Vital and Green

Editor’s Note: This is a guest story by contributor June Titus (formerly Windle Bare). Congrats on your “sunset marriage,” June! See June’s last post on Devotional Diva here.

Vital and Green

But the godly will flourish like palm trees . . . Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just!  He is my Rock! There is no evil in Him!” Psalms 92:12-15

Don’t we love to hear stories about oldsters getting married in their sunset years? One of my aunts married at age 90, enjoying the happiest years of her life. Perhaps long-married couples, set in their ways and too used to one another, lose that newly-wed adventure. Late blooming love presents a refreshing look at a new intimacy reflected in their world. 

Now, my sweetheart and I, both in our 80s, have joined the ranks of the newly-weds. We are learning that love takes on a different character in old age. Life once more becomes exiting—it is “vital and green.” 

How can we, as an older newly-married couple, facilitate our marriage to “flourish like palm trees?” Here are a few interesting facts about palm trees: 

  • A palm tree can live up to 100-some years, depending on the species (there are 2600 species of palms). 
  • As tropical plants, they withstand high temperatures and forceful winds, providing an oasis in the desert. 
  • Many varieties of palm are important sources of food such as coconut and date, fiber for making rope, weaving, and basketry, and resins for dyes, varnishes, and incense. 
  • The spongy wood of the tree can withstand crushing blows. (For instance: Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, built of palm logs during the American Revolution, withstood the bombardment of British cannons) 
  • Palms have a long history as being symbolic for victory, peace, and fertility. 

To remain green and vital in our sunset marriage—like a palm tree—we have our work cut out for us. God led us together; therefore, He has work for us to do. 

  • The palm endured. We may not have many years ahead, but we are responsible to live them to the fullest for God’s purposes 
  • The palm tree withstands the elements and provides an oasis. As seniors, we have been around the block and know what it means to endure hardship, sorrow, and difficult times. We can empathize with others and provide an “oasis” for them in the name of our LORD. 
  • Palm trees, as sources of food, fiber, and resins, go beyond the outward appearances. There are deep places to be mined. As elders, we have the opportunity to share experiences and wisdom with those God places in our way. 
  • Palms have unique wood that withstands blows. Rather than a hard exterior to fend off the inevitable slights and hurts resulting from human nature, we can take the blows and still remain strong if we depend on God’s strength. 
  • Then there is the symbolic significance of the palm: victory, peace, and fertility. As believers in Christ, we partake of His victory over sin and death, gaining peace with God and peace of soul. With such peace, although we are long past physical fertility, we can pass His peace to the world around us—our families; our neighbors; our world. The message is God is just; God is a refuge; God is good. 

But what about younger married couples? They have the same opportunities to build their marriage into a green and vital reflection of Christ and the Church (Read Ephesians 5: 22-32).

My husband and I are looking forward to flourishing however many years God gives us together. 

June Windle Bare
June W. Titus is a retired nurse and poet and mother and grandmother, living with her husband in southern Georgia. Now in her eighties, she remains active in her local church. Among other church responsibilities, she teaches a Sunday school class of her peers. She writes a weekly blog on Facebook, entitled “Monday Musings.” Prior to moving to Georgia, she was a regular contributor to “The Watauga Democrat” newspaper, and “all About Women,’ a monthly magazine, both in Boone, North Carolina.