21 Years

Today Lori and I celebrate 21 years of marriage. I’m pretty excited. When she wakes up, she’ll see an envelope in the middle of the room. Inside the envelope will be some cash, enough to cover any of the list of several choices for the evening: shoe shopping followed by dinner and a nice hotel suite an hour from our house, a night alone at our own home with dinner and a nice fire (kids are gonna be at a friends’ house), or a real fancy dinner and shopping.

I think she’s gonna go for the shoe shopping and the suite!

It really wasn’t that difficult to plan. I’ve been stuffing cash away in a hidden place for months, I made a few calls with cancelable reservations, and then I bought a card and listed out the choices. I love this stuff! Probably because I’m head over heels in love with this girl… still, after 21 years!

Young people especially seem to ask me, “How is it that you made it 21 years and actually still like each other!” (If it was my friend Adam, I’d just say it’s because she’s so hot!)

It does seem a little crazy by the world’s standards. I mean, we made it 20 years longer than Katy Perry, and almost 21 years longer than Kim Kardashian (the bar isn’t real high in pop culture).

What’s the secret?

Good question. “I” can’t really take any credit. Fact is… the less “me” the better. I guess that’s the secret, if any.

More of these marriage thoughts next week!

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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13 Responses to 21 Years

  1. Carl says:

    Congratulations.
    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on marriage–especially as it pertains to the responsibilities of leading a ministry and family (if you have thoughts like those in mind).

    • Thanks Carl. I’ll be chiming in a little on that. But here’s a quick thought about that: make sure you put as much time into planning a special date with your wife as you do planning a youth event!

  2. Adam Jacobus says:

    Way to go man – I think people that start hitting double digits in years of marriage should start getting medals – maybe even statues for 30+ years these days.

    Maybe someday you will get to be “head over HEELS” in love too!!! (stupid grammar auto correct!)

  3. Wow… she chose the go shopping locally, dinner out, and then home alone by the fire! Time to go chop wood!!!

  4. dan manns says:

    congrats jonathan! my wife and i celebrated 20 in August! next to God, my wife is the biggest source of encouragement in my life! hope you have a great time together!

  5. Roger Brown says:

    Congrats on your 21st anniversary…hey that means you guys are legal now so go and have some fun! 🙂

  6. Lori says:

    Congrats! My husband and I will be 30 years in May! We also work in teen ministry and I agree, the key is to make your spouse as important as your ministry… or more!
    Enjoy your time with your bride!
    PS – I don’t think we need a trophy for 30 years, but cash is always nice!
    God Bless!

  7. shaun says:

    Whoo hoo! Congrats! Enjoy your night and how did you put it…… “wood chopping”…… hmmm lol

  8. Mike Andrews says:

    It will be 32 years for us this Valentine’s day. I thought I was in love on our wedding day. I had no idea how unspeakably more God would bless us. If this is just a peek at what He has in store for us, I’m all in! Every morning, in prayer, I thank God for my wife. Whether she’s mad at me or not. I pray I’m as much a blessing for her as she is for me. God is good and He has a crazy sense of humor. How pleasant and fitting it is to praise Him. (Ps.47:1)

    • Thanks for your comment Mike. I really enjoyed what you wrote. It is amazing how marriage gives us a peek at our relationship with God. Heck, Paul used marriage as an example of God’s relationship with his people- his church. God has always been about relationships all through the scripture. Simply put: love God, and love others. The more we get to know Him and let Him transform us… the more our relationships with others is blessed. Marriage is one of those blessings… a companion to go through life with.

  9. Casey says:

    Congrats! My wife and I are coming up on 21 years in June.

    I Look forward to reading your thoughts.