Originally published in Faithwire
Harold Holland and Lillian Barnes got married in 1955 after meeting at a restaurant in Salt Lick, Kentucky. By December of that year, they were married. Over the next eight years or so, the couple had five children together. Over time, however, their marriage became strained, and in 1967, they split up. So that was that, for some 50 years, until the couple reunited at a family reunion last year.
By December 2017, the two former spouses were talking about tying the knot. He’s now 83 and she is 78.
“We decided we want to walk the last mile together,” Holland explained to the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The pair credits their faith in God as being central to them being able to grow in their decades apart, preparing them for this glorious reunion. Their grandson Joshua Holland, who is a minister from New Orleans, will perform the ceremony on April 14 at Trinity Baptist Church.
Now, upon a lifetime of reflection, this wonderful couple see where the crack began to appear. Harold, who ran a carpet business, said he worked way too much and left his wife to raise the kids by herself.
“It was 100% my fault,” he admitted.
He wants to do things differently now, and make up for a huge amount of lost time — a sound piece of advice that would serve many young couples well!
“We’ll go do whatever we want to, whenever we want to do it,” he declared, stating his commitment to putting his wife first from now on. “I’ll take her wherever she wants to go.”
With these words comes a golden rule of any successful marriage: putting God at the foundation of your love for one another. A certain scripture comes to mind:
“Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“We have a lot in common,” Lillian explained.
“I don’t think we ever lost that love, to tell you the truth,” Harold noted.
Lillian laughed how Harold “didn’t think I’d ever speak to him again.”
“He got fooled,” she quipped.