Saturday, August 21, 2010

Every Marriage Needs a Coxswain

Tomorrow David and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage.

18 years of loving, 18 years of learning, 18 years of changes, 18 years of sameness, 18 years of yielding, 18 years of growing, 18 years of trusting, 18 years of failing, 18 years of grace.

We have not arrived...but we are happy to be in the adventure together.

On Thursday at Versailles, Graham snapped this photo of David and me in the row boat.

I am captivated by it because it is a perfect snapshot of our relationship right now. We are in the same boat (foreigners moving to France), but our perspectives are completely different. We are in the same place on the lake, but if you asked us each to describe the view you would hear two completely different descriptions.

We have had a rough time lately because each of us has been relying entirely on his/her point of view. We are certain of what we see, and blinded to the fact that the others' perspective is not only also valuable, it is also right. Worst of all, neither has their eyes where they should be.

You could blame it on our natures--we each have a strong independent streak. Or you could blame it on the stress--we are in the midst of a major transition. The real problem is this: we took our eyes off the coxswain.

Have you ever watched rowing in the Olympics?

COXSWAIN - Member of the crew who sits stationary at the stern of the boat facing forward. The coxswain may lie in the front of the boat. The coxswain’s main job is to steer the shell. He also calls the race strategy, helps the coach and motivates the crew.

The coxswain is the only one who can see where the boat is going. His perspective is really the only one that matters, after all, He's the one who is steering the boat. He is the motivator. He calls the strategy.

Pop-culture might tell us that we need to focus more on each other. We have decided that we need to focus more on Jesus--our coxswain. We both trust Him. And when He leads us, the whole journey is a lot more purposeful and fun.

Today David and I recommitted ourselves to following our coxswain more closely. Of course we know that in doing so, our love and enjoyment of each other will only increase all the more.

P.S. to David--Thanks for sharing your boat with me. And thanks for always pointing me back to our coxswain. I love you too much.


  1. Congratulations! We are so proud of you guys and the record of faithfulness you have to each other and to God. On our 18th anniversary, Jennifer was just two years old, and a delight to her sisters and her parents. Praying for many returns of this happy occasion.b

  2. LOVE IT! And love you two. Have a wonderful #18 Anniversary!

  3. Joyeux Anniversaire!

    BTW... are you rowing by yourself??
    With three men in the bow?
    That would so kill my shoulder... :)

  4. 26 years for us today! Congrats. LOVE your thoughts.

  5. Happy anniversary! I love this picture and the example. Very good reminder. Praying for you!