Captain Fun and I just celebrated our silver anniversary. We did it up right--Martha's Vineyard, Boston history, a Red Sox game. First class all the way, my mother would say. These days, we figure, every year is an accomplishment, but twenty-five years together is something to celebrate.
"I will tell you what will keep your marriage intact," Mom Dot said to me when I was still a blushing bride, "and it isn't your commitment to your faith," she added. "It is commitment to the marriage itself."
It didn't make much sense to me at first. After all, if your faith in God doesn't keep your marriage strong, what will? The more time that passes, however, the more I have come to understand: commitment to the marriage itself is the only thing that cannot be rationalized away.
Let me be clear: my commitment to Christ is the most important thing in my life. But along the way I have sometimes heard people say that it is because of their commitment to their faith that they must end their marriage to pursue their dreams. Though there are valid reasons to separate, this one doesn't add up.
Commitment, I have learned, forces you to move forward in the relationship. It keeps you from throwing around the D word when you argue. It allows you to agree to disagree and stay on friendly terms. Commitment calls for accommodating one another, supporting one another, for better or worse, richer or poorer.
"If this doesn't work out, I am loosing faith in everything," my dad told Mom Dot upon their first meeting when she had us over for dinner years ago.
Thanks, Dad, I thought. No pressure.
If my dad were still around, he would be glad to see that Captain Fun and I are still going strong. And he (himself the father of eight) would chuckle to know that twenty five years later, we are expecting our tenth child. (We agree, it is pretty hilarious.)
I know enough about marriage to know two people have to be on the same page to make it last. If one spouse wants out of the commitment, for example, there is usually not much the other spouse can do about it.
I am filled with gratitude to have found someone who will keep this commitment both with me and to me. And I am thankful he even went along with me on having so many kids. Very few men would be on the same page with me there, I think.
Thank you, Captain Fun, for walking this road with me, staying on the page with me, keeping your commitment to me. I'm in it for keeps, and I know you are, too.
Here's to the next 25 years.
Days may be cloudy or sunny
We're in, or we're out of the money
But I'm with you always
I'm with you rain or shine
--Rain or Shine, Billie Holiday/Frank Sinatra