34th Wedding Anniversary

  • July 1, 2016
  • #8915

Joni and Ken reveal how they have kept their marriage strong for 34 years. 

34th Wedding Anniversary

Joni: Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and this weekend is my wedding anniversary! And to kick-start the celebration, I have in the studio today Ken Tada.

Ken: Hi, Hon!

Joni: Great to have you here, sweetheart.

Ken: Oh, it’s great to be here.

Joni: And this weekend it will be 34 years, right?

Ken: 34 years!

Joni: Almost 3-1/2 decades we’ve been married – oh my goodness? You know, the other day someone asked me about our marriage. Living with quadriplegia, she commented: “You know Joni, it doesn’t look like your disability has torn your marriage apart, but it’s drawn you together as a couple, you and Ken.” I’d say that’s true, wouldn’t you?

Ken: Absolutely! People may look at it as a disadvantage, but I look at it as an advantage because we are closer together.

Joni: We are forced to the feet of Jesus every single morning, right?

Ken: Oh, yeah.  I think we do a lot more praying than maybe some of these able-bodied couples.

Joni: Maybe so. And I want people to know that we do have challenges. Like Ken, for 34 years you have gotten up every night – at least once a night – to turn me in bed. Now, to me that’s amazing.

Ken: You know, I don’t look at it as being “amazing” Joni, I look at Colossians 3:23 that says, “Do your work heartily as unto the Lord not as unto men.” And you know I happen to be married to someone who is disabled, but actually I’m doing this because I love Jesus.

Joni: But you love me, too. To get up at 4:30 in the morning and turn me, you better describe what that involves.

Ken: Well, I think it’s different now than it was 34 years ago when we first were married. Today it has become a little more difficult because of the fact that you are in pain. And I have to be a little bit more technical in terms of how I turn you.

Joni: Yes, I should explain for our listeners that as a quadriplegic I can’t lay in one position all night long. I just have to turn or else I am going to develop pressure sores. But your attitude through it all, Ken, is amazing. Half the time I hardly even wake up when you turn me.

Ken: You know, relying on Jesus has been a huge part of these last 34 years.

Joni: You know, something else that my disability has done it’s forced us to be really transparent with one another.  

Ken: I think we have learned that over the years. I think 34 years has given us the opportunity to learn a little more about each other. Also, by having those 34 years, this transparency that you are talking about is really key because I try to be as transparent with you as I can, and you the same with me and that wouldn’t have been the case 34 years ago.

Joni: When I feel like depression is starting to come on or I feel discouraged because of chronic pain or the day-to-day routines, I’ll tell you; I’ll say, Ken I need your prayers. Can you just stop with me one moment and pray with me? Because I know you understand, you live with me, you understand this quadriplegia, and so your prayers are earnest.  To me you are the epitome of a selfless, caring, compassionate husband.

Ken: Joni, it’s a privilege to do that. The Bible says to us it’s so critical, I mean Ephesians 5:25 says, ‘To love our wives as Christ loved the church.’ Well, Christ died for the church.

Joni: If men today, like you, would just do the hard thing in their marriage on behalf of their wife; lay down your life in some specific way for your wife, they would be following the Ephesians Chapter 5 principle that you just shared – how Christ laid his life down for the church, husbands can lay their lives down for their wives. By just gritting their teeth and doing that hard thing on behalf of the woman they love, oh my goodness, you’ll make it to more than 34 years of happy marriage, not that our years of marriage have always been easy, right?

Ken: That’s correct.

Joni: Ken, I want to thank you for your selflessness.

Ken: Joni, it’s a privilege to serve you in the name of Jesus and I want to just wish you a happy, happy anniversary.

Joni: Happy anniversary to you too. I love you, sweetheart!

Ken: I love you too, Joni.

© Joni and Friends


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