When I was in junior high, my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a party consisting of family and friends. I have a very large extended family, so people had traveled from all over the country to attend. The family photo included many people, but what I remember most is the love and devotion they’ve shared for as long as I could remember.
My grandparents have modeled what true love is all about—matrimonial love and spiritual love. They loved God more than they loved each other.
When I was 16, my grandma passed away suddenly, leaving a huge hole in our family and in our hearts. That was the first time I’d ever seen my burly grandpa cry. He sat in his recliner and allowed the tears to trail down his weathered cheeks. Their vows of “til death do us part” lasted over 50 years in spite of the challenges life put them through, including the deaths of two daughters at birth.
They took their vows seriously—they made a promise to each other and to God.
Twenty-five years ago, I eloped with a handsome Marine. We stood in front of the justice of peace. I wore peach. He wore gray. We were young and in love. Life had given us a fairy tale, and I was about to begin my happily ever after.
The past twenty-five years have been filled with laughter and tears. We faced some of our most challenging events together. It hasn’t always been easy, but we’ve always been together. Hubby met one of my deepest needs—security. When I rest my head against his chest, and he wraps me in his arms, I feel safe and loved and cherished.
At the end of the month, Hubby and I will stand in our church before family and friends and renew the promises we made as very young twenty-somethings all those years ago. Although we may have a few more pounds and a few more grays, I can honestly say I love him more now than the day I married him.
Our friendship blossomed into romance. We married, raised a family, and now our boys are stepping out on their own adventures. For us, the next twenty-five years will bring us into new seasons of our lives, but we will face them as we grow old together.
Your Turn: How many years have you been married? What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received during your newlywed years? If you’re not married, who models a strong marriage for you?