Today, my wife and I have been married for forty-eight years. I often joke about the longevity of our life together by suggesting I could have killed ten people and be out of jail in less time. My wife does not think that is funny. In all honesty, our marriage has been a rough one. When we first married, I was an alcoholic and an idiot. (I no longer drink, but a vote of those who know me would probably show that I have retained the other flaw.) Because I was extremely abusive, I irreparably damaged our relationship. Nine years after we were married, I became a Christian. Even that caused temporary conflict in our relationship, due to six weeks passing before Judy accepted Christ. That was an interesting six weeks, to say the least.
I am sure there are those reading this that noticed I said our relationship was "irreparably damaged." I can just see the shrinks and Christian counselors salivating at the thought of "fixing" us. Well, we have been students of the Bible for almost forty years; have been to numerous counselors, Christian and otherwise; and have prayed for our "miracle" for so long that we have come to accept the fact that our marriage will never be what it should. And please, if you have any words of advice, pray them and do not say them. I, for one, do not want to hear them.
When I met Judy, she was sixteen and I was eighteen. I was in the Navy and met her due to someone "fixing us up" when I was home on leave. She was the cutest and sweetest girl I had ever met, and I fell madly in love with her. Six months later, while she was still sixteen, I asked her to marry me one year to the day later. She said yes! I had asked her while we were dancing to "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" at a neighbor's birthday party in his garage. June sixteenth fell on a Saturday the following year, purely by "chance," and we began our journey together with no car, totally financed furniture, and a small one-bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C.
Today, after three children, eight grandchildren, and four great grandchildren, we remain together. As I look at her faithfulness as a wife and mother, I am so grateful to God that He has given her the ability to persevere. If someone were to ask me, knowing what I do now about our years together, would I still marry Judy, the answer is no, because she is far too wonderful a person to have had to experience what I put her through. Thank God, because I would have missed sharing my life with the most wonderful woman in the world. She does not believe I feel this way, and that is the majority of our problem. I can say this without hesitation: If I had not married Judy, I would be either in prison or dead by now. She has "kept me in check" more than she will ever realize. She has spent years diverting my anger away form others onto herself in an effort to maintain peace. She has paid an awful price, and for that, I will be eternally grateful. God's Word says, "It is not good that the man should be alone" (Gen. 2:18), and "Whosoever findeth a wife findeth a good thing" (Prov. 18:22) AMEN! And, by the way, if any of you reading this believe being a Christian makes you a good husband and father, remember Romans Chapter Seven. Our greatest opponent to our living a Christian life is ourselves.