We had our picture taken for the church directory this year and I happened upon this old one of us, circa 1965. Look at the abundance of hair and youthful expression! I think we both still hold some of that silliness of youth in spite of a lack of hair and the addition of several pounds.
Paul and I have learned a lot over our 53.5 years of marriage. We actually were high school sweethearts and dated for four more years until our wedding day. We’ve known each other for more than sixty years. By that time, you should know each other well, but we still learn something new day by day.
There is really no secret to staying together for such a long time. It does take a lot of patience, endurance, stamina and willingness to compromise. Maybe that’s why people are reluctant to commit to it. It’s hard work. Maybe it has something to do with the work ethic of the silent generation – those who were willing to put their hearts into everything the did, for the betterment of someone else.
I think that ethic is still out there, mind you, but when it comes to marriage, why is it so hard to take the plunge? Even when a couple does marry, they face disappointments, lack of excitement, the reality of life with another person that you thought you knew, but didn’t really. In a way, the prospect of the unknown is almost too scary for some. Yet we see young folks taking chances with other areas of their lives – like mountain climbing – jumping out of an airplane to feel the exhilaration of flying like a bird – taking a ridiculous risk in the stock market – doing anything that holds possible danger or worse.
I’m not trying to put marriage into the category of taking dangerous risks, but you are taking a big chance when you pledge your life completely to another. At that point, you’re giving up your own personal needs and focusing on the other’s. In a world where we’re told to grab all the gusto we can – to live life to the fullest – put ourselves first – this is a totally different concept. However, when you’re both on the same track and are willing to put the other first, you’re in a win-win situation.
Marriage isn’t for everyone, but for me it has been a true blessing – not without obstacles, road blocks or hiccups in the process. Life is full of problems. We will never escape them until we reach the end of it, but when you’ve someone to share your life with, you can work through those issues together. You don’t have to do it alone.
Also having God as your partner through your life together, is essential to the success of a marriage. When you share the same beliefs, the road is easier. That doesn’t mean your journey is going to be smooth sailing all the way through. In fact, you may encounter more issues. God never promised a perfect life, but when we have Him and another person to share it with, we can move mountains.