The Gift of Marriage | Year Two

This post is written by Matthew. You can read Olivia’s post from last year, “The Gift of Marriage | Year One” by clicking here.

Google is a very handy tool.

Having instant access to any and all sorts of information simultaneously makes you smarter and dumber. Doing a google search of “the second year of marriage” is like navigating a minefield: You may make it out alive but the experience changes you. It’s all so negative. It basically boils down to “if you can make it past the second year together in-tact, then you’re good to go.” As if the other possible 50-60 years together are inconsequential.

If the first year of marriage is the honeymoon, then the second year of marriage is the daily struggle – or so they say. I admit, it’s daunting at times. The warm, fuzzy feelings for each other are still strong, but now there are things like finances, keeping the house clean, and working late hours with limited leisure that can wear on any couple. You start to come off that first-year-high and settle in for the long haul. Daily routine and habit are not bad, per se, but they’re often the enemy of spontaneity and creativity. And yes, it’s true single people, keeping things fresh and exciting is hard but important in a marriage.

Year two of marriage is full of quotes like these:

“Why do you slurp when you eat your cereal?”

“Really? Another episode of Real Housewives?”

“Are you picking your nose?”

“Babe, do you think we can get another episode of Friends in before we fall asleep?”

Basically, it’s a mix of the banal with the annoying.

And yes, arguments do become more frequent. The “exciting” and “new” feeling of marriage wears off. You find yourself actually having to put forth effort to keep the relationship strong. Then you get nervous because you’ve heard all your life that “if it’s the right person, it shouldn’t feel like you have to work for it.” I think Olivia and I are starting to realize that love is just a piece of the marriage puzzle. Other important pieces are friendship, trust, communication, honesty, and playfulness. Make no mistake about it, though. God is pulling my wife and I closer together just as he is pulling us closer to Himself.


God created marriage as a way to reflect his Gospel, His love for His bride – the church. In biblical marriage, the spouses are equal but different, and find joy in serving one another. This reflects the triumvirate God: Father, Son & Holy Spirit – separate but equal parts of God, loving and serving one another. The husband sacrifices himself for his wife, and the wife submits to her husband. I remember washing each other’s feet during our wedding ceremony and the impact that still has on me. It reminds me of God’s true intention for us.

What God has shown me in our second year of marriage is perfectly summarized in Ecclesiastes 4:9:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

You know the part I mentioned above, about sacrificing and submitting? Yeah, I suck at that a lot. Olivia will admit she does, too. I am constantly failing, but she is there to pick me back up. Y’all, I can be stubborn. Let me tell you something about Liv. She is getting really good at knowing when to scold me and when to be patient with me. Men, if you’re like me, you have tunnel-vision with life sometimes. I think men tend to be task-oriented and can get sucked into accomplishing things, without stopping to appreciate, cultivate and nourish what they have.

The beauty of having a wife that loves the Lord with all her heart, mind and soul means she has your best interests in mind because she wants you maturing in Christ alongside her. In fact, she wants you leading her to Christ daily. If I’m painfully honest, I fail at this the most. I rarely lead devotion with her, and we don’t pray together as much as we should. Men, how often do we just pray for our wives when we talk to Jesus? How often do we ask God to keep her safe, to pray for her witness, to pray for her relationship with Him to be strengthened? It’s not nearly enough in my household. What’s great, though, is she loves me the same. She knows all this about me, knows that I struggle in leading her and still loves me the same. A great wife forgives and believes in equal measure.

I am made better daily because my wife exhibits Proverbs 3:3-4 in her life.

“Let love and faithfulness never leave you, bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”

Year two of marriage has taught me that love alone won’t make a marriage last. However, it’s also reminded me that love is the reason for everything. God created Adam and Eve out of love. Jesus went to the cross because of love. Paul writes in the New Testament that he can have all the greatest attributes one can have, but if he doesn’t have love it’s all crap (literally).

To quote the great theologian, Huey Lewis, in “The Power of Love”:

“Don’t need money, don’t take fame / Don’t need no credit card to ride this train / It’s strong and it’s sudden and it’s cruel sometimes / But it might just save your life”

To my best friend, my bride, and the person I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with:

Olivia Jean,

Our second year married is even better than the first. It’s so easy to be with you, even when it’s hard. Yes, it requires effort and yes, we struggle together. But you will forever be the person that I admire, the person that reminds me to care and sacrifice my time for others like you do. You are a mother for the way you care for and love children. You are a caregiver for putting down everything at the drop of a pin to be there for someone when they desperately need it.

You are the person that weeps with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice, the person that acts goofy to cheer me up. Most importantly, you are an example to me and those closest to you because you lead a life that points to Jesus.

Here’s to two years together (and hopefully at least two more *wink face*).

Happy Anniversary, darling. I love you.

The Gift of Marriage | Year One

I still remember four years ago kneeling on the hard wood of my bedroom, praying diligently for my future.  I was learning to love and accept myself as a true daughter of Christ, a woman who was fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator of the Universe.

I prayed for my husband.  I felt his presence as I talked with God.  I wondered what he was doing that very second.  I wondered what his name was.

I do not believe that Matt and I were made solely for one another.  I believe we were made to crave a Savior, to proclaim the glory of our God and make disciples of our friends.  I believe that God crossed our paths and set us aside for one another so that we could work together toward a goal and stand firm as a unit in a world so full of disasters aiming to tear us down.

We are coming up on one year of marriage.  Time has flown.  We have grown in so many ways; I can’t begin to describe them all.  We have found that life moves fast and life goes on.  That we are carnal beings and will let our loved ones down.  That we will never meet the deep soul needs of our partner, or anyone, for that matter.  Our anchor is Jesus Christ, we have a hope in him that stabilizes our souls.  We fail but our Father forgives us.  We fail each other but we forgive each other.

When Matt and I decided to get married we took it seriously.  We wanted to know the hard stuff and asked for realistic advice.  Sometimes I regretted it – engagement is such a happy time in a woman’s life and you don’t want it stained by words like marriage is a lot of work or call me in 10 years and we’ll see if you’re happy.  (These are real things I heard on a consistent basis.  I am very surprised I made it the alter.  Must have been the promise of cake and champagne).

I learned so much about Matt during the time of our engagement.  We had been together for over two years but as we prepared for marriage I viewed him in a completely different light.  He was vulnerable.  He was becoming a leader.  He was scared and strong and handsome all in one.  I remember having so many thoughts that I had to write them down.  I have never shared them with anyone until now.

January 26, 2015
I get to know him in a way no other person does

I am learning firsthand about grace and mercy.  I need to be Jesus to him — show him I love him despite his sin.  His sin does not define him just as mine does not define me.  His trust in Jesus defines his life and his relationship with me

I am his closest asset on Earth. His person. The one he can trust with anything. Thankful I am privileged to be that

Let go and allow him to lead me. Point him to the cross in the way I treat him, respect him, and honor him. Build him up the way Jesus builds us.  
(Y’all, this one is still tough for me… letting go is hard but so necessary).  

Support the work the Lord is doing in his life. Have insight in recognizing divine appointments in his life.

LOVE him. Always. No grudges. Let go of it all. This will be a daily, monthly, yearly struggle. I can’t do it alone. Remember why we are together — to get closer to God and make Him known to the world. Use the gift of marriage to do this.

First priority is to use our marriage as a tool in worship and glorifying the Lord. He blesses us THROUGH that. We shouldn’t seek out blessing simply because we’re married. It comes through service to one another and to God. 

I penned those thoughts 7 months before our wedding.  I still read them frequently and remember how eloquently the Lord was speaking to me then.  How He was shaping me for now.

When I prayed for my husband four years ago, my husband did not know the Lord. He and I had never formally met. He was longing for answers and struggling with so many questions that made him feel more lost than ever.  I was alone in a college town living out a lukewarm faith and wearing very thin.  Something had to give.  God was preparing my heart for more.  Jesus saved my husband on July 28th, 2012. Two weeks later we met and a month later I was his girlfriend.

Matt and I were given the gift of marriage.  We are better together, truly.  I have had to sacrifice many selfish desires in order to make our relationship work and I know that is God teaching me to let go.  He uses Matt to show me my depravity but also uses Matt to echo my salvation.  Our Father has a funny way of working things out.  I don’t know why I’m ever surprised.  God reminds us so many times of his sovereignty yet we somehow keep forgetting.

I say all of this not as a testament to our relationship.  Much of our life is just a story.  It will all be forgotten and filed away some day with a few pictures attached. I write these things for myself, to honor my growth.  I write these things for you, so that you can learn to honor your season as well. The story of the Meades is just beginning.


Matthew Luke, you are my best friend.  My helper, my love, my spell checker, my running partner, my taste tester, my handyman, my favorite DJ. There is no other person on this planet I would rather do life with.  Thank you for leading me to the cross and washing my feet along the way. I promise to always be your biggest fan and to never watch our Netflix shows alone.

Happy Anniversary, I love you.


“Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10