In It for the Long Haul


And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. —Galatians 6:9 NKJV

Like many, my marriage did not run smoothly at first. I honestly had higher expectations. After all, Ray and I had met in high school and had known each other for over six years before we tied the knot. Surely we had worked out all the little wrinkles during those years, right? Wrong. We are both firstborns with strong personalities and a willingness to share our opinions at length. This did not create instant harmony between us. Because you see, we differed over many issues. After that initial honeymoon phase, came some really hard times for us both, as we tried to figure out how to be on the same team and do life together. I discovered, for example, he actually didn’t like to take walks as much as I thought he did, and I did not like football at all, despite my good attempts during courtship to try and enjoy a game. And those were simple issues. Others were far more complex and staggering as two independent, prideful people became one, united couple.

I remember one day we passed a sign that said “Drug-Free Zone.” I think we were near a school. Ray looked at me and said, “Let’s declare our marriage a ‘Divorce-Free Zone.’ Let’s never say the word or think it. We are in this for the long haul.” Since I was already irritated with him at that moment, this irritated me! But then as I reflected on what God says about marriage and what my own heart desired, which was to stay married to Ray and try to find that elusive happiness with him, I agreed. We have not considered or talked about or thought about divorce as an option starting that day. That did leave us with the job of working out many a sticky situation.

It was not fun. We read books. We asked for advice. We got it wrong again and again before we finally realized we had to find another way through. Slowly, we began to understand one other better. We really were on the same team. When an issue emerged, we started looking at it shoulder to shoulder and saw the issue as the problem instead of the spouse as the problem—or the enemy. We stopped expecting our spouse to do everything our way. We gave more grace. We bit our tongues. We prayed together. We prayed alone. We asked for tender hearts.

And here we are, married for over 43 years, and so very thankful we decided to be in it for the long haul. I genuinely like and love the guy I married and can’t imagine life without him. That long haul has had a great payoff for us both.

Another word for “long haul” found in the Bible is perseverance. To keep going through good times and bad, knowing that doing the right thing is always right, even when it’s hard. Galatians 6:9 says it this way: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (NKJV). This applies to more than marriage—and to be fair to those who are reading who have experienced divorce, marriage does require two people willing to do that long-haul-thing. Perseverance applies to daily quiet times. To church attendance. To obedience to God’s commands to forgive, to love, to root out bitterness, to not allow anger to control us.

Of all the areas of life where it’s important to be in it for the long haul, walking with God is the very most significant. We commit to Him initially, and it’s a honeymoon at first. What a joy to be forgiven of our sins! How marvelous to be loved by the One who made us! But as time goes on and the euphoria wears off, we are tempted to become indifferent to the God who died for us, incredible as that sounds. Meeting with Him in prayer and Bible reading becomes more of a chore, as our self-centeredness whispers to us about our warm bed and the need for more sleep! It’s hard to choose church each week. It’s not easy to forgive. Yet each of these disciplines in the long haul yields such beautiful benefits. Oh, let us not grow weary of doing good. The harvest is beautiful when we build into our lives those patterns of behavior that keep us close to our loving Savior. Let’s be in it for the long haul.

Father God, forgive me for the many times I have strayed from the good path You have laid out for me. Help me to persevere in knowing You, seeking You, listening to You through Your Word, through the teachings at my church, and through quiet moments of stillness in Your Presence. I want to persevere to the very end, loving You with my last breath and then my first breath in Heaven. Help me in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Amen. Deciding ahead of time or at the start saves a whole lot of heart ache.

    • It surely does. And it forces one to find solutions when quitting is not an option. But oh how we need the Lord’s help and grace for every example of perseverance. Only through Him …

  • Margaret Fowler
    December 26, 2022 3:14 pm

    Thank you, Sharon, for your honesty in sharing problems. We too have definitely had our moments! Times of disagreement are inevitable. We have had 67 years and still have a few “moments” here and there. Thankfully we can resolve it more quickly and quietly than in the past and we are still learning to forgive and let it go. God has truly blessed us with all these years of companionship and love. He has been our Lord through all these years, and we appreciate your thoughts on staying close to Him. As you say, let us not grow weary, but stay connected to Him and hopefully continue to grow closer.

    • Absolutely. It’s the stayi9ng connected to Him that enables us to continue to grow and change and persevere in all the different areas of life where that Christian character trait is needed. And YAY for 67 years of marriage!!


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