Barlows In Birmingham

marriage-2Just a few days ago, MaryAnn and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Beyond the routine expressions of amazement (Wow, that's great!), wonder (How did you do it?), congratulations (Way to go, guys!), and a few other typical phrases we heard from friends and loved ones, we feel very fortunate to have made it to this benchmark. Especially since so many things have changed in the past three decades - not least of which are the very notions of family, marriage, whether it is right to stick it out, etc.

This became all the more clear as we recently attended Sam and Rachel's wedding. What a day - filled with joy, anticipation, a bit of nervousness, loads of friends and family, and many emotions. They are just beginning, having made a strong commitment to one another and to their family.

Still, there are no guarantees. One of my good friends - who was married the same year as we were - posted some wedding photos just yesterday. It was great to see the photos, even if a bit embarassing at how we looked back then. But knowing that their couple was no longer together was a sober reminder that some marriages don't last. We reflect on that as we are at the stage of seeing our own children date and get married.

What is the key? There probably isn't just one thing - and as already said, nothing is guaranteed. But we know we would never have made it to this point without a few things: God's help, a strong commitment at the beginning, a decision to never talk about divorce, and an effort to never go to bed angry. That's what has helped us . . .

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