Jo and I are about to celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary on March 31. We can attest that a successful, long-lasting marriage means falling in love many times, (most frequently with the person to whom you are married!)
I remember our wedding, held in my home church in Red Deer, AB—a small white, wood frame building that accommodated perhaps one hundred packed in tightly. The reception was in the basement which held maybe fifty, probably fewer. It was an extremely simple affair. My younger sisters helped Jo and me to decorate the basement the night before the wedding. The reception meal was salad and buns provided by the ladies of the church. And that was about it.
It was a small, plain, and simple; an almost insignificant beginning—a mere acorn wedding compared to some of the watermelon ones we have attended since.
Compared to the early 1960s, Canadians today are much more affluent. We also have better credit ratings and thus more money to spend. No wonder the business community invented the popular slogan, “Your wedding day is the most important day of your life.” They spread this lie because they need people to spend lots of money on the wedding.
Many couples, unfortunately, swallow this lie and spend themselves into debt for the wedding. They should get some advice, not from their newlywed friends, but from some oldyweds. They will be reminded what they already know deep down inside—what’s more important than the wedding is the marriage that follows.
In spite of this deep down knowledge, and in the face of the advice from oldyweds, some couples just don’t get it. I have heard several stories from pastors who during pre-marital counseling heard the couple say, “Oh, we can’t afford to attend a marriage seminar,” yet spend ten times the amount on flowers. Some won’t even buy a good book on marriage.
Why Get Married?
Here’s one aspect of marriage that Jo and I have proven true many times over the past 52 years of growing our acorn wedding into a sizable marriage tree. Judith Viorst, one of my favorite philosophers said it this way, “One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him, or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in love again.”
Newlyweds have the aura of youthful beauty, enthusiasm, vigor, sex, fun, future. Oldyweds have the quality of inner beauty, wisdom, joy, history, stamina, endurance. Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.
That’s why the day-to-day work of becoming oldyweds is vastly more important than the romantic event of becoming newlyweds.
Oh wait, I think I said that already. . . . four or five times.
Important notice for you who live in northern California
I will be traveling and speaking at Wycliffe Associates banquets in 25 cities in northern California and Nevada for the next six weeks. I didn’t include the URL links in this emailed column since spam blockers might react. So I will send the URL links in a separate email. If you are in the area, please come to a banquet, it would be great to meet you.