At church today we celebrated the sixty-first wedding anniversary of two of our oldest and most-beloved members (and the only black couple in our disproportionately white suburban congregation). Five of their six children came from several states with their families to join us, and it was encouraging and inspiring to hear of God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout their lives, to hear of the kindness and love that they have shown to everyone, and to see the love of God pouring out of their very large family. One of the grandsons – now married with his own son – shared how much it meant that his grandfather had spent so much time with his children and grandchildren, even while building a successful business out of almost nothing, and how he was inspired to show the same love and devotion to his wife and son.
I was reminded of how I felt after seeing Up – that I want to get to the end of my life and look back and remember (most of) that opening sequence. But this was even better, because it’s a real-life example of a man of God who not only has loved his wife for sixty-one years of his long life, but has raised a family with the same devotion, spreading the inspiration to be like that into the third generation and beyond.
With lots of broken families and marriages falling apart, it can be a little frightening to think about growing up and taking a whack at all of that stuff. But it is so encouraging to see a husband and wife, full of love after sixty-one years, beaming with the joy of the Lord and surrounded by a strong and godly family, and it gives me confidence that, with the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, maybe I can get there someday, too.