Reflections on 38 years of Marriage

Bill and Kathy cut the cake

Bill and Kathy cut the cake

I was the perfect man: charming, irresistible, polite, discerning, protective, and passionate. I was a hunk and man of God rolled into one ideal package.

… at least in Kathy’s mind.

What she actually got was an amiable but insecure, protective but selfish, polite but socially clumsy, passionate but lustful, fit but undisciplined, pursuer of God with millions of miles to go on my spiritual journey.

I am always amazed at the faith women have in the belief that men will change for the better once the aisle has been walked and vows repeated. Fortunately for those of the male gender, the women who love us see us for who we could be, not who we are in reality.

Of course that can be dangerous for a woman. Besides the fragile grip on reality, it is fraught with temptation to take the taming of the cave man on as a woman’s personal mission and prerogative.

Actually I was significantly self-righteous for many years about the fact that I didn’t want to change Kathy—like she wanted to change me. I wanted the woman I thought I married. However, when I read Paul’s instructions to husbands in Ephesians 5, I see a different attitude commanded entirely. Being a good husband is all about helping to change the woman I married—not into the image I had in my mind, but into the image that God had in mind for her when he created her. It’s not about shaping her into the perfect woman who will meet my needs, but helping her become all she was created to be.

Today, as I look back on 38 years of marriage, I am so thankful that Kathy Peel is not the cute little adoring coed I married. Despite my help much of the time, she has become a beautiful woman of God: smart, winsome, fiercely loyal to our boys and their wives, committed follower of Jesus, tenacious business woman, graciously confrontive wife, and passionate lover—and did I mention, she’s my best friend.


11 responses to “Reflections on 38 years of Marriage

  1. Tommy W. Thomas

    Bill, If we are honest, so many of us would agree with a lot of what you said, particularly the part where you talk about our level of maturity (in all ways) when we married. Thank you for the example you have set and the encouragement you are to so many of us. Congratulations!!!

  2. Thanks for sharing! Best wishes today and always.

  3. Awesome! Congrats. We just celebrated 14 years on Wednesday, but you and Kathy got us beat.

    I like the idea that marriage works best when each person tries to help the other become who God wants us to be.

  4. Congratulations. You are honest about yourself and your relationship, and that is probably the glue holding your together

  5. Who is that guy with hair???

  6. michele grinnan

    Kathy and Bill – Congratulations to my daughter’s “fun” in-laws. Your relationship demonstrates love that extends beyond your marriage to family and friends.

  7. Thanks you, Bill, and congratulations to you and Kathy. You are an incredible couple and a marvelous example of a God inspired and blessed relationship. Judy and I love to watch you both. You’re a joy!!!

  8. Congratulations Bill and Kathy! Bill, you are a good and encouraging friend who sets a great example for other men.

  9. Dear Bill & Kathy,
    Y’all were a cute couple… and you still are! We praise God for His workmanship in and through you in the lives of many. Blessings, Bob & Kathleen Dees

  10. Bill,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. What a great picture – and testimony. Congratulations!

  11. Bill & Kathy, congratulations on a great walk and for sharing this with your friends!!! Here’s to 38 more happy years!!!!


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