There were lots of people at our wedding whom my husband didn’t know. He and I met in Wisconsin, and we had the wedding at my home church in Michigan. My friends and family from Michigan made up a large percentage of our guests.

One such guest–an unknown man–gave Ken a bit of marital insight in the receiving line. As he shook the hand of my brand new groom, he said solemnly, “The first seven years are the hardest.” And then he vanished into the crowd of wedding guests.

Ken was a bit shell shocked. Seven years seems like a long time on your wedding day.

We’ve laughed many times about this man’s ominous seven-year warning. We’d say, “Only three more hard years…” And on year seven, we celebrated! We had made it! “Now the good times can begin!”, we joked with each other.

Today we celebrate seventeen years. Yes the first seven years were hard. And the ten after that were hard, too. But at the same time, each of these years have been wonderfully delightful.

Every marriage has strain and sacrifice, and ours is certainly not an exception. But I’m so glad that we’ve put in the hard work of knowing and loving and sacrificing for each other. Because I can honestly say that today–seventeen years in–our marriage is a warm, secure, comfortable place that I hope I’ll get to enjoy for the rest of my life.

There was something the man in the receiving line failed to mention. Yes the first seven (or more) years are the hardest, but the joy of a secure, sweet marriage is worth fighting for!

Thanks for fighting for us, Ken. I love you.

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