Some of you may be aware that earlier this week Leighanne and I celebrated our 29th anniversary! Wow 29 years goes by in a blink! It’s been an awesome time and I have no doubt that next to accepting Christ, marrying Leighanne was by far the most crucial decision affecting the richness that fills my life. One of the aspects that has been sort of a surprise has been the sort of “awe” that people express when they hear that we’ve been married 29 years. The comments usually sound something like “Wow, that’s a long time to be married.” In retrospect I guess that it is more unusual than the norm that marriages last this long now days and so I thought that a blog about what got us this far might be in order.
By far the most influential factor in the longevity of our marriage is our relationship with the Lord, but there are lots of people who claim relationships with the Lord that end up divorcing.
There is at least one other factor that has been the glue that has held us together. It’s not very exciting and I doubt if anyone would by a book by this title but it’s simply commitment. Leighanne and I decided before we were married that we would NEVER divorce. I remember us having the discussion prior to our wedding that the only thing that would separate us would be death. I even remember the soberness with which we had the discussion. That single factor has held us together through times that honestly weren’t any fun.
During the past 29 years there have been many times when Leigh and I weren’t happy with each other for any number of reasons. Money, children, sex, careers, education, family, you name it we’ve argued about it. I wish I could tell you that we always followed the biblical instruction to not let the sun go down on our anger, but more than once we’ve slept in separate beds because of some conflict. I hear these people on Christian radio discussing how they have never raised their voice and how they always talk through their problems then go to sleep in each other’s arms. I just laugh and wonder what planet these folks are from. However, we always forgive, talk and resolve and we always will because of commitment.
Commitment doesn’t have any of the frills that Hollywood love has.
Commitment doesn’t make your heart skip a beat or leave you breathless, but without commitment these other aspects of love simply won’t have a chance to endure and while I love these explosions of love I have learned that the solidity and strength of real commitment is much more valuable. We still have those moments when our hearts melt, but when those things are running out of the burning building that is our marriage, commitment is running in.