Everyone knows love is a big key to marriage – but Pastor Greg Laurie expands on what that looks like, exactly, when he shared today some of the secrets to being happily married to the same woman for almost half a century.
Laurie, the senior pastor at Harvest Church in California, has been married to his wife Cathe for 44 years. In a new Facebook post, Laurie detailed some of the responses he gets after revealing that he has been happily married for so long.
“44 years. That’s how long I have been married to the beautiful Cathe Laurie,” Laurie wrote today. “When people ask how long we have been husband and wife and we drop that number on them, sometimes their jaw drops to the floor. I think this happens for 2 reasons. #1 Cathe does not even look like she is 44, much less married 44 years. #2 You just don’t hear of marriages lasting that long a lot these days.”
Today is the birthday of my wife, Cathe Laurie!What can I say, that I have not already said about her?She is beautiful…
So what is the secret to a successful, fulfilling and joy-filled marriage? Greg’s answer is incredibly simple – “love.”
“Let me explain,” Laurie continued. “Not the mere emotion of love but the commitment of love.
People often quote 1 Cor. 13, the famous “Love chapter’ of the Bible, and so they should.
But in that chapter, Paul does not tell us what love is as much as he tells us what love does.
“Love is patient, love is kind”. . .etc. “Love for and marriage to another is a lifelong commitment.”
Greg explained that when we wholeheartedly seek after the right person and put God first in that quest, “He will give us all we need to honor that commitment.” He added: “But we need not wait for the emotion of love, but rather we should simply do loving things. The emotions will follow in time.”
Do loving things. It’s as simple as that! But as with anything, it’s easier said than done.
It is all about working together as a team, playing to each other’s strengths, and seeking to serve each other self-sacrificially. “Cathe and I are two halves,” Greg explained. Together, we often joke, we have one complete brain. That’s because I remember what she forgets and she remembers what I forget.”
But life hasn’t always been easy for the couple. Greg references times of “deep sorrow,” and refers to the loss of his eldest son, Christopher. “Life for us has been a romance, an adventure, wonderful times of great joy, and seasons of deep sorrow and mourning, because of the unexpected departure of our oldest son, Christopher to Heaven,” he wrote.
Christopher, 33, was killed in a tragic car accident on July 24, 2008. A year after his son’s death, Laurie gave an interview in which he discussed the moment he learned of the life-shattering news. When Christopher didn’t turn up to work, Greg texted him but received no response. It wasn’t long before some of the Harvest pastors showed up to his house and said those heart-breaking words:
“Christopher is with the Lord!”
“When I heard that, it was like time stood still and the air was sucked out of the room. I couldn’t comprehend what I had just heard, and it really was, in many ways, incomprehensible. It was so hard,” Greg explained in the 2009 interview. “I have to say that although it was devastating and crushing, and I fell to the ground weeping, the Lord was there with me. I sensed His presence and His peace and I have never, for a moment, doubted that Christopher’s in heaven.”
So, through heartache and pain, Greg and Cathe have clung on to each other, but more importantly, have held fast to the love, comfort and guidance of the Lord.
“We have been on this adventure. . . together,” Greg continued in his post. “So, to Cathe Laurie I say on this day of our anniversary I love you! I also want to quote the great theologian, Glen Campbell from his classic song, “Wichita Lineman” “And I need you more then want you, and I want you for all time”.
Greg and Cathe shared their thoughts on how to develop a strong and healthy marriage in a brilliant conversation at Harvest a couple years back. Check it out below: