Important things should be remembered. Really important things should be celebrated. Not because you feel celebratory, not necessarily because a fit of spontaneity attacks you, but simply because a thing is important.
People celebrate birthdays, we celebrate growth and graduation, we celebrate successes, we celebrate baptisms. As believers, we should celebrate death, but I’m not sure how well we do on that one.
And of course, many people celebrate marriage. We call the first celebration a wedding and the second celebration an anniversary.
But when I was first married, I thought a year was much too long a wait to celebrate what a precious thing my marriage was. So I came up with an idea that I’m sure many other folks have tried, and I called it a mensiversary.
American mensiversary, derivative of anniversarie (from Medieval Latin anniversarium, from Latin, neuter of anniversarius), returning monthly, from menses month + versus, past participle of vertere to turn
First known use: 21st century by me
Example: Shawn and Stephanie celebrated their 125th wedding mensiversary this month.
One thing I knew when I married my wife was that I had found a precious treasure that would bless my life for years to come. (I was right.) Another thing I knew was that men can be jerks about how they treat precious things and that there may come a time when I’d forget that she was precious, or take for granted that she was mine, or become distant and dispassionate toward her (I was right about that, too.).
I knew I needed to celebrate her. I needed to celebrate our marriage. So every month for the past 125 months we have celebrated our love and life together.
The celebrations vary. They range from going to a fancy restaurant to sharing a cup of tea at home, from visiting a museum to cuddling on the couch, from a paid spa visit to exchanging foot rubs. It doesn’t matter what we do so long as we celebrate.
Some mensiversaries there are gifts, sometimes cards, sometimes notes. Some mensiversaries cost dollars, others don’t. We usually try to see who can be the first to say “Happy Mensiversary!” Which means more than once, we’ve woken each other up at midnight.
Have we ever forgotten our mensiversary? Yes, a few times. For example, on our 30th mensiversary our first child was born. I don’t think either of us remembered to celebrate that mensiversary until about the time the next one rolled around. But we forgave each other, considering how much we were celebrating our love anyway.
As it turned out, three of our children were born right by mensiversaries. For the second and fourth babies, we did remember to celebrate otherwise. Go us!
Once in a while life gets so busy a mensiversary sneaks up on us, but we’ve always managed to celebrate, even if it was a day or three late.
We celebrate even when we don’t feel like it (which usually makes us feel like it) because we choose to be grateful for each other.
Sometimes I’m still a jerk to her, despite having repeated, frequent reminders of how precious my wife is. But I know if we hadn’t chosen to celebrate in this way, I’d be a far worse jerk than I am. (So be thankful it isn’t worse, honey!)
For love to survive, it must be celebrated. I think that’s what God was trying to teach His people throughout the Bible. He told them they would easily forget to love Him unless they intentionally chose to remember and celebrate Him. That’s a big part of why He gave the Old Testament saints all those festivals.
Today believers continue to celebrate their love for God through annual remembrances (think Easter and Christmas), through periodic celebrations (think Communion), and of course by the weekly celebration of the Resurrection by Sunday worship services.
It always interests me to hear how couples have chosen to celebrate their love. I’m especially intrigued with older couples. Ask them sometime; they enjoy telling their stories.
This month we got coffee together at the corner store, which has a Dunkin’ Donuts in it. I did not get Steph a gift this month, and I won’t tell you what she got me because it’s too special.
Did you know the Bible commands husbands to love their wives, but not explicitly for wives to love their husbands? Maybe that’s because wives are better at showing love naturally. My wife is, anyway.
However you choose to celebrate your relationships, keep love alive. Cherish each other. It’s worth it.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,
“Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Ephesians 5:25, 33 NKJV