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American Marriage

Larnelle and Mitzy Harris: 'We have allowed the Lord to remind us that we are his children and we need to walk accordingly.

Larnelle Harris, the recipient of 15 Grammy and Dove Awards, recently recorded his 17th album. Mitzy teaches computer education to middle school students in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The Harrises have two children, Lonnie, 21, and Teresa, 16. In December, they will celebrate their 25th anniversary.

We met when: Larnelle and I were enrolling in Western Kentucky University. We were sitting on some bleachers trying to fill out mile after mile of paperwork.

We were drawn to each other because: we're so different. Larnelle is an artist, which I'm not.

The hardest thing we have faced: was when Mitzy was pregnant and we were on the road. She wanted to be near her own doctor, so she came back to Louisville while I stayed on the road. The reason I no longer travel more than four days at a time is because we were away from each other a lot early in our marriage.

What I appreciate most about Larnelle is: that he's dependable, reliable and lovable.

What I appreciate most about Mitzy is: that although she has her own mind and could make it quite nicely on her own, she chooses to be a part of this relationship; and she gives to it because she wants to.

The thing that bugs me most about Larnelle is: he doesn't turn out the lights when he leaves a room.

The thing that bugs me most about Mitzy is: that she is too down to earth. Mitzy had a party for me in 1986 when I won two Grammies. But the very next day her note was on the kitchen table giving me my instructions for the day. It said, "Larnelle, congratulations on winning two Grammies. Now don't forget the garbage—you missed it yesterday." I was carrying newspapers to the garbage can that had my picture in them!

We laughed the hardest: when Teresa was small. She used to have temper tantrums, and we'd grab her feet and help her have a bigger one. We'd say, "You need to kick your feet higher." Pretty soon she'd be crying and laughing at the same time.

Our marriage works because:we have practiced grace in our home. There have been many times when neither of us felt married. But we have done our best to allow the Lord to remind us that we are his children and we need to walk accordingly.

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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Commitment; Marriage; Relationships
Today's Christian Woman, Winter, 1996
Posted September 12, 2008

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