One of our friends wrote – how could it be possible? I know, we said the same. How could we have been 21 such a short time ago… okay, I was 22, but just 22. And yes, people wondered if we knew what we were doing?
Here’s the thing about marriage – you don’t really know what you’re getting into, I don’t care how long you’ve been dating or have known each other. You don’t know, because you don’t know, can’t know the future.
Will you get along? Can you find ways of compromise or consensus? Will you be able to agree on big decisions? Will the small habits of your spouse drive you crazy? Will you create bad habits with each other? Will one of you be ill, or will the dream of having children come true? Will there be job loses or conflict that before seemed unlikely?
None of us know the future. So when a couple join themselves together, link their finances, their fancies, their future in everyday living and it goes well… Well, I think that’s great and I think they’ve had to work hard at it.
There is no happily ever after, no prince charming or sleeping beauty. But there is something better.
There is struggling together, building a tomorrow today. There is learning about each other and from each other. There is saying I love you and I’m sorry a thousand times. There is travelling an unknown road and discovering new experiences together that make memories and give depth to a relationship.
Here’s how Solomon puts it.
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
I think Solomon summed up life, but he summed up much more for isn’t life about relationships and isn’t your spouse, if you’re married, the most important relationship we have.
So Wendy and I have marked 44 years yesterday. It wasn’t the most romantic anniversary we’ve ever had. I left early for a meeting in downtown Toronto. When I got back to where we were staying I put gas in the rental car, returned it to the airport, went to our gate and sat for a couple of hours. We Flew to Montreal where we sat out on the tarmac for 30 or 40 minutes. Then waited 2 hours for luggage and friend’s luggage. Then we took a cab to the hotel and fell into bed exhausted and hungry.
But I wouldn’t have wanted to spend such a day with anyone else. It was a good day because we were together.
In our home – our place for the next 25 years, we pray, and we’ve placed a sign over our bed. It simply says: And Together they built a life they loved.
And that sums up the past 44 years. How many more years will we have? I don’t know. Only God knows but here is what I do know, I think that we HAVE built a life together that we’ve loved. It’s not been perfect and yes there are regrets in there, but also joy and celebration and learning and growing!
So it’s 44 years for Fred and Wendy. And God is with us every day.