Recently we took off for a few days down to Bridgetown to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The actual ‘date’ of our wedding was April 6th, but life was a little too messy right then to be able to get away. But we managed to eke out a few days, leave the kids with mum and dad and head off to spend some time together away from the demands of everyday life.
We booked 3 nights in an old renovated barn, kicked back, ate out and generally relaxed and enjoyed the head space that only comes with no one else around. It was on the Tuesday morning as we were going for a walk along the river that I said to Danelle, ‘you know in 25 years of being married & being a pastor, I think I have taught about marriage once.’
I realised I have never really felt like I have had the credibility to say anything significant about marriage – like once I get some ‘runs on the board’ then maybe then I will be in a place to speak to others. I don’t think that about almost every other aspect of life, so why marriage?
A perplexing question…
Its not like we are in a shaky place where my words would be inauthentic or hollow, as we have a good relationship, and we have worked thru some pretty dark times and some challenging issues, but for some reason it seemed a tad arrogant to think I might be able to teach others on this issue. I know that doesn’t make any sense, but it was what I was feeling.
As we walked along I said to Danelle ‘Ok – if not now, then when? When we are in our 80’s and can’t remember one another’s names?…’ It was a short, sharp moment of insight, that this is not a topic that should remain off limits – in fact chances are in the 25 years we have been figuring this stuff out, we may have actually learnt some valuable stuff.
So I made a commitment to do something with this – to move past my own lack of confidence with and just begin sharing what we have learnt in an accessible way. I have a few ideas brewing, so hopefully soon we’ll be able to offer something into the mix.
Good man. I need say no more.
It’s funny, Andrew. I feel the same, and that after 46 years of marriage. It seems a bit arrogant to imply we have the answers. One of our home groups (mostly made up of couples with children moving into teenage years) are doing a series on marriage in mid-life and suggested we come as a couple and share our experience. What would we say? The most important thing is to be kind to each other? And value what you have built together. Perhaps the reward for persevering is how great it is to have a companion in these later years. i’m looking forward to what you have to say!