By Peggy Park
It was a golden day in Lexington, Ky., on June 10, as Tates Creek Christian Church celebrated its annual Wedding Bells Sunday with 83 couples who have been married 50 years or longer. One couple, in fact, has been married 75 years.
Ladies received white corsages while the men received boutonnieres, and all of the couples had their pictures taken. The couples were also recognized as a group during the worship service. Additionally, senior minister Tommy Simpson recognized the widows and widowers who would have been married 50 years or more.
The church administrator and some members put together a booklet that sought to capture some of the wisdom from these couples that was shared with younger folks at the church. Advice about what has sustained these couples through the years was organized into four categories: (1) surprises; (2) conflict resolution—the common areas of conflict and tips on resolution; (3) the impact of their spiritual lives and church; and (4) advice and wisdom.
Also, a quote in the booklet offered a dose of reality with which most long-married couples will identify (this quote is sometimes credited to Gibson Winter, a priest and professor, now deceased):
Acceptance in marriage is the power to love someone and receive him in the very moment that we realize how far he falls short of our hopes. It is love between two people who see clearly that they do not measure up to one another’s dreams. Acceptance is loving the real person to whom one is married. Acceptance is giving up dreams for reality.
Peggy Park is a retired registered nurse.
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