And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate." --- Jesus speaking in Matthew 19:4-6
Today is Jean's and my 56th wedding anniversary. It was 56 years ago today at about 8:30 PM in evening at a little country Methodist Church 6 miles south of Clarion PA that God joined us together to be husband and wife. The wedding had been set for 8:00 PM, but the pastor, Paul B. Dunlap, was over 20 minutes late due to driving from the Erie Annual Conference session which was being held at Allegheny College in Meadville PA.
We still regard this as being in honeymoon mode in spite of the years involved -- more in love with each other than ever, if that is possible! We dated for two years before taking the big step into marriage and even then people thought we were too young for such responsibility. The summer we started dating Nat King Cole's song, "Too Young," hit the top in the charts. It's always been one of our favorite secular selections of music.
We did get a bit of a running start in the world since both of us graduated from high school when we were 16 years of age. So here we were standing before the altar in the church at ages 19 and 17 and taking vows of love and loyalty to each other as long as we would live.
God did not become real and personal to us until a few years later when each of us accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and He did a miracle of change in our lives. Shortly after becoming Christian the call to serve the Lord in preaching and teaching His Word came and within about 22 months after accepting Jesus as Savior and Lord, we were appointed to serve two Methodist Churches in New Castle PA.
As a wife and mother of young children, Jean never complained about our being in the ministry. She often sacrificed in ways I cannot describe in this space. Her love never wavered. No man could ask for a better wife than she. God has so wonderfully blessed us through these many years, undeserving as we are!
That is why we are still in honeymoon mode after all these years. Earlier today on Facebook I mentioned what I consider one of the greatest testimonies to the special nature of marriage and why it is so valued by a couple who are deeply in love with each other. A man was asked one time this question: "If there was really such a thing as reincarnation and you came back in a second life on earth, what would you want to be?" His answer was immediate as he said, "If there were really such a thing as reincarnation, I would want to come back as my wife's second husband!"
I rest my case!
He who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favor from the LORD. --- Proverbs 18:22