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 | Father Dwight Ezop

Every couple that gets married makes history

In Aug. 24 of this year, my parents marked 45 years of married life. I often wonder, when they married in 1957, if they had any idea of what the future would hold for them. There were their first jobs – dad as an engineer with General Motors, mom as a nurse at one of Saginaw’s large hospitals. In 1964, they finished construction of their first home and then suffered through its loss to fire later that year. There are two sons – yours truly and Mark, two years younger than me. There were the turbulent and busy years of school and college. Sadness would visit from time to time – most profoundly at the deaths of both of my dad’s parents and my mom’s father. There has been retirement for both mom and dad. More recently, there have been health challenges and the care of my mom’s aging mother. That’s just a little bit of the 45 years of shared life and love that have been part of my parents, covenant of marriage.

Each time I witness the exchange of vows between husband and wife on the day of their wedding, I try to help them realize that together they are opening a new chapter of history. Each couple will follow a unique path, guided by God, as they seek to live out the promises they make to one another as they begin their married life. In my wedding homilies, I try to remind each couple of the promise that unfolds before them as they pledge their love to one another – for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, until they part at death. There is no way to accurately anticipate what lies in store for any couple, but every couple, trusting in God and guided by faith, can live a unique and beautiful story.

Bob and Jennie Mahoney have their own story of married life and love to share. Imagine, though, tackling the challenges of married life without the sense of sight. Bob and Jennie, both of whom lost their vision at a young age, offer a beautiful witness to the ability of wife and husband to overcome challenges that few of us must ever face. Married for more than 60 years, they worked very hard to raise a family of 10 children. Theirs is a beautiful and faith-filled story.

When it comes to marriage, we often say that opposites attract. That was true in the case of Vernon and Joan Jackson Johnson. For 32 years they have blended their many talents into a marriage that has raised five children and have supported one another through the inevitable twists and turns of life – and faith. They candidly acknowledge that their partnership with one another and their mutual reliance upon God have seen them through.

Cheryl and Charlie Krueger have a unique relationship that has weathered many ups and downs, including a six-year separation. A marriage broken by substance abuse has been healed and their covenant has been reaffirmed. The Kruegers affirm that all things are possible with love and trust in God.

In a time when we have made it easy for couples to throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble, couples like the Mahoneys, the Johnsons and the Kruegers show that couples can face and overcome a whole host of challenges. Their commitment to one another and the central role of faith in their marriages serve as an inspiration for all as our journey in FAITH continues.