When the Mission Moment was about milestones a few weeks ago, it didn’t occur to me then that I had a pretty significant one on the horizon. But now that it’s here, I realize that it isn’t just one of those milestones that you push by and quickly forget.  This is one of The Big Ones—the ones that get celebrated and written down and talked about.

Here it is: my wife and I are celebrating being married for 25 years!  Yes!  (And thank you for the best wishes.)

I’ll spare you any mushy prose. But as a tribute to my wife and our life together, here are five things that I’ve learned about being married—and it only took me a quarter century:

  1. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Love grows when mutual respect is present in a marriage. I don’t see how else it can work.
  1. Appreciation of one another’s strengths, character, and unique interests and talents is what unlocks all of the things that a marriage needs to thrive and face unexpected challenges.
  1. Honesty is the currency of a great marriage. Without honesty and openness, the wonderful things that happen in a marriage—like raising great kids together or meeting life goals together—just can’t happen.
  2. Commitments grow over time. “I do” is just the beginning. While lots of things change over 25 years, the commitment you have to one another and your marriage is what changes the most: it gets more important and more wondrous as time goes along.
  1. It’s worth it. Great marriages don’t just happen—they require focus, energy, and persistent attention. They grow through nurture and respect. It’s a lot of work; it takes time and energy. Is it worth it? Yes. Every single day, it’s worth it. It’s the best.

I will probably know more about this after the next 25 years—so stay tuned. It’s been great so far, and I can’t wait to discover where it takes us next.