Couples in their golden years who’ve embraced their vocational calling are true witnesses to the beauty and sanctity of lifelong marriage. The sacramental nature of marriage is so evident to all who encounter them. It’s the sum total of their experiences, all their joys and struggles over the years that makes them such a profound sign of God’s presence in the world.
In the later years of marriage, the marital relationship will need to adjust to such changes as retirement, financial challenges, health issues, losing independence, and end-of-life issues. The spouses may need to let go of past disappointments, forgive each other and promise again. They’ll need to maintain an effective communication system that allows each of them to express their deepest feelings, joys and concerns. They may need to build a deeper friendship as they spend more time together.
Being active in their parish community will help them transition to the golden years, but will also enable them to share their gifts and talents, their wisdom and experience in service to others. Such couples can be especially helpful to other married couples who may be experiencing the same kind of difficulties they were able to overcome, so serving in parish marriage ministry team or on a local parish Pre-Cana team would be a win-win for their own marriage and their parish.