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The Secret to 69 Years of Marriage

Aubrey Martin's family gathered together to celebrate her grandparents' 69th anniversary.

My grandparents recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. Sixty-nine years of love, commitment, and faith. As I congratulated them on the phone, I couldn’t help but wonder - what was their secret?

My grandpa spotted my grandma on his first day at Wheaton College. She was playing the piano for an all-school chapel and he thought to himself one day I’m going to marry a girl just like that.” As it turned out, he was right!

Three kids, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren later, they are more in love than when they first got married. I aspire to have a marriage that mirrors theirs one day, so I asked them for some advice. Here is what they said their secret is to long-lasting love:

Enjoy being in each other’s presence. Whether you are watching a movie or washing dishes together, savor every moment that you share. Your life together is a gift, so treat it like one!

Be patient with each other. Sixty-nine years is a long time, and there are lots of ups and downs in between. No marriage is perfect, but giving each other the benefit of the doubt is a powerful antidote to bitterness and misunderstanding.

Remember that God is never late, but He’s seldom early. There’s no telling what will happen in life, no guarantee of provision, success, or happiness. But God’s character is consistent in spite of whatever circumstances we might face. He is our provider and protector (Phillippians 4:19). He will take care of our needs in His perfect timing. Trusting in God amidst impossible circumstances builds faith that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Buy a pair of mittens with two armholes so you can still hold hands in the winter. Okay, so this isn’t a serious tip. But it is a really cute story. My grandparents are from Chicago, famous for its deep dish pizza and freezing cold winters. My grandma wanted to be able to hold hands despite the extreme weather conditions, so she used her knack for knitting and created a special mitten with two openings at the top so she could hold hands with my grandpa and keep both of their hands warm from the winter cold.

Whether it’s a custom mitten or a handwritten note, find something that keeps your partner’s hands warm. Look for ways to bless each other, big or small. As you grow to love and understand each other more with each passing year, take note of the lessons God has taught you and pass them on to your own children and grandchildren. Who knows, maybe someday you can share the secret to 70 years together!