In celebration of our fiftieth post, our topic today is those who have been married for fifty years. I have been fascinated by couples who have been married at least fifty years. What a commitment to love and cherish the same person through so many stages of life! The joyful times are easy; however, in fifty years of marriage, most couples have been through the births of children and grandchildren along with the deaths of parents and other loved ones. In fifty years together, couples endure job losses, moves, temptations, health problems, and a good amount of disagreements. What a testimony it is to live with and love one person for half a century.
My grandparents were married forty-seven years and I am sure that they would still be married today (sixty-five years) if Granddaddy had not passed away in 1993. Granny was seventeen when they married; whereas, he was twenty-one. I was only ten when Granddaddy died, but I remember his relationship with my Granny. When I’d spend the night, I’d sleep on the couch and I had a direct view of the back door. Each morning as he’d leave for work, Granny would give him a big bear hug, and I thought it was so funny. He would come home for lunch, and she’d have a meal waiting for him. She didn’t complain and seemed happy to do it. My Granny didn’t work outside the home – she kept the kids, but was always available for him. My Granny never drove a car, so Granddaddy would drive her everywhere she needed to go; because of this, they were together a lot. While I’ll never know what went on when we weren’t around, there seemed to be a deep affection between them, even though I rarely heard them tell each other how they felt. They made each other a priority as a way of life, and it showed in the strength of their relationship.
As much as I’d love to think that they had a perfect life, I know for a fact that they had their trials and their times of disagreement. They spent several years caretaking for his mother – and then years later, made many trips to take care of her aging mother. As with any couple raising children, they did not always agree on how to discipline the children, but my Granny respected my Granddaddy as the head of the house. My aunt told Granny once that she could never remember coming home from school to an empty house – Granny was always there. As a married couple, it takes teamwork and sacrifice to provide such an environment for children.
Getting married is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. At a young age, it is difficult to see past the first few years and picture growing old, but I challenge you to picture it. Look at this person you are considering marrying and try to imagine him or her 10 years from now… 20 years… 30 years… 50 years. Does this person have the qualities and depth of character that you want in a mate for the next fifty years? Can you picture going through heartaches and rough patches with this person? Can you picture enjoying life together side by side? Can you picture taking care of him or her during a time of sickness or old age? As with all things, the new feelings fade, and if that is all your relationship is based on, you will wake up to find yourself in an empty marriage. When you marry, marry for those lifetime qualities that outlast outward beauty. I challenge you to make a list of fifty reasons you want to spend fifty years with the person you are dating or to whom you are engaged. Review your list – are these reasons that will sustain you through fifty years of marriage?
What lasting qualities are you looking for in a mate that will endure for over fifty years?