August 12, 2015 Ponder
Friday, August 14, 2015, will mark 50 years of marriage for Carol and me. My mind is struggling to comprehend how this can be true, but the calendar does not lie. On the eve of this special milestone, I have been remembering some key aspects of our journey.
1. We were friends long before there was any discussion of marriage. I admit to being smitten with Carol from the first time I saw her, but it was years before our casual friendship developed into a solid relationship – and eventually a commitment to marriage. I think it is the right way to prepare for marriage.
2. Our relationship is based on trust and respect. We are different in many ways, but we have never given each other reason to question our trust, and respect has always been a priority.
3. Early in our marriage, we developed friendships with couples whose own relationships gave us examples to follow and provided accountability. These mentors, along with what we learned from our parents, provided valuable encouragement and motivation.
4. We learned to laugh with each other and at each other, and we have often reminded ourselves that only a few things really matter enough to spend a lot of time trying to resolve when we disagree. Agreeing to disagree until we found a solution saved a lot of time and drama.
5. We allow each other independence when needed, but we make significant decisions together. Some things have been left undone for a time in order to gain more information or insight.
6. We never walk away from each other during a “discussion,” and we are careful to keep each other informed of where we are and what we are doing. Life is too short and technology too readily available to leave one of us wondering if the other is okay when plans are altered.
7. While we try to have a little cash to spend individually, our major financial decisions are always made in unison.
8. We love our kids, but we found ways to maintain time for ourselves because we knew that a strong marriage is essential to good parenting.
9. God, church and the Bible have been a part of our lives since we were dating. Our close friends have values and priorities similar to ours, which has proven essential.
10. We try to not be careless with our relationship, always remembering that we are vulnerable to failure and in need of focused purity. And we tell each other “I love you” often.
I consider myself to be the most fortunate man on Planet Earth, for a lot of reasons, but at the top of the list is the gift I was given when Carol committed to be my wife. I am so grateful for her patience and support. And the journey continues! I love you, Carol.
Pastor Bill Ehmann