Sunday, June 26, 2016


Because of the hype, emotion, hope, expectation and expense associated with a 'dream' wedding these days, I often wonder about the bride and groom's long term plans - will they put as much attention and care into their marriage?

Many years ago Proverbs 31:11-12 became my goal as a wife, the compass I decided to use in order to maintain a right course through the journey of my own marriage.

It's wise to remember that marriage is not a wedding, just as a house is not a mortgage payment. It's one small part of something much bigger and grander, something far more challenging and yet astonishingly wonderful. When I look back on the day Mr E and I exchanged our vows the thing which stands out most is the commitment he made to me, standing at the altar before God, and the evidence today of his decision to live it out this last quarter century. In fact his commitment today is far greater than it was then.

Every day I thank God for my husband. Every day I feel unworthy of his faithful, joyful and forgiving love. Every day I look in the mirror and try to see past my aging smile into the blue eyes he wakes to each morning and wonder if they reflect the depth of love and respect and honour I have for him?

I know what I see when I look into his eyes.
Evidence that he loves Jesus. 
And because of that love there is boundless respect, delight, love, trust, commitment and care given to me.

We didn't have a big wedding, in fact I made my dress and our church family all brought a plate for the wedding meal. A friend from university had his brother bake our cake, another friend took the photos, and I borrowed the shoes, veil, gloves and bouquet. 

It was a simple event, a wondrous and happy event, a day we cherished. Promises were made and given before God, and people we loved were there to witness and celebrate our union, but we didn't fully appreciate that the wedding was nothing like the marriage would be.

Marriage is a page by page story you write from the heart, moment by moment decisions and choices that will build the union stronger or tear it apart until only shreds remain.

We didn't easily get to where we are in our relationship today. Many times over these past 25 years we've been pulling in opposite directions, not walking in our God given roles, seeking to be the one who was right and to have our own way. There are many tears, sorrows, losses and grief scattered along the highways and byways of this marriage, BUT...we stayed committed. 
We chose to forgive. 
We sought Jesus to show us a better way, and I read Proverbs 31:11-12 and took it to heart.
 Honestly, the teaching in those Scriptures changed me for the better more than anything else.

I love my man, and therefore I want his heart to safely trust me!
I want him to have no lack of gain.
I want to do him good and not evil all the days of my life. 

So I take one day at a time and praise God for the opportunity to be that wife, knowing there are days I'll fail and days I'll soar. The most important thing is that I keep this close to my heart and do my utmost to live it out. 

All glory to God,


Anonymous said...

It was fun to read about your wedding and it reminded me so much of my own. My dress was also self made with the wedding simple and small. We married in the middle of a Minnesota winter knowing that a cancelation due to weather was very possible. The morning of the big day was clear and so cold, minus 25 F (-31 C). Yes, it was really THAT cold in January 44 years ago! I firmly believe the simple weddings in the past seemed to lead to marriages that lasted. Could it be because the focus was more on the marriage and less so on the elaborate wedding? -Diane from Minnesota, USA

Christina said...

You are so right. I see these huge extravagant weddings to only end up in divorce. We are blessed to be together for a total of 24 years, married for 15 and we eloped to Sin City Las Vegas no less. ;) We have our ups and downs like everyone else. I thank God everyday for my DH and to remind us both to not take one another for granted and to treat each other with respect. It is very easy to forget, Thank you for reinforcing that message.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 25 years! We are nearing 41 yrs in Oct. Oh the ups and downs we've seen. We were married young, had 3 daughters and no money in the early years. We couldn't afford to leave even if we had wanted to! We spent 21 years in the military moving I don't remember how many times. We had to stick together, we only had each other. Looking back I can see God's hand in our marriage through the ups and downs all these years, it's a great comfort.

Grandma Rita

Teatime Creations said...

What a lovely post and a tribute to love.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Lovely. Your story mirrors my own. We have had 45 years together and are totally committed to each other, but more importantly considerate of each other. That and the fact that we make each other laugh is my recipe for this long life together.

Each day I see my husband's health slip away and panic with a thought of even a day without him.
xx, Carol

Buttonchief7 said...

A touching piece reminding us of what is truly important in this brief life on earth. Joy stands for Jesus, others then you.

Debby said...

Jenny, such beautiful words. Reading it put into words the marriage I have with husband Pete and the way I have tried to walk as his wife over the past 31 years. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

You really bless me, Jenny. I want you to know that!

Anonymous said...

I agree in every way. My commitment to Paul has exceeded our life together here, and it wasn't all pretty. That's part of what builds the bond that's unbreakable, if you let it happen. I once picked him up at the airport, and I marveled that I knew him from the back, walking away to get his luggage, with a dozen people between us. There was no mistaking him because I knew his walk, the tilt of his head, the swing of his arms, and the beauty of his spirit. It doesn't happen overnight, but it's amazing when you find you've built that kind of marriage. You and Mr. E are so fortunate to have found each other and built together.

Jackie Heath said...

What a beautiful tribute to God, your husband and your marriage!!! Some say it takes 2 to make a marriage work, but I say it takes 3 with God being first in both the lives of husband and wife. I love the simplicity of your words, and at the same time, so meaningful and inspiring. Thank your for sharing with us. My husband and I have been married almost 52 yrs and I am so grateful for every moment even the bad and unhappy times. But with God's amazing grace we keep on loving each other and know that we can always trust Him to guide and direct in our senior yrs. I also wanted to tell you that I have started embroidering some of the Postcard designs on a few doilies made by my husband's mother and his grandmother. These doilies are going in a quilt for my grandaughter. I think it will be beautiful and she will love it. Thank you, again, for sharing your wonderful talent and words of wisdom!

Mimi said...

Jenny, what a beautiful testimony. As my darling and I look forward to 20 years together, and veterans of a second marriage us both, I too am thankful. I love how you've articulated that for me. Thankyou. It's a very special thing to enter the second half of your Earthly life, with someone with whom you have a shared history, and a love of the Heavenly Father. Much love, Mimi xxx

Little Penpen said...

This is a beautiful post. I wish churches and schools would teach young women these things again. I love that you are an example of the Proverbs woman.

Robyne said...

Jenny, your post is testament to two people looking to God throughout their marrisge. Wonderful words. May you share many more Blessed years together!

Sandy said...

What a beautiful testimony of a Godly marriage. I too was blessed with a wonderful husband who truly showed me the love of God. July 1 will mark the 2 year anniversary of his moving to heaven after a long battle with cancer. He was the only boy I ever dated and we were married 46 wonderful years. Like everyone else, we had our ups and downs but the word divorce never entered our minds. We meant it when we pledged our love "till death do us part". The grief has been at times almost unbearable but God is faithful and has seen me through many dark days. My advice to any married couple would be to live every day as if it were your last day together. Have fun together. Make lots of good memories and always cherish each other.

Ruth said...

Wonderful post and wonderful comments. We have a similar story - I was 19 when we got married almost 54 years ago. Reception was in the church basement with food that the ladies of the church prepared. Marriage is supposed to be for life and life has many ups and downs. Depending on each other and God is the best way.

Robin in New Jersey said...

Amen, Jenny. We just celebrated our 34th anniversary and it hasn't been easy. Without the Lord as the head of our home, we never would have made it. He gets the glory!

Carla said...

Awesome words. A marriage is hard work and not always a fairy tale. We are about to celebrate 38 years of marriage and hard work with the fun and love thrown in.

ctgardengirl said...

Excellent post! I want to share these wise words with my newly married granddaughter in hopes it will give perspective and direction. After 35 years of marriage myself, it seems I have come late to this understanding, having struggled it seems in similar ways.
I have come to understand, through reading the scriptures daily in recent years that I must be a Christian first and foremost to those closest to me, starting with my husband. I cannot treat others better, and him shabbily. That makes me a hypocrite, and I deceive myself about who I think I am, and dishonor and disrespect him, and Christ too.
I have seen the error of my ways, and the Bible clearly describes how we are to treat our fellow man, and this begins with our spouses, for those of us who are married, and expands to our immediate family - our kids, our parents, outwardly.
I have determined in my heart and mind, to be trustworthy, stable, reliable, kind, gentle, considerate, seeking his good and not just my own, quick to forgive and slow to be offended, no matter what comes my way, and this with the strength of Christ, the gentle guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit and with obedience and love to God through the application of the scriptures daily to my mind and heart. I am reminding myself once again of this commitment.