feb4On this very day, 14 years ago, I married the love of my life.  The one who God graciously put in my life to be my life long soul mate.  My wife.  April Renee’ Gearhart Goodger.

I would have never thought that when my roommate and I invited 10 girls and 4 guys over for dinner on that night back in 1993 that each of us would have met our wives.  I didn’t even know that I was interested in her.  I walked her to her car that night and we ended up talking for what seemed like hours under the moonlit sky while leaning on her car.  I called frequently, asking her to do stuff with my group of friends.  There were “no’s” and there were “yes’s” until we found ourselves spending each night together after work, especially the nights Melrose Place and Beverly Hills 90210 were on TV.

The week before Thanksgiving, 1993, we were outside of April’s apartment saying goodbye when it happened.  She kissed me.  SHE kissed ME. SHE KISSED ME!  Sure I like her and thought that there was something there but that wasn’t my plan.  I was waiting until the next week when she was coming to my parents house for Thanksgiving – we were going to the beach for the sunset.  BUT April ruined those plans but the future was locked in from that moment on.  I knew in my heart that she was THE one.

Looking back over the years, we have been through a lot.  My dysfunctional family (it’s the truth, right?).  Her parents moving in with us 2 months after we were married.  My dad’s gambling habits.  My mom moving in with us.  Dad’s passing.  Kendyl’s birth.  Logan’s birth.  A dog (anyone want a dog?).  Our house (which now might have a sinkhole under it).

Through it all there has been one constant that never changes – God.  He has been and always will be at the center of our marriage.  I know full well that if God wasn’t a part of our marriage both of us would have probably bailed a long time ago.  I can only think of MAYBE 2 arguments we’ve had over the years but without God there would have been many more.

April, I try to love you just as Christ commands us in Ephesians 5:25-30

Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her to sanctify her by cleansing her with the washing of the water by the word, so that he may present the church to himself as glorious – not having a stain or wrinkle, or any such blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one has ever hated his own body but he feeds it and takes care of it, just as Christ also does the church, for we are members of his body.

God – allow me to exemplify this scripture.  Show me how to love my wife as Christ loved the church.  I don’t know how to do that.  You need to be my example.  You need to be my tutor, my mentor, my Father.  I thank You for the honor of being a husband and for trusting me to take care of your daughter, April.  Allow me to love her more each day.  I can’t wait to see what Your plans are for us in the next year, 5 years, 25 years, and the rest of our lives.  God my we, most of all, Glorify You, Exemplify You, and Honor You through our marriage.  In your name I pray. AMEN!

April – Thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for loving me.  Thank you for being the mother of our children (and our dog too, I guess).  Thank you for making my life complete.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!

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