Are You In A Marathon Marriage? by Martha Brady

Hello Beautiful Sparrows! God has recently been telling me, “Give it away” and that is just what I am doing! I’ve invited some beautiful souls from my favorite Facebook community for women in the 50+ season of life, The Consilium: A Collective Where Wisdom Meets Grace. Enjoy the words from their hearts and, if you don’t mind, would you give my friend, Martha a hug by leaving a comment and giving a share or a tweet? And come on over to The Consilium - we would love to see you there!

photo: Martha G. Brady

photo: Martha G. Brady

This weekend my husband and I will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary. I’m surprised. When we were dating we never expected to be married this long.

Wait, it’s not what you think. When we were dating…and we didn’t have that many actual dates, we were sitting on the Fort Lauderdale, FL beach on a beautiful moonlit night. What were we talking about? The fact that since he was 8 years older than I and his dad died at the age of 47 of heart disease, maybe we shouldn’t get serious…which we already were.

My answer? “If I don’t mind, I don’t think you should!” I didn’t think hard about the answer. He was stunned! But it seemed to put his concerns to rest and a couple of months later (when we saw each other again) we were engaged.

Losing him would have been awful! I don’t minimize the tragedy of that loss nor can I imagine raising our daughters alone! But it would have been just as tragic to have not married him for fear of protecting myself from a hurt that might or might not happen!

As it turns out, he didn’t take after his father, he seems to be following after his mom’s side of the family. She lived to be 94!

What do we know when we are young and in love?

We have no idea what GOD has in mind for us both as individuals or as a couple! Will we grow together or fight all the time? Will our marriage…and our love, last? How long will we be together?

Will we learn from our mistakes or keep making the same ones over and over? Will the person we married change into a completely different person after the wedding? Will we both realize we are in a marathon and not a sprint? The scary part of marriage is that we don’t know. Not really. We just have to trust that GOD will be faithful to us whatever the circumstance.

Marriage is a relationship of oneness that doesn’t happen overnight!

When we marry, we become one in the eyes of GOD with another human being. The rest of our time is spent living out what that oneness is all about. The ceremony doesn’t make us one experiencially, only legally and in GOD’s sight. As we live together, we learn how to be “one”…or not!

We learn what things about us put them on edge and try to change those things, not because they are bad in themselves, but because we love that person and want our home to be a place where he will feel comfortable and loved. He will learn what we love and find ways to show his love to us. As time goes on, we realize we are becoming one in more and more areas…hopefully. We also learn how naturally selfish we are!

No, we’re not the same. It’s more like we learn to complement each other. Where I am naturally hyper, he is a calming influence. Where I am naturally impulsive, his ability to pause and reflect before speaking or acting, influences me to do the same…often. Where he is naturally fearful, I am more daring. Over time, GOD intervenes and changes us further. Over time, we learn humility, forgiveness, patience…and more of the true meaning of love.

I’ll never be like him and he’ll never be like me. But we take the edges off each other’s natural tendencies…and are able to minister to each other and others more effectively as a couple.

Realizing that our marriage is a marathon, not a sprint, helps us endure through hard times, wait for long term results instead of freaking out during temporary setbacks, be patient with their shortcomings because we realize GOD is working in them just as He is working in us...to help us want to change in ways we don’t naturally want to.

Change takes time in both them and us! We learn patience as we allow them time to change instead of insisting they change…NOW!

It makes no difference how long your marriage actually lasts because of death of a spouse or even divorce. You will never be sorry you treated you marriage as a marathon, not a sprint, even if the years of your marriage aren’t many.

How has having a marathon marriage helped your marriage?

How does viewing marriage as a sprint add stress to your marriage?


Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved,

compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,

bearing with one another and,

if one has a complaint against another,

forgiving each other;

as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

And above all these put on love,

which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

to which indeed you were called in one body.

And be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15 ESV

photo: Seth Schaeffer

photo: Seth Schaeffer



I’m Martha Grimm Brady. I’m staring in the face of 70! Just a couple more years and I’ll be there.

I’ve been married 46 years to Ron, a retired pastor. We have raised 3 daughters, 2 of whom are in their 40′s! I can hardly believe it. We have 7 grands, 2 boys in the group.

I’m an RN, an epileptic (since age 20), an MK, and someone who has moved often enough to know that I hate moving! We lived in Jamaica for 7 years early in our marriage. Our daughters were born there and our lives were changed in many ways by living there.

Fl, TX and IL have been our homes. We now live in AL near one daughter and family. My blog is GrittyGrace.com. I’ve been blogging since 2007.

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