When people (particularly young people) are getting married, they post things on social media like…
- “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.”
- “You will always be my forever friend.”
- “I look forward to growing old with you.”
And I’ll admit that in weddings I officiate, I often challenge a couple to love each other in a way that will take them from their first home to the nursing home.
But, if growing old together is such a romantic idea, why do we work so hard against growing old. We move from one diet to another, one workout to another, and one fad to another. All in a desperate attempt to…flatten our stomach, whiten our teeth, darken our hair, increase our stamina, and reclaim our fading youth.
When you’re starting out in marriage, growing old together may seem romantic. But, if you talk to people who have been married fifty, sixty, and even seventy years, you don’t hear them talk that much about romance. What they talk about is the difficulties they had to face:
- Making ends meet.
- Dealing with each other’s quirks and habits.
- Making a home.
- Raising kids.
Oh, they will talk about the benefits of being married, but usually, it’s after they’ve talked about the difficulties of being married.
So let me inject a little realism into the romanticism of growing old together. Here are some things about growing old together you need to know…
- You will both lose your looks, but you’ll gain a deeper love.
- Life will gradually get more boring, but it will be more full.
- Some big dreams will fade, but they’ll be replaced with better ones.
- There will always be aggravation, but much of it will give way to appreciation.
- At times, you’ll envy what younger couples have, but you still wouldn’t trade what you have.
- You’ll be called to sacrifice much, but you’ll get more than you give.
- Some of the frustrating things about your spouse won’t go away, but by then they won’t have to.
- Your marriage will not be everything you hoped for, but it will be everything you need.
This may not be the romantic picture you would like, but it’s much more satisfying than resisting your old age and chasing after your fleeting youth.
I’m reminded of a poem by Robert Browning…
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life,
For which the first was made.
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, ‘A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half;
Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”
Listen to the theme here:
- The best is yet to come.
- The first was made for the last.
- Youth is but a half.
If we will embrace these truths, then growing old together will get sweeter and truly worth our spent youth.