Dear hubby, (I know. Who calls their hubby “hubby” when talking to them? Well, I will in this case.) Tomorrow will be exactly eight years since we faced each other and said our vows in church. I remember being excited that morning because I had a little surprise up my sleeve. I had written a sort of poem that I was going to recite and you had no idea about it.
The poem was my version of 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, an oft read portion of the Bible at weddings. I had personalised the text for you. In it I said to love, you would be to be patient even when I did not feel like it. I said to love you would be not to boast when you failed (even if I had told you 15 times, that the plan would not work). I said to love you would mean not being proud of my triumphs over yours. I also said, to love you would be to keep no record of wrongs even if I really, really wanted to.
Eight years and two babies later, I remembered what was on that paper and smiled to myself. I recalled the conviction with which I read. So the question to myself was, would I be willing to state, and more importantly do the things I said then, now? Would I comfortably and confidently stand before a congregation of witnesses and say the same things? My answer without a doubt was yes, I would. But, there would be some changes. With experience now, I would make some alterations.
And this is what I would say (and in essence I am saying again to you).
My pledge is to love you and this is what God says my love should be made of. It means being patient with you, when you deserve it, and when you don’t. After all, patience cannot be described as such, if it is not put to the test.
My pledge is to be to kind, with my company and sit up with you for an extra hour at night, even when I am dozing off. It is to be kind and give you my time, even though I might sometimes feel I do not get enough from you.
My pledge is not to envy you, such as when our daughters seem to sometimes prefer your company more than mine.
My pledge is not to boast when I win an argument, or when I am proven right over something we have disagreed about.
My pledge is not to be proud. And I know the temptation will present itself so many times – you know, like when I happen to get kyeyo and I make more money than you that month. Instead, I will remember that you are the wonderful man who encourages me to be the best I can be and is never apprehensive of who I meet or where I go because you trust me fully.
My pledge will be not to dishonour you in front of the children, among friends or among family. I might speak of struggles we have, but I shall not insult or belittle you in conversations with the girls.
My pledge is to seek your good, at all times. It is to seek your good when you do not want to go to the hospital. It is to make you a quick cup of tea or glass of juice when we have both arrived home, tired from a long day’s work. It is to ignore that you might not have got me a birthday present in a particular year, and instead go out and get you a nice gift for your birthday. It is to be honest and tell you with love where I fear you are going wrong. Yes, I will seek your good at all times.
My pledge is not to be selfish. I shall let you watch that particular football match for the third time, even if I would have preferred to watch the crime or food channels. I shall share the thoughts in my head about the things that worry me sometimes, such as the investments we have just made, and not keep that to myself. I shall give you the money I get from the said kyeyo to do a little something extravagant for the car and skip buying myself that handbag.
My pledge is not to get easily angered. Instead, I shall count to 20 before replying or spend some time away, chewing on it all, before we speak. I shall speak to friends and family with sober advice who shall help me keep things in perspective. I shall choose my words wisely, even if with the journalistic background and love for English that I have, I have some choice words and phrases in my artillery!
My pledge is to keep no record of wrongs. I was excited when a week ago I looked through a notebook of mine in which I had written a number of things you had done that I had been very unhappy about. When I read through them though, I felt no anger. So I am improving in that regard. I am not there yet, but my pledge is to get to the point where when we have discussed something, I let it go. And even if we have not reached an agreeable position, I shall let it go completely. If I hold on to it, it shall be to seek solutions with love, and not to hold it as something against you.
My pledge is not to delight in evil but rejoice with the truth even when it is a painful truth.
My pledge is to protect our love, to trust you and what we have at all times, to always hope (even when I feel like you probably will never arrange the room the way I would prefer it to be), and to always persevere even when we have drifted apart or had a bitter argument that cannot seem to be resolved.
My pledge is to do all this, because I know you do it all for me, every day, and because I know with God’s grace, I can. Happy eighth anniversary.