The Wonder Of Covenant

Celebrating 43 years of marriage

Marriage is an irreplaceable and core institution of human society, created by God before the fall of mankind, which requires mutual consent and should be understood as both a covenant and a commitment. For followers of Christ, the relationship between a husband and a wife should emphasize the sacred bond that reflects the union between Christ and the Church and should communicate other deep spiritual truths. Marriage should promote love, mutual respect and care.

We read stories about couples married for 62 years who die 4 hours apart. A 96 year old widower who wrote a song to his late wife that later became a hit song. The couple who had a disabled daughter who fought to keep their marriage together and give their daughter a better quality of life by committing to doing a special medical treatment program that took them 12 hours every day, 7 days a week, for 3 1/2 years.

Why do stories like these touch our hearts in such a moving way? I think it’s because stories like these so clearly demonstrate the lifelong commitment marriage is meant to be. “Til death do us part.” We say the words, and we see them as something we long to attain… The “for work” moments are some of the most powerful moments of marriage. My husband and I have cried and embraced each other in the deaths of both of our parents and other loved ones, we have struggled with feelings of deep loss and hurt.

5 lessons I have learned

My husband and I will be celebrating 43 years of marriage this weekend and although the years have brought ups and downs and even serious problems and issues that we both felt were way too hard to deal with, God has kept us together by His grace. Through the years God has taught us some valuable lessons. Spiritual growth and dependance on God for grace to give your spouse, are the key to at least 5 lessons I have learned:

  1. Develop your friendship. My husband and I discuss feelings and issues with each other. Give your spouse the freedom to talk openly about feelings/issues. My husband and I also share things we both like to do/enjoy. Be your spouse’s encourager. Allow your spouse to be themselves. Remember marriage is ordained/ordered by God and it is God who shapes us into His image.
  2. Deliberately plan/set aside time to be alone; otherwise you will grow apart unintentionally. My relationship with my husband is the foundation of our family.
  3. Arguments are normal. My husband and I recognize the command in Ephesians 4:25 & 26 to speak truth and deal with frustrations/conflict- each day as they may arise. We have learned to ask for forgiveness and to lavish forgiveness on each other – just as Christ does with us. The words “I’m sorry” are far more powerful than “I’m right.”
  4. Defend your marriage from anyone or anything that would undermine it. Stay faithful to your spouse. My husband and I model the truth that marriage is a wonderful blessing from God. Having grown children who love and are serving the Lord is a great blessing; by the Grace of God and the love and faithful attention of those who love God in their lives.
  5. Pray for your spouse without telling God how to change/fix them. My husband and I both pray that God will protect our minds and move in our lives. My marriage is alway stronger when I pray with my spouse.

God has filled our marriage with mystery and wonder and I can truly say that I love my husband more today than I even did when we were first married. God tells us in His Word that the blessing of marriage is among the richest gifts we can receive from Him. It takes work, but it is His work and His working in us that makes it all the more fulfilling and wonderful!

~Margaret Bubik
Long time volunteer & Ambassador of Compassion