Happy Anniversary to us!

– Rebekah and Derek: official 2020 anniversary photo!

There are a million reasons I am over-the-top thankful that – on August 18th, 1979 – I married Rebekah Alexander. I will try to cover just a few, and they are not listed in any order of preference.

“10 Reasons I’m super-glad we are married”:

  • I really enjoy our life together: Being married is still everything I hoped and dreamed it would be when I proposed, and at the same time so much more than I could ever have imagined.
  • I got to marry the most beautiful woman on campus! There wasn’t a contest; it was (and still is) just an indisputable fact.
  • Rebekah helped me put my life in focus: I wasn’t lost, but I honestly didn’t have any clear sense of direction back in 1979. Rebekah – on the other hand – had been crystal clear regarding where she was headed since she was eight years old! I just knew that I wanted us to be together.
  • The privilege to love: Once we were married, the bedrock of love evolved from primarily a reactive emotion to fundamentally a proactive choice – a constant series of daily, moment-by-moment choices. Being married is this amazing opportunity to put intentional love into practice.
  • Today: I would not be here, in 2020, in Wake Forest, if Rebekah had not married me. Neither would I have enjoyed the unimaginably wonderful experiences we shared in Pensacola and Tampa.
  • This Beautiful Family: We have this amazing family! Andrew. Naomi. Alicia. Craig. David. Beks. Mr. T. And now grandchild number four – Geoffrey – is on the way.
  • Culture! This has been like a 40-plus year cultural enrichment program! I wasn’t exactly a Philistine before we married, but Rebekah has opened my eyes to so much I had previously dismissed. Like literature, classical music (even opera), art history, architecture, archeology, language, museums, food, the theater….
  • Similarly, the world: Growing up on Europe’s doorstep I failed to appreciate what was right in front of me. Seeing the world through her eyes – full with wonder, intellectual curiosity, and joy – has flooded my soul with light.
  • I am a more complete person because we married: I think we both are. Rebekah and I do our best to approach the relationship from the point of view of, “What can I give?” rather than, “What’s in it for me?” In a sense, this is what “mutual submission” is all about, it’s about building each other up.
  • Creativity: I honestly believe that being married to Rebekah has primed and nurtured my creativity, releasing possibility I may not have otherwise discovered. If it is true that we were created for relationship and created in God’s image (Genesis 1), then it makes sense that our potential for creativity is best nurtured and finds its most compete expression in the context of relationship. That is most definitely true for me.

So there you have it. 10 reasons I am thankful that we are married. There are more, many more, but I guess you will have to wait for the book!

In love, and because love makes so much life and joy possible – DEREK


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