You met at an InterVarsity meeting, you told me. You saw her across the room and asked a friend who she was. “Her name’s Becky—and she has a boyfriend.” But when the boy left the picture months later, you became friends. You offered to give her a ride to and from the InterVarsity group, which brought the opportunity for late night talks. When you asked her out, she said yes.
You say now it was a God-thing that it didn’t work out with the other boy, that Dad was so much more of a better fit for you. And I can see it now, how your friendship turned into a relationship which turned into a marriage that has lasted for thirty years. I see how your two lives have woven together, how you’ve softened each other’s rough edges and strengthened the best parts of each other.
Your relationship is one of the rare ones—not many make it this far. Your common interests and beliefs helped, I’m sure. The fact you were raised in homes with similar values, that you were both thrifty, that you both preferred a quiet evening at home to a night out on the town, that your faith was important to both of you.
I’ve learned a lot from both of you over the years. I learned how to work hard, how to save pennies, and how to give generously. I learned to memorize Bible verses, to make God’s Word a priority in my life, to serve even when I don’t feel like it. I learned to recognize when I’m wrong, to apologize, to forgive. Any and all of those are important lessons, whether for a relationship or for life, but none of them is the biggest lesson I learned.
Today I often hear people talk about how this person just wasn’t good enough for that person. Or how so-and-so just wasn’t “the One” for them. Or how they grew apart and their differences were just too great to reconcile. Every situation is different, and everyone has their own form of brokenness, you and me included. I don’t know what I would do in this person or that person’s situation. But in the types of relationships I described above, there always seems to be one thing missing. It’s the one thing I’ve always seen in yours: grace.
When I look at your lives, I see God’s grace poured out for all to see. Grace over the generations that came before you who gave you examples to follow of godly marriages. Grace passing from God to you, from you to each other, and from you to me. Grace is the glue in you, in our family. I pray for the blessing of His grace to continue to flow in me, softening my heart to accept His love and forgiveness, and passing through me to my friends and the family I hope to one day have.
Thank you for allowing yourselves to be vessels of His grace. Happy anniversary, and may you continue to grow in His grace and show it to others for another thirty years.