The picture was sweet ... an elderly couple holding hands and beaming at each other. The newspaper article said that they had been married for 71 years. Imagine that. Seven decades of love. Some might shake their heads and ponder that sort of commitment. Not me.
When Jon asked me to be his bride, I told him what he already knew. I wouldn't settle for less than a lifetime of love. And then I surprised him by saying that I expected him to live to be 101 years and 2 days old, just so we could celebrate our 60th anniversary. Jon laughed. I think he thought I was joking, but I wasn't. In fact, I remind him of my expectations often.
My marriage is young yet, just 13 1/2 months old. I suppose to some who have been married for decades it seems like such an incredibly short time. We still get comments about how the honeymoon must not have ended yet. I always respond with a smile and say that I hope it never does!
And yet ... there's this lingering fear that it might. After all, don't all marriages go through bad times, seasons where the love isn't as strong and the romance has faded and the honeymoon is obviously over? Jon expressed this thought to our pastor during lunch this past Sunday, and we were both surprised by his reply. He basically said that he didn't buy that idea that love in a marriage fades. He said that he had been married nearly 30 years and that he could honestly say that his marriage hasn't gone through periods like that. He admitted that romance looked differently now than it did in the beginning and that their love had matured as the years had passed. He also commented that the Bible gives us the tools to keeping the love alive in our marriages, such as not letting the sun go down on our anger.
Maturing love ... I like that. Furthermore, I want that in my marriage. I want a love that grows deeper and stronger, instead of one that wilts and fades like the dozen roses given to a valentine.
Our love may not be a mature love now, but I am committed to growing in that love for a lifetime.