Friday, April 20, 2012


My perspective is that I fell in love with my now husband when I was 18. We got married when I was 22. We've been married 15 years this summer.

Years 1-7 were....pretty good, but we were young. Didn't know much about love at all.
Years 7-10, were....pretty good, but I was sorta messy. Having babies and all.
Years 11-14, were....pretty good, but he was sorta messy. Has his own reasons.

I can pick it all apart, remember phrases spoken, specific offenses. Birthdays that were ruined. The time he made me so mad because he forgot to install the carseat back in my car. Or the time he had to work late and missed the special dinner I worked so hard on.

I can put our relationship under a microscope, and suddenly, fifteen years can feel like a really long time. I've now known my husband longer than the years I lived before I knew him.

But last night, an email from my mom reminded me that all of that is simply my view from my limited perspective. She said she realized that in a few weeks, it will be my grandparents 65th anniversary.

65 - 15 = 50 years longer than we have been married!

I just can't wrap my head around that length of time. I cannot comprehend what it would be like to be married for 65 years.

I wonder what their perspective looks like? Do they think back over the years and remember hurtful phrases and day-to-day offenses? Missed dinners and ruined birthdays?

Or is nearly all of it awash with grace? Forgiveness?

Unconditional, courageous, heels-dug-in commitment?

Wouldn't it have to be?

I know my grandparents did not have an easy life. They were poor, migrant farm laborers from the Midwest who traveled westward for work during harvest seasons. My grandpa was the survivor of two accidents that could have taken his life, but instead left him disabled for extended periods of time. He also suffered chronic illness from his exposure to chemicals in the second world war. And when their children were grown, they owned a meager carpet store in rural Oklahoma, an hour outside of a city.

And they followed Jesus all the way. My grandmother played the organ at their tiny church for decades. They prayed and sang and gave thanks every time I saw them. Every meal. Every gathering. God's name was spoken and revered.

Their lives were marked with worship. In picking cotton, in raising children, in laying carpet, in serving others, in suffering, in loss, and in this final season of their lives. They worship.

From my perspective, that must be the key. A marriage lived out under God is one that can survive 65 years.

Well, it's a new day, which makes me one day closer to that goal.

Not the goal of 65 years. The goal of scrubbing clean my memory of hurts, not with unhealthy burying, but with forgiveness. And the goal of worshiping my Strength and my Shelter, the One who is on the throne, the One who sees me, every day.



  1. this post is just beautiful.

  2. 65 years?!?!?! SO awesome. Congrats to your grandparents. And, congrats on 15 years for you guys. We celebrate 10 this year. Those baby years are so hard, aren't they? I thought we were behind them...praying that baby #3 doesn't bring rough marriage times like the first 2 did. But, this I know...God will be with us through it all.

  3. those are the kind of people I think of when I read "oaks of righteousness" in Isaiah 61. let that be said of us and our marriages and our families 50 years from now :) just amazing. thanks for this little glimpse into your family. what a beautiful legacy, worship.

  4. I have goosebumps. Greg and I are engaged, and we've been dating for three and half years, and I know that our marriage will be full of those times desperate for grace. how important to let the redeemer redeem those sad memories, like you said...not burying them, but letting them be unearthed.

  5. 65 years, is amazing! That's a lot of turkey dinners, dirty dishes, laundry and genuine love.

    (Really, birthdays ruined? I thought it was just our crazy family, someday, maybe you will share more, like how you got past the ruined birthday...)

  6. I bet every marriage of 65 + years has stories of dinners ruined, chores forgotten, things left undone, hurtful things said....and more.

    The trick is doing just what you say, worship. Worship God because that takes our eyes off of ourselves and our issues, worship God because it places him at the center of all that we do, worship God because he is the only one who can give us the strength and grace to make it.

    I've had to had God change my perspective many times in our 13 years. I'm so grateful that I allowed him to do that...our marriage is better because of it.

  7. This is a good one, Leslie! It's only been 4.5 yrs for us...grace, grace, GRACE! Thank you for this word tonight <3

  8. Oh yeah, and congratulations to your Granparents! 65yrs! So amazing! Such an inspiration!

  9. grace and true...what a marriage needs to survive. yay for 15 years! congrats.

  10. first, i want to stand up and applaud your grandparents. they have done what michael and i have set out to do. "remain in Christ."

    in premarital counseling we were asked to write out our 5 & 10 year goals. at the 5th year of marriage (pregnant with our 4th child, credit card debt a dark cloud over us, checkbook in the red, my healthy always an issue) i told michael i'd like to go back and rewrite those goals with three words,"remain (abide, dwell, hold tight) in christ." it's really all God asks of us. He determines our steps, and together, we must hold tight to Him, whatever those steps might take us.

    congratulations on 15 years! i applaud you. and i rejoice in the story that God is writing in both you and your husband for His glory.

  11. Wow! if only. I love this post and I am so glad I found your sweet blog over at Bits Of Splendor!

  12. That's so cool! I love hearing stories like that! Do you mind that I ask where did they live in Oklahoma? My hometown is an hour away NE of OKC. Just curious. :)