Fifty years from now, what will you remember?
Fifty years from now, what will you have to treasure?
“Fifty Years From Now” is actually the title of a song by Andy Denton. Whenever I hear of young couples choosing to walk away from their marriage commitment, these words haunt me.
The Real Deal of Marriage Commitment
Chris Brickler has been so inspired by the long-term marriage commitment of his grandparents , Arthur and Eva Brickler, he filmed a documentary entitled How Will We Love.
This is such a compelling and touching quest to explain love and commitment with the hope of obtaining a long-term marriage, we ask every couple we counsel to view it.
In the documentary, Grandma Brickler describes the stages in her 68-year marriage. Reflecting on the current stage, she says
Even though we aren’t healthy physically, it is the most wonderful of all.
Because we can look back on it and see accomplishments. We can remember the stages and know we’ve grown from them. But most of all, it’s just been a wonderful life.
In a very touching scene, she tells grandson Chris:
I can’t imagine having loved anyone else, other than my Lord, more than I’ve loved your grandpa. He’s been my life and because of him, we’ve acquired a lot of other loves –
–our kids, our grandkids and great grandkids. That’s love that can’t be explained.
She reaches over and squeezes Chris’s knee. With emotion, she says
And I love you. Wow! How I love you!
She pauses and continues.
It almost makes your heart burst with love. And that’s why I wish everybody in the world could have that same kind of love.
That’s our passion, as well!
What does marriage commitment look like?
It takes commitment to truck on through the difficult days.
It’s getting past the idea that it is just not possible for two imperfect people to live out a perfect existence.
The happily ever after you envisioned as you exchanged your wedding vows to one another allowed no room for imperfection!
Stay when it’s the worst
Harville Hendrix, co-author of Making Marriage Simple, counsels couples to stay when it’s the worst.
When you maintain and reinforce your commitment to stay in the marriage no matter how bad it is, understand that’s when it is about to change.
And sadly, most people leave when it’s really bad. So they never get to the change.
Married now over 40 years, Dennis and I are so thankful to have stayed in this marriage all the times it was really, really bad.
Career stress, military re locations, parenting, financial pressures, caring for a terminally ill child, the tumultuous years of living with a rebellious teen.
Because we were committed to our marriage vows made to each other and to God, we chose to stay.
Like Grandma Brickler, realizing the love we have now makes our hearts almost burst.
Making memories with our five grandchildren. Watching our adult children handle life. Knowing we are modeling and leaving not just a family legacy, but a spiritual one, too.
What would we have missed?
Rabbi Steven Leder, after observing a 92-year-old parishioner’s final goodbyes to his beloved wife of so many years, said
To have someone to hang in there with you for 50-60-70 years—that’s a pretty rare treasure. That’s worth it! That’s worth it!
No matter how bad life or your marriage may seem right now, resolve to recommit yourself to your vows. Fifty years from now…
Fifty years from now
What will we remember
Fifty years from now
What will we have to treasure
If we walk away from this
What will we have missed
Fifty years, fifty years from now