A couple with the longest-running marriage in the state of Arkansas has some simple advice for a successful marriage: seek the Lord.
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Cleovis Whiteside, 102, and his wife Arwilda Whiteside, 98, got married in 1939, and with 84 years of matrimonial ups and downs under their belt, the couple recently delivered pointed advice to others.
“Pray,” Arwilda told USA Today, speaking to anyone considering walking down the aisle anytime soon. “Know how to get on your knees, and get you a Bible, because that Bible is going to have to take you through all kinds of storms.”
The couple openly credited God for their long-lasting nuptials, with Arwilda saying the Lord placed them together to “love one another.”
“We can hardly believe this is happening to us because we feel like we were the least, but God said, ‘No. You’ll glorify my name and love one another,'” she said, according to KATV-TV.
The Whitesides were honored by the Arkansas Family Council, a Christian organization that celebrates traditional families and marriage. The organization honors the longest-married couples in the state, with the Whitesides reportedly currently holding the record in Arkansas.
The couple told USA Today about how their love story began, with the two meeting when Cleovis was 13 and Arwilda was 9; they married just a few years later.
The loving husband and wife had 12 children of their own and also housed others in need of families, with the duo being described as “pillars in the community.” Generosity, it seems, is ingrained in the fabric of the family, with Arwilda praising her husband’s kindness.
“He is always trying to help people,” she said.
Read more about the family’s story here.
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