Voices: What I Learned from Marrying Two 92-Year-Olds

By T. David Beck

SACRAMENTO, CA (February 17, 2015) — T. David Beck is pastor of Sanctuary Covenant Church in Sacramento and the author of Luminos: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus. This article is adapted from his blog. 

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Recently I found myself performing a wedding for a pair of 92-year-olds, Roy and Elaine. It was absolutely unforgettable. Here are three things I learned from the experience.

  1. Live in the moment. At 92, you don’t take anything for granted. By that time in life, you have mourned the loss of many friends and loved ones. Everything Roy and Elaine do seems to reflect this approach to their relationship: savor every moment you have together. The two are often seen holding hands and gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes. And there’s nothing fake about it.
  1. Keep it simple—enjoy someone. I have had the privilege of officiating several weddings, and I’ve led couples through saying their vows to one another.

Yet something different was going on when Roy and Elaine said their vows. Each word was spoken with conviction that can only come from someone who has seen 92 years of life. Maybe it was Roy and Elaine’s frailty that added an almost mystical depth to their words. They embodied a genuineness and simplicity that was like a startling ray of sunshine breaking through the dreariness of our overcharged, overscheduled lives. I don’t think any of us at the ceremony will ever forget the way Roy and Elaine looked into one another’s eyes when they said their vows. The world stopped right then.

Photo by Lily Hodge, Lily Michael Photography

Photo by Lily Hodge, Lily Michael Photography

  1. Be thankful. Aging presents difficulties, and at age 92, there are a lot of things Roy and Elaine can no longer do. But that’s not what they appear to focus on. Rather, they have a “this is so good, I must be dreaming” air about them. They smile a lot, they are gracious to people, and they exude thankfulness. Most of us spend a lot of time focusing on what we don’t have. What if we were to focus instead on what we are thankful for?

At their ceremony, I read Colossians 3:12-17. Here is the tail end of that passage. Notice the emphasis on thankfulness.

“And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (italics mine).

May you and I live and love like we’re 92.

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