35 Years Ago Today….
I married this skinny 20 year old boy from the east side of town. I was 19 and we married between semesters of college. The church was already decorated; even though green and red are my least favorite colors in the world. We had a woman “practice” the beginning of her photography career on us, and the dress was a second hand dress from a friend who had worn it in a pageant. I actually paid more for the hat, it was 1979 after all.
The church had just barely completed a total auditorium remodel the day before, it was icy outside, the cake was lop sided with a knife propping up one side, and my dad wasn’t even in attendance. We did not send out invitations, having put it in the local paper and I just hoped someone would show up. And they did.
And we are still married. I finished college and started my teaching career. The skinny boy started a career with United Parcel Service.
People have asked us what the secret is to a long marriage. We have thought about it for a while…we have been through the birth of our boys, two major storms, deaths, surgeries, illnesses, rebuilding of our home, three dogs and numerous animals, arguments, career changes, family issues, raising boys, two weddings of our children, vacations, and things we cannot even remember without the aide of pictures…just life in general.
So what has been the secret?
Front and center of our marriage. Not an added bonus, not a co-pilot; but the head of our marriage.
No way could we have made it through numerous trying times without God. We have found that one of the most intimate things we do together is pray every morning…and sometimes other times when the need arises. But we didn’t start out that way….it took years to realize the importance of that….and the difference is remarkable.
I would like to say that it has been perfect, but that would be nothing but a lie. There are many times that we could not stand the sight of each other. I know how to push the right buttons, as does he….it is hard for two totally different people to live under the same roof…then add kids and animals and all the stresses that come with those additions!
I wish I could make a list of “35 Ways to Stay Happily Married”, and if I thought long enough, I probably could…but they would all end up the same way…
With Father God at the head…
We made a commitment to each other long ago on that very cold, bitter night. “To love one another, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”…I am not sure we understood it all then and it has taken compromise from each of us and love that wasn’t always an emotion.
It has taken the Father to allow us to see each other as He sees us. It has taken the Father to help us love each other at times we we were a tad bit unloveable.
With Father God at the head.
“My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” Song of Solomon 2:16
So here is to another 35 years of marriage. We were young and didn’t know that December 21 was the longest night of the year…
But we do now….(wink, wink) and we can sleep longer too!!
IN CHRIST ALONE
*personal images, KJV Bible, google image