From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Sense of humor, mutual respect keep this marriage strong
Thu, 29 May 2003 15:00:15 -0500
May 29, 2003 News media contact: Kathy Gilbert7(615) 742-54707Nashville,
NOTE: This report is a sidebar to UMNS story #300. A photograph is available.
A UMNS Feature
By Kathy Gilbert*
Betty and Charles Hurlock have been happily married since Aug. 20, 1946.
"I went to Atlanta to get an education at Emory University," Charles says.
"Then I met this girl. One thing led to another, and boy did I get educated!"
You don't have to talk to Betty and Charles for long before you realize one
secret to their long marriage: a good sense of humor.
"I can't imagine making it through life or a marriage without a good sense of
humor," Betty says, laughing. "We have had a good time."
"I think a major part of the success of our marriage is we are both committed
Christians, active in our churches," she says. "We had a lot of the same
values, life values, same goals, and our parents were very committed
They both agree marriage takes work and commitment.
"Even at the time when we were young, a lot of people had the idea marriage
was a fairy tale," Betty says. "Get married and live happily ever after. But
that isn't the end of the story; it is just the beginning. People say, 'Well,
if it doesn't work out, we can always get a divorce.'
"That was never ever the case in the home where I was raised," Charles says.
"One thing I say a lot, I never thought marriage was 50-50 or 70-30. I think
it is 100-100. Unless each one is totally committed to the other, it doesn't
work out," says Betty.
"I have had a very, very loving and caring husband."
"And I have got the best wife that there ever was."
"We promised to love, honor and cherish, and I have really been cherished,"
Betty says. "What more could any wife ask then to know that her husband
cherishes her? I have been blessed by that."
"I try to tell her every night before we go to bed and go to sleep that I
love her more than she loves me and to quit arguing with me," Charles says
"We are not Pollyannas," Betty is quick to point out. "Whatever it is, good,
bad or indifferent, we are in it together."
Ministry for clergy spouses
Charles is a retired pastor, and Betty says most of their life has been spent
in a "fishbowl." Ministers and their families must have an open-door policy,
and people are always watching them, they say.
In fact, the stress on clergy marriages placed an extra burden on Betty's
heart. She founded Partners in Crisis ministry, a support group for divorced
clergy spouses in the Holston Annual (regional) Conference, which covers
parts of Tennessee and Virginia.
Twenty-five years ago, a young clergy wife came to Betty in tears because she
felt abandoned by the church when she divorced her husband.
"That really started bothering me, and I never did get it off my mind," Betty
says. "I keep hearing from others who run into the same thing, and they just
sort of disappeared from the scene. They felt other wives didn't care. I
wanted to let every minister's spouse know that if something happens, we do
care and we do want to help."
Divorcing or separating clergy spouses can often find themselves homeless as
well because many churches provide a parsonage and furnishings for the
Partners in Crisis provides resources to clergy spouses following a marital
separation or divorce. The volunteer organization is dependent on donations.
For more information on Partners in Crisis through Holston Conference
Foundation, contact Roger Redding at (865) 690-4080.
# # #
*Gilbert is a news writer with United Methodist News Service.
United Methodist News Service
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