Today is my 23rd Anniversary! This weekend my husband came home with 2 dozen roses… times four. After joyfully sharing my story, I was asked about the significance of the number, and at first thought there wasn’t any. Yet, I realize now, there are years of significance in remembering through the roses…
Wouldn’t 100 make it exactly significant? No. Because 100 says perfection. It says 100%. And we’re not there yet. In fact, 96 roses came after a big argument… right before our anniversary of course. I wonder if anyone else has these kinds of problems? I can’t help but often think; if I pretend my marriage is 100% perfect, what good does that do towards providing hope for failing Christian marriages? Don’t we need to admit that we’re all on the same page; making our way, trying to figure out this marriage thing with God, together?
Shouldn’t we admit that all marriages have heartache, and that there’s blood, sweat and tears throughout the years? I think we need to be truthful with our brothers and sisters in Christ, because that’s where the silver lining comes in: Our hope lies in Jesus Christ! Your marriage does not have to fail. You do not have to remain in that hopeless place. Both of you can choose to let God into your marriage, which is right where He belongs!
The first significant thing I noticed was that in spite of me making it clear that I was still very upset about our argument, my husband arrived home and walked upstairs, carrying these four bouquets of double dozen roses in his arms. When he’s brought flowers home before, he’s always left them downstairs for me to discover. He was on a mission, and it certainly looked like he had decided the devil wasn’t going to win this one! He was letting me know our anniversary was coming up, and he wanted to celebrate, even if things weren’t 100% perfect. As I looked from one bouquet of two dozen roses to another; taking in all four bouquets of my favorite colored roses, I starting laughing out loud. It was a ridiculously glorious amount of flowers. “What are you doing?” I’d been upset during that day, but now I couldn’t help laughing.
And I couldn’t dismiss the fact that roses say: “Happy Anniversary!” he announced with a mischevious smile. My daughter had followed my husband up the stairs. She’d been chattering to her daddy about her day, and he’d been talking back to her like he always does. So she was there hovering about, as her daddy started to give her mommy kisses. “Ewwww!” came her dramatic response. She ran away to make a scene, yet immediately returned, continuing her chatter, significantly and obviously feeling safe, loved, and secure; as she danced around us.
Our entire family was together upstairs. My daughter’s grown up brothers were hanging out together; creating art and music in their rooms. Everyone was talking as we stood in the upstairs main upstairs hallway, where we often gather so everyone can be heard. Our teens were agreeing that yes; Mom and Dad should go out; that “You guys really need to go out; we’ll babysit!” It’s significant for children, both young and old, to see forgiveness in marriage, and to understand that their parents will stay together even during the stormy times. It was significant, because they expected the argument would blow over… just as it has all the stormy times before.
There was significance in the colors my husband chose. All my favorites were there, and he told me he’d chosen them because he knew they were my favorites. Yellow roses have always been my favorite, and representative of our love. My husband had brought me yellow roses on our first date, not knowing they were the color of roses I so loved. This was even significant of the fact that he’d brought me two dozen yellow roses, at separate times, giving them to me all at once. He’d bought me a dozen roses for our first date, but since we had to move it to a few days later, he had brought me both bouquets to ensure that I would have fresh flowers, since the first bouquet, while still open and lovely, wouldn’t last as long as the second with the blooms still closed. I remember being surprised, and pleased, that a man would be so thoughtful to do this just for me.
Orange is my absolute most favorite color of rose. When my grandpa died, my husband and I were so busy traveling to get there, and preparing for the service with family, that I hadn’t had time to get flowers for the service. I picked some beautiful wild orange daylilies on the side of the road, and they were perfect. Later, my grandmother who was already developing Alzheimer’s, remembered how much I’d admired a bouquet of orange roses at his memorial service. She saved an orange rose for me, and I still have it today.
When my twin boys were little we had an orange rose bush next to the gazebo. I have precious photos of them at three years old, giggling with their chubby cheeks, plaid shirts, and pint-sized denim jean shorts on a gorgeous sunny day. The orange rose bush would go crazy in May, and my precious boys would come with me when I delivered orange roses in mason jars to all the neighbors. Memories… so significant.
White roses with rosy tips are beautiful, clean, fresh, delicate, and pure. With all the things my husband forgets, it was significant to me that he remembered my love for roses with an accent color on the tips. And even though I like all the other rose colors best, my husband picked red for classic romantic love. They were even the more rosy red which I prefer, rather than dark red. The four colors just looked so cheerful and pretty together!
There was significance in the joy of placing the roses in vases all over my house. I’ve always loved fresh flowers. I love to arrange them in pretty glass vases and place them on the kitchen table, the counter, my bedroom fireplace, and in the bathrooms. It felt special to place a tiny vase with one bright yellow rose in my daughter’s room among her special things. She loves fresh flowers too, and that one flower reminded me of my bright beautiful girl, with the yellow sunshine personality, who lights up a room wherever she goes. She came after a dark storm in our lives and continued to be a bright light during another stormy trial in our family, which had been filled with fear, sickness, and tears. That one little flower reminds me of how God gives us good gifts right when we need it the most.
For those of you married or planning to get married… marriage is a lot tougher than the fairytale we imagine it will be. We believe someone has fallen in love with us and will fix everything. But we are promising to love that person too, in good times and bad, in sickness and health; so it’s not all about us. Meanwhile, both husband and wife are transformed in the process; for the good if God is in the middle. Blood, sweat, and tears will be weaved through your marriage as two people work on the one most significant relationship in their lives. Two people will be coming from two very different backgrounds. These two people each have their own individual set of beliefs, fears, tears, dreams, and hopes for a new life and promising future together.
What is the answer when storms rain down on anniversaries due to miscommunication, lost opportunities, and pain from the past? Not only are these two married people already different, but both will be continuously changing as they learn, grow, and have new experiences. The silver lining is our hope in Jesus. Christ is the only way for a marriage to be truly successful, meaningful, and joyful; because only through Jesus, is God truly invited to be in the middle. This creates a stronger cord because… “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Eccles. 4:12 New Living Translation). Do you see how strong this makes two people who are united in marriage? And with Jesus as the third person on your team, imagine what you can accomplish together!
I could say that 96 roses is significant for what my husband and I have accomplished together through the years, since the year we were married in ’94. A friend and I were laughing about how 96 roses pretty much covers all the past times when it would have been a good idea to bring home flowers, and possibly even some times for the future! But in the end, any significance at all is meaningless without God in the midst. And when you celebrate your anniversary with God in the middle, it’s a guarantee that He will hear your prayers. The Bible says so: ” ‘Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them’ ” (Matt. 18: 19-20 New International Version).
That means that even though marriage is difficult, painful, and a struggle; marriage also comes with the silver lining of hope; leading to healing, freedom, and joy in Jesus! Marriage is a way for all of this to happen with another person to share it with you. That means that you’ll share the bad stuff, but you’ll share the good stuff too. Except, marriage comes with a promise; that if you stick it out, the good stuff will far outweigh the bad stuff. I mean, just take a look at your children! Marvel at their beauty, inside and out. Children are created by a man and a woman. Whether your children are birth children, or adopted lovingly into your family; they are the fruit of your marriage!
If you don’t have children, you’ve still created so much together; you’ve blessed others through your professions, friendships, giving, gifts, ministries, callings, and more. What you have together is unique from what anyone else has together, and if both of you keep God front and center, you can expect wonderful things in the future! No matter what hardships, sins, and trials; the red blood of Jesus can cleanse your marriage with forgiveness, making it pure, and white as snow!
When you’re married, you have twice the power and authority in Jesus Christ to make godly goodness happen. You can pray for each other, for your children, for your friends, for your church, and for the unsaved. If you’re wondering how on earth you will make it to your next anniversary, pray. Call out to God. Ask for Jesus to intervene. Have trusted friends pray for you, meet with Christian counsel, get into your bible, and hold onto God’s promises. Let God lead you; not the world around you. God is on your side! The Bible says: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Mark 10:29). Hang in there, fellow Believers! God is on your side, and He can’t wait to celebrate your next anniversary with you!
Watch for 96 Roses, coming soon from angelaslittleattic.com: commentaries between Christian couple, Angela and Dave Pelleman, who have navigated the storms and the silver linings of marriage for 23 years with Jesus Christ. Learn how to better communicate, and to look at situations from both sides, along with God’s view, to help heal your marriage from the inside out!