50 Years and Still Counting - Newsletter #23
August 1, 2011Dear Friends,
Someone once asked my husband to what he attributed our successful marriage. He replied, “We go to bed at the same time.” Everyone laughed. I did too. But he was simply trying to say we extend courtesies to one another. While he might prefer to stay up later, he recognizes my need for rest and is willing to forego that extra TV program so that he doesn’t disturb me later. Unless there’s a baseball game on, of course.
This month we celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. Certainly we have had our disagreements. Certainly we have gone through difficult times. So what has made it work—and work reasonably well—for a half century? Here are some lessons I’ve learned.
1. Admit you’re wrong. The older I get, the more I realize I better never say “absolutely” about anything. Memory fails. Motives mix. So I don’t claim to be the world’s authority on anything.
2. Turn grumbles into smiles. We grew up in an era when men did outside chores and women inside chores. In my mind, that meant Bill should clean the car. So I nagged. He grumbled. One day it dawned on me that if I were not married, I would certainly clean my own car. So I did. Bill never noticed. I cleaned that car weekly for as long as we made payments on it. Every time I did, I smiled. Did this man think the car was self cleaning? Finally, I told him what I had been doing--and he smiled.
3. Stick to your vows. When we married we referred to divorcees in hushed voices. To us, divorce was not an option.
4. Pick your battles. Who cares if the flowers are weeded today or tomorrow? Who cares if socks are left on the floor? You may need to bite your tongue from time to time, but that’s life. Rinse your mouth with salt water, and your tongue will heal.
5. Pray together. At bedtime, Bill prays on odd days and I on even days. Praying together brings a peaceful and supportive ending to any day, no matter the circumstances.
So that’s my take on marriage. What a ride we’ve had! Two married sons, a daughter waiting in heaven and five grandchildren later, I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. If you’re married, may your time together be as blessed as ours, and if you’re single, enjoy the journey with Christ at your side.
August 8, 11 a.m. - Friends of the Heart - Millersburg Area Senior Center, "At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating Life."
August 19-21 – Friends of the Heart - Camp Allegheny at Stoystown, “At Any Age, At Any Stage: Celebrating the Christian Life.”
September 23-24 - Shirley – Women’s Retreat at Twin Pines Retreat Center with Ebenezer Evangelical Congregational Church.