40 years ago your marriage began. I am so blessed to have been there. It is a privilege to stand up for a marriage but it is also a responsibility to stand before God and loved ones and promise to support and pray for and defend another’s relationship. I have tried to not taken that job lightly. It is still humbling and I am grateful that you asked me. I truly believe the goal of a marriage, rather than the reason, is an important distinction. How can a person best honor God with their life? If the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, then how can I honor God in all of my relationships? Perhaps it includes daily putting another’s needs before my own and becoming one with that person to shine even brighter as witnesses in a dark world. Marriage is an opportunity from God to grow further in faith with another person and yours does that well. Thank you for the example you set for my own marriage. Thank you for the example you set for others, primarily your children and grand children.
Marriage is God’s idea. In fact, I would suggest that it is meant to be the closest understanding of the intimate relationship that the triune God experiences. People are meant to live in communion with one another, sharing life and love with others sacrificially, like the communion of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Further, there may be no analogy used more in scripture to illustrate the love Christ has for his Church than that of marriage; bridegroom and bride, husband and wife. If the writers of scripture see this spousal relationship as important enough to illustrate Christ’s love, the conclusion can be drawn that the love and communion shared in marriage must have profound importance. No other relationship symbolizes life and love as marriage does.
People often ask couples who have been married for a long time what the secret to their happily ever after is. I would love to hear your answers but I am sure part of that is based on your relationship to the Lord as well as choosing to love one another each day.
Once I saw an anniversary card that showed an older couple holding hands and the caption said something to the effect, “Falling in love is easy, but growing old in love is a rare gift.” Both are incredible parts of life and you have enjoyed both.
- Young love loves every quirky thing they do and mature love loves them even when they are driving you crazy.
- Young love sees every new adventure as exciting. Mature love realizes it is all an adventure – even the little moments.
- Young love is finding the right person. Mature love is being the right person.
- Young love does everything is its power to make the other happy; and mature love knows that making difficult and selfless choices means more than one’s own desires.
- Young love wants to introduce them to all your best friends. Mature love knows an intimacy that is deeper and closer than any other best friend you’ve ever had.
- Young love does everything to be noticed and valued by the other. Mature love notices and values everything and every moment with the other.
- Young love brings out the best in oneself. Mature love brings out the best in the other.
- Young love enjoys the sweet, easy laughter that comes with being new. Mature love means making each other laugh the unquenchable laugh of grace.
- Young love looks forward to the next moment you get to spend together and treasures the little things. Mature love knows without a doubt that they will be there every moment in your heart, and thankfully hears their happy voice in the next room or the quiet breathing next to you each night.
- Young love can’t stop thinking about the other person. Mature love can’t either.
- Young love means uncovering all the layers of the person who has captivated you and revealing more of yourself to them piece by piece. Mature love can’t tell the difference between your 2 hearts for the two are one, knowing that there is no end to the depths of love.
- Young love cannot stop looking at the other person. Mature love is 2 people looking together in the same direction.
- Young love is based on emotion. Mature love is a decision.
- Young love’s story starts ‘once upon a time’. Mature love’s story is ‘happily ever after’.
May you both continue grow in wisdom, joy and grace before God and your families.
May your home always be a place of truth and lovingkindness, of faith and good will toward all who enter it.
May your marriage advance the kingdom.
May the blessings of the last 40 years be only a glimpse of the joys yet to come.
May the God who has kept you together, in His infinite goodness and mercy, continue to mold you into the likeness of His Son.
May the Lord look upon you with favor and preserve you all your days.
May your life instill hope and may you never lose sight of the cross for Jesus’ sake.