In honor of Valentine’s Day, the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Personal Journal for February 9th featured a few couples who had ‘beat the odds’ and stayed married for more than a few decades (so far). The stories were both sweet and challenging, and I couldn’t help but be impressed with a few of the tips the writer pulled from the honeymooners.
Talking about her own parents that had stayed married for 46 years so far, her mom noted that their marital secret was, ‘forgiveness.’ Another couple married for 62 years, made a pact to never argue over anything that wasn’t very important. They chose to ‘forgive’ the small differences and annoyances and ‘save their battles for the bigger things.’
The writer calls this ‘compromise’ but it sounds to me like loving your spouse more than yourself. One wife (married for 50 years) moved away from her children and to a warmer climate because her husband preferred it. Years before, her husband had left the service because she was bothered that he was gone so much.
‘Never, ever give up’ is the way the writer states it. In telling the story of Ozzy Osbourne and his marriage of nearly 30 years that’s survived drug and alcohol addictions and lots of hard times. His wife stated, ‘I went into marriage thinking it was forever. So, I was stubborn.’ Her husband showed the same level of perseverance, ‘You don’t throw in the towel at the first sign of trouble.’
Christ is the Secret for an Enduring Marriage
This Valentine’s, I’m not focusing so much on chocolates or teddy bears. Instead, I’m asking God to renew my commitment to my husband and our marriage. Christ may shower his common graces of forgiveness, selflessness and perseverance on those who do and do not call on His name. But, how much more will He do so for those who DO call Him Savior? He is the ultimate example of selflessness, forgiveness, and perseverance-and certainly has a storehouse full to give to those who ask..
So, while inspired by the writer’s article “Kiss and Tell,” I’ll now turn my attention to Christ and ask for great measures of forgiveness and perseverance for the years ahead.
What long lasting marriages have you been able to admire? Any secrets or thoughts about what keeps them together over the years?
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