Imagine a love story that’s lasted over fifty years and is still thriving. The couples still loves each other deeply. They still want and desire to be married. They still love holding hands and kissing each other. They consider themselves to be best friends and lovers.
Imagine the faithfulness.
Imagine the self-sacrifice.
Imagine what a beautiful picture of true love a marriage like this would represent.
This is what many of us long for. A love that truly lasts. A love that can stand the test of time and the rocky waters of adversity and come out stronger on the other side!
A love that defies that odds of hollywood and lasts past the three year mark.
Sadly, many of us have experienced the opposite of lasting love. Our lives are all too famililar with the heartache and pain that comes from a broken marriage. Either our parents, our own relationship, or someone that we know and love has ended a marriage and it hurts. We see the brokenness, we feel the pain, and we wonder if true and lasting love is still attainable.
Thankfully, God isn’t done writing beautiful love stories.
He is still in the business of building beautiful marriages and Christ-centered families. He is still raising up godly men and self-sacrificing leaders. Despite the crumbling marriages we see around us, there is hope because we serve the Creator of marriage. He continues to work in amazing ways. He isn’t done yet.
In my book, Love Defined, my co-auther/sister Kristen and I interviewed four godly women who have been married for over thirty, forty, and fifty-plus years. That’s a lot of years of marriage! These women are so godly and have graciously shared some of their best marriage advice with us. My hope is that these decades long marriages will inspire you to beleive that God’s biblical version of love and marriage is still possible.
Here’s what they had to say.
Yvonne Welch (married since 1966)
Q: How can I, as a single woman, best prepare to be a helper to my future husband?
A: When you, as a single woman, learn to take all your cares, fears, and concerns to the Lord Jesus Christ on a daily basis, your heart will be strengthened. You will be preparing yourself to be a godly helpmate to your future husband.
Kimberly Wagner (married since 1981)
Q: What is one character quality you would encourage me, as a single woman, to start developing now in preparation for my future marriage?
A: Demonstrating appreciation (appropriately) to the men in your life now, as a single woman, will develop a heart that serves to help others be all God created them to be. We are designed as an essential strengthening counterpart (see Genesis 2:18). Whether you’re single or married, you’re designed to come alongside others and strengthen their efforts by being a type of “life-giver.” Appreciation does that; it breathes life into those we serve.
Heidi Baird (married since 1982)
Q: What are some practical ways I can build a strong relationship with God now, as a single woman?
A: I encourage you to do what a wise mentor and Titus 2 woman encouraged me to do many years ago. Grab your Bible, a notebook, and a pen, and settle into a quiet spot (closets are my go-to choice) to begin writing out as many character qualities of God that come to your mind. Then meditate on one of those a day. Look up verses that teach you more. Spend time thanking God for who He is. I encourage you to do this for the next few weeks each morning. Like I did, I bet you’ll see a transformation in your quiet time and love for the Lord.
Barbara Rainey (married since 1972)
Q: What practical homemaking skills would be helpful for me, as a single woman, to develop?
A: Most importantly, may I encourage you to learn the number one homemaking skill? That skill is surrendering your heart to Jesus every single day. My friend, Miss Kitty, lived a life surrendered to Jesus. It was His presence in her that greeted us every time we went to her house. Cooking and decorating classes abound. You can take one or more anytime, anywhere. But creating a warm home that even little children recognize is possible only when your heart is completely His.
Grab a copy of Love Defined to catch the full dose of their wisdom. We asked each one of these women, “What caught you by surprise during your first year of marriage?” You definitely do not want to miss their answers!
I hope these women have inspired you with their wisdom and their lives.
True and lasting marriages still exist. These women are proof.
Let’s choose to raise the bar and ask for the Lord’s help to build future marriages like these amazing ladies. Let’s choose to trust in the Lord now (whether single, dating, engaged, or married) so that we will know how to trust the Lord in the future.
To help you continue learning and growing in your understanding of love and romance, I hope you’ll grab a copy of Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationships.
Let’s keep talking.
Who is the godliest woman that you know? What do you most admire about her? Tell me about it in a comment below!