One year ago today in San Francisco, CA, I married my best friend. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. There is no one else in the world with which I’d rather spend the rest of my days.

In our first year we have learned the ups and downs, the likes and dislikes, and the art of compromise. We have discovered what makes the other laugh. We have our own inside jokes. We can spend a day hiking around Mt. Tabor in Portland or sitting in our living room watching rented movies. Marriage is wonderful.

Marriage is sanctification (as I have heard it said). You learn a lot about yourself–especially your weaknesses. You learn to say “sorry”. Over time you hope to become a little less selfish/self-centered. You begin to understand the imagery of Christ and his Bride, the church. Likewise, you begin to realize how much grace is needed to love like Christ loves. You realize you have been called to a higher standard of dedication, fidelity, and loyalty than the world around you.

There is always someone there to talk to about all things holy and profane. It may not be academic but there is always a discussion that can be classified as theological, Christological, ecclesiological, eschatological, and so forth. In marriage you become the church together in order to better be part of the church local, and global.

Marriage is a celebration. We celebrate the beauty of the other, the gift of being made in the image of God–both male and female, the differences, the similarities. You celebrate the past: family history, family mystery, victories, and failures. You dream of the future: place of residence (to call “home”), education, employment, children, family, and legacy.

Marriage is a commitment. It is the promise to be in it until the end (and by “end” you mean death). It is sobering as you realize many don’t last. It is challenging as you promise to be a couple that does. It helps you forgive your parents who did not because you realize how easy two people can move apart if you don’t work at staying close. It makes you vow to be the parents who are always together so that your children always have a place called “home”.

My life with Miranda is infinitely better than life before her. She is the love of my life, my whole life, each day. I thank God for her and I thank her for helping me learn more about God.