Living Faithfully


by Bernadette A. Sahm

What does it take to live in faith? To make a commitment and then stick with it? Whether we commit to a God, a faith, a religion, a job, a career, a calling or to a marriage and children. To dedicate your life to one cause or one place or one person and then stick with it?

Recently I witnessed several religious celebrate 60 years, 65 years, 70 years and even 75 years to their religious community. They made a commitment and stayed with it. I can only imagine that not every single day was a great day. There had to be times when they reflected upon and questioned their faithful commitment.

To have stayed in a community for 75 years that you entered in your early twenties and stayed throughout your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and well into your nineties. That is the absolute definition of living faithfully.

Today few people stay in a job or a career for a lifetime. It used to be that if you had more than two jobs on your resume’ the question was why can’t you keep a job? There was value in sticking with a job and working it until retirement. Young people today think little or nothing of moving from one job and one career path to another and doing so frequently. They gain experience and diversity in their abilities to adjust and adapt to various jobs and positions.

I never viewed myself as having the goal of a lengthy marriage or in living in my same home for 30 years and yet next year I will have achieved just that in being committed to the same person my husband for 30 years. We have been faithfully committed to each other.

Here is what I know about being “married” and staying committed in marriage for so many years. First and foremost it is not always easy and not every single day is going to be a happy day. It takes work. It takes commitment. It takes compromise. It is about taking one day at a time and making that commitment again and again.

“The secret to a long and happy marriage is a short memory.” Lou Holtz.

There is truth in that quote, You have to be willing to forget the times when it wasn’t great. You have to stay focused on all that is good and it has to be based in love and in understanding. You have to want it and you have to want it even when it is a challenge and difficult.

My marriage is good and at times even great but it is not perfect. There is a whole lot of love between us and also passions. Passion that cuts both ways where its good but also can be destructive. I heard a recent interview from Country Music Artist Tim McGraw about his marriage to Faith Hill. He acknowledged that yes they have a happy and committed marriage. But it doesn’t come without their share of stuff. He states that marriage isn’t a linear process and you say we won’t fight in front of the children, and guess what, you fight in front of the children. It happens. I give him credit for his honesty.

My husband and I work on our marriage and treat it like the living breathing thing that is it and we strive to keep learning and growing together. There are many types of stress that find their way into a marriage. Raising children and having a family is some of them. So are jobs and career choices. We do our best to minimize outside influences impacting our union.

There is a joke that goes; “Marriage is like a deck of cards. In the beginning all you need is two hearts and a diamond. By the end, you wish you had a club and a spade.” Anyone who has be married for a length of time appreciates this thought.

We have built a life together and as my grandmother used to say, “a rolling stone gathers no moss.” We have acquired history together something that only happens when you put both the effort and the time into living faithfully. Given the choice neither one of us would choose to live differently, we appreciate the marriage, the companionship, the friendship and all that living faithfully as a couple has afforded us.

Thanking God for today and all the days of our lives …

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