And They Shall Become One Flesh…
Janet and I drove out to West Virginia today, to our favorite vacation spot, the Greenbrier, in order to celebrate our 42nd anniversary tomorrow in the mountains of West Virginia. It was 42 years ago this evening that we had our rehearsal dinner at one of our family’s favorite places, the Barn, a great steak and seafood place west of our home in Beverly Hills. Mom and Dad didn’t allow us there very often, except birthdays and very special occasions. Our rehearsal dinner qualified!
We had finished the rehearsal at Trinity Methodist Church at the corner of 99th and Winchester – the church where both of us had grown up and first met back in 1959 when our mothers where both pregnant with our youngest siblings. I was 6 years old back then – that’s how long Janet and I have shared backgrounds, school stories, even friends and family events. I can’t really ever remember a time when Janet and I didn’t have our lives intertwined in one way or another – either through our parents (they were best friends) or even when I used to cut the grass for Janet’s Dad when I was twelve or so.
On Christmas Eve back in 1972, Janet and I were formally engaged to be married the following August. I guess you could say that we made a decision to permanently and for all eternity intertwine our lives – and that’s the way it has been ever since. Three kids, four grandchildren, numerous ups and downs, health concerns for family members and the loss of all four of our parents have occurred in the last 42 years. We have been blessed with business successes when I started a company back in 1982 and through it all, we decided that I should take ten years off to attend seminary when I was 47 years old. Janet even went to work as a teacher’s aid for special needs children so I could finish my studies.
Being committed to live God centered lives, having a family and our choice for me to attend seminary were several of the biggest decisions of our married life together. However, as is usually the case with God, we were richly blessed throughout the years. All in all, I have officiated at more than 600 God centered wedding ceremonies. It is a richly rewarding experience and every time I conduct a ceremony I recall the very evening that Janet and I pledged our love to one another.
Each year we look back at the decisions we have made throughout the 56 years we have known each other. And you know what? Both of us would do it all again in an instant. I can’t imagine a better life than we have had together. And Janet feels the same way. If it’s possible, we love each other more today than we did back in 1973 when our married journey started at 7:00 pm on a Friday evening in late August.
The verse for this evening is a simple one from Genesis, highlighting the fact that God unites a man and a woman together to form a matrimonial bond that transcends human understanding. We are told, in Gen. 2:24, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” My encouragement tonight is that God is the architect of marriage and done according to his will, it can be a remarkable experience that God Himself blesses and protects. My prayer is that God has or will bless you with the kind of loving partner that Janet and I have experienced these many years. And one more thing – Happy Anniversary, Janet! I love you and wish for you every joyful and wonderful blessing that God, in His infinite love and grace, makes available to those who call Him Father. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…