Summertime and weddings just seem to go together. Two weeks ago Ron and I celebrated 33 years of marriage. Last week we watched our niece tie the knot and in two weeks our daughter and son-in-law will celebrate their anniversary.
I remember our wedding like it was yesterday; shiny shoes and bow ties, dim candlelight, long flowing dresses and the piano player. There were friends and relatives we hadn’t seen in years, songs sung that made hearts melt and a knot of sincere promises pulled tight. If you’re married, your wedding was probably like that too.
I guess that’s why it made me sad on Sunday morning to hear the TV say that one in four divorces today are given to couples in their 50’s and most of these are initiated by the wives. After decades of marriage, these ladies have called it quits. They claim to have raised their kids, grown weary from work and just want to enjoy their lives. I don’t know these ladies’ personal situations, but I do know how easy it is to fall into the habit of taking your spouse for granted and placing your own happiness in front of the one you’ve promised to “have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part”.
In our culture, we applaud strong women and make fun of men. In generations past, strong men were applauded and women were insignificant. I don’t think God had either of these in mind when He designed the blueprint for marriage. For marriage to work, it takes a man worthy of respect and a woman strong enough to give it.
Shortly after Ron and I married we became part of our current church family. We were welcomed by an older couple, James and Juanita, who taught us a most valuable marriage lesson. They told us to always build each other up, especially in front of others – brag on each other. If there was something bothering either of us, we needed to talk about that at home until we worked it out. But in front of others, we should always encourage each other. That was very good advice. It’s probably more important that women hear this since husband-bashing seems to have become an All American pastime. Just why do women feel like they should gripe about their husbands? Thanks to James and Juanita I’ve tried to always say good things about Ron. In order to say good things about him, I have to purposely look for the good (and that’s not hard). To see the good in him, I have to move myself out of the way (that is hard). As soon as I step aside, it’s easier to see all the things that made me fall in love with him the first time.
It’s no coincidence these thoughts are running through my head right now since I am sitting in the day surgery waiting room… in sickness and in health. They just let me know Ron is fine and all is well. I’ve been thanking God for sharing Ron with me for the last 33 years. No more taking him for granted. Yes, I’m over 50, I’ve raised my kids and I’m a little weary, but I couldn’t imagine enjoying life any more than I do now. I love that man, I really do!