Karen and I celebrated our 35th anniversary last weekend so I guess that makes us experts on the subject of marriage. Either that or we are just too stubborn to give up. In this blog I hope to share with you some of the things that make our marriage work. Please don’t ask Karen about anything I say in this blog. I’m not sure she ever reads them but I want to stay married since we have already put so much time into this.
I think one of the things we have going for us is we both have parents who model what a successful marriage looks like. They have been married for over 50 years. My parents claim that they always stuck together when I was young for a very important reason, neither one of them wanted to be stuck taking custody of me. You can see where my sense of humor comes from and why I may need therapy.
Children, obey your parents because you belong to the Lord, for this is the right thing to do. “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: If you honor your father and mother, “things will go well for you, and you will have a long life on the earth.” Ephesians 6:1-3 NLT
Children are part of your marriage but don’t make them your highest priority. Children are from God, keep in mind so were plagues. Your parents’ words of “just wait till you have children of your own” are probably ringing in your ears now.
Children are a gift from the Lord ; they are a reward from him. Psalms 127:3 NLT
Now let’s get into some practical aspects of our marriage. Neither Karen or myself are extravagant people. I think extravagance leads to regret. Karen and I have always been conservative with our spending. We don’t spend tons of money on birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, eating out etc. Some might even call us cheap. Not living within your means is a killer for marriages. Don’t get me wrong, we haven’t always agreed on all of our spending. I can remember a very trying time in our marriage concerning our finances. Karen wisely informed me while standing in the middle of the aisle in the grocery store that I didn’t need to buy Oreos. I informed her we had plenty of money in our checking account and I wanted Oreos. I’m sure you know what happened, I went home without my Oreos and not even an offer of substituting the cheap store brand of creme filled chocolate wafers. A sad day indeed.
Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 NLT
You will never be happy in your own marriage if you are trying to make it look like someone else’s, especially since most people openly share only the great moments in their marriage. The perfect marriages you see played out on Social Media never include any of the struggles every couple faces. When I see a husband, gushing about his wonderful, brilliant, romantic, so hot you can’t touch her without oven mitts wife my first thought is; I wonder what you screwed up so badly that you had to post this for everyone to see?
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 NLT
Carefully weigh advice from “experts” on how to make your marriage better. What works for others may not work for you. Karen and I regularly see marriage gurus telling us all the things we need to do to make our marriage better. We roll our eyes realizing their idea of a romantic weekend getaway of making pottery together with no TV, dining on organic salads and staying at a bed and breakfast an hour from the nearest Walmart will lead to us wanting to kill each other in no time.
This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Genesis 2:24 NLT
I encourage you to try some of these principals but keep in mind it may take at least 35 years before you see the results 😁