There is a great emphasis on marriage and family in the Church right now. It has always been our goal to help in this effort. Many marriages flounder and would make it if only couples would hold on through difficulties that at the moment may seem hopeless, but in actuality are not. With faith and determination, marriages can grow and become happy and lasting. We hope this article will be helpful, at least to some.

Since we are celebrating our 60th wedding anniversary this month we want to share some of the songs I’ve written with Janice Kapp Perry that came to be because Gary and I found each other and held on through our hard times. Every couple has hard times—can’t seem to get through this life without some—so we think you’ll relate.

A few years ago we were kept busy presenting marriage retreats and firesides. We needed a song that expressed what we were feeling in our own marriage—one that we hoped would strike a chord with those attending these events. That’s when we wrote the love song, In Love All Over Again. Though it’s personal to us, we hoped it would also be personal to those listening.  Here are the words and the link to hear Gary singing it.

In Love All Over Again

On days when life seems much too hard
And I can hardly bear
The difficulties I must face
That’s when you are there.

You touch my cheek so lovingly
And soothe my troubled mind.
You hold me close, and magic’ly
I start to feel just fine.

And I fall in love all over again
With you, my sweetheart, my every day friend,
And the world seems much brighter,
My burdens are lighter,
My happiness fills to the brim,
I’m in love all over again.

Some times when I am watching you
And you are not aware,
My heart is filled with mem’ries
Of the good times we have shared.

And in my mind I see again
The little gifts you gave;
The times we laughed and danced and played,
The times we knelt and prayed.

(Repeat Chorus)

I’ve watched you when you’re tired from work
Play games of peek-a-boo,
And read to our dear little ones
All snuggled close to you.

Then side by side we do our best
To meet their nightly needs.
And when they’re tucked into the beds
You give your heart to me.

(Repeat Chorus)

Call me a sentimentalist, but my heart melts every time he sings this to me, no matter how many people may be watching. It has always been our desire to give hope and a bit of inspiration to those seeking a happy, lasting marriage.

Celebrating our differences

Every married couple has differences. There is just simply no escaping it, and frankly, we wouldn’t want to. Without those differences our lives would be pretty boring. We found that having fun with these differences made them easier to accept. That’s the idea that inspired our writing the song We Got Diff’rences. Whenever we would sing it on our programs we would see couples nudging each other and grinning as we hit a nerve. We had fun with this one. Gary and I would sing together, always acknowledging that singing is not one of my talents, but I go along with it anyway, sort of talk-singing my part. Thank goodness at least one of us got the gift.

We Got Diff’rences

We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got differences.
It’s hard to say why we’re this  way,
Still the fact remains,
We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got diff’rences.

She wants to go to sleep at night
When I’m still wide awake.
He wants the heat turned way down low
When I’m so cold I shake.

She always thinks I drive too fast
And I think she’s too slow.
I like to stay and visit folks
And he can’t wait to go.

We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got diff’rences.

I so enjoy my soft white bread
But she must have whole wheat.
I am content with veg’tables
But he must have his meat!

Both of us know we love our kids
And yet we’re ill equipped.
He seems to think I’m spoiling them,
And she thinks I’m too strict.

We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got diff’rences

He likes to watch adventure shows
And I prefer romance.
I want to stay at home with her,
She’d rather go and dance

When we are walking he’s too slow,
I like a faster gait.
When we are rushed to go somewhere
She always makes us late.

We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got diff’rences

I like to throw old stuff away
And he thinks it’s for keeps.
She rises at the crack of dawn
And me, I like to sleep.

Sometimes we like to watch TV
But it’s no easy trick.
Just when the show is getting good,
Well, I just gotta click.

We got diff’rences,
Oh, have we got diff’rences

But then at night
We snuggle tight
And set aside our grievances,
And then we smile
And for awhile
We celebrate our diff’rences

Hooray for the diff’rences!

In the end, we recommend that couples embrace their differences and enjoy them. It definitely beats belly aching about them.

A difficult challenge

Throughout our speaking opportunities we have openly shared our struggles so others could see that we, too, have had some tough times when things just didn’t work out the way we planned. Sometimes we can look at people standing at a podium and think their lives are easy and without many trials. We found it best to be honest and let our challenges show. We’ve had many. We don’t expose them all, but we do many.

One of our challenges has been learning how to parent our mentally disabled child, Carol. She was three months old when we adopted her. You can praise us all you want for being courageous enough to adopt a special needs child, but we would be unworthy of the praise. We didn’t know of her special needs when we adopted her. Like all parents, we simply loved her and dreamed of her enjoying all the blessings of a normal life. Little by little we discovered her disabilities. It has been beyond difficult for us and her for all the years of her life. She is now 53 years old, still dealing with those challenges. We’ve learned volumes about acceptance, faith in an uncertain future, and love that transcends being loved back. It’s been a difficult journey for us, but filled with little tender mercies of the Lord along the way.  That was the situation several years ago that motivated my writing this poem, which was then put to music by Janice.

My Handicapped Child

I see you , my child,
So often trying—
struggling, crying
And trying again,
Succeeding at times
At what I thought
Would never be,
Yet knowing still
That certain limits may ever be.

That’s when I cry
And wonder, why?
Why you, my own,
My longed-for child?
But I have come to know
The “why” matters not,
The battle must be fought.
And I pray,
“Dear Lord, give me the discipline
To help my child know how to win.”

Then a still small voice
Speaks loud enough for just my heart to hear it,
“Within your child’s restricted frame
Lies a great and noble spirit.
Learn from her, nurture her,
With all your heart and soul.
And one bright day beyond this time
She’ll rise up well and whole.”

Oh, how we look forward to that day when she will be well and whole. We think she’s going to be amazing. In fact, there are many times now that we think she’s already quite amazing considering all the mortal challenges she deals with daily. Gary and I figured out that, together, we could weather any storm, with the Lord’s help. And oh, how He has helped! Still, it has not been easy.

Our mission to protect the family

When we were serving our mission at the World Family Policy Center a few years ago, we had the assignment to do all we could to defend the family by mingling with delegates and ambassadors at United Nations meetings and promoting family values. With so much emphasis on destroying the family, our task at times seemed nearly impossible. A few times we had the opportunity to speak at UN side events where we could present our views. Because of all the opposition, this was a challenge. We had learned the power of music, so Gary suggested we write a song about saving marriage and the family. We prayed, discussed ideas, and I went to work on the lyrics. Janice did her magic and put it to music. We had it translated into the four major languages at the U.N.— English, Spanish, French, and Arabic.

We debuted the song at a side event at the UN in New York City. We were talking about the important and different roles of mothers and fathers. There were hecklers in the audience. We ignored them and went on with our message. At the conclusion of our presentation Gary sang our song, Save the Family. As they listened we saw the faces of the hecklers soften. Some of them came up after and thanked us, saying, “We love our families, too. Thank you.”  Ah, the power of music.

Save the Family 

The family is the beating heart
That keeps a nation strong.
If families fail then nations fall
And all that’s good is gone.

The time has come, the time is now
For everyone to see
That if we are to save the world
We must save the family.

1st Verse:
Fathers rise up and take your place,
Be strong and kind and true.
Keep your family free from harm,
As loving fathers do.

Mothers rise up and take your place
To nurture and renew
The hopes and dreams within every child
As loving mothers do.

2nd Verse:
Parents, lead out with joy and hope,
While holding firm and fast,
Staying true to the wisdom of
The generations past.

Give your family the truth and faith
That loved ones gave to you,
Teach your children of God’s great love
By what they see you do.

Fathers, mothers, lead and guide,
Always walking side by side,
Keeping family first in life,
Staying strong as husband and wife.

The family is the beating heart
That keeps a nation strong.
If families fail then nations fall
And all that’s good is gone.

The time has come, the time is now
For everyone to see
That if we are to save the world
We must save the family.

This song can be downloaded free in any of the four languages at

Our writing and speaking throughout our marriage has been focused on strengthening marriages and families. We don’t know how effective we’ve been, but we do know that the things we’ve learned have been a blessing and benefit to our own marriage and family. For this we are deeply grateful. We stand as a testimony after all our years of marriage that marriage is wonderful. We highly recommend it to our posterity and to all the world.

[For articles, books, and music by Gary and Joy Lundberg visit their website at]