Even after 74 years of marriage, Bill Bowermaster doesn’t have specific advice on how to have a great marriage. But he’s willing to tell a conversion story that offers clues to the secret of the three-quarters of a century he has spent with his wife, Greta.
When Bill and Greta were still dating, Greta’s father, an elder in their Presbyterian church, was so touched by Bill’s “deep faith” and commitment to God that he told his daughter, “You should join his church.” And she did. Greta converted to Catholicism before they married, and the Bowermasters have made their faith the foundation of their marriage ever since.
In talking to Bill, it’s easy to hear just what his future father-in-law picked up on. Bill is quick to credit their faith and the goodness of God with their wonderful long marriage and with the financial success of a booming insurance company and their “beautiful family,” which includes three children, 14 grandchildren, and 23 great-grandchildren.
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In fact, it’s what makes it easy to believe Bill when says he says that he and Greta have never had anydifficulties in their marriage. Sure, they had years when money was tight as they started their insurance business after moving to California to begin their life together, but Bill looks back fondly even on those years. For him, the hard times are a testament to God’s provision.
While they eventually became “economically fortunate,” as Bill calls it, that wasn’t the best part of their marriage. When asked about the highlights of their long life together, Bill says, without missing a beat: “The birth of our three children.”
“The Good Lord has been with me every since I was born,” Bill says. And he believes God has directed his path ever since — from guiding him to Greta to inspiring herto become Catholic and then giving them a shared faith on which to build their family. Together, they’ve been faithful and “very involved” churchgoers, and they raised their children to do the same.
Though not everyone starts off with the same foundation or knows the same financial prosperity of the Bowermasters, their long and happy marriage certainly demonstrates the beauty of a shared faith and commitment to God, through the many seasons of life.