My husband and I are approaching nearly 50 years of marriage, and, we continue to be a work in progress!
If you knew the mess and brokenness we both brought into our marriage, you would have never given us a chance, but with God all things are possible!
There is nothing like marriage to show you your own sinfulness, or the depth of God’s love, or any number of other lessons. That there is nothing like marriage to sanctify you and make you more Christ-like. I’ve learned it isn’t about me pointing my finger at my husband and saying, “Look how you need to change” in XYZ area of your life. Instead, marriage is about me addressing indwelling sin in my own life.
A Work in Progress
As I look back I am shocked at how much I needed to be humbled in areas of pride and selfishness, but looking ahead, I confess I see so much more hard work of weeding and pruning. There is an acute awareness that I need a deeper ‘fear of the Lord’ in my marriage – for in it there is the wisdom and understanding needed to finish well.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” ~Matthew 7: 3
I found one of J.R. Miller’s delightful and extremely helpful thoughts on what can make a marriage better from a wife’s perspective:
“So it all comes back to a question of character. She can be a good wife only by being a good woman. And she can be a good woman in the true sense only by being a Christian woman. Nowhere but in Christ can she find the wisdom and strength she needs to meet the solemn responsibilities of wifehood. Only in Christ can she find that rich beauty of soul which shall make her lovely in her husband’s sight when the bloom of youth is gone, when the brilliance has faded out of her eyes and the roses have fled from her cheeks. Only Christ can teach her how to live so as to be blessed and a blessing in her married life…
The young maiden goes smiling and singing to the marriage altar. Does she know that if she has not Christ with her she is as a lamb going to the sacrifice? Let her tarry at the gateway until she has linked her life to Him, who is the first and the last. Human love is very precious, but it is not enough to satisfy a heart. There will be trials, there will be perplexities, there will be crosses and disappointments, there will be solicitudes and sorrows. Then none but Christ will be sufficient. Without Him the way will be dreary. But with His benediction and presence the flowers that droop today will bloom fresh again to-morrow, and the dreams of early love will build themselves up into a palace of peace and joy for the solace, the comfort and shelter of old age.“
I had to be willing to lay down my feminist, independent ways learned and refined in nursing school and the medical community.
Most important for me, I pray daily for my husband, and asking our faithful Savior to do a work in each of us.
“Don’t bother to give God instructions; just report for duty.” ~
The Lord teaches us so much through our marriages. We are so unfaithful to Him and yet when we own up to our own sin, He gives us more grace!
That He does this work in us is a beautiful mystery!
Thank you, Father, for giving us husbands who are not perfect but who are growing (most days) to desire to honor You. May we work to be the wives you desire!
Some of my Favorite verses for power when in need:
“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”~1 Corinthians 10:13
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”~Ephesians 6:12
“Whoever would love life
and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
and their lips from deceitful speech.
They must turn from evil and do good;
they must seek peace and pursue it.
For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” ~1 Peter 3: 10-12
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11: 28-30
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” ~Philippians 2:3-7
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9
“Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” ~Philippians 1: 6
Musings of A Minister's Wife
What a beautiful bride you were and STILL ARE!
If we will just persevere and see it through, God will bless that obedience!
Hi Jackie – you are a beautiful couple and have many more years to have the most fun of your lives! Our 39th is coming up and we have never been happier! WE are very blessed. Thanks for the always uplifting awareness of life’s happenings!
Congratulations! We are not too far behind you, we celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary this year;) 31 years, 6 children, 5 grandchildren, we are blessed! Yes, the Lord had done much pruning in our lives as well, and I’m sure much is to come. Thankful that His mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness.
You made a beautiful bride, but that isn’t what struck me. It is the sweetness and love in those smiles. Marriage is a gift. And one worth fighting for. Thank you so much for sharing from your heart.
Congratulations to you both on your 38th Wedding Anniversary.
We just celebrated our 50th in Sept.
May God bless you with many more years.
What a beautiful testimony–thanks for sharing and Happy Anniversary!
A very good message Jackie! The Lord teaches us so much through our marriages. We are so unfaithful to Him and yet when we repent, He gives us more grace! It is so amazing! Thank you Father for giving us husbands who are not perfect but who desire to honor You. May we be the wives you desire!
Congratulations! What lovely wedding photos and a beautiful couple! Thank you for sharing such an encouraging post. Blessings to you and your family!
Oh a Beautiful Photo 🙂
I just found your page from Mrs Lewis’s Blog 🙂
Very Beautifully written Jacqueline! And you are indeed a Beautiful Bride! What a gift your Husband has in you!!! I am so thankful that you can share your teachings with us “younger” women 😉 I love to glean all that you have to share!!! love and hugs, and prayers for you to be blessed
Oh my goodness, Jacqueline! Thank you for sharing your photos and beautiful heart! I just LOVE you!! You blessed my heart with a peek into your past! You are radiant!
My husband and I will celebrate 24 years on Monday!
I can say Amen, to your post!
I love the pictures and the sweet words of wisdom! Congratulations on 38 years.
Lovely and true! I think this is why we try so hard to give our children a better understanding about God’s expectations in marriage… It’s because it took some work in the beginning years of ours to figure it all out!!!
And, thank you for sharing and encouraging me as a wife through your story 🙂
Just have to add my congratulations to you and your DH! Such a beautiful couple, then and now, inside and out; beautiful words of wisdom from a beautiful heart. It blesses my heart to visit your beautiful blog and right now am enjoying the accompanying beautiful choice of music — and always delight in the choice quotations and scripture. I’m sure it blesses the heart of our beautiful Lord! Thanks again, Jacqueline, for your ministry of encouragement to young (and old) homemakers.
Congratulations to you and your husband! How beautiful you were and still are!
Oh, that the world may know we are Christians by the love we have for one another and may that first be demonstrated in our marriages! Thank you for living out that love in your perseverance, committment, dependance on His grace and joy of one another during your marriage journey. May you continue to be blessed with fruitfulness during this new season of your lives together!
Faythe @ GrammyMouseTails
What a beautiful couple you were & still are. sounds like you had a lovely date to celebrate. My hubby & I celebrated 38 earlier this year, in July ! Wishing you a Happy New Year and many more anniversaries too!
Just BEAUTIFUL!!! Thank you so much for the marriage encouragement Jacqueline! The Lord has been so gracious in our marriage too, but yes , I’m continually seeing and finding more about my wicked heart 🙁
Funny, I too am a registered nurse until the Lord brought me home.
Jill's Home Remedies
We are nearly to our 25th anniversary! I am so thankful!
Sarah @ A Quiet Home
Oh Jacqueline, this is so beautiful. Sincere congratulations and thank you too, for being honest about your beginnings in married life because it helps us see the fruit of the Spirit in your life now, as you fill such an important Titus 2 role for online younger women. I have been married almost five years…We have been through things that would bring most marriages to divorce, but though Satan meant them for evil, God meant them for our good…Especially to get a full and proper grasp (as we can at the time) of the Gospel, and what it means to have a Gospel-centred marriage. We have our whole life time ahead, but I am so excited and thrilled, and love learning from other people and their marriages too. Blessings to you, lovely lady.