This past Monday, Ruth and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. To some of you, 30 years may seem like an eternity to be married. To others who have been married longer, you may see us as just “kids” and consider 30 years a good start. Regardless, I have been truly blessed to share my life with my best friend, the loving mother of our two wonderful children, and someone who has celebrated the good times and been my partner through the tough times. I often joke that Ruth has earned many jewels in her eternal crown by being married to me. She has undoubtedly demonstrated God’s grace and more than a little patience these past 30 years.
I’m sure you have heard that half of all marriages end in divorce. This figure is often hotly debated, but it’s undeniable that a significant percentage of marriages currently end in divorce. Marriage is often simply regarded as just “a piece of paper” or a societal construct that has outlived its relevance. So, is marriage still relevant in our secular culture?
Marriage was instituted at the dawn of creation by our Lord between Adam and Eve. That union was the beginning of the family. While marriage has become marginalized in our culture, our Lord established it as the basis for the family, community, and society. As Christians, we want to honor our Lord’s plan for our lives, and marriage is one important part of the plan.
This reason alone should suffice in establishing the relevance and importance of marriage, but there are other more practical reasons too. Couples in a committed marriage live longer than those who are single, cohabiting or divorced. A healthy, functioning marriage can provide stress and anxiety relief in many cases and help reduce the chances of depression. Finally, married couples experience lower levels of heart disease, cancers, flu, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Despite these benefits, not every marriage is healthy. For example, physically, mentally and emotionally abusive marriages are not what God intended.
And others have come to realize that God’s plan for them does not include marriage.
For these, and other reasons, marriage is not for everyone.
But still the question remains, is marriage relevant today? For Christians, the answer is a resounding yes. Even for those who are not Christians, it is relevant and desirable for simply many of the aforementioned reasons.
Marriage for Ruth and me has been a journey. Do we ever get on each other’s nerves? Of course we do. Do we sometimes have disagreements? Absolutely. Nevertheless, we complete each other and walk this journey together, and I cannot imagine having spent the past 30 years without her by my side.
So, to you my dear, I say thank you. Thank you for all the love you’ve shown, the support you’ve provided, your laughter, and enduring faithfulness.
Is our marriage relevant? I can think of almost nothing more relevant!
TAKE ACTION – Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota fights for God-given biblical marriage. If you share these values, please consider supporting our organization in this important work. Together, we can protect and preserve the sanctity of marriage.