I remember visiting them at their home many years ago.
Listening to their stories of the good old days when the churches were full of people and joy and excitement and so much else. Days when the ladies would bring a stew to church so that lunch could be enjoyed on the premises, there being no time to walk –yes, walk- home and get back before the afternoon meeting. An evening meeting would then follow hard on the heels of that.
They had married whilst both teenagers and they were at that time I would think, both in their late 80s. Thus at the commencement of their eighth decade together.
Such couples make ridiculous the view sometimes expressed today that young people grow up so fast compared to those in bygone days.
I wonder how many of today’s teenagers could marry at 17 and still be married to the same person at 87! Our young people may do adult things at an ever-earlier age, but you will not convince me that they are more mature than those of previous generations. Quite the opposite is true, I fear.
That couple have now both gone to their eternal reward.
They were part of what we might term the Golden Generation. A remarkable group of men and women who married partway through the 20th Century and who would consistently live to celebrate Golden Wedding Anniversaries and beyond.
Has it ever occurred to you that this seems to make them a unique generation in history?
Prior to the 20th Century people simply did not live long enough to have much of prospect of 50 & 60 year marriages. Death would in all probability have intervened for one of them well before then.
On the other hand 21st Century couples will doubtless live long enough, but what confidence can we have of their maintaining a union with the same person for that length of time?
There will be a few, of course. But in future I fear it will only be a few.
The days when it was actually the norm will have been and gone, a brief remarkable window of opportunity for God to showcase the glories of the enduring marriage relationship.
So salute the Golden Generation. We had never seen their like before.
And it may well be that we shall never see their like again.