I Want to Grow Old With You
My husband and I are in our mid-40s. The last few years, as was expected but not fully grasped, our bodies have been showing signs that we are not the “youngens” that we used to be. I’m okay with that. Growing old was not something that I thought too much about until recently. I was busy having babies and raising my family. In some ways I feel like it snuck up on me, but as I rub my hands across the gray hairs starting to peep out on my husband’s face, I discover a new joy that I didn’t expect. It is a profound, deep joy in knowing that this man who I passionately love, who I have built my life with, who I created a family with, who truly knows me and still loves me, is the person I’m growing old with. My husband is attractive to me on a whole new level and it’s pretty exciting! Perhaps it sounds silly, but when I think about growing old the lyrics from a song that Adam Sandler sang to his prospective bride, Drew Barrymore, in the famous 80’s movie, “The Wedding Singer,” race through my head.
“I wanna make you smile whenever you’re sad
Carry you around when your arthritis is bad
Oh all I wanna do is grow old with you
I’ll get your medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
Oh it could be so nice, growing old with you”
Growing old with my husband is an attractive adventure that lures me in. There is a rare beauty and treasure that can be only discovered and experienced by aging with grace in union with the one who God gave me to love till death do us part.
Unfortunately, we live in a disposable culture. In general, most things are not built to last. In many cases we don’t even want things to last, lest we lose out on the latest and greatest. It can be tempting to transfer this same mentality to our intimate relationships. But an enduring, loving relationship is the finest investment we can make. It increases in value with each passing year. It is priceless.
Although we may have this incredible vision for our marriage, the pressures of life can cause us to lose sight of the true value of our marital bond. Refocusing our eyes on the goal, a relationship built to last the test of time, can help us to choose the battles with our spouse more wisely. The next time you and your spouse have a disagreement, ask yourself, is this an issue that will matter twenty years from now? If it is, then lovingly, patiently work through it. If not, let it go. Do not blind yourself from truth; keep your vision pure and clear.
We’ve all seen marriages fail—our parents’, our friends’, perhaps even our own. Despite the marital despair we are often surrounded with, most of us continue to long for lasting love. We want to be the couple that still takes walks and holds hands after 40-plus years of marriage. Look for those couples around you, and glean from those who are living this. Ask them for their wisdom and observe their witness.
I was leaving church the other day and I saw an older couple getting out of their car, one walking with the help of a cane, another with the help of a walker, both helping each other. As they walked down the sidewalk to the entrance of the church, their hands embraced for both physical support and emotional support. It was the most beautiful sight. They were a witness to me that day. Their love, without words, was evident. The next time I am tempted to lose my temper with my spouse, I will remember that couple and ask God to give me the grace in the moment to choose my words and actions wisely so I can grow old with my husband – in love.