Image: John and Elaine Morris on their wedding day in 1962
By Josh Gibbon
John and Elaine Morris are celebrating 60 years of marriage today!
On 25 August 1962, John and Elaine were married at Burwood Church of Christ by Dr Allen Elliott.
As kids, John and Elaine’s families were in leadership at this church. It’s here that they grew up, learned to love Jesus, met each other, led Girls and Boys Brigade and served in Christian Endeavour. They both came to faith, were baptised, and married here in this building.
As they did on their 50th anniversary, pictured below, this weekend the couple will return to worship at this significant building for their relationship, now home to The Chapel Burwood.
While their journey has taken them far and wide, John and Elaine are still active members of our network, now attending Forster-Tuncurry Church of Christ.
John shared some reflections on the lessons he and Elaine have learnt in keeping Jesus the anchor of their relationship for more than six decades.
“I just love the sweetness of the presence of Jesus in our lives. I think it’s beautiful that he journeys with us through the bad, heavy and hard times as well as the joyful and wonderful times.
“We just thank God for walking with us. He doesn’t solve all the problems. Elaine has some significant health problems at the moment and is really struggling with that.
“God doesn’t always wave a magic wand. It often doesn’t work that way. Our love for him deepens when we understand he walks this journey with us, ‘Even in the valley of the shadow of death.’ This verse wouldn’t be in Psalm 23 if suffering and struggle weren’t in life.
“The presence of Jesus brings a calmness and a hope in our relationship. Not for all the solutions to problems, but for walking the journey. The sweetness of his presence is just so reassuring and wonderful to share.”
As John and Elaine begin their seventh decade in marriage together, John’s understanding of his responsibility in love to Elaine is unwavering, even as she endures health struggles.
“My two jobs are to keep her safe and keep her happy,” he said.
We asked John, “What would you encourage young couples starting out in their relationship to invest in?”
“It’s a commitment that deepens love,” he said. “This side of the vows, you make that commitment to each other and have to take that seriously.
“A deep commitment to fulfilling the vows – till death do us part. Elaine and I have always taken that seriously.
“I can’t say there’s ever been a moment when I thought we’d separate and walk away from each other. There have been so many overwhelmingly wonderful times, but there were tough times, but it was a given that we were going to work through them together. That’s the commitment I’m talking about. Saying, ‘God, thank you for the wonderful times, now walk with us through this hard stuff.’
“We do the best we can with what we’ve got, and there’s always hope. Even in those tough times, the presence of God is just wonderful.”
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