Marriages That Last!
A while back, our dear neighbors, Ron and Joan Neall celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Joan looked absolutely beautiful wearing her wedding gown. Not many can wear their wedding gown 50 years later, can they? Over the years, the white dress had turned golden. Being a golden wedding anniversary, it fitted the occasion perfectly. Their family put on a video presentation of their lives and even a recreation of their wedding day service, including a sermonette from the minister who married them. This minister was actually Joan’s father. I was moved to tears as I listened, so much so, that I asked them to release it to Above Rubies. I know you will be blessed as you read these words delivered 50 years ago. This minister and his wife were married for 59 years, although his wife lived on for another ten years.
Isn’t it wonderful to hear of these faithful marriages? My own parents would have been married for just on 60 years when my mother passed away. At this time of writing, Colin and I have been married for 46 years. Our 50th anniversary is not too long away. Marriage is more than a commitment to one another for life. Marriage is a commitment to the generations to follow. A strong marriage that is faithful to the end, not only blesses the children from that marriage, but their grandchildren and the generations to come. When a marriage breaks up, the continuity of the generations is disturbed. It is important that couples not only think of themselves when facing marriage conflict, but realize that marriage is a blessing to continuing generations.
Many couples face conflict in marriage. But this is not an excuse to end a marriage. You don’t run from conflict. You look for ways to overcome. I have dear friends who have not had an easy marriage, but because of their commitment to their marriage vows, they made the decision to stay in their marriage. They have learned to live together over the years. Now, over forty years later, they truly enjoy one another. They live in peace and happiness together. This testimony is reiterated many times. We should not make decisions on a current crisis, but in the light of future generations.
I have just received a phone call hearing of yet another husband who has left his wife for another woman! I believe it is time we took a stand against this terrible “wimpiness” as my husband calls it. I remember growing up in a small town in New Zealand. If something like this happened in the town, the person would be disgraced in the eyes of Christian and non-Christian alike. Now, all these years later, it is becoming accepted, even in Christian circles. I believe that it is time that we took a stand against such destruction upon the family. Every faithful friend and acquaintance should challenge and plead with those who are tempted by the evil one to leave their covenantal marriage and the precious children whom God has given them.
Editress of Above Rubies, Email Nancy
By Pastor E. L. Minchin
Naught but loving hearts can make a happy home. There may be wealth, honor of men, beautiful furnishings, plenty of things but these never make a happy home. Nothing but love, love for the Father above and love for one another can bring true peace and joy to the home circle. Sometimes there is in the heart love which remains unexpressed. This is like a world which has a sun but dark clouds prevent its warmth and comfort shining through. If illness comes, if death divides, then love finds words and expresses itself in deeds, but it may be too late then to satisfy the hungry heart of husband or wife.
A good home is an invincible armor that protects us in the evil world. If there is no love for home, something is wrong. In his own home a man is necessary. It is he, not another whose coming is waited for, longed for, grieved for. It matters little elsewhere whether he comes or goes. There he reveals his failures and is not ashamed. There he confesses his sins and is forgiven. He shares his inmost soul with no other but the one whom he has made queen of his heart and home.
The wife in the ideal home is quickly recognized by a brooding tenderness. She scorns to utter words of blame and to be irritable. She will not wreck the evening’s joy by careless, unloving words that cause the forehead to become anxious and bring a mist to the eyes.
It is a great attainment for two frail, sinful hearts to become one. Two different musical instruments are not easily kept in tune. There must be constant adjusting and tuning. What can be expected then of two human hearts with a thousand strings to be kept in unison and harmony? In keeping the wedded harps in tune the husband must do his part and the wife, hers.
Husband and wife will cleanse themselves from all selfishness which fails to safeguard their hours of companionship. He will exert his best powers to become worthy of her hovering love. She will preserve the faith so dear to both in the hours of courtship, but there will be trials hard to meet that must be born together. Though difficulties, perplexities and discouragements may arise, let neither husband nor wife harbor the thought that their union is a mistake or a disappointment. Determine to be all that is possible to be to each other. Continue the early attentions. In every way encourage each other in fighting the battles of life. Study to advance the happiness of each other. Let there be mutual love, mutual forbearance. Their marriage instead of being the end of love will be as it were the very beginning of love. The warmth of true friendship, the love that binds heart to heart is indeed a foretaste of the joys of heaven.
The wife is truly the homemaker. Upon her management, good judgment, neatness, order, taste, energy, cheerfulness, depends the structure we call “home”. It is her business, her calling to bring inside the walls of her dwelling an indefinable atmosphere that rests a tired man and makes him hasten his steps as he turns the last corner. Here peace, rest, hope, culture, companionship make the home a haven to body and soul.
The husband is the house-band, the one who strongly binds all members of the family together. A man on the street in a severe storm was passing under a tree when a weary, frightened bird dropped from above, lighted on his bosom and crept under his coat for shelter. So should every wife find in her husband’s heart the protection, the comfort, the rest she needs when buffeted by the storms of life.
Every pure, happy home is a fortress held for God in this revolted world. No wonder the enemy of purity and happiness is working with all power and strategy to bring disunion and strife and hatred into it, thus breaking down the safeguard of the individual, the family, the church and the nation. There is a court of last appeal which can settle every difficulty in married life. This is the supreme authority of the Word of God. Those who direct their lives by its counsel will never know defeat.
May your earthly home become as a little heaven below where preparation is made to enter heaven above.
Two hearts within one breast,
Two spirits in one fair,
Firm league of love and prayer.
Together bound for aye,
An ear that waits to catch
A hand upon the latch;
A step that hastens its sweet rest to win,
A world of care without,
A world of strife shut out
A world of love shut in.”
- Dora Greenwood