By Reg and Babes Moodley
Ever thankful for all that God has done. Always believing that God Can and He still Will! Still holding onto the promise that God is Able to do all that He promised!
Babes and I have much to be thankful for. We have come to realise early in our married life that God never moves without a purpose or plan. If we were going to succeed it was going to be based entirely on God (Jer. 17:7-8). There’s hardly a day that goes by that we don’t thank God for all His blessings bestowed upon us since we embarked on our journey of life together.
We couldn’t have imagined how two people with such diverse personalities would come together let alone going the distance for 40 years of marriage to date. We can confidently declare that God’s way was perfect in our life and that He’s been good to us.
We started off later in life than most, much to the amazement of many around us, and even our parents who wondered if we would ever consider marriage. Our peers were already married by 28 and had children. It was not the norm in those days to remain unmarried for so long. Interestingly, both Babes and I weren’t concerned about that because we both had other priorities than simply rushing into marriage with its attending responsibilities. Instead we were both focused on our education and careers and competing for advancement in a country that didn’t see us as equals. Living in South Africa was a huge challenge for us due to the Apartheid regime but even in that situation we thrived well against the odds. The challenges imposed on us helped us to make extra personal sacrifices, put in greater effort and an increased reliance on the provision of God to direct our footsteps – and He did. Other issues that dampened our desire for an earlier marriage were failed marriages, unemployment in our poor community, delinquency among children, etc.
Yet I would hear a loud prayer in the vernacular of a woman after God’s own heart – my mother who hardly got off her knees in less than an hour and half from 4:30am each morning. It was an agonising cry for her children and that soon got to me so I started to pray to the Lord to send the right person across my path that I would be committed to for the rest of my life. And it happened for me because the Lord heard and granted me the perfect wife who, to this day, makes me look good.
So how did it all happen? When we saw green lights and were assured in our hearts that God was in this, there was no point vacillating because that would be costly, living 187 kms apart. So, we met and married within six months: First meet up on 26 January 1980, engaged on 26 April 1980 and we married on 26 July 1980. No time to waste so long we were clear on God’s plan for us!
Marrying later than normal didn’t seem such a great idea because it would mean our children would not have the full enjoyment of us in growing up. As it turned out, they too were busy boys and steep into their sports, music and plenty of extra-curricular activities. And grand children? Well that was not even on our wish list of life’s ambitions. But here we are; two grown up sons that have heeded the call of God on their lives and six grandchildren who continue to bring us so much joy at this latter stage of our lives. And our daughters-in-law in there as well that are amazing wives and parents. It gets better; both Lauren’s parents and Amabel’s mum are very much part of our family. How could these things be? Well, quite honestly, we don’t know, but acknowledge that:
“Hitherto hath the Lord helped us” 1 Samuel 7:12
God’s been gracious to us all through the years and we look forward with confidence to the next chapter of our lives together as we enter our third quarter in marriage and the fourth quarter of life.
Being very different in personalities, we have learned to adapt quickly after knowing our individual strengths and weaknesses. That engendered a mutual respect for each other and we encourage each other. We didn’t need to teach the other too much but we observed and adapted to how we perceived each would prefer how to run a home founded on the Word of God.
We both came from humble beginnings and learned to appreciate the simple things of life and used our individual giftings to good advantage and both sets of interests and giftings contributed to a greater outcome that we have enjoyed throughout our lives.
Nowadays, we don’t mind being considered “old school” because we are convinced that old school still works for us and its less stressful that what we see around. We are both products of wise counsel from our parents and people well beyond our years. If any counsel was founded on the principles of the Bible (Psalms 119:105) we gladly accepted that and applied it. We believe even to this day that experience is a good teacher for us than gaining it from someone who only knew as much as we did.
Despite being career-minded people that worked hard in our jobs, we don’t feel our children suffered any disadvantage. Quality family time was a high priority for us because we had so little time to spare. And then, we honoured each other’s parents and today we are beneficiaries of their blessings.
Our testimony is reflected in the words of this hymn that we hole dear to:
All the way our Saviour leads us; What have we to ask beside?
Can we doubt His tender mercy; Who thro’ life has been our guide?
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort, Here, by faith in Him to dwell!
For we know, whate’er, befall us, Jesus doeth all things well.
This our song through endless ages, Jesus led us all the way.
This is our story, this is our song.