“And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Today is August 23, 2019, my 15-year wedding anniversary. Here’s what I’d say to 23-year-old me on his wedding day.
I’m so happy for you! You’re making one of the best decisions of your life by marrying Jennifer! She is such a gift from God to you! If you think she’s beautiful now, just wait. She will become even more gorgeous, not just on the outside, but within. You are so blessed!
I know you wanted to have a big lavish wedding. I know Jennifer didn’t want to be pregnant on her wedding day. I know you wanted to give her the beautiful dress and have everyone there. But don’t be hard on yourself. God knows you can’t afford it right now and He is there. He sees you honoring her, and Him, by making this official. He’s the only one who truly matters when it comes to bringing two people together as one. He’s a master at this. Not just with marriages, but He does the same thing with us and Himself. This has already happened to you and you’ll learn a lot more in your 30s about your oneness with God. In fact, you’ll write books about it.
Matty, you’re very wise for not going into debt to have an expensive wedding. What you’re saving now will help you establish your business, which will provide for your family. I know you feel less-than, I know you think you’ve let Jennifer down, but you won’t always be living in Phil’s basement. In just about a year you’ll have enough money to move out and start building a life for your family. No, it’s not ideal, but be grateful for such a kind father-in-law. His help will allow you to save up. It won’t always be like this buddy.
The drive you have inside will cause you to do amazing things! It’s God working in you, combined with you! Together, you’ll achieve so much! You might not believe me because you’re cutting coupons and counting change just to go to Long John Silvers, but Alarm Security will take off soon. All those things you’re doing now will be worth it! Keep going! Those countless doors you knock on, all the late nights, the stress, discouragement, and tears? Keep, going. I already know you will.
Speaking of those tears, Jennifer will be your greatest comfort when they flow. She’ll always be your number one supporter. God is giving her to you for a reason. She’ll be what you need every single day, when you’re weak and wore out, wanting to give up. She’s so sweet, steady, smart, courteous, a wonderful mother, and her best gift is comforting you. You’re a McMillen, so you know you need someone who’s the exact opposite. That stunning woman in front of you is she. Be easy on her. Give her a break on the days you want her to be more like you. She’s not like you, and you’re not like her. You both fit together, perfectly.
She will ease your mind in so many ways, soothing you is her gift. She loves children, puppies, catalogs, non-sexual cuddles, and sunsets. She doesn’t want you to waste your money on flowers, but you will anyway. She likes it when you just stand in the kitchen as she cooks. When she says, “Come here and look at this sunset,” for the millionth time, do it with a smile and a warm hug. Did I say she likes sunsets?
She also likes clouds, a lot. Just look at the clouds and say, “Wow, babe, that’s nice,” okay? And mean it, because you love her.
Listen to her without saying anything. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing to be misunderstood. Kiss her softly every night before you go to sleep. Let her vent and don’t correct her when she’s venting. Serve her with all your heart. Forgive to the point of understanding Christ’s forgiveness for you. Be kind, even in disagreements. No, especially in disagreements. Watch what you say and be meaningful when you say important things. I repeat, watch what you say. Take your time with Jennifer. She’s never in a rush unless she’s late. She will be late, a lot. Sit on the couch and don’t be salty. If you’re in the car waiting, don’t honk the horn to make her go faster, it will backfire.
One of the main reasons why I believe God matched you up with Jennifer is to teach you more about who you are. You’re a saint. I know, I know, that’s weird, but it will make sense later on. That’s New Covenant stuff.
Also, I don’t want to go into the pain which will happen in the future, but during those seasons God will teach you that He is the true Comforter. You’ll both lean into Him when you aren’t leaning into each other. The enemy will attempt to rip your family apart, but God won’t allow it.
HE WILL MAKE IT STRONGER THAN EVER.
During your dark times of trial, the Holy Spirit within–that Spirit you think keeps coming and going based on your religious performance (He never leaves, by the way)–He will teach you things I cannot express in typed words. You’ll type a lot of words in the future. You’ll have an actual social media ministry and reach millions of people each week. Social media? Oh yes. This platform will change how the world connects and communicates. I don’t have time to explain it now, but God is currently using it to spread the gospel in ways unlike ever before.
I know you’re 23 right now, but by the time you’re 38, God will have taken you much deeper into the knowledge of His grace and the New Covenant. It’s “called” the New Covenant, but it’s very old and you’re already enjoying it! You just don’t realize it!
As you grow and mature, those around you will benefit greatly from a restful version of yourself, which is actually authentic. Rest, Matt. Please, take time to rest. Delegate responsibilities. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Trust people. No, they won’t do it like you, but it’s worth the rest. For years, you will battle addictions because of your refusal to rest and let others take things off your plate. So please, make every effort to rest.
Your drive is a double-edged sword, causing you to become extremely successful in business and ministry, but also causing you to look to alcohol to shut off your brain. There will be many great years for your company, but many terrible years for your marriage. So please rest. As your attention is shifted toward the New Covenant, rest will happen. I can’t explain much more to you now, but know that God will use all your heartache and poor choices for a good purpose.
Today marks a wonderful day for you! You put the cart before the horse by getting Jennifer pregnant, but that little baby inside her belly? Just wait! Her name will be Grace! All the best characteristics of you and Jennifer–plus a great personality–will come to life! She’s so much fun and she’s going to melt your heart!
Matt, if I could just get you to remember that most of the things you stress over will never happen, you’ll sleep better. Please enjoy each day, breathe in the fresh air, and look to your beautiful bride’s care-free attitude for inspiration. Join her care-free attitude more often. She’ll tell you many times, “Everything’s going to be okay,” as she holds your face, and she’s right.
You’re going to make a lot of mistakes, so forgive yourself, a lot. If it’s past 6pm don’t have any serious conversations, go to sleep. Not at 6pm, but you know what I mean. A good night’s sleep changes a lot in your mind.
Express your feelings, set healthy boundaries, and value yourself. Never insult yourself. Never think you have a good side and a bad side. You only have one side, a holy side–a holy heart–and your mind is being renewed to your holiness. Yeah, you’re holy, and you can’t change this. More New Covenant stuff, buddy.
Cherish the amazing gift God has given you, your wife. You’re about to embark on a wonderful, crazy, heartbreaking, loving, fulfilling life.
It’s gonna be a good one, with this beautiful woman. I’ll see you in 15 years.
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for Jennifer. After all these years together she still makes my heart jump when she walks into the room. Her sensitive and kind soul will forever amaze me. What a treasure she is. I look forward to another 50 years with her, and more, if you’ll let me. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. For many of them what they’ve just read resonates. The same Spirit within Jennifer and me–your Spirit–lives in them too. So they can relate to our story. Continue to bless them in great ways! But then again, others might have gotten sad, as their marriage has failed. Dad, give them peace today in the assurance that their identity has never been in marriage, but in Christ. He can never be lost, and He will never leave us. Let them know you’ll bring beauty from their pain, somehow, in this life or the next, and their tears won’t be wasted. Continue to teach us how to walk in your love and express your glorious Spirit! We love you so much! Amen!
This devotional is from The Christian Identity, Volume 2. Get your copy here!