Forty Years of Marriage
When our sons were in high school they were in the marching band. At first, Bobby and I were just spectators. For us that was not bringing the thrill we wanted because being bystanders does not fit in our vocabulary.
After several games, the band director started speaking our language, he was interested in the fact that Bobby was creative and had artist skills. Our position went from spectators to chaperoning band students to chaperoning band equipment and that was speaking to us. The music continues to play long after the football game is over.
Marriage is a union between a man and a woman that has to have both speaking the same language, Forever Love.
Love is action. Love cannot exist when either the husband or the wife are spectators. A spectator has no role to play. The individual views, examines, or observes, but there is no action no participation.
Bobby and I celebrate our fortieth anniversary today. Our forty years can be described with many action verbs but spectator and bystander are not words in our marriage vocabulary any more than it was in being band parents.
I wish I could honestly say that we lived out 1 Corinthians 13 all forty years of our marriage, but I cannot say we always used the language in verses 4-7 – Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
However, I can truthfully say perseverance and prayer has always been the language of our marriage. Even though at many turns and bends in our journey, the adversity of self-seeking, anger, and lack of trust seemed to be winning. God would always bring a trial into our lives that would put us back on the solid rock of perseverance and prayer.
Our forty years have been built on the Forever Love not the happy ever after fairy tale. The happy ever after fairy tale is the foolish couple who build their marriage on the sand.
Matthew 7:26-27 – But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
Matthew 7:24-25 – Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
No matter the rains, streams, or winds of distress, Bobby and I have built our marriage on the Forever Love of the Rock, Jesus Christ.
I promise to love you always, to be good to you, and to share my life with you, and to do my part to keep our romance going. I promise to help you when you have problems, to understand when you are upset, to stand by you when you suffer, to encourage you when you are disappointed, to do all in my power to make you happy, to help you develop as a person. I promise to keep you ever in my prayers, to think of you often and to be devoted to you as long as we both shall live. I join with you in keeping Jesus ever in the center of our home.