On the day I write this, it’s my wedding anniversary.
You’re too young, they said. You’re making a mistake, they said. You don’t know what
love is, they said. It’s harder than you think, they said. You’ll destroy your life, they said.
He’ll never change, they said.
And here we are 40 plus years later and we are still happily married.
I was 17 when I met my husband. He rode in on a while horse, actually, no, it was a tan
sports addition Mazda. But it was cool—so cool. At 17 to have a boyfriend with a car, an
apartment, and a “high paying” job, whoa, I hit the big time! It was a father’s nightmare
for any teenage girl. But my prince was nice and kind and attentive…and most of all he
liked me a lot, more than a lot. I had a key to his apartment before I was 18, shhhh
don’t tell my parents.
After a short time, we got engaged. How short? Three months short. Again, every
parents’ nightmare. “We’re in love. And we want to get married.” Love, isn’t that the
reason to get married? Did we even know what love was? Well, I think we did because a
year later we were married and we committed to be together forever and forever and
ever. We kept our promise. Was three months too short? Maybe. But over 40 years is a
long time, wouldn’t you say?
Does anyone really understand love? At 19 when I walked down the aisle I thought I
knew enough about love to say, yes—to honor and cherish until death. I still love today
and am still committed to honor and cherish until death. Only I’m hoping that death is
me first and not him. Selfish, I know. I certainly understand love more today than I did
back then, but looking back this one thing I knew for sure: I loved him. I did. And I still
do, only more.
People will tell you that marriage is hard. Harder than you think. At 18, when I got
engaged, did I know how hard marriage was? Yes, I do believe I did. I had watched my
parents “fight it out” over and over. I saw yelling and crying and distance…and
togetherness. I saw them stick it out through the highs and the lows and the in-
betweens. Did I know how hard marriage was, I sure did. Dating was hard, I knew
marriage wouldn’t be much different. Marriage is still hard, but it’s the good kind of
hard. It’s the kind of hard where you work out so that you can keep your body in shape
and it hurts. You’ve got to work your marriage like you work your body. You’ve got to be
serious and steadfast and committed. As soon as it starts to jiggle you’ve got to hit the
weights and get to work. You can never let a jiggle take over. You’ve got to defeat it!
You’ve got to fight for your marriage—and fight hard. It takes work.
Marriage did destroy my life. It destroys me still. Marriage has demolished my
selfishness and pride. It shows me my worst parts daily—parts that need fixing. Parts I
can’t ignore. For to ignore those rough edges could destroy my marriage. So, I live
destroyed daily. Happily, destroyed!
We’ve all heard to never get married with the idea that you will change someone. I
subscribe to that, yes indeed, I do. But in the 40 plus years I’ve been with my husband
he has changed tremendously. More that these pages can hold. God changed him. Not
me, I don’t have that much power but God does. God took a lost soul and turned him
into a pastor. A pastor who is compassionate, loving, forgiving, understanding, and
kind. And a husband who is the same. Yes, he did change. More than anyone I’ve ever
known. He changed so much. But so did I—thank God for that. Change has been the
constant in our marriage and it has given us the road map for a successful and thriving
So, on this day, many years ago, I made a commitment, I said yes. And today I’d say yes
all over again.
What the Lord has joined let no one pull apart.
“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
– Mark 10:9