I’m in my very late fifties, and I’ve been experiencing a blessing that is unique to these years: the blessing of seeing old marriages in their prime. I’ve seen more than a few friends go through “wonder-if-their-gonna-make it” years. And lately I’ve been seeing those same marriages that were rocky during our 30’s and/or 40’s, rockin’ the 50’s and beyond. Today I saw a FB post by an old friend wishing her husband, “the love of my life”, a happy birthday.
There’s a key in that moniker, “love of my life”. You’ve got to honor the vow “for better or for worse” to earn the title “love of my life”. We’ve all seen couples stay together for life as they bite their tongues or bite their spouses heads off in the process; growing in bitterness, rather than love. I’m honored to know a number of couples who have bit their tongues in order to get to this other side; this joy of having spent the better part of their life with the one who is the love of their life.
The “for better or for worse” vow shouldn’t be interpreted as resigning yourself to a worse marriage than you hoped for! The “worse” part is meant as a commitment to share in one another’s burdens. The worse part also can mean bearing one another when we’re at our worst (when we’re the burden) and believing in one another in order to bring out each other’s best.
It’s rather comical that I’m writing this blog this week. I can confidently say that I’ve been a rather irritable, judgmental, impatient, spouse, of late. Clearly, God wanted me to see those triumphant social media posts by friends who’s marriages have been in deeper water than I’ve been stirring up. Looky there! Social media used for good!
40 to 50 percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. I wonder if we could lower that rate if those teetering on the brink saw the fruit of those who had marriages that lasted into their 50’s and 60’s; marriages that had gone through entertaining the idea of divorce in their 30’s and 40’s, and landed at a place where they were joyfully referring to their spouse as the love of their life? I know, that’s was one doozy of a run-on sentence. Let me break it down.
30’s or 40’s = teetering on the brink of divorce
50’s and 60’s = victorious in perseverance and joyfully naming their spouse “love of my life”
70’s and 80’s and beyond = a legacy of true love
I think it’s positive motivation to realize many a rocky marriage transforms into a life long love story.
If you prefer negative motivation: 67% of second marriages and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.
But, a good marriage is a heart thing; not a statistic. Although, statistics can serve to protect us during the hard seasons. And, on the other hand, if you happen to have 3 hands, statistics can be bent to our liking.
Let’s end where I should have begun, with the source of all truth. The only source that can help us keep our vows and in the keeping, have spouses who become the love of our life.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1Corinthians 13:4-7