Friday, July 07, 2006


(BLOGGER'S NOTE: You may find this item humorous, serious, or a little of both - but we offer these thoughts from time to time, as we keep a seventh-day Sabbath.)

The big number of the week seems to be 60. President Bush turned 60 on Thursday. Former President Carter marked his 60th wedding anniversary Friday. And at the church congregation I attend on Saturdays, the "over and under" for the sermon length is 60 minutes.

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter marked their 60th anniversary with what aides called a "quiet day" in Plains. I think the only time Plains has anything other than a quiet day is during the Peanut Festival in September....

I didn't realize until Friday that when Jimmy Carter wed in 1946, he was 21 and wife Rosalynn was 18. Maybe it wasn't quite robbing the cradle - but his bride was barely old enough to be denied admission to some college departments.

The idea of a marriage lasting 60 years may seem strange to some people in 2006. After all, the U.S. divorce rate is somewhere between 40 and 45 percent. And imagine how much higher it would be if Larry King hadn't found a long-term wife....

Someone told me Friday the "baby boom" generation looks at marriage differently than the generation before it. That's why younger adults divorce more often. It started with throwaway ink pens and paper plates -- then the concept spread like a cancer from there.

I know from personal experience about the struggles of keeping a marriage going in the long term. My parents divorced after 27 years of marriage - and I've read evidence that they stayed together for the last five years solely because I was a teenager. So my father cared about me a little bit, even if relatives say he never cared enough to help me pay for college.

Yet my older brother has a marriage which seems to still be going strong, after more than 35 years - and two of the three daughters are happily hitched to this point. The third daughter is one year out of college, and isn't married yet. Yeow - compared to Rosalynn Carter, she's almost an old maid.

Regular blog readers know of my long search for romance - yet to borrow from an old song: "When I Fall in Love/It will be completely - or I'll never fall in love." I never quite expected the second half of that tune to become reality, but....

I believe true love and marriage are supposed to be long-term things. So I found it strange when some people wondered during the 1990's why Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't divorce the President, or why Marion Barry's wife stayed by him despite his crimes as Washington Mayor. When you almost want a marriage to collapse, it's.... well.... like women lusting after Brad Pitt the last few years.

To borrow from a marriage counselor on religious radio, romance and marriage are supposed to be "for better, for worse and for keeps." I believe God meant for it to be that way - so you see, the Georgia General Assembly's definition of marriage actually wimped out a bit.

So I congratulate Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter of Plains on having a 60-year marriage. I still dream of having a marriage that lasts so long. Of course, after 40 years my wife may have to feed me with intravenous bags - but that needle would still get me racing a little....

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