We concluded our series looking at the seasons of a marriage with the topic: “Love is Enduring.” Bruce Gilson, the South Campus pastor, interviewed a panel of couples. Here are some of their thoughts:
“Lasting love requires restarting and rejuvenating.
In the early years, it is important to have critical conversations to be on the same page. In the exhausting years, it is important to continue having intentional time with your spouse rather than becoming child-centered.
The keys to a successful endurance race in NASCAR includes the following:
- Master the details in pit row. Make sure you have regular times to check-in on the health of your marriage. Weekly dates, quarterly retreats, and annual vacations can be a positive rhythm.
- Pay attention to fuel consumption. Prov. 21:5 “Steady plodding is the key to prosperity.”
- Get to the checkered flag. What is your checkered flag? What is the goal of your marriage? For Bruce and Amy, they measure success by their level of oneness. How unified is your relationship?
Jeff and Laura – Their toughest times all seemed to converge at the same time. While their two daughters were in middle school Jeff lost his father and both Jeff and Laura faced medical issues which required stays in the hospital. In spite of this, it was in this toughest season that they grew closer together rather than further apart. Mission trips and similar adventures helped create experiences which built character.
‘Kids come and go, but as a couple we are in this together for the long haul. Kids are a gift to you and if you raise them right, they can be a gift to the world.’
When you create an environment of unconditional love, there is real security in that.
Ralph and Billie Korstad – Approaching 45 years of marriage, they had some really wonderful moments and some really terrifying times. Their early years of marriage included the loss of 3 of their parents and close calls with all 3 of their children.
Once the kids moved out of the house, they saw this as the chance to start afresh. When the kids move out of the house, you still have more than half of your life left together as a couple. Take advantage of this season of freedom.
Throughout the exhausting years, they really relied on community and their faith. The Scriptures helped them persevere as well. For Billie – ‘Many waters cannot quench love and neither can they drown it.’ – Song of Solomon 8:7 For Ralph – ‘God is a doing a new thing and bringing life out of the desert….’ – Isaiah 43:19
Hope, strength, and endurance are what we need and long for deep within. With God’s help, our future can look better than our past.”
To watch or listen to the message with Rick Shurtz from the McNeil campus, go to www.gatewaychurch.com/podcast or watch here: