There is no love story in the Bible without compromise, struggles, highs, or lows. Not Jacob and Rachel. Ruth and Boaz. Mary and Joseph. Adam and Eve. Abraham and Sarah. Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob and Rachel or Michal and David. There is also no love story without dedication, commitment, respect, willingness, and God.
There are a lot of prayers and constant communication with God in any love story.
When you speak to those who have been married for over 30 years, they will tell you that listening, prayer, compromise, communication, love, respect, and God is what kept them together. No one will say there were no lows or struggles. Life in itself is a struggle.
I believe passing on wisdom and practical information is vital from those who have survived the struggles to those just walking on the threshold of their love story.
It is beautiful to be in love; it is long-lasting when you work at it.
* Black History Month Facts
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Daniel (D.W.) Williams and Willie Williams, who was known nationally for having one of the longest marriages in the United States and the longest marriage in Newberry North Carolina. They were married for 82 years.
How They Make It Work
“We don’t argue or have any fights. If we have a misunderstanding, we just talk it over,” they said. “The secret to a long marriage is just be nice to each other.”
“They have had such a long, successful marriage because they put God first and are each other’s best friends,” said their granddaughter, BJ Williams-Greene.
“My grandparents’ marriage is an inspiration. They communicate and make decisions together, they strive and achieve together and everyone loves them because they are genuine. They just inspire everyone to be the best they can be,” Williams-Greene said.
Given marriage statistics in the Black community are bleak, and the socio economic factors play a part in singleness and divorce, they have achieved quite a feat.
“Although we lived during the Jim Crow era, we were still able to work and do things in the community. We were not impacted much by it because there were a lot of people willing to assist, who didn’t let the color of our skin stand in the way,” the couple said.
Asked what they’d do with another 100 years, D.W. replied, “I don’t know.”
“Sit around the house,” Willie added, making her husband laugh.
There are a few other Black marriages that stood the test of A LONG time.
One held the 2008 Guinness World Record for the longest marriage of a living couple until 2013. Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher of North Carolina were married 87 years and had lived to see 5 children, 10 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
Before Herbert died in 2011 at 105 years old (Zelmyra two years later at 105), he and his wife shared their marriage advice: “Respect, support and communicate with each other. Be faithful, honest and true. Love each other with all of your heart.”