Today we celebrate 42 years of happily-ever-after. Ours truly is a fairy tale romance that has blossomed into a satisfying, nurturing relationship, bringing us both more joy than we can hold. We would like to pass along a few of the truths that we have learned that we feel have attributed to our lasting marriage. Our prayer is that other couples might find them useful.
Invite Christ into your relationship. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” When Christ, your spouse, and you form a bond, your marriage builds from a strong foundation. As each of you grow closer to Jesus, you will also grow closer to one another.
Reject in-law interference. Genesis 2:24 points out that when a person marries, they leave father and mother and are united with their spouse. When we marry we form a new family and our commitment is now to that union. This is not to say don’t ever take your parents advice. We are talking about unwanted, unsolicited, unhealthy intrusion, meddling, and prying on the part of the parents.
Live within your means. In Romans 13:8 God advises us to “owe nothing to anyone--except for your obligation to love one another.” Poorly managed finances cause incredible stress on a marriage. While most everyone will have to pay on time for a house or education, other debt can be minimalized by saving before spending. You may find in the process that you didn’t really need that item.
Put your spouse ahead of yourself. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Philippians 2:3) The world urges us to look out for ourselves first; God says think of others first.
Encourage and support your spouse. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 directs us to “Encourage one another and help one another.” We all need this on every level—in our jobs, in our Christian walk, in our parenting journey. Everyone benefits from a few words of encouragement.
Express love. Don’t assume that your spouse knows you love him/her. Say it. Do it. Show it. “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” (Romans 12:10)
Communicate. James 1:19 says, “Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry.” We can be so quick to criticize. Not only will many arguments and harsh words be avoided if we take this verse to heart, but our ability to express ourselves will be greatly enhanced.
May your marriages be built on Christ and your lives entwined with His in a cord that cannot be broken.
Blessings!Pam and Dick Williams
©2016 Pamela D. Williams