FIFTY YEARS OF MARRIAGE...NOT A 50/50 DEAL

Nancy and I are thankful for the 50 years of marriage He gave us in spite of ourselves. God brought us together and we were married June 29th 1969 in Moses Lake, WA. I was in the military and gone much but soon I was transferred to Point Robinson Lighthouse Station USCG (Vashon Island, WA). Here is were we began our family of eight kids. Life led us many places after that but this week we came back to Point Robinson again to celebrate God's goodness in giving us those 50 years.

Point Robinson Lighthouse where I was assigned during some of our first years of marriage. This picture was taken June 29th on the exact hour we were married fifty years before (1969). The lighthouse still functions as a beacon to ships that have to navigate one of the few 90 turns in shipping lanes in the US.

Point Robinson Lighthouse where I was assigned during some of our first years of marriage. This picture was taken June 29th on the exact hour we were married fifty years before (1969). The lighthouse still functions as a beacon to ships that have to navigate one of the few 90 turns in shipping lanes in the US.

You might ask how is it possible to get along that long? My answer is that marriage is not a 50/50 deal. Some say “if you do your part then I will do mine.” “But if you don’t keep your end then I’m done.” However, when God performed Adam and Eve’s garden wedding He made it clear they were to leave and also “cleave” to each other in Genesis 2:24.  The Hebrew word for “cleave” can also be translated “hold fast” or “be joined to.” It has the idea of clinging to or being committed to a person. This is the part of the vows that emphasizes the covenant of marriage which is to be “until death do us part.” For the believer this means self-sacrifice and putting the other person first and yourself last. Christ is clearly the greatest example of this because He willingly submitted to execution on a cruel cross so that He could redeem His bride the Church by His blood.

Scriptures says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”  Ephesians 5:25-26

We entered marriage with Christ first and ourselves last. Understanding and living His Word has made the difference for us.

Nancy and I in front of our Keepers Quarters when we lived here in the 70’s just before Josh came.

Nancy and I in front of our Keepers Quarters when we lived here in the 70’s just before Josh came.

A picture 50 years later (this week) in front of the same quarters with some of our local family. On the left is Hannah’s family. On the right is some of our son Josh’s family. He was working that day. Josh was our first son and was born while we lived here. He is what is called a  Child of the Light .

A picture 50 years later (this week) in front of the same quarters with some of our local family. On the left is Hannah’s family. On the right is some of our son Josh’s family. He was working that day. Josh was our first son and was born while we lived here. He is what is called a Child of the Light.

Lighthouse duty may seem romantic. It was for us. But some Coast Guard men couldn’t handle it because of being with their wives 24 hours a day. One I knew quickly and sadly put in for a transfer to a polar icebreaker so he could be at sea for a major part of the year…and away from his wife. Another young keeper had problems with his spouse so he set up his bed in the small attic storage room of the lighthouse. It was not a hospitable place being next to the fog horn which I assume he preferred listening to. However, regardless of your surroundings a life of following and living for Christ makes any relationship or situation better.

Night at the Keepers Quarters built in 1885 and the lighthouse down the long sidewalk.

Night at the Keepers Quarters built in 1885 and the lighthouse down the long sidewalk.

The light still functions although it is now automated. The sparkling 5th order prismatic lens is still there but the actual light is now a small resin lens on the catwalk outside the lantern room. It has a LED light that functions on solar energy. It still guides ship around one of the few 90 degree turns in the shipping lanes in the US (between Seattle and Tacoma). The fog horn still works too. Dozens of large commercial and small private vessels rely on it daily. This weekend an annual Low Tide Festival will draw nearly 800 people to the station. I’ll be helping with this event as former Keeper.

Sunday July 21 at 9:15 Nancy and I will be doing the main adult Sunday School class on “Biblical Insights from 50 Years of Marriage: No 50/50 Deal.” We don’t know all the answers but we know where they can be found. Join us then or on Livestream.

Pastor Mark