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One of the most memorable stories about our relationship is the first time I said good night to her. A friend of both of ours had actually set us up together on a blind date with a group of people and the evening went extremely well. As she and the friends that arranged the date walked me to my car, the only thing going through my head was the advise her roommate gave me, “She is not a touchy feely person, so you probably do not want to hug her right away.” The truth about this is that my wife is not overly affectionate with this roommate. So the time came to say goodnight and with hands at my side, she came over and hugged me. It looked like a scene straight from the old reality game show “Beauty and the Geek”. She was not following the rules and I was panicking.

I vividly remember thinking to myself that she was (and still is) WAY out of my league and that I did not have a shot with her. Yet, those big eyes and bright smile gave me enough confidence to get the courage to try. I have so many different memories during that time of learning about who she is, what her beliefs are, and how she lives life.

Two of the biggest reasons for proposing to her is that I find myself better because of her. She is a vibrant person who loves to live in the moment and seemingly can strike up a conversation about anything with anyone at any time of the day. She has a deep passion for helping those that need assistance and enjoying authentic relationships. The brightness of that smile that you may see from her is simply an outlet of how beautiful she is on the inside.

Marriage Changes Everything

We had an interesting relationship in that we both defined up front that we were not dating to simply date. So, on December 19, 2008, we both said “I Do” before many of our closest friends and family and began a life together as one. The last 3+ years of marriage has been a whirlwind of coming closer to each other, facing crisis moments as well as enjoying the bright moments, and living life completely intertwined together. In that time, she has successfully become a special ed teacher, I have been working on this youth ministry, and now we are anticipating our first child.

By no means has this journey been all rainbows and unicorns. Every week we fight the struggles of busyness and simply going through the motions. The easy route is to simply go on with our lives of work, dinner, television, and going to bed. With a child on the way, the routine of the day will be that much harder to fight for our marriage. What happened in these last five years? I remember one busy weekend when I had to commit most of my time to ministry, if I had personally had lost that loving feeling. Sure, my wife would understand why I did not spend time with her because I HAD to get this lesson done. The next time, was the same basic excuse… I was going against my priorities that my marriage was more important than youth ministry.

Love Is More Than A Feeling

Within this gloomy conversation, there is a joy within all of this. I do not know the last time when I have been with my wife that I have missed the opportunity sometime in the day to tell her “I love you.” I love that phrase because it shows us one important thing: Love is more than a feeling, it is an action. It does not matter how crappy my day in ministry has been, how rough of a day she spent with the students in her class, or how little time we do get together. In that moment, I have a choice to make. Maybe we are not on the best terms of that evening and we could easily say that we do not like each other. But the choice to love your spouse, regardless if you like them, is still on the table. My wife knows that I love her and I know she loves me with her whole being.

Five years into the relationship and those eyes and that smile still melt my heart. We still have those regular moments when she looks me directly in the eyes and tells me she loves me. Trust me, I will still mess up and make her mad… in fact, I probably should be doing the dishes right now! But regardless of how she feels towards me, I know that she loves me and I will forever love her. Somewhere deep down in this youth worker is still that geeky guy that is excited she gave me a shot.

What was that one thing that drew you to your spouse and that made you say “I Do?”