The Secret to Finishing Your Marriage Well

"How would you like to spend the rest of your life eating breakfast across the table from me?" the man asked boldly. The petite, dark-haired woman his words were directed at giggled. Perhaps her cheeks even blushed at such forwardness. "Big flirt!" she thought, secretly reveling in his attention.

The year was 1952. The place, a Midwest college cafeteria. The man, Lysle Schmidt, was my maternal grandfather. Well, he would be one day. The woman was Esther Imler. You guessed it, my future grandmother.

Yep, it turns out that my husband Ted isn't the only guy I know who's unafraid to utter the "M" word on a kinda-first date. Grandpa was all over that fifty years earlier. In both cases, the direct approach paid off.

Grandpa and Grandma weren't dating prior to that breakfast line. Sure, they casually knew each other. They'd even chatted before. But that forwardness of his brought with it a new chapter to their relationship. And fortunately for Grandpa, Grandma had come to college with the intention of majoring in the pursuit of a husband.

Less than a year later, they were married.

The trip to the chapel wasn't without its speed bumps though. The Bible college my grandparents attended didn’t allow students to get married and remain in school unless they were seniors. Well, except when special permission was granted. Grandpa, the freshman, decided to ask for just that.

The dean denied his request. To which Grandpa replied, "Well, I figured that's what you'd say, but we're going to get married anyway." And they did.

They went on to be married fifty-two years; the bond severed only when my grandpa passed away in 2006.

I'd say such a legacy of relationship is worth celebrating, wouldn't you? After all, marriage isn't easy. I know it wasn't always for them. Their decades together weren't without struggles. They weren't sans fights and hard seasons and opportunities to call it quits. But my grandparents determined that finishing the race as a team, with stories of God’s faithfulness through the hard times, was well worth the blood, sweat, and tears.

[Read the rest of the article at The Time-Warp Wife.]