The Hardest Part of Growing Old with Someone is…Growing Old

Married couples often talk about growing old with their spouses.  They daydream over the day when they will be sitting in their rocking chairs together, yelling at each other due to difficulty hearing, and holding wrinkled hands as they walk throughout the town.

But most couples don’t like to realize that one day, they will get old.  And that’s a scary thought for a young person, who believes that he/she has a full life ahead of him/her.

A few days ago was my 25th birthday.  I’m finally at the age where I admire my baby face; it makes me look like I’m 16!  To celebrate my birthday, my husband did a great job of preparing a fun-filled day for me at the amusement park.

However, for the first time in my life, it dawned on me that I am not a kid anymore.  I know I’ve been doing this thing called “adulting” for the past few years, but my heart has always been one of a child.  I played with my husband doing silly activities for my birthday, but I realize that one day we might grow old and not want to go to amusement parks or shoot water at each other from a bumper boat…or even dance in the rain!  And not always being able to do what is familiar to me, scares me.  We love to imagine that we’ll grow old together, but we don’t like to believe that it’ll actually happen.

One day, my husband and I will buy our first home together.  One day, we will have kids.  One day, we will switch jobs.  One day, we will get promoted.  One day, our kids will graduate high school.  One day, our kids will get married and have kids of their own.  One day, we will retire.  One day, our health will decline.  One day, we will leave this Earth and be with the Lord.

As a couple, we’ve already been through so much together.  I actually knew I wanted to marry my husband because he took care of me when I was sick.  When I got shingles, he was over my apartment every day, checking my rash on my stomach and comforting me when the antibiotics made me nauseous (which is the scariest feeling in the world for me!).  I helped him prepare for his interview when he was looking for a job, and I visited him when he was in the hospital because of a migraine.  Together, we’re taking care of our apartment and helping each other eat healthy(er).  Even though we have adult responsibilities, we are having fun and making the most of every opportunity.

I don’t know what growing old will specifically look like for me and my husband, but I know that God put the right man in my life to be my partner.  God knew that of all the men I could have married, my husband would stay with me through the ebbs and flows of my life.  In addition to this, God has also entrusted my husband to me to help him grow through the ebbs and flows of his life.  We’re a team, and no matter how old we get, we will stay by each other’s sides.

One day, we will walk through the store, shopping for decorations and furniture for our house.  One day, my husband will laugh with me and have such patience with me as my body changes during pregnancy.  One day, we will watch our kids’ sports games and dance recitals and graduations together.  One day, my husband will hold me as I cry with mixed emotions when my children leave the nest.  One day, we’ll visit and spoil our grandchildren.  One day, we’ll travel the world.  One day, my husband will remind me to take my pills and exercise.  One day, we’ll be holding hands, thankful for one more day of life, as each day for us in our older years will be a gift from God.

You may be afraid that you and your spouse will get boring when you’re older, or that your spouse will grow tired of you.  While I don’t know the future, I know one thing is true: faith in God is the only power that can carry us fully into adulthood and beyond.  Trust that God has given you a man/woman to help you and not hurt you.  Make a constant decision to be a team with your spouse (just the two of you!) so that your marriage will not be you vs. your spouse, but you and your spouse vs. the world.

But if/when your spouse disappoints you, remember that while people may fail, God is faithful and His love for you is everlasting. And when your wrinkles, waist size, energy, and doctor visits disappoint you, remember that your hope is ultimately in Christ, who promises to give you abundant life, from this life until the next.

So, while we may be getting older, we walk in faith, knowing that God has equipped us as a team to face any obstacle that comes our way.  Even growing old together.

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