“Till Death Do Us Part…”
by Erin Lichnovsky
“Sow with a view to righteousness” Hosea 10:12
The value of honoring the marriage covenant…
Last weekend we enjoyed a beautiful wedding. For this young couple, it was the beginning of the rest of their lives together. Beautiful words and music along with hundreds of supportive friends and family surrounded the couple who were just getting started in this journey called marriage.
It reminded me of our wedding 23 years ago. It also reminded me of all the amazing marriages I know of which have lasted decades and it inspired me to interview a few of those wives for some words of wisdom on the value of staying married. To find out what hidden blessing come later in life…
When you stay married and honor the covenant.
After asking a few of my friends their thoughts on marriage and words of wisdom, I was blessed immensely by their honest perspectives…
“I don’t believe that love is born during the dating years, which then grows into an engagement which leads to marriage, but rather, love is first conceived during those early years. After marriage, love grows in the fertile soil of life when two souls are knit together through storms that clear out selfishness while the two cling together. Love takes root while winds blow away immaturity and the same two hold on to each other so they don’t fall over. Love is born during the rain that waters the roots of the relationship. Then one day the sun peeps through brighter than expected and you realize that there could be no other. True love is worth the wait. But the wait is different than what most people think it is. Don’t give up. Weather the storms that give a relationship depth. It is truly worth the wait.” ~Terri Bonin (married 25 years)
‘Laugh a lot, dance together, stay in church & there is nothing wrong with occasional trips without each other!” ~Nancy Bowen (married 53 years)
“We have been married 37 years next year and if we had given up at 10 we would have six less children four less grandchildren and years and years of happy memories would never have occurred. The poet Robert Browning was not wrong when he said ‘Come grow old along with me- the best is yet to be… The second half for which the first was made.’ “ ~Dr. Johnnie K. Seago
“When I had breast cancer, and felt like a complete liability financially, emotionally, psychologically and physically, I was dreading taking off the bandages and seeing the first glimpse of my marred, disfigured, mutilating scars. The time came when we had to go through that step. I completely broke down, weeping uncontrollably, and he put his arms around me and held me up, and said, ‘Melana, I love you because that’s who I am.’ I saw in Steve what agape love looks like. That was 16 years ago. We have become intertwined in the other’s essence. He knows how I’ve thought for over 40 years; he sees me through the same eyes I’ve seen myself most of my life. Because he knows how I think and react, what will thrill me and what will discourage me, he knows how to head off conflict with our kids and others. Because his thoughts are usually my thoughts, I know what to say and how to say it, to encourage him in his moments of doubt, and what to say to make him smile on the inside.
We both know what pushes the other’s buttons, and have learned it’s not worth it to push them. That may be one of the biggest benefits to a long marriage: you know how to irritate and be irritating, and have decided it’s not worth it.
I value his peace too much to intentionally annoy him, and I gain too much pleasure from his smile to forfeit it for puny motives.
We have similar passions and hobbies, and treasure what the other brings to the table when we work together. I have no fear of hurt, and live on a bedrock of trust in him.
The value of honoring the covenant? You become one. You are one in passions, perspectives, values, delights, anguish, hurts, hopes. You are one in the joys of your children and grandchildren. You are one in imagination, in how to assist your kids, in how to serve the church, in how to minister to aging parents, in how to advise your sons and daughters, in creatively working as a team. You hurt over the same issues. You are one in prayer, knowing when the other needs or wants to pray together. Being one means absolute trust in the other – no fear, no doubt, no anxiety. That’s a great way to enter old age.
God knew we’d treasure this unity when we reach our silver years, and He knew it would take a lifetime of tiny events and increments to produce, so He created a covenant for young people to take, in order to procure an unimaginable depth of unity in old age. You create the same memories, loves, treasures, friends, family, home, investments, prayer life, books, pastors, values, church homes, passions. You have become inseparably intermingled.
Only death – which means Sovereign God – can separate this profound a unity. It strikes me that only Christ’s death could separate the unity of the Trinity, too. He said marriage would picture this type of humanly inseparable unity. At the beginning marriage is established by covenant and idyllic love. At the end, “unity” has become reality itself.” ~Melana Monroe (married 39 years)
Melana’s testimony above creates such a sense of excitement for the next 25 years. I know God is still unifying us with each tiny event. After I cried through the wedding last weekend, and thought about my life when Joey and I married 23 years ago. I recalled with thanksgiving the Lord’s goodness to us in seeing us through the difficult and often exhausting early years of marriage.
It didn’t take long when my husband and I first married for the adversity to hit us hard, like a ton of bricks. It seemed as if everywhere we turned, we were facing hardships and struggles and all we wanted to do was RUN.
Fortunately we did run, but not from each other.
We ran hard into the arms of the Lord.
We ran to His word, His council, His people, His promises. It was all we knew to do. We knew that marriage was forever (we didn’t have an exit strategy) and we needed to seek the Lord to deliver us though our trials.
We knew that more than anything…growing roots was essential to weather the storms of life, the attacks on marriage and family, and to raise children in the ever changing world.
We knew the promises in Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.In all that he does, he prospers.” ~Psalm 1:1-3
Eight children, one grandchild, and 23 years later, we are grateful for the deepening roots that have grown in our marriage and family and the fruit which is yielding in season.
Busy might be an understatement for Erin Lichnovsky, a mother of 8. Married for 20 years to her best friend and love of her life, Joey. Erin decided early that she felt God’s calling to home educate her children with her husband. Even with having graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in communications, she stays busy at home teaching, cooking and doing laundry. She also fills her time working as the Program Developer for Parent and Child Education Services (www.pceinfo.org), planning development staff training and major events which include festive family Sock Hops and formal Cotillion ballroom dances. Erin also co-writes for www.CallMOM.co and hosts women’s retreats called “23 Hours”.
Squeezing a nickel ‘til the buffalo growl, pinching pennies, and developing specific winning strategies has kept Erin at home with her six incredible daughters and two amazing sons. That passion for family and frugal living inspired her to write a book to help moms learn to hire themselves and save money on the largest part of their budget… the GROCERY bill! Her book, The Classic Couponer, What Hath Aristotle to do With the Kroger© Mega Sale? Is NOW available on Amazon or in “Our Favs” here @ TheLaundryMoms.com!