by Sheri L. VanDuyn
Colossians 2:7 "Let our roots grow deep into Christ Jesus and draw up all nourishment from Him; so that we go on growing in the Lord and become strong and vigorous in the truths we were taught. Let our lives overflow with joy and thanks-giving for all he has done."
Coming home for Sunday dinner from college for a home cooked meal was always a feast. I was starting my sophomore year at Calvin College and my older brother Gary was a junior. Gary brought home three "California" boys, his suite mates. My mother strategically placed me at the dinner table by "him".
"He" was Ralph, a junior who was starting out this semester at Calvin. He was dark, handsome, and his blue eyes twinkled. Ralph loved music, and had a terrific singing voice, and played the piano magnificently. After a scrumptious dinner, my parents encouraged us to take a drive 20 miles north to the families' cabin and their property on White River. We took 2 b-b guns and shot cans off the fence post and walked through the woods and the open fields.
Classes started the next day. I auditioned for the mass choir of Handel's Messiah after being coaxed by Ralph, who already had auditioned and made the men's choir. Practice was every Monday evening and I looked forward to walking to rehearsals and going for 10 cent coffee afterwards with as many singers who could fit in the cars. Soon we were inseparable walking together to classes, art studios, meals, chapel, and the library.
We were engaged on Valentine's Day and married August 22--only 11 months after our first meeting! Time has gone by so fast that I can't imagine life without him. Looking back and reflecting on our life, I have looked many times at our wedding album which has always been on display in the family room of our homes. We both looked so young! I have pulled out our wedding program. The verse above was selected by us and the following are words that Ralph and I wrote on our wedding program:
"We, the bride and groom, are honored to have you as our guests tonight. We
want you to share these happy and sacred moments with us. May the blessing of the Lord be
on all of us as we worship together.
It is our desire that Christ shall be honored, not only in this service, but also in the years to come. We want Him to be the head of our home and the Lord of our lives.
We are grateful to our parents for all they have done, and especially thankful for the love and guidance they have given us. As we enter this marriage relationship we seek this truth..."
"Live your lives in union with Christ. Be rooted in Him; be built in Him; be consolidated in the faith you were taught; let your hearts overflow with thankfulness." Philippians 2: 6,7
Thinking back our parents have been our strength and example for our strong marriage. This year my parents will celebrate 48 years of marriage and my in-laws have already celebrated 67 years! Both are great testimonies for marriage!
On August 22, 2000, Ralph and I celebrate our Silver Anniversary. Where does the time go? To have a successful marriage takes hard work and dedication and happiness in life with family and with friends.
Jesus Christ honored marriage when He attended the wedding at Cana. He confirmed it with a divine law when He said, "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." Marriage is intended by God to be a source of happiness and blessing for the couple. As Christians, we can look confidently to God for grace and help in our responsibilities and for guidance in difficulties and trials.
A home begun in prayer and lived in the conscious presence of God and by His grace will be blessed. May the Lord continue to bless our home and yours.
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