Rob and I celebrated 28 years of marriage this month. It got me thinking how I’ve had people tell me “Everything’s OK for you, you’re a ‘woman of God’ with everything going for you, full of faith and seeing miracles every day.” They seem to think that I have it easy somehow and I don’t have problems that ‘normal’ people have. And it’s true that I am married to a wonderful man who I wouldn’t trade for the world, but we’ve had our share of difficult times.
There’s the time that our baby daughter died and then a few years later our business went into liquidation and we had to lay off staff. There’s the time that, despite working hard, we were in so much debt that the bank cut up our credit cards, our account was empty and we had no food. There’s the time that the Lord asked me to give up my career, then He asked us to give up our dream home. One time He asked us to give all our savings away.
Just like most people, we’ve had our ups and downs over nearly 30 years of marriage, and been let down by people we’ve loved, but one thing is certain: God has never let us down. He is so faithful and good and His love really is everlasting. You can trust Him with your life!
For those of you who wonder how couples can remain married after many years in this crazy world, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way: FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE! Both of you will do stupid things at some point or let the other one down somehow. You may as well decide now – choose to forgive straight away; don’t let it fester. It isn’t always easy, but the sooner you can do it the better. Oh and then try and forget it. Don’t play the scenario in your head any more. There’s no point. It’ll only make you miserable and bitter.
Another thing: Find something to laugh at together every day. Have fun and enjoy your life together. Don’t take everything so seriously. And don’t forget to let the other one know how much you love them – by words and deeds, as often as you can.
Never worry about money. What may or may not happen. Don’t let having no money stop you from doing everything the Holy Spirit tells you to do. But, we’ve learned from experience not to buy anything on credit. Enjoy the simple things.
And I suppose the main thing has to be ‘Keep the main thing the main thing’ – Jesus as number one in your life together. How people manage without Him, I really don’t know. Well, I guess they don’t!
So, here’s to all you who haven’t given up, whether married or single, but who are still persevering through life’s storms, to all the overcomers who are still going strong, no matter what is happening around you. “Do not throw away your confidence (boldness and courage); it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (Heb 10:35)
This is a picture of me and Rob the year we got married. And we’re still very much in love almost 30 years later.