“Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it”.
I Thessalonians 5: 24
How many years have you been married?
This past week was our wedding anniversary. My 100-year-old mother was married 72 years and my husband’s parents were married 47 years, so 54 years does not seem inordinately long to either of us…but, on the other hand, it has certainly been the proving ground for our developing our loyalty to God!
I met my Prince at the University and if you were to ask our college friends, they would be astounded that we are celebrating 54 years together. Most did not give us two years! Ralph and I are polar opposites in almost every way. However, we had the one element in marriage that will guarantee longevity…we were both individually committed to “burn out” serving God wherever He led us. My husband’s godly zeal and spiritual leadership in our home has been preeminent and a constant for the past 54 years!
I have been blessed with a man who has loved me unconditionally and when he said “for better or worse” he meant it. We have weathered the storms of life with near death experiences, more than once, and his loyalty to God and me is noteworthy. Ralph and I continue to learn and grow together. Choosing to live in deference is a necessary key to our taking our two strong wills and finding harmony in God’s will.
Ralph’s name means “bold counselor” and that he is! He is, also, a man of motion and direction. He was once told he is an” afflicter of the comfortable and a comfort to the afflicted!” I could write a book with all his wise one-liners, biblical formulas and scriptural definitions. His capacity to see things in Scripture and interpret them from the inside out to give a total new look to a familiar verse is uncanny!
We were told in our early married life regarding missions that “Christian missionaries are people whose passion is to make the Lord Jesus known to the whole world. They are completely under the command of King Jesus (Ralph often rolls out of bed, stands at attention and salutes heavenward, committing his day!), and they will go anywhere, under any circumstances, for no pay, with poor living conditions and food, even though no one ever notices. They know their Sovereign God is watching every minute, and that is the only reward and joy they seek…a true missionary is someone who will risk everything for the sake of the lost of this world…this is my husband!
We have a precious heritage that is a loving reminder of our loyalty to God and our responsibility into the third and fourth generations.
Our lives are based on Proverbs 3: 5,6. Trusting the Lord with all our hearts and allowing Him to direct our paths and Matt. 6:33: “Seeking first the King of heaven” and allowing Him to supply everything we need for life and godliness.
We are convinced that He takes the weak and confounds the mighty. We are proof of this truth and His faithfulness…I Corinthians 2: 1-2 speaks my heart, like Paul’s, when he says, “…I did not come to you with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. My message was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom but God’s power”.
If we had these 54 years to do over again, we would like to serve more… and better, as we were bought with the price of His blood. Romans 6: 16-18 says, “We were slaves of sin and now are slaves of righteousness”. We work daily on being better slaves!
Have you found your marriage to be a proving ground
for your faithfulness to God?
~Jackie Johnson - I am a former tribal missionary to the Kuna Indians on the Colombian border in Central America. Fluent in several languages, my husband and I currently pastor a Spanish-speaking church in Southern California. My passion is discipling and equipping dedicated young women for life, marriage, motherhood, and beyond. I am the mother of two daughters and the grandmother of three Princesses and four young Knights.