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God is the Glue in a Marriage even When Alzheimer’s Strikes

God is the bond which holds our marriages together. & If we’re going to STAY together, He must actually BE at the center of our relationships. We must be committed to Him first of all. Then we’ll remain committed to each other no matter what happens.

Roger Zerbe suffered from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. His wife, Becky, remembers a journal entry he left for her after a particularly troubling bout of forgetfulness. She writes:

“I picked up the journal on my pillow and read: Honey, Today fear is taking over. The day is coming when all my memories of this life we share will be gone. In fact, you and the boys will be gone from me. I will lose you even as I am surrounded by you and your love. I don’t want to leave you. I want to grow old in the warmth of memories. Forgive me for leaving so slowly and painfully.

Blinking back tears, Becky says, “I picked up my pen and wrote: My sweet husband, what will happen when we get to the point where you no longer know me? I will continue to go on loving you and caring for you—not because you know me or remember our life, but because I remember you. I will remember the man who proposed to me and told me he loved me, the look on his face when his children were born, the father he was, the way he loved our extended family. I’ll recall his love for riding, hiking, and reading; his tears at sentimental movies; the unexpected witty remarks; and how he held my hand while he prayed. I cherish the pleasure, obligation, commitment, and opportunity to care for you because I REMEMBER YOU!” (Becky Zerbe, “Penning a Marriage,” Marriage Partnership, Spring 2006, p. 22;

Because of her commitment to Christ, Becky chose to remember what brought her and her husband together, and that kept them together even when he couldn’t remember her.

From a sermon by C. Philip Green, Divorce Proof Your Marriage, 1/16/2010

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