DISCLAIMER: I'm the first to admit this isn't a very good shot to stick on the site of a professional photographer. But, this wasn't taken by me or any of my friends, it's just a snapshot. What this photo represents is something pretty incredible in today's economy of disposable...almost everything!
This was taken at our 40th high school reunion. And by chance, most of us ended up at the same table, or very close. This group of classmates have all been married for a minimum of 35 years! Doesn't that seem incredible to you? We had about 275 or so in our graduating class in 1974. In Cambridge Ohio, there weren't many of us with dreams to change the world. Not to say that we haven't made a difference, because some of us have. The "small town mentality" that was taught to us by our teachers, and modeled to us by our parents, made a difference! I'm talking about the fact that you take your time and find a person you want to spend the rest of your life with. It was obvious that most of these couples were still good friends, that is a game changer.
I've said many times that marriage is so much easier if you marry your best friend. It's my opinion that you will put up with more "stuff" (read crap) from your BFF than almost anyone else. Sometimes that friendship may be all you have to carry you through the bad times. More important than that it helps if you both have a deep faith that you practice together. For Marlene and I, it is our bond with a Savior that demonstrated a selfless, loving example of how to love. A love that cost him his very life, but that he freely, lovingly, and gladly laid down so that we could live. That is the ultimate self sacrifice, the extreme picture of what real love looks like. Our spouse will probably never ask us to die for them, but sometimes it would be easier than "giving in" to what they want or need, wouldn't it?
So glad to see these friends again. To celebrate with them and catch up on their lives. If the Lord allows, we'll go back in another 5 years and do it all over.