Today marks 50 years since we said our vows to each other. We wrote our own but as you can see, we used the regular vows as a guide. I can’t find the vows Ron wrote. They were the man’s version of mine. They probably said something about him loving me as Christ loved the Church. I think we actually believed we would be able to keep those vows because of how much we loved each other!
When we made those vows, we had a lot to learn!
Wow! We had a lot to learn about marriage and our own human frailty! We also had a lot to learn about GOD’s inexhaustible grace. Often, when we had no idea what we needed to learn, He brought along the right person or book or Scripture or truth to us to show us where we were way off track!Wow! We had a lot to learn about marriage and our own human frailty! We also had a lot to learn about GOD's inexhaustible grace. Click To Tweet
The fact that we have made it to this place together after 50 years is not a testament to us, but to GOD who has held us together all this time. We have had good friends who have been divorced, had a spouse die or may never have married. They are no less than we are.
There is no doubt, this is a gift! Not everyone receives a wonderful gift like this.
But we do appreciate this special gift we were given. We realize it has been a wonderful gift that is not given to everyone for reasons only GOD knows. Neither of our mothers was able to be married to her original husband this long because of heart disease. Ron’s dad died at age 47 after a few years of heart disease and heart attacks. Then one day, he just didn’t wake up from his afternoon nap to pick up Ron’s younger brother from school.But we do appreciate this special gift we were given. We realize it has been a wonderful gift that is not given to everyone for reasons only GOD knows. Click To Tweet
My dad died suddenly from a heart attack at age 54. The clot was in the widow maker pat of the heart. Three of us were all grown and married, but my youngest sister was only 8 years old!
There are so many things about reaching the 50 year mark in marriage that are out of our control. The major one being, whether we can both stay alive!
We have been fortunate to not only be together for 50 years, but enjoy our time together!
Of course, the most important, is how to stay together for 50 years happily. That takes a little more work and cooperation with GOD as a couple. Fortunately, we had common commitments to Christ and each other. We were friends and took measures to build on our friendship. We were advised to focus on our relationship rather than focusing on our children. No, not to the exclusion of our kids, but to realize that the permanent relationship is the one with your spouse. It is there before kids and continues after they leave home. We learned to see the humor in situations that weren’t naturally funny.Fortunately, we had common commitments to Christ and each other. We were friends and took measures to build on our friendship. We were advised to focus on our relationship rather than focusing on our children. Click To Tweet
I was blessed with an wonderful husband, but he isn’t perfect…just like me!
I was blessed with an amazing husband who was calmer than I usually. Who has a great sense of humor…much better than mine! And who is committed to respecting humans (and me) and is honest to the core! Particularly in those areas, he has helped me and our daughters. He never put on airs or pretended to be someone he wasn’t. He is the master of understatement.
It has been good for me to be with him. He isn’t proud or looking for honors. He was honestly there to serve people in the churches where we pastored.
He wasn’t perfect, nor was I. We weren’t even close! That is what makes it all the more stunning that we are still together and happy and love Jesus more as a couple than we would have without each other.
We are thankful for GOD’s presence in our marriage. He has been the glue that kept us together and talking when we didn’t always want to, or loving when it wasn’t easy.
No, we weren’t able to come close to keeping every part of our idealized wedding vows all the time. We failed often. But by GOD’s grace, we stayed faithful to each other. With each passing year, we came to honor and respect each other despite our failures. We are so thankful for the Gospel. It has provided standing for us to be children of GOD in good standing with the Father, instead of orphans who are trying to work to earn His favor. As His children, we are heirs of the promises of GOD, heirs of all He has provided for us in redemption and heirs of that time when all will be restored including our bodies and all of creation. It will be a wonderful time when all His children will be home with Him and with each other…worshiping forever at the Throne of GOD!
Until then, we will celebrate our little 50 year Anniversary party with family and friends tomorrow. We will celebrate the grace and glory of GOD to us!
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 ESV