April 18 – the day I married my best friend and love of my life.  To be honest, the last year or so has just flown by.  It is hard to believe that we have already been married for more than 6 months!  I love my wife more today than I ever have – a trend that I only see continuing in the future.

I could go on and on about how much I love my wife.  And if I did, it wouldn’t mean we’re perfect.  Obviously, we aren’t.  We both have our flaws, but that’s not where it ends.  We have the ability to forgive each other each and every time we mess up.  The strength of our relationship does not come from the perfection of our actions, but the ongoing forgiveness and understanding of each other’s “flaws.”

It could be easy to have a superficial marriage where you never fight, never disagree, never argue, or never be your real self.  But what fun is that?  Having a disagreements and miscommunications have caused my wife and I to both strive to be better people.

Right around the time Christine and I were becoming good friends and on the verge of dating, a wonderful couple came and spoke to the students in chapel at Grace.  This couple was the perfect example of a marriage that Christine and I wanted to have.  In fact, later on in our dating we discussed marriage and I brought up that it would be so fulfilling to have a marriage that resembled Ty and Terri’s.  Even just having that goal brought on a lot of negativity from others – a typical marriage isn’t like that, that kind of marriage rarely happens.

I’m not the kind of person that will just sit back and hang onto a typical marriage.  I wanted a thriving one – one very much like Ty and Terri’s.  It was so evident that they loved each other so deeply that they truly enjoyed their marriage.  And while only after 6 months of marriage, Christine and I have a long ways to go, we are on the right path.

Below are a bunch of the one-liners and words of wisdom that Ty and Terri spoke into my wife and I even before we started dating:

Ty & Terri Schenzel message from Sept 19, 2013

“Taking Care of Your Heart”

  1. Better to be a little lonely and single than married and miserable.
  2. Lord I trust you
  3. If you want to marry a prince, then you have to be a princess.
  4. If you want to marry a princess, you have to be a prince.
  5. Don’t date anyone you wouldn’t consider marrying.
  6. Stay together to address conflict, the problem isn’t the other person.
  7. Funny sacking is the refusal to take care of heart issues
  8. Ephesians… don’t go to bed without taking care of anger. Keep short accounts in your hearts and relationships otherwise you are giving the devil a foothold
  9. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you can’t be angry. Be motivated more to deal with anger, not be scared of it
  10. Don’t let things sit and rot in your heart.  If you don’t take care of it it stinks!
  11. Baggage is the result of unresolved issues
  12. Don’t walk down the aisle with a suitcase. What’s the size of te baggage in your heart? Should be as little as possible because now you are handing part of it to your spouse. Be as healthy as you can before you hit the altar.
  13. -Overreacting…psalm 139
  14. -Pattern of unhealthy relationships…tough ends
  15. -Addictions numb pain
  16. -Surface level relationships because of built up walls…heisman pose by your heart
  17. Identify your 911..marriage counseling couple. Humble yourself and seek counsel.
  18. Seek out Godly mentors
  19. Read good books
  20. Forgiveness
  21. “Because we’ve given God our marriage, he’s given me the desires of my heart.”-Terri Schenzel

Thank you, Ty and Terri, for giving my wife and I a vision of a thriving marriage and for speaking into our lives well before we said “I do.”