Sweeter Than Before (Couple's Dinner 2015)

It's been almost a year since I wrote a blog post entitled Marriage is Hard. Next month, Mike and I are celebrating our 5th Civil Wedding Anniversary, well guess what... our marriage seems to get even harder. Over the last few months, we've experienced the worst fights and the toughest spiritual battles that we've ever faced as a married couple. We've experienced feeling on the edge, tempted to just be indifferent towards each other... tempted to give up serving God because of the spiritual attacks that comes with it. Over and over again, as we are down on our knees, tired, and surrendered, God's glorious grace never fails to renew our strength, to give us courage, and to rekindle our love towards one another. Over and over again, He reveals to us our selfish hearts, what we are still capable of saying and doing against each other. He makes us realize that apart from Him, we are nothing. He is continuously teaching us to love the way that He loves us -- forgiving, unconditional, sacrificial. 

Last night, Mike and I attended our annual Dgroup Couple's Dinner entitled: Sweeter Than Before. It was nice to hear testimonies of couples who are married for 20 plus, 30 plus, 50 plus years and how they've also gone through the same struggles that Mike and I are currently going through but managed to not only stay together, but to really enjoy God's
gift of marriage.

One of the moments that truly touched my heart was when Mike sang a part of the song that he dedicated to me back when we were still dating, "Only One" by Lionel Richie. That song always brings me back to those "kilig" seasons when we were still getting to know each other.

♪ ♬ ♪ You, turn me inside out and you showed me,
what life was about, only you... the only one that stole my heart away.
I want to do all I can just to show you, make you understand only you...
the only one that stole my heart away... ♪ ♬ ♪

Two days before, Mike and I experienced the worst fight that we've ever had (so far!)... I knew I'll never sing the song, "Kahit Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko" the same way again! But the part where I got really emotional was when we were asked to renew our vows (we didn't expect this!). I must admit, when we got married in 2010, we were super madly, head over heels in love that we've rushed on everything because we couldn't bear to be away from each other even for a single second. There was a big difference as we read our vows last night compared to when we first read it during our wedding. Last night, we tearfully read our vows understanding what it truly meant. When I vowed to unconditionally love, submit, and respect Mike, these are no longer fancy words, I know what I have to give up in order to fulfill this promise, and I know that this is something I can never do apart from the grace of God. Love, is no longer just a magical feeling... we've come to understand that it is a decision, a commitment that we've made to The Third Strand of our marriage -- God.

We know that we still have a long, long, long, long.... way to go. Mike and I's journey in marriage is just beginning, and I'm thankful that God gave us a spiritual family that prays for us, and guides and helps us through it all.

Our Spiritual Parents -- Kuya Alvin & Ate Ayenn

I want to share our take away from Pastor Leo's message last night:

How To Keep Your Marriage Always Sweeter Than Before:

P ut God in the center of your marriage.
A ssume your God given roles.
            Husband: Lead, Love, Provide (Eph. 5:25 ; 1 Cor. 11:3)
            Wife: Submit & Respect (Col. 3:18 ; Eph. 5:33)
I nvest in your love relationship.
R emain as best friends.

Video clips of our moments from last night's event.