Fortunately, for 30 years I’ve had a master builder at my side


My lovely wife and I have just marked our 30th wedding anniversary.

Three decades ago, (doesn’t that sound like a long time?!) I decided noon on New Year’s Eve would be a good time to get married. Holidays did not yet mean marathon football telecasts back then, as I remember. Reveries hadn’t begun at that early time of day to mark the passage of one year to the next. In short, it seemed convenient.

We’ve paid dearly for that assumption ever since.

Get married on New Year’s Eve and you’re doomed to find every hotel you wish to book, every restaurant where you care to dine has long been reserved to capacity. And at double the normal price. Want to get married on a holiday? Try President’s Day. Everyone cuts prices then.

The great statesman, Edmund Burke once said: “Patience will achieve more than force.”

Being married to me has certainly required patience. Cheryl, obviously, has an abundant supply. Over more than two decades she has mellowed my mood and tempered other unbecoming traits — though I’m sure not enough. Such care is a small part of why I consider myself so fortunate.

Mitch Temple, pastor and marriage counselor with the Focus on the Family ministry, writes about key ingredients for a successful marriage. My wife must have inspired them. For example, Temple proclaims the immense value in — you guessed it — patience.

“When things get tough couples ... need to hang in there and be there for their spouse. Time has a way of helping ... work things out.”

Another point by Temple: “A crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over. Crises are like storms: loud, scary and dangerous. But to get through a storm you have to keep driving. A crisis can be a new beginning. It’s out of pain that great people and marriages are produced.”

Marriage is a building process. Some, thrown together too quickly, without a solid foundation, like poor construction, can collapse.

Few images are more iconic for stability and recognized worldwide than the Great Pyramids of Egypt. Among the most famous buildings in the world, the largest was built around 2,550 B.C., and was the tallest man-made structure in the world until the Eiffel Tower. An astounding feat of geometric accuracy, the Great Pyramids align perfectly with the stars, and are accurate to within millimeters. With each stone weighing about 2.5 tons, it’s still uncertain how, without tools, such an accomplishment was achieved.

Like the pyramids, some have probably wondered how my wife has managed to stick with this job. But, like those stars, she and I are perfectly aligned.

Being married to a man who has a demanding, often unpopular, job can be a heavy lift for any woman. Fortunately, my bride came to me with all the tools necessary to forge — not a perfect union — but certainly a strong one. It couldn’t be possible without her strength, wisdom, untiring work ethic and ... her patience.

For 30 years of patient love and understanding, I thank you, Cheryl Williams. And I love you.

• Robert M. Williams, Jr. is Editor & Publisher of The Blackshear Times. Email:

Robert M. Williams, Jr. can be reached at