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My husband and I have been married for 37 years. We have literally been together a lifetime. I’m always joking about how I still like him after all these years. The truth is, I love him more dearly and deeply today than I did in 1978.
I’m not so old that I don’t remember what the early years were like. We were so young and silly when we started dating, and the honeymoon stage was awesome! Sex all the time, having the freedom to jump up and go when we wanted, and then life started to happen. Years added up with a house, kids, work, job changes, losing both of my parents and more work.
What’s our secret to a long marriage? We made a policy decision to never use the “D” word: divorce. We have always known we made a covenant commitment in front of God and everybody. No matter what was going on, working it out was what we would do.
What this has meant in our marriage is having help and biblical community. Marriage is hard and complicated. We got stuck a couple of times and marriage counseling really helped. A great Christian counselor helped us by looking into our relationship and speaking truth into the blind spots. We have also asked older and wiser married couples to be our mentors over the years. Marriage is difficult to do without support. We needed community with other Christ followers.
We have also learned what closeness truly is in our relationship and what it means to share our lives with another person. Together we have learned what it is to be vulnerable and authentic with each other. He is my safe person I can always go to. It hasn’t always been like this. To learn to trust him with my entire being has taken a long time for me. To have real intimacy, not just sexual intimacy, takes an emotionally safe environment, and a marriage like this has taken years of listening with our hearts, not just our ears.
The main truth I have learned is that by being so close to my man, I have become a better Christ follower, a better person, and honestly, a better woman. He encourages the best out of me and has grown to expect my best. He prays for me a lot, and there is nothing more precious to me than having him say my name to the Lord.
At this stage of our marriage we are to the fun part. We now have the opportunity to invest in other couples and their marriages. Just like we have been invested in, now we can turn and invest. This year we started serving in the Premarital Mentoring ministry here at The Well. It has been a sweet way for us to share the good, the bad and the ugly, and help others learn from our marriage.
Our goal is to make clear that Christ must be at the center of a healthy marriage. Choosing to live by the biblical principles He provided is so important, and honestly that’s the secret sauce of a wonderful, fulfilling marriage.