allowing my life to be more complex – Merging  my husband’s thoughts, ideas, and plans with my own creates opportunities to work together to figure out what our lives will look like on a daily basis.
  • Fighting my impulsive responses to criticize – The starry-eyed romantic glasses I wore early on in our relationship have clouded over.  The times when I come face to face with evidence that  my husband is less than perfect, my commitment to marriage means I don’t spout out the harsh words I feel.
  • Admit my imperfection – I cannot admit he is right without recognizing this means I am often wrong.
  • Invest time into the relationship – Just as with anything worth nurturing, marriage doesn’t grow without working on it.
  • A specific lifestyle that cares for my husband’s heart and needs ahead of my own.
  • Studying my husband as life changes to understand him on ever deepening levels and find ways I can meet even his unspoken needs.
  • Resisting needless moments of conflict

These commitments set a high bar.  They require giving of myself in ways I don’t always want to, but this giving without expecting reciprocation is the very essence of true love.  This is what I’ve committed to.

What about you?  What have you realized is a part of the “I do” commitment you made? 

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