A Beautiful Vow

Every couple hopes for a good marriage, but wishful thinking isn’t enough to sustain a relationship when life gets hard. For that, you need a vow.

One of the most beautiful examples I’ve witnessed of a couple who honored their marriage vows is my friends, Don and Barbara Hodel. Don spent his career in Washington, D.C. alongside some of the most powerful people in the world, even serving for a time under President Ronald Reagan. Don and Barbara seemed to have it all.

And yet, they endured suffering that would have destroyed a less committed couple. First, their lives shattered when their son Philip died by suicide at the age of 17. Then, years later, Barbara fell down a staircase, an accident that left her a quadriplegic. Don responded by sacrificially devoting himself to her well-being. He put his professional responsibilities on hold and became her caretaker 24 hours a day for several years.

Despite their hardships, Don said, “I say with complete confidence that if Barbara and I were offered the chance to live the exact same life without changing a single thing, we would do it, without question.”

A good marriage isn’t the result of wishful thinking, easy circumstances, or good feelings. It’s the result of commitment, a willingness to stand firm in the face of adversity, to stay the course and hold your marriage together no matter what.

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