HOW TO MAKE IT TO YOUR 50th
At our church’s annual Sweetheart Banquet I shared with them what I would like to share with you, practical pointers for a long and happy marriage. We’re not the perfect married couple. We’re still working on ours. On August 27th, 2005 God gave us the privilege of celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary. How can you reach that goal? It is to be understood that both partners must know Jesus Christ as Saviour and be surrendered to Him as Lord, living each day in obedience to God’s Word under the control of the Holy Spirit Here are some pointers from A to Z. To save the confusion of using him or her throughout this article, I will address the husbands. Wives you can apply this to yourselves also.
Appreciate your wife as a gift from God. Show her repeatedly in a thousand different ways how much she means to you. Adjust to her. We’re running a race together. If you’re holding hands, you have to adjust your speed so you run together. You’re imperfect. Allow your wife to be imperfect. Don’t make a big deal of her faults. Don’t try to change her. Work on yourself and allow God to work on her. Marriage involves a lifetime of adjustments with one another.
Build up your wife. We edify and build up one another at church. Surely, we can take the time and effort to build up and encourage our wives in our homes.
Character It takes character to stay married 50 years. See the article on Character on this web site. It also takes communication. That involves talking, but mostly listening to each other.
Determination It takes determination to make our marriage go when the road is rough. Settle it now. Divorce is NOT an option. My wife and I settled and agreed on that matter while we were courting. We promised one another that Divorce would NEVER even be a consideration in the future.
Empathy We need to empathize and be understanding of our wives. It takes time and effort to get to know them. Also keep excitement in your marriage. Don’t settle for boredom.
Faithfulness Be faithful to God and to the vows you made to each other before Him. God gives strength to Christians to do that. Ask forgiveness repeatedly when you fail to show her how much you love her.
Gratitude Show gratitude to her. Thank her for the 1001 things she does for you. each day. For example, do you thank her daily for the meals she prepares for you and for sewing a button on your shirt? When she is not all she ought to be, show God’s Grace to her as God has shown His Grace to you.
Honesty Be honest with her. Keep a sense of humor in your marriage, but NEVER make your wife the butt of jokes in public.
Intimacy Get to know your spouse and try to understand what makes her tick.
Jealousy God is a jealous God who will not put up with infidelity to Him. We need to have a holy jealousy for one another. We promise in our marriage vows “to keep thee only unto her as long as you both shall live.”
Kindness is love in small doses throughout the day. The best times to do this is when you think she is undeserving of it.
Love, Laughter. I deal with love at length in this MARRIAGE series.
Make Up immediately when you’ve had a fuss. Don’t wait for 30 minutes or a whole day. By all means never go to bed without making up. Think how silly and how childish it is to waste even thirty minutes of marital bliss when you could have humbled yourself and made things right with each other. Besides, it’s fun to make up!
Nourish your marriage by reading and discussing God’s Word together and praying together and being attentive to one another’s needs. Don’t ignore your spouse.
Open Be open with one another. Keep NOTHING hidden from one another. The ONLY secrets in your marriage should be the gifts you give each other for birthdays, Christmas, Valentines and for any or no occasion.
Pray together. Keep the passion in your marriage. Be patient with each other. We’ve always practised conversational prayer since our courtship days. In recent years, we’ve added a new twist to our prayer life. We have been going to our love seat in our bedroom after breakfast. As we sit together to pray, our little dog, Muffie, squeezes between us and we converse with God and with one another in prayer. I will talk to God about personal, family, church, and miscellaneous situations, even the physical needs of our dog. We mention her by name and she knows she’s involved when she hears her name. Pat will enter in whenever she wishes and shares her thoughts with God and with me. Sometimes we’re talking with each other, sometimes we are directing our concerns with God. In either case, He hears and is involved, as though He were in the room with us. Of course, He is right there listening and reading our hearts.
Quarrel You will quarrel with each other sometimes. Learn to quarrel fairly. Don’t hold grudges and keep scores of wrongs. Don’t throw up the past to one another. When God forgives us He forgets our sin forever. So should we. Don’t shout and scream at one another. That’s so childish. Learn to quarrel quietly as mature adults; not like little tots having a temper tantrum. In other words, instead of quarreling, discuss quietly and politely your differences of opinion. When you do lose your temper and say unkind things to your spouse, go back to, make up.
Romance Every wife needs it. After over fifty-five years of marriage, I’m still not quite sure what it is, but I do know my wife needs it. The dictionary says it is “in Roman fashion” “A dreamy, imaginative habit of mind tending to dwell on the picturesque.” Every wife knows if her husband is romantic or not. Wives, if you feel your husband is not romantic enough, just be thankful he loves you and shows it in a thousand different ways. If your husband is not romantic, just relax and enjoy life together anyway. Take time to do things together.
Savor every day, every experience together. Build the memories that you can reflect on in old age.
Thanksgiving, tenderness and thoughtfulness Always think of your wife and let her know she is on your mind. Wives need to be told repeatedly how much you love them. My wife, with a twinkle in her eyes says, “she tends to forget” ; so I need to remind her of my love daily.
Understand one another by listening to the words and feelings of your spouse.
Value, cherish your wife as a priceless treasure. Though some women are tough physically, a wife can easily be hurt by her husband’s carelessness about meeting her emotional needs.
Worship God together daily. Read the Bible and pray together and share your common concerns for your relationship and for your family.
X stands for the unknown. Your wife is a mystery. It will take you a lifetime to figure her out.
Yield Although God’s Word commands husbands to take the leadership in their home, as much as it is possible, yield to the desires and wishes of your spouse, rather than forcing your wishes and desires on her. If you are both yielded to and filled with the Holy Spirit, this problem is solved.
Zealous Be zealous to protect and nourish your marriage. If for some reason God does not permit you to make it to your Golden Wedding Anniversary, at least you will have enjoyed the years you had together.