It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G to watch Anthony and Evelyn Bollback because they have been married for 75 years and are still in love!
Many of our marriages are struggling because we don’t know how to do everything in love!!
I am honored to have this sweet couple as my parents.
They have been an example of how to love each other through the years as they served the Lord Jesus, first as missionaries, and then as a pastor and pastor’s wife.
What can you learn from my parent’s example that will strengthen your marriage to last for the rest of your life?
For the past decade, I have been amazed at my parents, Anthony and Evelyn Bollback, as they kept reaching yet another milestone anniversary!
On August 14th, 2018 they have been married for 75 years!!
That is beyond amazing!!
They served in the Christian Missionary Alliance in the role of missionaries to China and then Japan; as a pastor in Coudersport, PA; Chapel Hill, NJ; Honolulu, HI; and Silver Springs MD; and as a District Superintendent in Omaha, NE.
I thought it was amazing when they celebrated their 70th anniversary and now as they have reached their 75th anniversary!
God has blessed them with many years of loving each other so that they can be an encouragement to many other couples.
Purpose and Passion in Marriage and Ministry
75 years of marriage and ministry of Anthony & Evelyn Bollback
I think one of the things that has held my parent’s marriage firmly together was their unity in purpose and passion for the Lord’s work.
They were married on August 14th, 1943, in New York City and after just one week arrived in the small town of Coudersport, Pennsylvania to start a church.
Their whole purpose in life was to serve the Lord. There was no doubt about it and I saw their unwavering desire to serve their God, over and over again as I was growing up overseas.
It was their unity of purpose to serve that was like strong glue holding them together that gave unity throughout their lives together.
Not all of us are missionaries like my parents but we can learn the importance of having Christ central and a joint purpose in our marriage.
For my parents, that joint purpose was their ministry.
Do you have a joint purpose and passion in your marriage?
An Example of Getting Along when Married 75 Years
What can you learn from my parents?
Marriage is hard. I can say that is for sure!
For most of us (if we are honest), marriage isn’t ‘a walk in the park.’
We have to work hard at it if we will one day say that we love each other more and more as the years go by.
I remember when I was a teenager growing up in Hawaii (yes, Honolulu) that I was not allowed to help with the dishes.
My mom would wash the dishes and my dad would take a towel and dry them each night after supper. It would have been easier on both of them if they would have given the job to my brother and me!
My dad wiped the dishes dry because he loved spending time with my mom!
He would always joke that he was guaranteed time alone with my mom because us kids wouldn’t want to wash the dishes!
They would talk.
Sometimes they would have a mild ‘discussion!!’
Even when they were a little more ‘earnest’ about their discussions, my dad valued my mom’s opinions. That left a deep and lasting impression on me.
Are you able to talk and discuss issues openly with your husband?
Holding Your Husband in High Esteem
My dad highly esteems and cherishes my mom. I can see it so clearly as they gracefully age together.
It is easy to respect and cherish your husband when they ‘deserve’ it but much harder when they are not perfect.
Since none of us are perfect apart from the work of Jesus Christ in our life, we can all learn and grow from this.
I always saw my dad showing respect and honor for my mom. It really made it much easier for my mom to respond with respect and honor.
I think it went deeper than just outwardly because it was a habit and behavior that they showed for each other.
Even when they were younger and occasionally had disagreements, they didn’t cross that line of showing disrespect towards each other.
What if your husband often shows disrespect and dishonor towards you?
That doesn’t let you off the hook!
You can still learn from the example of my parents.
It is still your responsibility before God to be careful of the words you choose because one day you will stand before God and answer for every word that you said.
You never know how your example will encourage your husband someday.
Married 75 Years
My mom is 97 and my dad is 96 in a couple weeks, and yet they still constantly demonstrate their love for each other.
They pray for each other every single day!
And they help each other with the inconveniences of aging.
Even when one of them has been very ill, they have shown their faithfulness to each other by daily visiting each other in the hospital.
They have spent time with each other through the years in ministry and when the day was over, I could hear them chatting with each other late at night.
I remember hearing their low voices as they talked, prayed, and read their Bibles in their bedroom when I was a teenager.
How You Can Learn from Their Example
I have been married for over 39 years to an amazing man. That’s not nearly as long as my parents and still, I can learn from their example.
My marriage has struggled through the years and I have been encouraged to see my parent’s marriage go through seasons with ups and downs.
My dad told me in his 90’s that you always have to work at your marriage!
There is something very strengthening to a marriage that has faced the storms and challenges that life brought through the years.
When you stay with your husband through those storms there is often a blessing waiting for you.
If there is one tidbit of encouragement that I want to leave with you today, it is to stick it out for better or worse until you have gone through the storm.
Married couples who stay together through the years reach a point of unspeakable joy. My parents definitely are demonstrating joy in their marriage!!
If you are married, how long have you been married? What advice would you add to what I have learned from my parent’s marriage?
Resources from Anthony Bollback:
And now abide faith, hope, love, but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13