Long Lasting Marriage - Life Stories Jim and Barbara Hrovatic
In 1 Corinthians 13:13, it tells us to abide in faith, hope, love and that the greatest of these is love. Thirty-six years ago, I thought I had little to none of these in my life. I had no faith in, or love for, people or myself. My mother passed away and my dear brother Joe died from cancer, and he was like a father to me. I was starting to feel like life was not worth living, my son and daughter each had their own lives away from home.
The job I had was very stressful and I felt there was no hope that my life would be any better, and I was tired to living. That is when the Lord brought a wonderful Christian lady into my life, Barbara, the love of my life.
My little wife Barbara’s agape love and dedication opened my eyes to the love of our Savior Jesus Christ and at a small and private revival, I asked Jesus Christ to come into my life.
The Lord sent me the most perfect wife. She and I have done so much together during these thirty-six years of marriage, and she is the most faithful giving person. I am truly the most blessed person. Thank God!
I am so thankful for all of the Christian men and women God has brought into my life through The Emmaus Walk, Promise Keepers, Jesus is The Key Ministries, The Men of Faith, Bing Newton, Bob Shone, John Mellinger, and Robert Omaker. This is just to mention a few of the folks and ministries that the Lord has sent into my life.
I could write so many good things that God has done in my life after I asked Christ into my heart. The main thing though is to be thankful, truly thankful for every blessing we receive.
Jim and I will have been married for thirty-eight years this coming August. When we married he had two children, a twenty-four years old son, married with a three year old daughter, and a single twenty-three years old daughter. I also had a nine year old daughter, who would be ten in October.
I was a born again Christian and he was a member of a Lutheran church, but he no longer attended. Because this was a second marriage for each of us, we knew that marriage is something you have to work hard at and make a lifetime commitment. We knew that we would have to work hard to keep it.
His friends were his family and his buddies from his school day. They deer hunted together and did family things. My friends were from my Tuesday Bible study and Sunday school class and also my family. During our dating he began to learn that Jesus was first in my life. After Jesus came my family and our home, next work, etc. I knew he loved his children and granddaughter and that they were first in his life, then his friends and the rest of his family.
For the first ten years of our marriage, my daughter and I attend church together, and he would come when they had a special service with his children. Jim and I also attended a Tuesday night Bible study and he came to know some of the people there and they became friends. These were some of the same people who attended our wedding. Many of them were also a part of the Sunday School group who had served at our wedding reception.
In the tenth year of our marriage, one of the men in the Tuesday night Bible study was led to have a revival meeting at the Salvation Army on a Friday and Saturday. He did not fell to advertise or promote the even but instead to simply invite the church. My daughter and I attended and the Tuesday night Bible study members also went. The first night, we noticed that only the people who were from our Bible study and our church were there. After the message the Pastor called forward anyone who wanted to accept Christ into their heart. Jim went forward and accepted Him. The second night many people heard the call of the pastor and moved forward and dedicated their life. Jim went forward again to confirm to decision he had made the night before. The Lord works through people in ways we can only see after we obey and He works according to His time, not ours.
Sometime after we were married a couple gave us a framed poem that helped me to remember He is always in charge. The poem is by Perry Tanksley:
Marriage Takes Three “I once thought marriage took Just two to make a go, But now I am convinced It takes the Lord also. And not one marriage fails Where Christ is asked to enter, As lovers come together With Jesus at the center. But marriage seldom thrives, And homes are incomplete, Till He is welcomed there To help avoid defeat. In homes where Christ is first, It’s obvious to see, Those unions really work, For marriage still takes three.
Marriage Takes Three (Author Unknown)
It’s not enough just two you see, to complete His plan there must be three. As Husband and Wife you complete your love, with sacred vows and the Lord above. If together you’ll both kneel and pray, with sincere hearts as you end each day, And in all you do, if you put Him first, He’ll meet your needs and quench your thirst. It’s not enough, just two you see… to complete His plan, it takes all three.” This and the studying of the Word is what helps us through the marriage. When we are single, we all need the Lord at the center of our life and home. When we are married this does not change. There will always be hard time to get through life but Jesus will always help us through when we follow and obey Him.