Recently I’ve been thinking that anniversaries are a good thing to remember. Some hesitate to do this because of cost, busyness, or fear of conflict. But Nancy and I have come to the conclusion these milestones are worth celebrating. For example there were many feasts in the Old Testament that celebrated God’s blessings; they were a reminder to the next generation. In the New Testament we have both baptism and the Lord’s Table that cause the church to look back and remember what Christ did for us in redemption and look forward to His return.
2019 has been our 50th year of marriage. So Nancy and I decided to celebrate all year. We did a lot of little things along the way like going out for ice cream…”After all this is our 50th anniversary year,” I would say. We also took a major trip to Switzerland where we saw God’s wonders of creation and lots of Christian history too (See my earlier blogs). Then in June we spent a week in our old lighthouse keepers quarters where we lived shortly after getting married. It was a year of celebration that culminated when our kids threw a great 50th anniversary celebration for us. All of our global family came for the event. We were overwhelmed as you will see in the pics below.
With all that in mind here are some reasons why I think Christians should celebrate these kind of milestones in their lives.
First, celebrating is a good reminder to us of God’s providential workings in our lives. Looking back it seems obvious to us God’s unseen hand brought us together while we were seeking Him.
Nancy and I met in our junior year of high school around the time I had come to salvation and during my mother’s long illness which God also used. I do recall praying for a Christian girlfriend. Nancy also had prayed earlier about whom she might marry some day. Suddenly we met and it was obvious we were on the same page. Watch the video How It Began during our high school days. Our son Nehemiah put it together.
Second, celebrating 50 years together is a great opportunity to encourage others since only about 7% of all married people get that far. While our celebration was about us, we also wanted it to be instructional about marriage to others. We wanted to honor and give glory to Christ who changed our lives early on. We desired to encourage each to keep growing in Christ and allowing Him to bring growth and change in our lives. He alone can make what relationships we do have wonderful and more productive for Him than ever before. Seek Him.
Our big anniversary party was secretly planned by our children in advance; we were only to show up no questions asked. As the date approached I was struck with a painful pinched nerve condition making it very difficult to walk. Therefore the 1961 song Stand By Me in the video above became meaningful to us as Nancy stood by me for 50 years and literally in recent days when I was down. We rest in the fact the Lord planned it all and was standing with us.
The good news today is that I am improving slowly. Doctors are in hopes things will likely resolve in September. I am now able to walk better and don’t need a wheel chair. But we still need your prayers. Thanks :-)
Last, celebrating was a good opportunity to have our immediate family all together and for them to realize in a deeper way what God had done. Having our eight kids with their spouses and all of our 29 grand and great grand kids in one place is no easy task. But, they will remember this long after we are gone. We also pray they will continue to spread the good news of Christ as Lord and Savior in their lives as well.
Marriage is not easy but we are responsible to do our best. We have vows to remind us of the covenant between us and God and each other. Unfortunately that covenant is largely discarded in our secular millennial culture. It may seem outdated but is intensely practical and necessary.
In Genesis 2:24,25 God seems to be officiating at Adam and Eve’s garden wedding as He speaks about leaving parents, cleaving or committing to each other and lastly of become one flesh physically. Unfortunately the order is often jumbled today or there is no commitment at all. However, seeking the Lord to make changes, repent, and start over right is possible. May we all seek to have a godly home that is worth celebrating about down through the years.
Thanks again to all who came and all who were there or had a part in the event. Special thanks to our own kids for their part in the celebration and their words of appreciation.
NOTE; Join us Sunday for worship. We’ll also meet a new young missionary couple, the Coopers, who will take time to tell us of their future work in Peru.