I recently married my best friend and companion, the love of my life Suzanne. I am having the BEST time of my life EVER. So, I hope you understand why I haven't posted much lately. The ancients understood something about a newly married man and the necessity for him to take time to get to know His wife. For instance, Moses instructed Israel not to send a newly married man to war or lay any other heavy responsibilities on him for at least one year. He was to stay home and bring happiness to his wife (Deuteronomy 24:5). One thing is clear to me: marriage has plenty of rewards. We are blessed to be married, especially if we have our priorities right. By this I mean having God as the center of our marriage relationship and caring more about your spouse's wellbeing than your own. My experience so far is to be careful to seek God's wisdom when faced with potential crisis. I pray for Suzanne consistently and on a daily basis and serve her in light of our call as servant leaders. With this in place, I count on God's grace to sustain us. His hand continues to make us thrive in our enjoyment of each other and guides us through potential and real adversity. When I have given my best, only the best keeps coming back to me. One thing I thank God for is that I took plenty of time to prepare for my marriage. You may not believe this when I tell you that since age ten, I prayed consistently and almost daily for my future wife. Given that I am now 35, I prayed for my wife for the last 25 years on a consistent basis before I ever met her. Besides praying for her and for decisions around that, I prepared by reading widely on the subject. I read and pondered what the Bible teaches about marriage. I read great books from respected Christian authors about marriage and on relationships in general. I also observed and developed relationships with thriving couples besides my own immediate family. When taking marriage and family courses at Seminary, I worked hard to understand not only how marriages succeed but also what makes some fail and how to avoid such failure. Most importantly, I prepared myself through developing a vibrant and healthy relationship with God, with self and with others around me. At the appointed time, all these factors came together to yield my current joyful experience. I believe that what and how much we reap from our marriages is directly proportional to our investment in it before and during our marriage. It is my commitment to invest the most and the best so that both Suzanne and I can be our most and the best for the Kingdom of God. Living in the midst of a generation of great brokenness and painful experiences, one cannot help but stay on guard both day and night. Like Nehemiah rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, we are to hold a sword in one hand to guard against the enemy's intrution and work on growing our marriage relationships with the other . There is no question that the family is under attack all around the world. But there is also no question that God is standing with all those who humble themselves under His mighty hand and count on His covenant relationship with Him and with their spouses. He protects them with His own blood.