Today Anita and I celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. I love my wife more now than I did when I met her, in fact even more than I did at our 35th anniversary. Love, to me, is first friendship. Friendship, like love, is destroyed by long absence, though it may be increased by short intermission. Anita and I have understood this for many years and realized that we need to be together a lot but we also need intermissions, the very brief intervals that feed true love and deep abiding friendship. We get along wonderfully, enjoy each other immensely and share many common interests. But we also are very different personalities. In our case it could be said that opposites did attract. But the glue that has kept us together so well for all these is the glue of divine love, the love that God gives to those who seek His kingdom above their own happiness.

The philosopher Leibnitz once said, "To love is to find pleasure in the happiness of the person loved." I think we could both say that this has been a major reason for our thirty-six happy years together. We have genuinely found pleasure in seeing the other person truly happy. We work together in many ways and on many projects. This invites little disagreements. We settle them almost immediately. We have learned that disagreements are normal but resolving them is the key to long term success. Robert Louis Stevenson was right when he said, "Marriage is one long conversation, chequered by disputes." But the disputes have been very, very few in our case and always settled by true love.

We remain the best of friends to this day and we hold back no secrets. Joy fills our lives. An anonymous contributor has rightly said, "Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with." I have the sweetest, most wonderful person I’ve ever known to divide my joy with every single day. There is no one I would rather talk to, no one I would rather share my sorrows and my joys with, no one who brings a smile to my face more often, and no one who encourages me to still pursue my dreams like Anita. Today I give thanks for Anita, God’s greatest human gift to my life. The wise words of Matthew Henry sum up my feelings this day very well:

"Woman was taken out of man—Not out of his head, to rule over him; nor out of his feet, to be trampled under by him; but out of his side, to be equal to him—under his arm, that he might protect her, and near his heart that he might love her."

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  1. Rich December 26, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Congratulations John and Anita! Thanks for sharing this inspiring tribute!

  2. Dave Dryer December 26, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    Congratulations! The legacy of Christian leaders begins in the home. You’ve modeled this well.

  3. Helen December 26, 2006 at 3:59 pm

    John, happy anniversary to you and Anita!

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