May 11

Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God. . . . —Ephesians 5:2

"Here's the deal on getting married," my friend Cathy said. "You're allowed three pet peeves about your husband in any given year. It doesn't matter what they are—the toothpaste top, the way he eats, where he leaves his shoes, whatever. But you're allowed only three. Anymore than that, and you'll both go crazy." It sounded reasonable to me. If I was allowed only three main irritations, then I'd have to prioritize and admit that the rest didn't really matter.

"Being married is great," wrote my college pal Bing, "though there will be mornings when you wake up and think, ‘Who is this man, and what is he doing in my life?"' I was startled, but made a note of the possibility.

"There are ten things God wants you to do for your husband," said an article I read somewhere. "Forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive, forgive. . . . " Gulp. Can it be as bad as all that?

Our wedding day dawned, sunny and warm. I went over to the bakery to check on the cake, got my hair done and put on the gown that my mother had worn many years before. I was excited, but not too nervous: God was giving me Andrew, and I was utterly sure that Andrew was God's choice for me long before I made that choice myself.

As I entered the church with my father, the first things I saw were the rows upon rows of smiling faces, the friends who would witness our vows. Next I saw Andrew, looking mildly terrified (but extremely handsome) at the front of the church. And then, over Andrew's head and slightly beyond him, I saw the thing that would truly unite us, the source of more guidance and assurance than all the advice in the world: the Cross.

I took my place beside my husband-to-be, slipped my hand under his arm and we turned together toward our future—in Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for the love that bound You to the Cross for us, and that binds us together in marriage. When troubles come, keep us close to each other by keeping us close to You.

—Julia Attaway