In case you’re not good at math, that’s a total of 212
years of continuous marriage in our family.
Now, there’s a solid foundation for the grandkids to
build on. Wouldn’t
have these people amassed these amazing numbers?
Maybe they were the lucky ones—you know, the ones who
never had any problems. Let’s
set suffered seven miscarriages; one the death of their youngest
child at 12 years of age not to mention one spouse’s
deterioration into Alzheimer’s disease; one set had two children
diagnosed with cancer; one is now facing the cancer of one
partner; one moved far away from family in order to get started in
a business; one set had a child born three months early, spent two
full months in the hospital, and brought that child home happy and
healthy; and one has moved four times and had four kids in an
eight year span.
“easy” doesn’t quite fit.
what is their secret then? Having
lived around these people my whole life, I think there are many,
but here are a few that I’ve been able to tease out:
relationships are founded on God’s love.
They trust God’s guidance in their lives and in the lives
of their family. They
hold fast to the trust that they place in one another, and they
respect the trust of the other person enough to behave so that
they don’t abuse the trust of their spouse.
Their priorities are:
God, each other, their children, themselves, family,
others. They believe
in the hope of tomorrow even through the storms of today.
And when they said: “until
death do us part,” they meant exactly that.
rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst
against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been
founded upon the rock.
was the gospel we chose to have read at our wedding, and the more
I think about it, the truer those words become for me.
an inspirational romance writer, these are the couples I have
grown up around, the couples I have watched, the couples who have
taught me how to be in a relationship and how to make not just a
marriage work but how to make a relationship work.
These are not people hanging on for the children’s sake.
They are people who truly love each other as much or more
now than they did when they got married.
every day is not wine and roses, but they never bought into either
the myth that every day was supposed to be, nor the myth that once
you’re married, wine and roses is a thing of the past.
These are couples who cherish their relationship enough to
work on it and to trust its power to endure on a daily basis.
This is the kind of relationship I write about because in
truth this is the kind of relationship that I know.
wish everyone were so lucky, and yet I think of those couples now
married more than 60 years. Every
day of that 60 years they had a choice, and every day they chose
to cleave together, to trust God, and to find a way to make it
work. That’s a choice every single person now in a marriage
has—if they have the courage to choose that option.