As Richard talked about in the first week of Blood, Sweat, and Tears – “I do” is easy to say, but being committed is harder.With Gary, I was saying ‘I do” for the second time. And I knew our marriage was going to take more than those two words. It was going to take commitment.

When we were in marriage counseling with one of the elders from our church, he asked Gary, “ Do you understand when you marry Jo Anne, you are not only marrying her but her two children?”. When he answered, it was what I needed to hear. Without hesitation he said “Yes, I understand”. The counselor said it was not going to be easy, and it has been very difficult at times, but the good times have definitely outweighed the difficult ones.

What does being committed look like for us?

“…We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do. He keeps us in step with each other…” Ephesians 4:14-16 The Message

And this provides a good picture of how each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in loving her, and how each wife is to honor her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 The Message

No matter what happens, we are in it together.
We always keep each other lifted up, and never tear one another down in public.
We don’t share our disagreements outside of our marriage.
It is important that we set aside time for just the two of us. Date nights and short weekend getaways are great, but the most life changing thing we have done is to rise early daily to share God’s Word with each other.

Along the way, we have sacrificed things like hobbies and sports, and instead looked for things to do together. We always try to find laughter.
We try to always give sweet goodbyes because we never know what the day holds for us.
We strive to apologize and forgive as quickly as we can. Don’t hug a grudge, but hug my mate.

After twenty-nine years, five children, and five grandchildren, we cherish our past, we enjoy today, and look forward to the days ahead. Because of God’s great mercy and grace, He has brought us through many trials. No couple is kept from adversity. We have chosen to allow it to grow us and change us into becoming more and more as one.

Jo Anne and Gary Isom