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Dr. John & Company Blog

Testimony of a Good Marriage

June 30, 2023

I often work in a coffee shop. I love the atmosphere and it inspires me. Today, as I sat in one of my favourite shops, looking out the window and working, I observed an elderly married couple coming to drink coffee together. That in itself would not be unusual. I often see couples come and sit together.

But this couple had my attention. The man was walking across the parking lot, ever so slowly. He was clearly unsteady on his feet. His wife held his arm to steady him, although, as I observed them closely, it was clear she had health problems of her own. The two of them laboured to come into the shop. They acquired their coffee and walked outside the door, sitting in outdoor chairs right outside of the window where I was working. It was a beautiful warm and sunny day. The wife made sure both of their coffees ended up at the outdoor table and weren’t spilled on the ground. The husband sat down ever so slowly and finally settled into his chair. The wife sat down more ably. As I observed them, I thought the man appeared to have had a stroke at some time in the past. His reaction time was very slow, and the expressions one might have expected in the face were not there. But his wife smiled very easily and comfortably in his presence. He did not speak. He may not have been able to. It didn’t seem to matter, as the wife kept smiling, speaking and making gestures in his presence. I noticed the eye contact between them. The love between them was palpable. I looked and saw a small cross on the left earing of the man. “Ah”, I thought. They are old hippies who also love Christ.

When the coffee had been drunk, both husband and wife struggle to get onto their feet. He looked more hesitant, but she encouraged him that it would be okay. She would put her hand on his arm to steady him. I watched them walk so very slowly across the parking lot from whence they had come. They were, I thought, no doubt going home, their exhausting outing having been completed.

As I contemplated them, I wondered how the two of them must have looked on their wedding day. I imagined the two of them, then in their twenties, filled with love and promise. I imagined the adventures in their lives. The purchase of a house. The arrival of children. The struggles with making their relationship work. The work of forgiving one another, living with disappointments and successes, and the willingness to carry on. As I observed them from my coffee shop, I now saw them, approaching the end of their lives. The journey was nearing an end, but the love they shared was not.

The world of North America has seen a steady eroding of the value of the lifelong union between a man and a woman. Singleness and the occasional relationship are seen as more spontaneous and adventurous. Hence marriage is held low esteem. But that elderly couple outside my window reminded me of Ephesians chapter 5. Husband and wife, playing out the roles of Christ and His church. A love that is enduring, and lasting into old age. An elderly couple who find they are not alone in the difficult years. Loved and giving love. A testimony to the glory of faithful marriage.

I found myself wishing I could bring them to a group of young adults in any local church. If you want to build a life that breathes out meaning and joy, observe this couple. Marriage is hard. Marriage demands a great deal. But if it is done as Christ intends, it speaks of enduring love. It is the very thing this world so desperately needs

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld

Dr. John Neufeld is the national Bible teacher at Back to the Bible Canada. He has served as Senior Pastor, church planter, conference speaker and educator, and is known both nationally and internationally for his passion and excellence in expositional preaching and teaching.


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