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July 14, 1973, our wedding day.                                  

We had met a year before, and he asked me to marry him. We had set the date and place, asked the pastor to marry us, and been through the required premarital counseling sessions. We had chosen our attendants, decided on attire for ourselves and the wedding party, sent out invitations to family and friends, written our own vows, ordered the cake and flowers, and rented an apartment to live in after the honeymoon.

We wanted to create a union of committed love. We both had received Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We loved each other, and we made a public, lifetime commitment to each other. We took our vows seriously because we committed our married life to God.

Three kids, six grandchildren, and 46 years later, I look back and say, “Where has the time gone?” I know it’s a cliché, but sometimes clichés fit. Days, weeks, months, years have flown by. Busy living them, I didn’t have a lot of time to think about time passing. Myriad personal, national, and world events have happened in 46 years. Frank and I have experienced a lot of history together, and we could probably write our own history book.

Good intentions don’t mean success, especially in marriage. Neither of us is perfect, so we’ve had challenges and disagreements, and we’ve made mistakes. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and each other, good and bad. We’ve had to say, “I’m sorry,” and we’ve had to forgive. Some moments have been hurtful and sad, but there have been many memorable moments filled with joy, and fun, and love. We’ve been through illnesses, parenting, and Christian ministry together.

We included 1 Corinthians 13 in our wedding ceremony. Verses 4-7 describe love:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (NKJV)

I’ve often failed in demonstrating these qualities within my marriage and have had to ask forgiveness. I’m thankful God has given us 46 years together, and I sincerely believe we’ve come this far because of His mercy and grace.Frank is a caring and supportive husband, a man of faith and integrity. I love you, Frank. Happy anniversary!

If you’re struggling in your marriage, and I won’t pretend to understand exactly what you’re experiencing, I encourage you not to give up too soon. We’re all sinners, we all make mistakes, and we need to practice forgiveness. I’d like to recommend that you read books, such as Elaine Miller’s book We All Married Idiots and God’s Word, the Bible. Find a wise counselor who might be able to help you over the bumps. Marriage isn’t easy, but I believe it’s worth working for.