10 Tips to help you live as though you were "Just Married"
I recently had the honor of officiating the wedding of a young couple. It was my second time officiating, the first being my son and his bride. In preparing for the ceremony, I became more aware of peoples attitudes on marriage. I noticed how cynical and jaded people had become. I began to purposely bring up the subject to get an idea of what people were thinking. Here is a few examples
- "I heard your son is getting married"
- "Yes, idiot, I told him he was stupid"
- "I am officiating Ericas wedding"
- Why would she want to go and do that?
- "The wedding is this weekend"
- "There is still time to run"
The one thing in common with these three people is this;
None of them are Christian
Why would you want to enter into a marriage covenant without first seeking the the wisdom of the one who designed marriage? Marriage was instituted by God and He alone has the blueprints for a successful marriage. You can ignore Him and live life "just" married, or you can seek His guidance and live life with your spouse as if you were "just married".
We have been married over twenty years. Recently we were going to watch people sing karaoke on Monday nights. It was really entertaining and full of laughs. We sat next to a gentleman one night and struck up some small talk. We shared with him we were coming up on our twentieth wedding anniversary and we learned he was recently divorced after 17 years. That was a tragedy and we were really sorry to hear that.
We would run into him every few weeks on Mondays and we would watch him interact with women. I would look at my wife and tell her "I am so glad I am not dating at 47 in todays environment". She would agree. Then one day he came by us and tapped me on the shoulder. He asked if I remember him cause he remembered us. He reminded me that I had told him we were coming up on our twentieth wedding anniversary and he stated that he had been watching us. He had been observing us because he wanted to know "our secret".
We told him what we believed to be the secret to a happy marriage.
- The Lord first and foremost. He was the center of our marriage and the source of our strength and longevity.
- The "D" word was not an option. Divorce was not ever brought up or considered. It just could never happen. We must work it out.
- We spend a lot of time together. Our spouse was more important than our friends or hobbies.
- We live for each other, not ourselves.
- I "Ricky", endeavor to give my wife the husband she deserves, and wait on God to give me the wife of my desires. I do not force her to submit.
- We date. Thats it, we still date each other. No dinner and a movie. We go places and talk, yes talk. We walk on the beach, without cell phones. We ride bikes and have lunch. We go to breakfast midweek, alone. We drive, without the radio on, and talk.
- We do not argue over money. Nothing good ever comes out of it.
- We tell each other nice things, compliments, encouraging words
- I "Ricky", still write her love letters and little notes.
- We pray together. Prayer is the great equalizer.
We are by no means the "perfect couple", but we do serve a perfect God. Together, with God's help, His Word, and our obedience we not only survive, but we thrive. We love being married. Our Monday night friend could tell. He noticed little things like;
- We look in each others eyes when we talk
- We hold hands when we walk
- We trust each other in public and show no signs of jealousy
- We laugh together
- and finally, we credit Jesus with our success
The Bible has a lot to say about relationships. We have attended several good seminars and retreats on marriage. We have learned so much from God's Word, we love to tell others about how Jesus saved us from ourselves. Here is some of our favorite verses.
These verses by no means are exhaustive, but they have been a encouragement to us over the years. They lay the foundation for the way we live as husband and wife. They are so integral to our lives, they cause people to think we were,
Even after twenty years.
Here is a great book by Greg Laurie on Marriage