My man and me

Thirty-eight years tomorrow.

The organist played the wedding march and I stood next to my Daddy in the foyer with my heart pounding like clapping thunder in my chest and wearing an ever so slightly off-white, nothing special wedding dress so as not to be a total fraud. We’d rented the dress for $65 and it never even occurred to me to mind. I come from very modest means and there was no world in which I expected my parents to spend several hundred dollars on a dress. They didn’t have it. And, except for the monthly stresses of bill paying in our home and overhearing my mom on the phone with bankers about overdrafts and loans and mortgages, we didn’t care that we made it by the skin of our teeth. It was normal to us and, for that matter, normal to most of the people we knew.

The congregation of about 200 came to its loud feet with the prelude and almost that many faces looked straight back at me and Daddy. My eyes darted up the middle aisle of that small Baptist church, shifting back and forth from smiling face to smiling face, many very familiar to me despite having been there a few short years. I served wherever I churched because that’s what I was raised to do. Never considered not. That day at Spring Woods Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, my wide-eyed gaze also fell on a few faces of those who filled the front aisles. Family members. And, trust me when I tell you, they weren’t smiling. Every year around our anniversary, Keith and I recount the whole ignominious scene with one another and mock the family scowls and laugh until our sides split. Nothing could have been less humorous on that particular day but the thought that we spited all of them by making it this long brings Keith and me no small glee. We were both in long term stable relationships when we met. I was engaged. He was soon to be. Each of our families loved our significant others. And, in a way I won’t go into trying to explain, so did we.

I’m not sure Keith and I ourselves completely understand why we dropped everything dependable and remotely stable in our lives and flew headlong into one another with all the tranquility of a pair of cymbals. The best explanation is that clamor attracts clamor and baggage attracts baggage and, boy, did we each have some. And then there was just pure chemistry. Had we been married to other people when we met, God help us, I trust we would have either ignored or resisted it or, by that time, never met but the fact was, we weren’t married, we did meet and we did not remotely ignore nor resist one another.

The words “wedding planner” weren’t even in my vocabulary or that of anyone I knew. The woman standing in the foyer with Dad and me on the day of the wedding was one of the very same women who brought a green bean casserole or jello salad every Wednesday night to fellowship supper. When the organ piped up, she nodded her head, touched my shoulder and said “Now.” She’d told us to go slow and Dad and I had practiced the night before but, for the life of me, I was either going to run down that aisle to that man in the tux or my hind end was going to flee to the parking lot where I’d holler like a wild hyena until somebody picked me up and hijacked me to Mexico.

I cannot say that it did not help that Keith Moore was the most beautiful man I’d ever kissed in all my life. Dad and I flew so fast down that aisle that my veil nearly took me to the wind like the flying nun.

A thought which carries impressive irony.

In seconds it seemed, the pastor said to the congregation, “Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore.”

And, just like that, the wedding was over.

Let the drama begin.

And I guess in a lot of ways it’s never come to an end. It’s just a different kind of drama these days for the most part.

I’ve been asked many times if I’ll ever write a book on marriage. I don’t expect to. I have no intention of setting us up as some exemplary couple. Keith and I have not had a great marriage. But, somehow, in recent years, we’ve managed to find ourselves in a pretty good one. And I guess it’s fair to say you’ve never met two people happier about being pretty happy.

We don’t just kiss on our anniversary. We high five.

I’m really reluctant to do what I’m about to do because what if he and I get into the biggest fight of our lives tonight and I maniacally hurl all his fishing gear and deer heads and forty pair of unders in the front yard? I’ve never done that before but I’ve always known I had it in me. I’ve always kept my pitching arm in shape for such a time as this. And what if one of the neighbors videos us and I end up on the YouTube cussing? I’ve never been one to cuss much but, if I’m ever going to have a cussing conniption, it will be my luck to have it on the YouTube. One time I did try to leave Keith and he said, “Go right ahead. Leave me. But you’ll look in your rearview mirror and there I will be and not because I like you any better than you like me. Because I don’t. But because we are married and married we’ll stay.” Keith never was a great Catholic except about the one thing I wished he’d been more Baptist about: splitting.

And so, like somebody pulling teeth, I’m reluctantly going to tell you with little commentary a few of the things that have kept us at it, every single one of which is nothing but the dripping grace of Jesus. We can’t even take credit for the things that have actually worked. So here goes and then I’m closing this post and publishing it before I change my mind.

If you don’t mind, I’m going to do this backwards and start with the bottom line because everything else comes back to this: We have both and each been willing, many times through bitter tears and against our human-hearted natural preferences, to choose to love each other again. Over and over and over and over.  After some really harsh things.

We had Amanda nine months and two weeks from our wedding day after being told I’d need surgery to conceive. Liar, liar pants on fire. We may as well have named her Elmers. She was the glue God used to hold our first few years together. Then came Melissa, who was a dyed in the wool daddy’s girl. We still wouldn’t have made it even with them to consider, I’m sorry to say, if not for that one bottom line above.

We developed compassion for one another. We were both messed up and we each understood why. And, I really don’t know a better way to say it, we felt sorry for one another and started trying to help each other get better.

The fact that I could sob as I write this next one is fittingly ironic. We each think the other is hilarious. The only thing Keith and I have done as much as fight is laugh. I don’t know why we got that gift but we did. We even laughed at times in the terrible years. We tried not to but we couldn’t help ourselves. We are each the most absurd person the other has ever met. We are a cartoon strip and we know it.

One last thing. I told Keith before we were engaged that God had placed a call on my life at 18 and, if he didn’t think he could handle it, he better run for his life. Having no other paradigm for a woman in ministry, he looked at me with a measure of horror and said, “Are you going to be a nun?” (We’d made out for the better part of the last hour so the absurdity of this one makes me rub my forehead with no small delight.)  No, I said, to which he responded, “Then I’m in.” And he has been. For somewhere around 15 Bible studies, numerous other books, 23 years of Sunday School lessons, many years of Tuesday night Bible study and two Friday nights a month with me on the road. Unwaveringly. And not as a weakling but as the strongest willed man I’ve ever met. Nobody need wonder who wears the Wranglers in my family. And you may as well not go to seed feeling sorry for him. He’d have to lie to say I ignored him and then I’d have to hit him with my purse and, considering all the lip glosses in it, it would hurt considerably. Him, not me. He just wasn’t the kind that would be ignored. When we were at home together, we were at home together. I didn’t hang out on the phone all the time doing ministry or study my commentaries in front of him – I did that while he was at work – or flip through magazines. To this day, if I’m messing around on social media on my phone when I’m with him, he’ll say, “Pay attention to me!” And I’m glad he will. And I do. Or we’d have nothing.

And, finally, after many years, I returned a certain spiritual favor after all he’d done to be supportive of my calling: I just accepted him like he was and quit trying to turn him into a deacon or some big spiritual beacon. He didn’t want to be one. Doesn’t want to now.

Thirty-eight years tomorrow. This one man and me. We’ve decided to stay in this dance a little bit longer.



Because, ladies and gentlemen, smilers and scowlers, we are Mr. and Mrs. Keith Moore.







426 Responses to “My man and me”

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  1. 401
    Sybil says:

    Having been married 43 years I absolutely cried reading this! Love you Beth Moore! You are so real! Thank you for all the Bible studies and conferences where you have made my day! God bless you!

    Sybil Havner
    Matthews, North Carolina

  2. 402

    Oh, Beth, I love you! You say what’s in your head. You are as real as they come! Happy Anniversary to you and Keith! May God continue to bless you mightily!

  3. 403
    Jon Land says:


    My wife shared this with me over this past NYE weekend and I’m just not getting to read it.

    We are about to celebrate our 27th year of marriage after 2 bad marriages for us both to start things off. We mirror a lot of what you’ve shared. She too is a woman in ministry, attending Pentecostal Theological Seminary and being mentored by Dr. Johns there. I help in different areas at our church, but I don’t feel the calling as she does, but Im the armor bearer/cheerleader for her and His calling her life. She was raised in the projects, me, out in southern California not wanting for much. So our upbringing does butt heads at times on our outlook on finances, family raising and beliefs.

    I appreciate your honestly about things in your marriage. It gives hope for folks like us that have gone through some rough times in our marriage and still wonder after the last child is out of the house next year, what next?

    I pray that you both have a good 2018 and a very happy belated anniversary to you both.

  4. 404
    Pauline Muthigani says:

    this is so sweet and inspiring, a testimony that marriages do work.

  5. 405
    Becky Ellis says:

    This commentary on your marriage is better than a book because all of us who have been in a marriage can fill in the blank spaces for you. This sounds so much like my marriage. Hard but fun. I see GOD’s purpose in my marriage so well now that I have been in it for 32 years, but I sure wondered many times in the first 10 years.

  6. 406
    Julie B says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! Beth, you’re such an inspiration…and I would LOVE if you WOULD write some studies on marriage. Thanks for this post & happy belated anniversary!

  7. 407
    Amy McGinness says:

    Congrats on 38 yrs so so too awesome too happy for you and Keith my marriage anniv will be 22 years this dec . You Keith are such hope inspire for I all genres and Married couples it takes hard work committment love this is my first marriage ever will be my only one i was 21 when I got married to love of my life for life I not trade me too too good keeper gent hubby ever I too broke off a relationship when God put me hubby to meet me but I waited to find out if me hubby now back then wanted to date I before I Broke up with me ex bf I was not going to date two guys at same time though me ex bf who I broke it off with then Married my hubby my ex bf thought he try to date I and others hmn really so I was too too thx God had Put me hubby right on right place at the right time to marry i Our God is so so awesome beyond anything xxxxx

  8. 408
    Nancy says:

    When I proposed to my husband, I told him God would always come first and that it was a “no cut, no trade” agreement and if he could agree to that, I would like to marry him. We just celebrated 30 1/2 years of marriage.

  9. 409
    Barbara Bell says:

    I’m so glad you re posted this! Honesty is so encouraging and reveals God’s grace better than anything! My husband and I have been married 46 years (by the GRACE of God) and God has used the good, the bad, and the ugly, to bring us closer to Him. Thank you for sharing!

  10. 410
    Patty Rasmussen says:

    Good for you, Beth & Keith. Happy Anniversary! High five, indeed. My hubs and I hit 40 this year by the grace and good favor of the Lord. I did my best to muck it up but He wouldn’t have it. Thanks be to God.

  11. 411
    Debbie Mueller says:

    Congratulations Beth and Keith!! Happy for you. Marriage is a job and if you are blessed there are a lot of good times on that job. I have been married to a wonderful man. He was 35 years old before he ever thought of marriage. I was 33 with lots of baggage. The reason we are still married is Keith’s attitude. We made vows til death do us part. We will be married 30 years on February 18th. We attribute our success to the fact we decided to serve God and do what we have been taught in the Bible. Thank you for your bible studies for they have helped me to grow in Christ also. Happy Anniversary and May God Bless You With Many More.

  12. 412

    Praise Jesus for 40 years of marriage, Beth! I have read this post a few times over the past couple of years and this weekend I was really needing to be encouraged, so I read it again. God’s faithfulness and provision of strength and grace in your marriage gives me hope too. ❤️

  13. 413
    Angela says:

    I’ve loved you Beth Moore, for years! I just grew to love you all the more! I happened to look up your name to see if you’ve done a study for couples and happened upon this testimony.
    I’ve been married 43 years and it’s been a hard marriage. Thanks for the hope to keep on keeping on!

  14. 414
    Julie Lee says:

    I am a lead pastor’s wife of a growing, thriving church in LA, and reading this gave me so much encouragement and ministers to my heart as I continually wrestle with the pressure of becoming a co-pastor with my husband. The struggle is real for those with spouses in vocational, public ministry. Thank you for accepting Keith as he is.


  15. 415
    Marlita Peters says:

    Oh My Gosh, I Get This!!!! I’m dating a man who is a fire-breathing preacher, a gifted singer/songwriter, a contractor, a teacher, a graphic artist, a gun enthusiast and tractor driving farmer…this man can do anything he sets his mind to! And on top of all that, he is the most handsome thing I’ve ever seen!! We laugh, we tiff, we tease, we talk…he can excite and exasperate me in two seconds flat!! And I love him with everything within me! Thank you for sharing truth…preachers are not perfect…they are real men…just men…and we have to except them as such and not put them on a perfect pedestal…the fall is long and hard. Thank you, Beth for being real! Happy 40th-and-a-half anniversary to both of you!!

  16. 416

    I cried reading this. SO inspirational and heartfelt! Thank you for sharing your beautiful, honest journey. Your story inspires me that real love, the God kind really IS possible! It IS possible! Thank you!! I don’t cry out of sadness, but knowing that God is preparing me AND him to collide in His time. I am trusting God for that. I’m so glad I stumbled on this.

  17. 417
    Marianne Verner says:

    Inspiring, True, A Gift, Thank you both

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