When Rebecca and I were married fifty years ago, we had only a glimmer of what the future would hold. She had graduated from Dallas Bible College, and I had already spent a year teaching at the Briercrest Bible College in Saskatchewan, Canada. We met at a church in Dallas while I was in seminary and later began a courtship by letter. We got married in Dallas and then drove to Canada where I taught for one more year. The details of how God led us from Canada to Chicago, and to The Moody Church, are in and of themselves a story of the providence of God.
Rebecca and I tell our story in this video. We gave this interview not only to show how God led us but also to share lessons we learned along the way. We’ve had fifty years of learning, growing, and increasing in our appreciation for one another. I’ve discovered that only about six percent of all marriages celebrate fifty years together due to death and divorce. We consider ourselves most fortunate and blessed.
We came from different backgrounds with different expectations for what marriage was all about. I was raised on a farm in Canada with Christian parents who loved us, prayed through their hardships, and encouraged us to follow the Lord. Rebecca grew up in a dysfunctional Christian family and endured years of poverty and abuse. Her mother’s chronic illnesses forced Rebecca to take on the heavy responsibility of caring for her brothers and sisters at an early age. We had to learn that although marriage made us “one,” we would continue to be two individuals who had to give each other space to grow into who God meant us to be.
“Marriage,” someone has said, “is two people solving problems together that they would never have had if only they had stayed single!” Yes, in this interview, Rebecca and I share how we solved problems “together,” and despite the challenges of marriage, we have lived to see God’s faithfulness in many different ways.
Rebecca and I grieve over several couples we know who were married about the same time we were but who are divorced today. The reasons are many: infidelity, addictions, abuse, or “just growing apart.” Most distressing is when one mate is attracted to another person at work or even in church, and they divorce to “find the happiness” they seek. Children are emotionally destroyed, and home life is disrupted, never to be put back again. The fact that fifty million children will go to bed tonight with only a mother or father in the home is proof that sin has eternal, but also immediate, consequences.
Rebecca and I do not take our journey for granted. We have disagreements, different expectations, and different perspectives. But we are thankful that we have stayed together and that our three daughters have married Christian husbands—so far, giving us eight grandchildren who are being raised in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
The story of our marriage is the story of God’s guidance, the story of His favor given to a couple who is least deserving. I know you will benefit from our story because it is not really our story, but God’s story. With gratitude, we invite you into our home so you can share our journey and thanksgiving to God for leading us “all the way.”