Yesterday, May 24, was the 64th anniversary of the day my mum and dad were married at the Baptist Church in Rayleigh, in the county of Essex, a short train ride to the East of London.
That’s “Rayleigh,” North Carolina peeps, not the “Raleigh” where they live today. My mum and dad went away on their honeymoon and then took the train directly to their new home in Folkestone, on the south coast of Kent, where they built a business, raised a family, and lived for the next 28 years before ending up in Florida of all places.
Someone asked me if they have a secret to share. You know, a “how to be married 64 years and be happy” secret. Other than “stay alive” they’d say it’s not all that complicated. You make the choice, you make the commitment, you remain faithful, you love one-another actively, and you hold on for the ride.
It’s this love one-another actively element that makes all the difference; that and choosing to make it work. There are two passages of scripture that tell this story as well as any, and they both hinge around kindness.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. – Galatians 5:22-23
Lather; rinse; repeat.
So we all went out to Longhorn for steak, we gave mum and dad a nice card, and we got them to share stories.
I’m sharing the card with you all today because what I wrote on it is so true; it’s exactly the answer to the “what’s their secret” question.
“64 years of love, faithfulness, commitment, hope, and promise. Your witness to life remains an inspiration, not only for us but for so many people in Wake Forest and around the world. Rebekah and I pray that this will be a year filled with peace and joy, and all the love you can handle. With love and gratitude – Derek and Rebekah.”
And that’s all I’ve got to say about that!
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.