Loving your husband isn’t always an easy thing to do. If you are real and honest, you will admit that they sometimes are quite annoying and those annoyances can cause issues!!
They watch crazy You Tubes on 4-wheeling through the mud!
They might buy cars (that reflect what they want their image to be) and boats, all kinds of tools (just in case they need one) and have no clue why anyone would want to eat a crunchy healthy diet.
It is good to have an example of sticking with your marriage through the years.
We all know that marriage isn’t a bed of roses and isn’t always easy. All-in-all it is such an encouragement to see an imperfect couple honoring God and sticking together and growing closer through the decades.
Married for 73 Years!!
We have been married for 37 years and that is a drop-in-the-bucket compared to my Mom and Dad!!
This week, my parents, Anthony and Evelyn Bollback, have been married for SEVENTY-THREE YEARS!!
Now, in their mid-nineties, they are reflecting over the years that they have lived and loved through many ups and downs of life.
They were married on August 14th, 1943, in New York City. A city boy and a country girl who met and fell hopelessly in love at Nyack College on the Hudson River in New York State.
They had given themselves to the Lord for service as missionaries with the Christian & Missionary Alliance, first serving in Coudersport, PA, for two years in a pastorate in a church that they started. At first that tiny church met in a ‘store-front’ with only one other person besides my parents. Today that church is still thriving, 73 years later!
In 1946, Anthony and Evelyn headed on the freighter, the Marine Links of the President Line to China. The plan was that they would serve there for 7 years before going on furlough but God had other plans!
In 1949, they were evacuated from China along with all other missionaries because of the Communist takeover of China.
Missionaries were on ‘hold’ as they waited to return to China. That didn’t happen for decades.
In the meantime, Anthony and Evelyn along with their two children, Jim and Joy, took a pastorate of a church in Long Hill, NJ. Again, that church is still thriving today!
After two years, they were assigned to serve in Japan where they lived for 5 years. That is when I came along!
To make a long story shorter, in 1958, they went to Hong Kong as missionaries to work with the Chinese people where they lived and served for 12 years. By this time, their youngest child, Jonathan, was born.
Then, in 1970, after their oldest children were grown and married, Anthony and Evelyn along with their two youngest children, spent the next 6 years in Honolulu Hawaii serving at the Kapahulu Bible Church. Those were very special years full of wonderful times as my dad’s ministry thrived!
Loving Your Husband for Better or Worse
My parents are the most wonderful people and loved by everyone.
I know my parents aren’t perfect though I can hardly see how!!
I have struggled in my marriage (and still sometimes do) because I am as imperfect as they come!!
In all of my weaknesses and shortcomings, it is such an encouragement to have those who have gone before me in marriage as mentors. People who have been married a decade are hard to find these days let alone a couple who have been married for decades.
My parents are in their 90’s and my dad was in the hospital recently as his body weakened, blood pressure low, and fluid retention was surrounding his heart. I was visiting them when my dad was admitted to the hospital and drove my mother back-and-forth to the hospital two or three times a day.
I noticed some things that my mom did that impressed me deeply that I will hold in my heart for years to come.
- My mom sat by my dad even when his sickness caused him to be delirious.
- She kept her chin up and a smile on her face!
- She listened and genuinely responded to his conversation even when he hallucinated.
- She encouraged him when he was discouraged with his illness.
- She brought a book or crossword puzzles to do and was content to sit with him hour after hour.
- She prayed for my dad to recover.
- She was faithful, content, and cheerful even when things looked bleak!
- She would think of something happy to say, or say something funny when we would leave the hospital for something to eat. This was totally incredible to me.
- She would play Scrabble with me so not to dwell on the things that could bring her down.
- She was totally incredible, or did I already say this?
These were not trivial things that my mom did. They were habits and character that had formed through the 73 years of her marriage to my dad. It wasn’t a coincidence or part of her personality. These were choices that she was making moment-by-moment on how to live her life to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.
I saw Jesus in my mom!!
Applying this to YOUR Marriage
My marriage was a major struggle for years and it is only the Lord who has kept it duck-taped together until we grew up!
Maybe your marriage was always a blissful romantic relationship without the struggles so familiar to so many of us. I don’t know.
Somehow I think the best marriages were formed in the furnace where each person learned to love in a more Christlike manner.
It doesn’t come naturally because it has to be Christ in us, the hope of glory!
I challenge you to find an older woman who will bring you to higher ground in your marriage. If you can’t find that special woman, stick around and read what I am sharing in this post and on my blog. There are also other blogs like Time-Warped Wife who will encourage you to stick with your man and love him more and more. Even love that he belches!!
Regardless of the rougher nature of most men, I want to leave you with this wise reminder from the book of Ephesians for wives:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Ephesians 5:22-24
How long have you been married (even if is not your first marriage)? Please share how my parents marriage has been an example of love and service.