On July 14, 2023, my husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.

Writing the love stories of fictional characters has taken me back to the time before I said my vows, and I’ve enjoyed reminiscing. Our romance was sweet and wonderful, and I’ve enjoyed our life together, despite the difficult times.

Have you ever wondered, after reading a fictional story about a man and woman who meet, fall in love, and get married, what happens to them once they are married? Do they really live happily ever after as they weather the storms of life, like personality differences, disagreements, financial stress, loss of income, rearing children, or the loss of a child?

Taken seriously, marriage vows are promising a lifetime commitment to each other “for better or for worse.” When the memories of the excitement of that first date, the first time you hold hands, the first kiss fade, the beautiful wedding ceremony and reception become a thing of the past, and life takes on a normal and sometimes monotonous rhythm, what happens to a couple?

God constituted marriage as the first human institution once He created a woman to be man’s helper and companion:

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

He intended the union between a man and a woman in marriage to be permanent and complete. (Traditional vows include “as long as you both shall live.”) Then sin entered the world.

My husband and I aren’t perfect people, and we’ve made our mistakes. But here we are, still together after fifty years. For one reason or another, not all marriages work, but I would encourage married couples to keep their vows of commitment and work through the storms together. Get professional help if you need it.

The center of our marriage has been our commitment to Christ and His faithfulness to us. Faith has anchored us through the storms.

My contemporary Christian romances end with engagements or weddings. Sometimes I wonder what the future will hold for these couples. Will they keep their vows for a lifetime, and what will that look like?

Her Hearts Longing