A great king once made a very profound statement: “Once I was young, and now I am old….” Psalm 27:35) Now that’s a transition that regardless of who we are or what status in life we live, we all relate to the king’s profoundness! And if one reads between the lines a bit, you might even hear the king add, “from young to old just like that!”
This year Delores and I are celebrating our fiftieth year of married life. And we went from zero to fifty, just like that! So, we decided we would celebrate this whole year just in case another “just like that!” happens.
The other part of the king's statement says, “…yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread.” (Psalm 27:35). That’s our story! From young to old, just like that, but I have never been abandoned or my seen my children begging for bread!
Some have asked us what has sustained us for fifty years when there seem to be so many reasons these days to not stay together.
For starters, when we were engaged and talked about “growing old together,” we decided to strike several words from our vocabulary. Words like “divorce” or “I hate you!” would not be part of our conversation regarding each other because we realized that contrary to popular belief, words do hurt, and they are very difficult to retrieve once they have been spoken. Honestly, there have been a time or two when one or both of us felt like divorce might be the easiest way, or we felt like uttering those hurtful words. But we both remembered our covenant with each other. We have never used those words to threaten each other.
We also decided that we would read the word together. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Word is living. When there are so many things that would seek to destroy or “kill” our marriage, why wouldn’t we want to read that living word together from time to time? His Word speaks life into our relationship! His Word speaks healing when either one of us or both of us are broken!
Along with the Living Word as our guide, we also decided it would be good to pray together daily with each other and for each other. Hardly a day goes by without that prayer. Our prayer time is not lengthy, but when we invite the Holy Spirit to be involved in our daily lives, we each sense His presence guiding us through our day.
In spite of the elimination of certain words, there have been times when we have hurt each other. We decided from the beginning to not go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26). We have had some pretty late night conversations, but they have always ended in asking each other’s forgiveness and once again declaring our love for each other.
Actually, I don’t think it is all that hard for couples to stay together when both are willing to work on their marriage with the help of the Holy Spirit!