In the heart of Arkansas, there’s a love story that has spanned decades, and the secret to its longevity? It’s simple: faith. Cleovis Whiteside, a youthful 102-year-old, and his bride, Arwilda Whiteside, 98, tied the knot in 1939. Today, they proudly wear the crown as the longest-married couple in the state.
Arwilda, with wisdom gleaming in her eyes, shares their secret to those considering a lifelong commitment: “Pray. Know how to get on your knees, and get you a Bible, because that Bible is going to have to take you through all kinds of storms.”
For the Whitesides, their journey together had its challenges. But they persevered, trusting that the difficulties were all part of God’s plan. As Arwilda aptly put it, “We can hardly believe this is happening to us because we feel like we were the least, but God said, ‘No. You’ll glorify my name and love one another.'”
With 12 children of their own , the Whitesides have also opened their hearts and home to others in need. Their love story is not just about their relationship but also about the community they’ve nurtured. Arwilda often praises her husband’s innate kindness, stating, “He is always trying to help people.”
Their enduring marriage prompted the Arkansas Family Council, a Christian organization that celebrates traditional families, to honor them. Charisse Dean of the Council underscores the importance of their story, emphasizing how “children that grow up in healthy, stable, two-parent households do so much better.”
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8