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Shari Rigby (October Baby) plays Nancy Horton in the upcoming film, EXTRAORDINARY. A writer, actress, director and producer, Shari believes perseverance is essential to a marriage that lasts.

Perseverance (noun): steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Synonyms: persistence, tenacity, determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness.

I love the words that define perseverance. Each word makes me want to stand on top of a mountain and scream, “I will never give up.” As I think about the word perseverance, my mind races through the Bible verses that share the message of this powerful “P” word that each one of us must hold onto as we do this thing called life or marriage.

One of my favorites is Acts 20:24. “But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.” You ask, “Where is the word perseverance in this verse?” It’s there. In order for me to finish my course and ministry, I must persevere. Have you ever thought about applying this verse to your marriage?

God knew right from the beginning of time that men and women would need to persevere through this life and to walk alongside of each other. They would be able to lean on, inspire, hold, love, cry with and encourage one another as they do their “course and ministry of marriage” together to testify to the grace of God. Yes, our marriages are a ministry to our husband or wife and to the world around us.

My husband, Matt and I have been married for 20 years and only by the grace of God have we been able to get here and of course, it’s not over, so we will need a whole lot more grace from God and each other to finish well. How have we made it through 20 years of marriage? Perseverance. We work hard to get through the difficult times by leaning on the Lord. We try to outserve one another. We try to guard our mouths, minds and hearts so that we reflect love towards the other. And we always, always remember that we cannot allow our feelings to dictate our decisions.

Marriage is tough, but it is one of the most beautiful gifts that one can receive in his or her life. Remember, perseverance is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” Continue to finish your course and ministry well, running the marriage race showing the unbelieving and believing world we are not quitters, but doers with persistency, tenacity, determination, and staying power.

“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.” — Barbara De Angelis

EXTRAORDINARY is an ideal movie to encourage couples to go the distance in their marriages. Plan now to bring a group of 10 or more from your church, alumni association, marriage ministry, neighborhood or workplace. This one-night event will be in theaters Thursday, September 7 ONLY. Tickets are available at ExtraordinaryMovie.com.