My wife and I have officially reached another anniversary. Each of them is a miracle. You don’t live with a humourist without wanting to throttle him from time to time. I was speaking to 400 pastors at a mountain resort. They said, “talk about marriage.” For some reason they stood and applauded at the end. Maybe they were just relieved I was finished. Ramona and I went back to our hotel room and I said something monumentally dumb. It went downhill from there and my dear wife locked herself in the bathroom. Imagine. I tried everything to get her to come out. Finally, I wrote on a slip of paper, “I’m sorry for saying that. Please forgive me. Please come out.” I pushed it under the door, got on my hands and knees and blew it over toward her. It was fitting. I’ve blown it often. And then I heard the most wonderful sound. She started to laugh. Laughter has been a marriage saver for us. Here are three more.
1. Gratitude A new study shows that feeling appreciated increases our commitment to stay together. The simple words “thank you” are priceless in a relationship. Maybe you say, “If you think I’m gonna be grateful, you don’t know my husband. You don’t know my wife.” I don’t. But what would your spouse look like if you applauded him or her? You’ll always find the bad; go looking for the good. Talk about it. Applaud it. Practice gratitude.
2. Kindness. At the heart of every bad marriage is selfishness. At the heart of every good marriage is servanthood. Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Kindness and compassion characterize every great marriage. Kind people take an uncommon interest in others. They serve. They live not to be comfortable, but to comfort. Not to grab, but to give. Kindness.
3. Purpose. Date nights are great, backrubs are fantastic, leaving flirtatious messages on each other’s voicemail is good (remember to dial correctly), but when we focus on God’s mission – together – marriage is at its best. When we focus on bringing glory to God together, suddenly we have better things to do than chase the stuff of earth. Focus on our eternal purpose and there’s less time for silly arguments in hotel rooms after speaking to pastors.
God bless you today as you do what you can to bring hope and joy to all your relationships.
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