I’m a teaching and counseling pastor with a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling. I have over 20 years of experience in pastoral counseling, and more than 30 of years of marriage experience…and there are still times I don’t get it right.
My wife Libby and I met in high school. Initially, she said there was just something about my inner person. (Actually, I think her words were, “I hate his guts!”) After 4 years of high school, we finally went on our first date the night we graduated. The date got off to a late start because I had to wait for her boyfriend to bring her home before I could pick her up. (It’s the truth!) After 3 years of mostly long distance relationship, Libby agreed to marry me, and we were married in 1980. (Winning her over or wearing her down? You be the judge.)
Since then, we have moved from Illinois, to Oklahoma, to Texas, to Georgia. (No, we were not being chased by the law.) I have worked as a technician in the oil field, as a chaplain for the terminally ill, and as a staff member in various churches. (They all have things in common, but you can figure that out.)
Libby and I have raised two daughters, both of which now have families of their own. We may have struggled with Empty Nest briefly, but after the taillights disappeared over the horizon, we went out to dinner and were pretty much over it. In fact, marriage even got better…despite my failures.
Sometimes we have been nuts about each other, and sometimes just nuts. Sometimes we’ve been madly in love, and other times just mad. There have been times when we couldn’t bear to be apart and other times when we probably weren’t too sure about being together. But God knew what He was doing when He put us together, (even though we were pretty clueless), and God has been teaching and growing us all along the way.
Why “Normal Marriage”?
Because that’s what most of us have. We don’t have textbook perfect marriages, and we don’t have Charlie Manson type marriages. We just have “normal” marriages filled with good times and bad, fun and frustration. The bad thing about “normal” is we tend to beat ourselves up because our marriage is not “everything it could be.” The nice thing about “normal” is we’re not at the bottom of the rating and we can make it better…usually in small, everyday ways. Normal can be quite wonderful if you let it. You don’t have to have a “great” marriage to have a great marriage.