eli climbing

On Saturday (8/1), Ronda and I celebrated 17 years of marriage. I am not 100% sure if she knew what she was getting into when she married me… but I am glad she did. We have had our ups and downs and rough roads, but despite it all we love each other and have committed to work through whatever comes our way.

We celebrated this year by doing some activities that only strange, warped married couples would enjoy doing to celebrate…

We started the day off with an 8 mile run at 6:45am. Yes, we went running to celebrate.

Then I did yardwork. Then we cleaned the house.

After this, we went to a rock climbing gym.

We capped off the night with Greek food.

As you can see, we spent the day punishing ourselves by physically… this doesn’t seem right, but it’s what we did. They may seem like strange activities, but they are activities that are special to us. They are activities that speak to the core of our relationship. The first date I took Ronda on was to Mt. Currahee in north Georgia to go climbing and rappelling. We had a blast. We have continued to participate in outdoor, adventure type activities throughout our relationship. I believe it assists us in remaining together. We like the same things. We enjoy the same activities.

Mind you, this is the only ingredients in the recipe to last 17 years, but they are critical pieces. Since you asked, I will share three thoughts which I am sure have been essential in our success.

  1. She is my best friend. This may seem a little silly, but it’s true. I don’t use that term frequently… at all. Ronda is my only best friend (other than Jesus). She is the one person I would spend time with hands down everytime given the opportunity. She is the one person I would want with me no matter where I am going or what I am doing. She is my best friend.
  2. Our commitment is bigger than just us. We committed to more than just each other when we got married. We made a commitment to God. I know for a fact, it is this commitment that has saved our relationship. If the commitment was just to each other, there is always room to wiggle out of it and to allow our own sinfulness to torpedo the relationship. Bringing God into our relationship has without a doubt been the glue that has kept us together.
  3. Stubbornness. Yep, you read that right. I am certain there is some piece of Ronda (and myself) that will forever stay married to the other just so we can pridefully say we weren’t the one that gave up. I have often told Ronda, most mules have nothing on her. She will not yield her position on almost anything, just so she can win. And so will I. Of course, this is all in healthy humor. Which is the real thing, fun. We just plain have fun together. While we may frustrate and annoy each other, no one can make us laugh like we do.

Over the course of my relationship with Ronda, I have noticed she embodies and typifies Christ in ways I can only wish I do for her. She has an unwavering commitment to me that goes beyond love and devotion. It is purely supernatural in its origin. More times than not, when I see her I see Christ. In her love, I see the way Christ loves me.

We have had an incredible 17 years together and I can’t wait for 17 more.

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