Successful Marriage 101 (Sweet repeat from April 7, 2018)

My wife and I have been married for 45 years.  These days this length of time sounds like some kind of record.  At the least, it merits a trophy of some sort.  Among our peers we don’t know many couples who have done likewise.

People may look at us and think we have it pretty easy, which in turn makes them feel our marriage is successful as a result.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Our marriage has had its ups and downs–just like every marriage that has ever existed.  We aren’t immune to differences of opinion, arguments, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, etc.  Like most, we’ve had those big-time “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health” valley and mountain experiences.  We know what’s good today may be bad tomorrow, and vice versa.  It’s just the way life works.

The difference-maker for us is that we are committed to each other.  We were puppies when we got married.  In looking back all those years ago, it’s sort of scary now thinking about just how young, inexperienced, and naive we were.  Nonetheless, we vowed to each other in the presence of God and our relatives and friends that we would remain together for all our lives.  Still today it’s something we don’t take for granted and we regard very seriously.

The picture I’m trying to paint is that our marriage is pretty normal.  About the same number of marriages fail as those that succeed.  In reflecting on what makes the difference, I think the underlying principle is pretty simple.  It’s actually something that I have oftentimes shared with a young couple about to marry.  You can read all the marriage books in the world, but there is one key to making it all work, and I’m sharing it with you now.

Love your spouse more than you love yourself.  Love Jesus more than you love your spouse.

That’s it!  Granted, it’s sometimes difficult to follow this simple principle, but accept my advice that it works.  I don’t know of anything else that can have a more profound and positive impact on making a marriage work.




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