Thoughts on a 40th Wedding Anniversary

On Sunday, Jan and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. A Biblical generation is considered to be about forty years, so I guess that makes us a generation in ourselves, and the cavalier manner with which our society now treats marriage makes this anniversary even more meaningful. It helps demonstrate to those just starting on their marriage trek that it is possible to manage the dangerous shoals that threaten to shipwreck any marriage.

And shoals there have been. We’ve experienced many disappointments along the way, and I’ve created more than my share of those. Yet Jan has stood with me—sometimes in spite of me—at every critical juncture. I now understand through experience what I thought I understood theoretically all these many years: marriage truly is a commitment and a partnership. As older age creeps up on me [notice I didn’t say “old” age], I treasure more than ever the value of companionship, and I grasp better than before exactly why God ordained it to be this way. His standard of a lifelong covenant is for the good of both: it brings stability, appreciation, and assurance. God always knows what He’s doing; His way is always the best.

Both of our children are now married and serving Him. We enjoy being grandparents to five of the most interesting grandchildren that ever existed on the planet. We are blessed.

The past year has been particularly hard as Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has endured surgery, chemo, and radiation; restorative surgery still awaits next month. The stress of the situation can make one question God. Yet I know He is not responsible for what has occurred; His love still permeates our lives, even on those days when we strain to feel it. A life lived in Him is not a life based on feelings but a relationship built on the solidity of His character. He is to be trusted at all times.

So, thank you, Lord, for the life you’ve given us together. We ask for continued healing; we seek to draw closer to You in every circumstance, knowing that even the hard times are meant to develop a greater appreciation for Your blessings. I doubt that we’ll have another generation of anniversaries, but that’s fine. We’ll be celebrating in Your presence before then, and we’ll look back on all that transpired during this short sojourn on earth and finally understand fully.