Meeting this sweet couple was a life changing experience for me. I met them when I was a child, but have very little memory of them. One night I was awakened with this urging feeling that I needed to meet these people as an adult. I told my mom that I felt God has put this on my heart and when can we go and visit. She sat everything up and off we went to Wichita. I had no idea why I was getting this God nudge, but I knew I wanted to be obedient. And I'm so glad I did, this is my real life "notebook" story...
Something about turning 40 has made me do more soul searching, and I have started seeing life in a different perspective. Years ago I had made a "bucket list" and meeting my Aunt Juanima and Uncle Aubrey was on that list.
My aunt and uncle have been married for 75 years, they are in their early 90's. They have the sweetest love story and amazing life. They met when they were 15 years old, and at 17 they ran off and eloped.
The night of their wedding they attended church and to this day they are still attending that same church. Not one Sunday have they ever missed in 75 years. Not one! Amazing!
If that isn't amazing enough, they have also never slept apart, not even for one night, in 75 years!
They made their living has farmers and worked hard. They have two children who have been raised with great values and morals. While visiting, I asked my aunt how they made their marriage be such a success. It is so obvious they are still so much in love. My uncle said, they always put God first, each other second, then their children. He said she is and was the love of my life. Many times during our visit, he would touch her face and tell her she is the most beautiful woman in the world. They never went to bed angry, and kissed passionately everyday, actually they still do. She also reminded me that it is easy to have a successful marriage if you follow the commandments of the Lord. Of course they had struggles, all marriages do. It is how you handle those struggles is what makes the difference. We talked about the things that drive a wedge in marriages today, and she said finances. God provided shelter, clothes, and food for them, and what more could she need. My uncle said a man with a wandering eye can also cause a wedge in a marriage. He said there were two things he felt strongly about, one, God was the center of their marriage, and two, never allow yourself to be tempted my another person of the opposite sex. If you are strong in your marriage and so in love even after 75 years you can not keep your hands off each other, then you will have no need for a wandering eye. They both knew their roles within the family unit. My uncle worked and provided financially for the family and led the home spiritually and my aunt took care of her husband, her kids and her home. Never once in 75 years did she ask nor expect him to cook, clean, or help out inside the home. She says that is her job, he worked hard and when he got home things were always taken care of. She did admit she spoiled him, but in the same breath said he spoiled her as well. That is what it is about she would say, give and take. I always made sure dinner was on the table when he arrived home, the kids were settled, and I had "my face on" as she put it. She respected and honored him and how hard he worked and he did the same for her. Never once did she feel taken for granted. She said the reason the world and relationships are so messed up today is because everyone has their priorities out of whack. Most families don't live by the commandments of the Bible. If everyone would go back and live like the Bible says, then the man would be the head of the home in all areas, he would take care of providing for his family, while the woman stayed home and tended to the kids, her husband, and the home. Aunt Juanima is delivering meals on wheels for people younger than she is, and my uncle Aubrey is starting to become forgetful, but she is always by his side rubbing his hand and agreeing with whatever his version of reality is at that moment. She said there is no need in upsetting him. When she left the room for a moment, he said exactly the same thing about her. It amazed me how much they looked out for each other. He would say over and over, I knew since elementary school when I saw her on the playground the first time, I was going to marry her. She is my sweetheart!
Spending time with them made me really stop and think about my own marriage and marriages of friends and family and the legacy we are setting up for generations to come. It seems that in today's society it is almost written in the vows, I promise to love, when I feel like it, respect you, when I feel you deserve it, until one of us decides we want a divorce. The word submission is left out completely most of the time.
They are right, if we lived like God commands then we wouldn't have divorce. It is so simple, yet we make it so hard.
So all that to say, for those of you who have to work, don't feel guilty, you can still apply most of these principals to your own life. And for those of you who don't work, remember this, it is your job to care for your husband and your family, it is his job to provide, and both jobs are equally hard. Respect each other and everyday kiss passionately, don't go to bed mad, and keep God as your center.
I want someday to say I made it to my 75th wedding anniversary. Don't you?