Celebrating Marriage: From Day One To Year Fifty

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    When was the last time you celebrated married life?  Do you celebrate your marriage just on your anniversary or do you make it a point to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or otherwise celebrate your married life?   I don’t think we celebrate enough!  Wedding rings symbolize an unbroken circle of eternity.   How many of us will make the eternal commitment marriage requires to our spouses:  “until nothing but death parts us.”

    I recall with such fond memories my husband’s grandparents, Mr. And Mrs. Ray and Audrey Davis’ 50 -year anniversary celebration.  It was such a joy to celebrate 50 years of marriage with them on August 15, 1998.  While I was only three years into my marriage at that point, I admired them and was in awe that their marriage had lasted for half a century!  Amazing!  I remember the way Grandfather Davis always seemed to cater to his wife and look out for her.  I listened to Grandmother Davis talk endlessly about how they met, got married, moved to California and reminisce about their lives together as if she were still just a school girl.

    When Grandfather passed in 2004, we were all very sad but comforted knowing he would be with his father in heaven.  We still sorely miss him but will forever remember the celebration of their 50 years of marriage.  I’m so glad they decided to have the ceremony to celebrate because a short five years later, it would have been too late to celebrate.  He left for his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a rich legacy.  He honored and kept his marriage covenant for life.  Knowing that time is of the essence makes me want to celebrate every single year my marriage stays strong and in tact!

    What does it take to make it 50 years with a person?  What kind of stamina and tenacity must you have to not only live 50 years on earth, but to make it to 50 years of marriage as well.  Few will achieve the goal of 50 years as a couple.  Those who do are blessed indeed!  I don’t have time or space to list all of the things that constitute surviving 50 years of marriage (nor do I know) but here’s what I do know.  You’ll need much faith, tremendous hope and enduring love and to quote the Bible, “and the greatest of these is love.”

    I pray that my husband and I are able to share 50 years or more together.  That would truly be a gift from God!  While my almost 14 years of marriage has brought me so much joy and has definitely given my life more significant meaning, I wonder how 50 years will be!

    When I think of longevity as it relates to the Bible, I am reminded of Jacob and his love for Rachel.  Jacob agreed to work for Rachel’s father Laban, for seven years for Rachel’s hand in marriage.

    Genesis 29:20
    So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.

    Jacob’s seven year labor of love turned out to be a trick by Rachel’s father.  Jacob unwittingly married Rachel’s sister, Leah.  When he protested, Laban told him if he still wanted Rachel, he could work for seven MORE years and then marry her.  I am not certain if my husband would have agreed to work for me for a period of seven years, but I’m almost sure he wouldn’t work for 14 years for me!!!  Wow!  What a different time!  I just thank God I didn’t have to put him to that test!!

    I am struck by Jacob’s undying love for Rachel.  Although he had taken Leah as his wife, he still worked for his true love, Rachel.  How flattered Rachel must have felt knowing that her husband agreed to work for her for 14 long years!!  The other amazing part is the Bible says the time was of no consequence to him because of his love for Rachel!  Wow!  It says seven years was as a few days because of his love for her.

    Nothing like that will happen these days but it is certainly a story of note.  It’s one to keep in your memory.  There is of course, so much more to the legacy of Rachel and Jacob but I mentioned it only to hone in on Jacob’s strong love for Rachel.   Today, husbands do dedicate their lives to supporting families and working to provide for them.  They stay by our side and are our life partners, agreeing to shoulder whatever comes along with us.  While I realize not all marriages last, I’d like to applaud husbands and wives today who have agreed to stay committed to one another in spite of all the trials, challenges and strife life brings.  It’s not easy but it’s well worth the reward of modeling good behavior before our children and others, being obedient to God’s word and setting a standard that can’t be broken.  If you’ve never heard this before married couples, here it is:  Congratulations on your commitment!!  Celebrate each other while there is still time!

    Pray today that your love for your spouse would grow and endure time.  Pray that the Lord would continue to bless your union and bring you closer together as a couple.  Pray that if you do make 50 years together, that it will be as just a few days because of your strong love for one another.

    Colossians 3:14

    And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

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