Christmastime is a time for giving. Many exchange gifts and have special gifts they will always cherish.
Sometimes the gift is not a special thing, such as quilt from a grandmother, a special family Bible handed down, or a trip taken with family. For two couples, that most memorable gift is their spouse. The Rev. Ben Martin and his wife Barbara will celebrate 48 years of marriage Tuesday.
“We got married on Dec. 27, 48 years ago,” he said. “We got married in my mother’s living room. My dad (the late Rev. B.F. Martin) did the ceremony. My brother was my best man, my brother-in-law gave the bride away, and the young lady who introduced us was the maid of honor.”
They decided to get married around Christmas because it was a time when all the family was together, he said. Martin said his wife has been supportive of him in his ministry and the choices he feels God has led him to make.
“Her best asset is that she supports me in what I do and she’s always ready to help out,” he said.
“One of the most important things for a minister is a wife who supports the ministry, not necessarily involved in it, but understands what it is and supports it. I taught collegiate math for 30 years before I really started doing full-time ministry. When I told her what I wanted to do, she said, ‘That’s fine. Whatever we’re going to do, wherever we’re going to go, we’ll go.’ That’s not a common thing.”
The Martins have three children, two sons and one daughter, and six grandchildren now.
For Sydney Mouser, her most memorable Christmas gift was the day her husband, Jacob, proposed to her. It was Christmas Eve 2013 at his parents’ home.
“He proposed in front of his family,” she said, adding it brought her to tears. “That was my gift for Christmas.”
She described the day he proposed. The couple was spending Christmas Eve Day with his family. They had planned to spend the evening with her family afterwards. They ate lunch, and after spending the afternoon opening gifts, he opened the tiny box containing the ring he would give her.
“It’s hard to describe how I felt in that moment,” she said. “It’s hard to put how I felt into words, but I was so happy. I knew that I loved him, so I immediately said yes.”
They married in 2014 and now make their home in Minden.