On 40 Years of Marriage
This letter was written from within the Impact family; from a Father to his children on the journey, and value, of a marriage rooted in God.
Dear very grown up Children,
My marriage to your mother started about this time of day, 40 years ago, today. Yep, quite awhile back. That was last century. Today’s celebration is low key. Because of the proximity of Christmas, our anniversary “celebrations” often get put off until after Christmas. Forty seems like a big number and maybe more important somehow. Maybe it’s just the decade markers that seem significant.
What is evident in looking back, besides the many, many memories – almost all good – is that our life together hasn’t been one long, same thing. I guess by now it HAS been long, but there have been so many different “seasons”. I want to encourage you to know that, married or not, life with God has tons of variety. We’ve lived in different houses, different towns, different countries, worked at different jobs, known different people, been to foreign lands, been what seemed rich and poor, had babies and now have grown up children with babies of their own.
There was never any grace for any of that except on each day, for the next.
Till death do us part just seemed like a long, maybe impossible promise in the beginning, though we made it sincerely. But it’s not 40 or 50 or 60 years of the same thing. There hasn’t been one duplicate day in the whole batch. Some of the seasons were harder in some ways than others, but we had each other in all the seasons, which made it more than possible and sometimes even glorious.
And, the thing is, we changed too. I’m really not married to the same woman I married 40 years ago. Oh, of course, it’s still her, still those blue eyes, still that smile… but a smarter, wiser, more beautiful, and harder working her. More optimistic, more political, more spiritual and now, also a business woman. Who knew!?
Might have scared me off had I known all that firepower was hiding in God’s plans for her. So now, when one might begin to hope life might slow down a little, God’s birthed a season of brand new things to do, that we have to do together. Things that require both of us. How grateful we are that God didn’t just send us out to pasture, but rather threw us back into the blender to see if He couldn’t make us a little more like Jesus, a little less of us, a little more of Him.
There are days when we are really tired and think we might not want to get back into that blender again, but God has been so faithful to take our small offering of a marriage that has survived, and has begun to shape us into a new version of ourselves as a couple and as individuals. There doesn’t appear to be any coasting in God; it’s all just up and up.
You guy and gals are the best of the best for us. I thought I should give you a little light from a ways down the road. It’s worth the trip.
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