By Billy Graham
8:21 PM PST, January 18, 2013
Q: My husband and I just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary, and we've been amazed at how many people have asked us how we did it. They say they can't imagine being married to the same person for that long. Is marriage on the way out? — Mrs. L.N.
A: Congratulations! God has blessed you by giving you to each other for so many years, and I pray the years ahead will be even happier than the ones you've already experienced. My wife, Ruth, and I were married for almost 64 years — and we grew even more in love as the years went by.
I certainly hope marriage isn't on the way out in our society (although sometimes I wonder), because God gave marriage to us, and he meant for it to be a source of joy and stability and strength. And it will be, when a husband and wife put God first in their lives and make him the foundation of their marriage. God has given us his pattern for marriage in his word: "A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife. ... So they are no longer two, but one" (Mark 10:7-8).
A good marriage isn't a question of physical attraction or compatible personalities. These have their place, but most of all a good marriage is based on commitment — commitment to each other, and commitment to God. Emotions come and go; physical attraction fades; differences can flare into anger and conflict.
But when we know Christ, we know that true love involves a commitment to do what is best for the other person. It's an act of the will — and a gift from God. Thank God every day for his grace in your lives — and for hope that extends beyond the grave.
Send your queries to "My Answer," c/o Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; call 1-(877) 2-GRAHAM, or visit the Web site for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association: http://www.billygraham.org.