Celebrating 25 years of loveBy Randell Tiongson on April 21st, 2016
Allow me to write something that is not finance related but one that is really very personal to me. I try to keep our personal affairs privately but I felt the need to write this as an encouragement to many; this is a post about our silver wedding anniversary.
Last April 13, 2016, my wife and I along with our families and close friends were gathered so we can celebrate 25 years of marriage. Initially, my wife and I were planning on just leaving the country just by ourselves to celebrate, perhaps take a cruise or tour somewhere. However, well meaning friends suggested that we have a public celebration instead because it can encourage many others.
Marriages have been under attack for many eons but it seems that marriages today have been taking a lot beating. The rate of annulment cases have been constantly rising. There are so many marriages that do not even get annulled but still the couple would end up parting ways. The rate of those that end up dissolving their sanctified unions have been alarmingly high. There has also been more people lately that do not end getting married at all.
While there are many legitimate reasons why marriages do not work, my wife and I also feel that there are way too many couples who do not try hard enough to make their marriages work. I am not saying that our marriage was extra special which is why it works; my wife and I had seasons of problems and every marriage goes through many challenges. But, my wife and I have decided that we should not only work on our marriage, we should fight for it.
People have asked us what our “secret” is and we answer that the secret is not a secret at all. As a ‘Ninong’ and ‘Ninang’ in many weddings, our advise is to always give our ‘secret’ which isn’t a secret at all — “put Jesus in the center of the marriage and love Him before your spouse”. My wife and I truly believe that if we love the Lord more that each other, we would not only endure in our marriage, we will thrive.
Marriages are important to God, it is sanctified…
And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”[i]2 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
(Genesis 2:22-24, ESV)
On top of our love for the Lord, we need to be obedient to Him…
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-33, ESV
I would like to share what my wife and I shared during the ceremony:
“First of all, I thank Father God for His love, faithfulness, kindness and goodness in our 25 years of marriage. Although, it wasn’t as smooth as we wanted it to be, it had been a life full of joy. The last 8 years of our marriage was even more joyful because we both received Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I thank God that He has chosen you to be my husband. You are perfectly chosen for me. I wouldn’t want anyone else but you. You are perfect for me.
Thank you for taking care of me, for spoiling me, for supporting me in everything that I do and for being patient to me. When I got to know you, I saw a man with a good heart, a generous heart, a man with good leadership qualities, a man who is principled, persistent and consistent and a man who has a heart for the nation. I remember before, you told me that you want to serve our country in a public office. You want to have an impact in our nation. I still believe on those dreams. I fell in love with you because you have a Big heart to serve – to me, to your family, to your friends, to the church community and to the nation. As you continue to serve God, His people and the nation.
I vow to continue to serve you, love you, support you and be at your side always. I am actually more excited on our next chapter of our marriage.
Thank you Father God for this marriage and may You give us another 25
years and more. I love you very much Randell.” – Mia
“Thank you Lord for blessing me a Proverbs 32 woman. Someone who has stood beside me and behind me even if I do not always make the right decision. Thank you that Mia is my top encourager and my number 1 fan. Thank you that her priority has always been being a wife and mother more than anything else. Thank you for giving her the conviction to work on our marriage with so much patience, endurance and love. Thank you Lord that for 25 years I have been married to a very beautiful woman with godly character. Lastly, thank you Lord that she loves you more than anyone and anything else, making her love me more and more and also making me love her more and more.”
“Mia, my vows are simple: I will continue to love you more than anyone and anything else next to the Lord. I will continue to provide for you and the children. I will continue to serve you and our family. I will continue to travel to many places with you. I will continue to do the grocery and cook for the family. I will continue to be excellent at everything I do because I do them to honor you and the Lord. I will try, as best as I can, show my affection for you in public. I will try to have more date nights. I look forward to the time when the kids are gone and we still have each other and enjoy each other. Lastly, I vow that I will constantly love and pursue Jesus because that will make me than man that you deserve. I love you.”– Randell