Yesterday was our 47th year being married. We raised 8 kids and have 22 grandkids and have been 40 years pastoring at JBC. I can’t think of two people that were more different in every area of life than we were when we got married, and there were some rough years at the beginning, but now I can’t Imagine anybody having a better marriage than ours. As I think about where we are and what is it that has been a factor in the unity and love that presently exists I can think of at least 47 but I will mention just a couple for now. One biggie is our ability to laugh at the things that we say and do to each other that are not, we’ll let me put it this way, are not very sensitive, instead of getting hurt or mad. Most of the things that couples say and do that create conflict are really funny if you take the time to think and look for the humor. It is amazing the power of a little laugh or giggle to diffuse a hurtful, irritating situation. Then instead of being grumpy and mad you are happy, that is what laughter does, and it often is no more than a choice of how you are going to react. Another major key for us is that we love each other and enjoy one another very much, but we aren’t over board on being dependent on our spouse so that we can’t function without them. Patty has the freedom to go visit family, help my Mom, develope her own ministry without me being upset about her not taking care of all my needs, and I can go to Africa on a mission trip for several weeks, go on a bicycle trip, and go fishing in Alaska without Patty feeling neglected. A third thing is that we understand and meet key needs in each other. One of the major needs of a woman is security, and I work hard at being a man who operates on the basis of commitments made and convictions of what is right and wrong rather than feelings or circumstances. A man’ s greatest need is to be respected, and Patty treats me as a man who is strong, smart, has everything under control, and is the worlds greatest fisherman even if I am not.