What Marriage Requires to Last? My grandparents showed me.
With the recent passing of my 89-year-old grandfather, I witnessed one of the saddest and most beautiful testaments to a life-long marriage. Shortly after his passing, I watched my grandmother sit and weep at my grandfather’s bedside. She spoke to him and told him how much she loved him, will miss him, and how they had many good times and bad. This was a marriage 68 years strong, unfathomable by many this day. As I watched, with tears in my eyes, I began to reflect on what marriage truly is.
So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate. Matthew 19:6
My Grandparents | What Marriage Requires to Last
My grandfather was born during the Great Depression and was the baby of 12 children. He began working the farm at a young age to support his family, especially after his father passed away. He met my grandmother in 1948, after coming home from service in the Navy. They married in 1950. He worked in the cotton mill for 42 years to provide for his wife and four children. They served their church faithfully and raised a Godly family.
I can attest to the fact that my grandparents loved each other unconditionally. God gave him a will to obey, a woman to love, and a work to do. He completed these tasks selflessly. However, my grandfather was far from perfect and like many of us, set in his ways. One example of this was his inability to be wrong on what he thought he knew to be right.
Many arguments ensued because he could be “stubborn as a mule.” But my grandmother loved him in spite of him because she knew he loved and cared for her, our family, and God. None of us are perfect, but we can all love. A marriage relationship is a work-in-progress if you will, and it takes a life of love and growing in oneness to succeed.
What Marriage Requires: Love, Commitment, Respect and More
The world defines marriage as “the state of being united as spouses in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law.” I define marriage as a selfless, unconditional love between a man and a woman, united in a biblical covenant, ordained by God and with God to live and grow for His Kingdom.
Marriage requires love, commitment, respect, and selflessness to sustain. If marriage is based on worldly principles and attitudes of just trying to make it a day at a time, it never will. To flourish, there must be a relationship in which the two can grow together in a union with God. Then, by His design, marriage will mature into a life-long love.
Unconditional, or agape love, is the love God has for us and should be the love we show each other. God loves sinners so much that He sent His Son as the final sacrifice. The Cross happened by God’s design, and Jesus came knowing the hardships he would face before death.
Marriage is not easy, but it’s worth it.
My grandfather knew without a doubt that the woman who wept at his death and loved him unconditionally for 68 years was worth it, and she knew he was worth it.
For more reading materials on What Marriage Requires to Last, see below:
- How We Speak to Each Other Matters to God
- Managing Conflict in Your Marriage
- Tips on Tone: Marriage Advice
Such a great story & example of a God honoring marriage. That unconditional thing is hard & takes a lot of work but is worth it. My bride & I are a few months away from 50 years together & I’m crazier about her now than I was then. She’s still beautiful & is my best supporter & friend. One day I had really made her mad & we were fussing strongly when she said ‘I’m leaving’, I loudly said, ‘Hold on a minute’ & she responded abruptly “What For?’ I answered ‘Hold on, I’m coming with you’. That broke the tension & we actually laughed at the same time. We now have 8 wonderful Grandchildren & both still work together everyday in our family business. BTW, I had the same problem with my eyes that you had as you watched at your grandfathers bedside when reading this wonderful love story.
Thanks for sharing this Brandon. My wife and I celebrate our 40th anniversary next month. Two imperfect people joined by a perfect, faithful savior.