Marriage is a mighty force from Heaven in the earth.
Consider that the first human institution the Father started was marriage.
No matter what’s happened in history, or current events, each of us is here because of Father’s advent of marriage, generationally speaking. It’s the core foundation of family, society, and nations.
As a little girl, I attended the Golden Anniversary of my grandmother’s brother and wife. The honor rightly afforded them deeply impacted me. I’d spent time at my great uncle and aunt’s house, and they possessed little material goods. At their beautifully decorated and attended 50th wedding celebration, however, they were (rightly) treated as royalty. Many were their children and grandchildren, family and friends, who gathered and honored them joyously in a variety of ways. I didn’t have language for it at the time, but I understood that they had true wealth, and had accomplished something worthy.
Their marriage impacted me, as a child.
Acres of Diamonds
Today, we’re celebrating marriage by remembering my husband’s grandparents’ anniversary. Our whole family experienced the blessing of celebrating the Diamond Jubilee (60 years!) of Coolidge and Valma Wade in 2011. Neither of them felt physically well at the time, but they were pleased that their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, family and friends wanted to celebrate their worthy accomplishment.
Coolidge and Valma both grew up in a time where material possessions were minimal and hard work abounded. In fact, well into his adult years, Coolidge, the youngest in his family, carried the responsibility of financially and physically caring for his aging parents in addition to his own young family. A soft-spoken, highly intelligent woman, Valma in any other time could have soared in a career due to her abilities, yet she chose to serve side-by-side with Coolidge, raising their family and working jobs to help financially as well.
We often drive by the church much of whose interior was built by Coolidge. As a man in his late 70s and early 80s, and in spite of health conditions, his physical strength astounded many. He literally picked up a riding lawnmower with one hand to check its undercarriage! So, when he felt his physical strength begin to wane, he started making arrangements. He’d become the sole overseer of that little church, but he didn’t want it to end with him. So, he worked with the local Spanish pastor and another local English pastor to share the facility and its management at mutually beneficial times. He purchased Shop Smiths, an amazing innovative multi-purpose shop on wheels (the machine he’d used to build the church’s interior), for his grandsons to “remember him by.” We told him we’d remember him for a lot more than a machine.
And then, cancer started its countdown. Coolidge moved to a nursing facility where Valma spent most of each day at his side, as she’d always done. It wasn’t fun for either of them. Yet, she knew her presence strengthened him. What a living legacy it was for them to experience their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visit them faithfully! (Consider this–how many children leave home and never want to return?) The nursing staff loved Coolidge and Valma and remarked about their family. Coolidge focused his “bragging rights” on counting how many children and grandchildren served in ministry in some capacity.
Their marriage impacted me, as an adult.
Both Coolidge and Valma graduated to Heaven with faithfulness in 2012, having celebrated their Diamond Jubilee on earth. It wasn’t an easy life—but theirs was a life lived well. And because of their faithfulness to their Savior and each other, their family reaps generational blessings.
Love that Works
When all is said and done, this is what matters. A love that does things it doesn’t necessarily like for the good of the other—without complaining, with thankfulness.
Many reasons and troubles have caused many marriages to dissolve in spite of their best efforts. On top of that, the Father’s ancient enemy works to assault the first human institution due to its great place of worth and generational impact.
There’s no condemnation for failed or struggling marriages. Even strong marriages go through hard times. Father, heal! Restore!
What there is—is a holy honor for what’s worth honoring.
The faithfulness it requires to stay true to the Father and to each other in a day that our culture is screaming that marriage is not sacred any more—and that personal rights transcend all. And here’s honor to love that does the real work, in the heat of the day, when it’s hard, for the good of the other. That’s what is real. That’s what endures. That’s what matters when this life fades and eternity opens.
That’s what our children and our culture need to see from marriage.
Let’s honor marriage.
Let’s ask the Father for great help so our generations now and to come can be impacted by faithful marriages which are mighty—no matter what courts or culture says.
Father, thank You for the sacred and holy gift of marriage. Grace, honor, strengthen, and bless all those who have stayed faithful to You and each other through the years. Bring them closer to You and each other, and cause them to know in unique ways how You honor them, and how they are blessing their generations. Father, raise these marriages up to be showcased to our children (the generations) so that they will have the joy of knowing a love that holds true. Children and teens need to see these pictures on earth, Father. Honor the marriages of the faithful. Strengthen those who are struggling. Pour out grace and love on them.
Father, raise up marriage in our day and time to the level of honor, strength and grace that You desired and designed. For in the family, we understand and know You so much better. Father, grant greater grace in our day for restoration of marriages and families for the sake of Your Son. Heal, redeem, restore and renew them radically for sin does much abound. Make Your grace in marriages GREATER than sin’s effects. Make our marriages now and those of the generations to come MIGHTY. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
Copyright by Crystal Wade, 2016