Today marks my seventh wedding anniversary with Mrs. Wilsonian. She is a grace and joy to me that I cannot comprehend. The last seven years have been a blur in slow motion. More experienced parents have often said this to us about raising children, “The days are long but the years are short.” And, amazingly, they really are.
Here are some thoughts on the number 7 and marriage:
Most mornings, I walk the family dog (bear with me) on the trails behind our neighborhood. Sometimes I am there pre-dawn, sometimes I miss the sunrise, and sometimes I am there to glimpse the sky on fire.
As I reflected on seven years of marriage, I thought about the varying skies I’ve walked under all these mornings. Our marriage, like the sky, can sometimes be really photogenic, vibrant, eye-catching, even instagram-able! Other times it may appear less “brilliant” with overcast shadings. Every day as husband and wife is varied, bringing different contours, textures, moods, and colors. Also, like the sky, every day is the same in that the sun comes up, the world continues to turn, and it’s all beautiful.
I know seven years is not that long in the context of a lifetime, but it’s long enough to be known for “the seven year itch” because for a long stretch of time, statistically, seven years has been close to the median duration of marriages before divorce. If someone sets their hopes on marriage always being a fiery sunrise with cotton candy clouds, I can understand why a grey cloud could rattle their commitment.
If, however, you view marriage as a commitment out of love rather than a “what’s in it for me” relationship, you’ll stay married AND find more fulfillment.
This thinking about marriage and “seven” reminded me of Jesus’ response to Peter asking, “How often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
He said, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
(or “seventy times seven” depending on your translation)
The point is that seven sounded like a lot to Peter, but Jesus pointed him toward not keeping count at all. So, while seven years of marriage appears to be an accomplishment in some ways, it’s a drop in the bucket of a lifelong journey! We’re shooting for seventy times seven!
That’s how I knew I was ready to marry Danielle when I knew I could commit the rest of my life to her. I could have rushed into the idea of marriage much sooner based on how amazing she is, how pretty she is, how she makes me feel inside, etc. But seeing marriage as a lifelong partnership for the beautiful sunrises AND thunderstorms of life, I knew I wanted to marry someone with whom I could face it all, not matter what, til death do us part.
Seven years is not a long time. But long enough to discover that Danielle’s faith balances my skepticism. Her fearlessness balances my caution. Her enthusiasm balances my even keel. Her ridiculousness “balances” my logic. She challenges me and encourages me. She supports me and grounds me. She is the answer to a question that I once doubted would ever be resolved.
Love you, babe! Congrats on covenanting with my Costanza-ness for LIIIIIFFFEEEE!