In a day when divorce is easy and many marriages dissolve, where many couples disdain marriage altogether, and society is redefining it according to sexual preference, there was a report out of Connecticut a while back, of the longest married couple. They were celebrating 81 years of marriage. When a young couple gets married they are “in love”. Today it is most likely they’ve already had sexual relations. The hormones are surging. They are convinced this is what marriage is all about, and it will last forever. Then comes reality, finances, children, personality traits intentionally ignored during courtship that are now irritating. This is not what it’s supposed to be! But it is. What makes an 81 year long marriage? Not the bells and whistles. Oh, they remain, but in different forms. What lasts is the covenant made before God, “to love and to cherish till death they do part.” And, yes, the “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health” – oh, and “forsaking all others” – is all a part of that covenant. We learn to cherish our mate, not for what we can get from them, but what we have the privilege of giving to them in the covenant God established. Congratulations and a thank you to all long married couples for showing us again that it is possible.