Today is our 50th wedding anniversary. I remember when couples married that long seemed very old, yet my husband Jody and I don’t feel 50 married-years-old. We are currently sitting in our camper at a beautiful state park in Colorado getting ready to go on a hike among the changing aspen trees. Today I am grateful that God is a God of color and that he gave me eyes to delight in his display of autumn yellows and golds. I am also grateful on this golden anniversary that God prompted me to think about marriage before I said my vows.
I didn’t have a marriage model. Because my father was an abusive alcoholic, my parents’ marriage ended in divorce. I wanted something different so I asked God, What do I do to create a successful marriage, one that ages well? He placed three words on my heart: Pray. Plan. Persevere.
I became a Christian as a college student and searched God’s Word for a marriage model. Proverbs 14:1 says, “A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.” I prayed, Oh God, teach me how to be a wise woman, a wife who builds her marriage. Please show me what this looks like.
As I talked to women, I heard that marriage was far down on their list of priorities. They said things like, “I focus on other things in life; I don’t take time for my marriage. I put more thought, energy, and effort into my relationship with our kids than in my own husband and our relationship,” and “I got too busy and had no time for my husband.”1