Brian Mittge Commentary: Looking Back 20 Years of Forever Happiness


“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, kindness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. – Galatians 5: 22-23

“Wuv … two wuv …” – the priest, the married princess

This week, I celebrated 20 years of marriage with the woman of my youth. It was a momentous occasion that we celebrated with kayaking, Thai Somsiri take-out and a slice of carrot cake from Sweet Inspirations.

As we paddled the gentle waves of Lake McIntosh outside of Tenino and lounged over a quiet morning in an empty house (thank you, friends and family for bringing our kids … uh, I mean, having warmly welcomed our children!), we spoke about what we have learned and are still learning after two decades in the marriage community.

Movies make it seem like there’s a perfect match in the world, but we don’t see it that way.

“You will never find the perfect person because there is no such thing as a perfect person,” said my wife Sarah. “It is about building a relationship with a perfect God, who can help you forgive when your spouse is not perfect and be humble when you are not perfect yourself.”

We recalled perhaps the best advice we received before our wedding: each spouse is going to have to give 70 or 80% to meet in the middle. There is no 50-50 split in a marriage.

“Partnership is not about passion or lust, it’s about fellowship with that person, trust and respect,” Sarah said. “You share so much with a partner. You need to support each other and be each other’s # 1 fan. “

We expressed our gratitude for our individual and collective decision to forgo premarital sex, to abstain, and to postpone such gratification until our wedding night. It helped us keep a clear head as we decided to commit our lives to each other and it allowed us to practice the kind of delayed gratification necessary for a good life.

We talked about supporting each other through life’s inevitable ups and downs – illness and health, wealth and poverty, and the daily decisions to choose to renew affection and support for one another, as opposed to a downward spiral of tearing in animosity and anger.

“Sometimes you put your head down and get in there,” Sarah said. “But if certain lines are crossed while one person is walking and the other is on theirs, such as sleeping with someone else or physically / mentally abusing that person or your children, those are things that you don’t. can not tolerate. “

Deep and lasting marital love comes with conditions. Wishes matter and showing respect to your partner is a basic necessity. Without it, a marriage will fade.

“The terms of this relationship were that we would be committed to each other when we are sick or poor, rich or healthy,” she said. “That you’re the only person I’ll be intimate with.” That you will love and honor who I am, which means you will be respectful to my body and mind and to our children. There are conditions. People are all, “I love him, I love him!” You can love it but still have limits and impose conditions, which is not at all the message we send to young children.

We fail to say no to young people today. They are not taught to say no to each other for their long-term well-being. Instead, our culture tells children to live for instant gratification, that if it feels right, it’s good, that you can have what you want when you want it.

“These are lies,” Sarah said, “lies that will prepare them for a failed relationship, sadness and trauma.”

We talked about the importance of having a good mood, finding joy in the simple pleasures of life (for us it’s things like holding hands as we walk together), and finding blessings. bittersweet in hardships.

“My dad kept us together largely because of his humor. We went through so much because, although my dad knew how to be serious, there was so much joy – joy, laughter and affection. ”

And here’s a real conversation.

“Maybe if a person is not familiar with the fruits of the spirit, if a person does not have the fruits of the spirit, he is not ready for marriage. Maybe that’s what it comes down to, ”Sarah said. “Stop wasting time trying to make sure someone else has it when you don’t.”

We ended the morning looking to the future for another 20 years, 40 years or more.

“Maybe true love isn’t instantaneous,” said my fiancee. “Maybe true love is at the end of the journey, not at the beginning. I think of those couples who have been married for 70 years and they die hours apart. They’ve been through everything two people can go through in life together, and their souls just cannot be on earth without each other.

“So this idea that you’ll find true love instantly with another person you don’t know is a really sad myth, but if you stick with this trip you’re going to look at the person everyone will see as wrinkled and old and decrepit and you’re going to see one of your life’s treasures – the person you just don’t want to leave and look forward to sharing every remaining moment with.

The woman of my youth and the rest of my life wiped a tear from her eye and looked at me with the dark eyes that I love.

“This has to be one of God’s greatest blessings and rewards for a life well lived.”


Brian and Sarah Mittge are raising their three children in a forest south of Chehalis. Send them a message to [email protected]


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