Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Will This Become Extincted?

Saturday, my daughter and I strolled down the card aisle looking for a lovely card for the monumental occasion we would be attending.  As I stood there with her I said, "you know it might not be long before they no longer need this card section."  Now I wasn't meaning there would be no more cards, I was referring to the change in our society. That was when it dawned on me how special this event would be.

Many marriages don't make it to this mark due to things beyond their control.  My grandmother became a widow in her 30's.  Some marriages end in divorce that was not desired by one or both parties.  Others don't marry until later in life.

However, the main reason many will not celebrate this milestone is because of changes in our society:

  • Delaying Marriage or choosing not to marry prevents many from this celebration
  • The Divorce Rate in our country is around 50%, making us #1 in Divorces
  • Only 59% of  our population is married
  • 3/4 of divorces are initiated by women; the Walkway Wife Syndrome happens later in marriage
  • 30% Rise in Silver Divorces 
These stats leave only 5% of marriages to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Upon arriving home, I pondered on the rich marriage heritage of my children:
  • Both sets of grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
  • One Aunt and Uncle have now celebrated 50 years of marriage 
  • Three sets of Great-Grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
  • Three Great Uncles and Aunts have celebrated 50 years....one couple has celebrated 60
My Husband's Sister and Husband - 50 years

 The church fellowship hall was filled with  50+ years of married couples  The widows attending were from  single marriages.  The next generation held the marriages that would not make it to 50 years, due to multiple marriages or the age in which they entered marriage.

I stood in awe at the marriage riches that surround me... the faithful widows that have poured out their lives to others after they continued their journeys alone... the married couples of 50-plus years now sharing other challenges that life has brought them, along with perseverance through past trials... the joy of each of their smiles as they walked through the room mingling with others.  I hope my children will one day understand that they saw something rare, that they may not see very often....but this time it was part of their heritage.

30 Joining in with more words:

Maryann said...

It is pretty amazing that you have that many examples in your family of couples married 50 years. It is pretty rare in our society for all the reasons you mentioned. We oftened get surpised reactions from people when we tell them how long we have been married. (one recent comment... you mean to the same man?) We hope our marriage will be an example to our children and grandchildren that your remain committed to each other during the good times and the bad and that the vow you take means something.

Debbie said...

You're right about the changing face of marriage resulting in fewer folks who will have this celebration.

I know that my mother would have loved to have it. Death took Dad before she had the chance, though.

I want to read more about this "Walkaway Wife" syndrome. Not that I'm at all tempted to walk away... I am just curious because I had never heard the term but think it might relate to someone I know.

Marla and Steve said...

Love the honor in this post and the legacy of holding on to marriage that you have in your family. Steve and I have been married for 25 years and I love saying that, living that. For those of us in long-term marriages we know how tough it can get but we also know that working out problems just makes the relationship stronger.

Sandy said...

Marriage is one of God's most wonderful gifts and I also am so saddened at what it has become in our society. I met my husband late in life so we have only been married 27 years. My dear parents were married nearly 70 years. They took their marriage vows literally and only death parted them.

Vee said...

Congratulations to this happy couple on their 50th wedding anniversary. It is very special. I will never see such a day so I can tell what you are saying, but I have seen many happy couples celebrating the event. I've even known a couple who were able to celebrate 80 years of marriage to each other, thought I should toss that in. They both lived to be over 100 and died within a year of the other. They were truly partners in life doing a lot of mission work and being good examples of love.

I was recently looking for a congratulations card on becoming a grandparent and I couldn't find that either. Card choices are getting mighty slim.

Debbie said...

Yes your children have quite a heritage to draw from, and it is rare indeed. I have only known a handful of couples who have it made it that far over the years. Hubby and I will be 37 years this Feb. A lifetime really. Nothing will bring me greater pleasure than being blessed with 50!!

Have a good day!

JillAileenJones said...

My mom and dad are coming up on 48-and I hold feel so blessed to be able to say that. It hasn't always been easy and there was a time period where mom in her mid-thirties struggled because she had dated my dad from the time she was 15 and got married at 20 and never lived on her own or experienced anything but going from being taken care of at home to being taken care of by my dad and she became afraid of the "what if's in life if my dad wasn't around" could she take care of us-herself -the house all those things. But they worked on it together and are still together. I think that is the issue really-people go into marriage thinking if this doesn't work out I will just get divorced and if that is the case it is doomed from the beginning.
It is hard work, nothing where you are bringing two totally different people, from different back rounds, different ways of being raised, different personalities, all those wonderful traits God has given us and putting them in one household together are always going to see eye to eye on everything-especailly if God is not the center which I think is the next problem. So many marriages are not built on God being the head of the marriage.
I think it is so sad that the marriage vows are just something to be said at the marriage ceremony but not excepted to really be lived out.
I am thankful for my parents and their commitment to each other and their marriage and most of all to God and his plan for their lives together. I am proud of them. I pray that Mike and I (if we lived that long) can celebrate 50 and pass that on to our children as well.
Love you-hugs
Great post!!

Sonja said...

Isn't that amazing!! I have been blessed with a similar heritage, and you are right on... it's not the norm anymore. Thank God for what we have been given, Janette, not only to us, but to our kids and theirs.


no spring chicken said...

Such a sobering thought. I too belong to that rare but blessed family of faithfulness. What a gift. To know the security of strong marriages and commitment for a lifetime. It's become a rare treasure.

Thanks so much for your support and friendship Janette. I feel blessed in that department too!! It's good to be back!

Blessings, Debbie

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Janette - What an inspiring, and poignant, post. Thank you for your kindness in the way you mentioned those who will not be blessed to reach that "50 year mark." I am one of those,and it makes me sad sometimes.

God bless you for your faithfulness and for sharing with the rest of us. ...Marsha

Farm Girl said...

It is so true, I hope there are more of us out there than the statistics reveal. I have never heard of the Walkaway wife syndrome.

I think the only time I ever thought about it was when I got up one morning to 5 kids with chickenpox. I was pretty scared.
I think it would be crazy to walk away when you have so many of life experiences under your belt.
I really think for me my life just gets better and better the longer we are married.

Lemon Lane Cottage said...

What an amazing celebration. My children are blessed in the same way. I know my oldest daughter gets it because she has commented on it but I think your right, alot of kids and young adults don't have that legacy to claim or model. It is a shame, Patty

e-Mom said...

A poignant post, Janette! You're blessed to be surrounded by such a company of faithful witnesses to marriage as an enduring institution.

Fortunately, I don't think marriage will become extinct. As I travel around Pinterest, I see pinboard after pinboard of wedding wishlists among the younger women. Quite surprising!

Will longterm marriage become extinct? Now that's at whole different question. Our divorce culture is prevalent and "serial monogamy" is common.

The articles I'm reading say that among the poor and uneducated, marriage is not the norm. Apparently, the numbers of children born to cohabiting couples has dramatically increased in the middle class. The experts say that marriage is something that only the educated value (or think they can afford.)

Such a sorry state for society! Thanks for continuing to champion God's pre-eminent institution.

Hugs, e-Mom

Sharon said...

I've witnessed my parents reach #50, and Lord willing, next year they will celebrate #60. There have been other celebrations, too - with grandparents and great-grandparents, and great-aunts and uncles. It truly is a monumental achievement.

Celebrating with you this very joyous occasion.



Debbie Kay said...

Wow, that was a beautiful post. My folks made it to 50 years then God called my dad home. I know what you mean about the demise of marriage in society today. Forever means Forever.....not for-when-it-feels-right.......

Smiles & Sunshine,


DoleValleyGirl said...

What a thought provoking post. Sadly, divorce is the heritage of my family, and both my husband and I were divorced prior to our marriage to each other (both of us were abandoned by our prior spouses--such an ugly reality, yet there it is). We'll celebrate our 20th anniversary next year, Lord willing, and look forward to however many years the Lord sees fit to bless us with. By God's grace we will be the beginning of a new heritage for our children.

Soli Deo Gloria! ~Lisa

Mary said...

That is certainly a sobering thought. Very sobering. My husband and I have just celebrated 41 years of marriage.

Karen said...

It is wonderful that you have so many family members that have been married for so long--that is indeed a wonderful heritage. I, too, have been blessed with family who have been together for...forever! My husband and I will have been married for 23 years in a couple of months...and planning to be for the rest of our lives.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Your family holds up a fine legacy for your children, Janette. blessings ~ tanna

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

My Grandparents reached 50 years, my parents have reached 60. I envy them. When I married I thought I too would see those mile stones, but God had other plans, taking my husband's at an early age.

I remarried(for the last time), fully realizing because of our age, Bill and I will be lucky to see our 25th anniversary. However, we cherish each and every year.

Congratulations to your family for their devotion to each other, and to God's grace of long lives together.

faith hope love ღ said...

Nice post..thank you for sharing...i love it...God bless you

Sally said...

My folks celebrated 54 years this month. D. and I will celebrate 31 years before the end of the month. We've had some great models of long-lasting marriages.

Petra said...

Very true, my friend. The institution of marriage, so dear to God's heart and covenantal love, is changing. I pray that it is not heading for extinction, or should I say, the gallows.

Joluise said...

My parents were the first in their family (for a long time) to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary because my mothers parents, aunts, uncles and siblings had at least one partner die before they reached the 50th year.

Debbie said...

What a wonderful heritage of long marriages you have and ...how rare. My parents celebrated more than 50 years of marriage before my mom died. I hope that Greg and I get to celebrate 50 years one day too.

Love you,

PS. Love is a choice and marriage is a commitment.

Catherine said...

Dear Janette, Congratulations on the fine heritage in your family. My dad died when I was sixteen. My mom died 13 years later. She was heartbroken. They really were sweethearts. I now am going through a divorce after 30 years of marriage. My husband desire. I thought that marriage would be forever, but both people have to feel that way. I ask that you keep me and my kids in your prayers. Thank you, blessings, Catherine xo

Shanda said...

I attended my grandparents 50th and threw a party for my parent's last year. Yes, today it is an accomplishment.

Leslie @ Farm Fresh Fun said...

Wow. *That* IS quite a heritage! CONGRATS! Both my Grandparents celebrated 50, but my own parents divorced and hubby's Dad died, so we are praying every day... YOU are an inspiration as well! ;-)

Jen said...

What a BEAUTIFUL LEGACY! Thank you for sharing your family's faith and faithfulness. May God continue to bless you and all of the marriages in your family, including your own. I often hope and pray that my husband and I will be able to celebrate our 50th anniversary. We married later so if God allows it, I will be 80 and he will be 90! Marriage to the right person is such an immense gift and blessing, and I cannot imagine life without the blessing of my husband. Sappy, I know but even after 8+ years of marriage, I am so in love with him, and so grateful to God for him. Thank you again, for sharing.

Michelle said...

Those statistics are just so sad... we just hit our 20th anniversary this year and I got to thinking how few couples we knew who've been married even as long as we have.

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