54+ Years of Marriage: How?!
Updated: Nov 7, 2020
Some of you are striving to make marriage work right now. Some of you have stumbled. Some of you are done. Some of you are trying again. Lastly, some of you say your marriage is perfect. For the "Perfects", with all sincerity and speaking on behalf of every marriage expert, you haven't been married long enough. Why? As you will learn, your spouse is flawed. As for you, unless you are a narcissist, you will look in the mirror and see a flawed person. Two flawed people, will inevitably create friction. It is just a matter of time. So, how does a couple make it past 50+ years? Here you go. Learn from what works...
Today, a couple named Jon and Claudia celebrate 54 years of marriage. What's the secret to their success? Here is a speech given at their 50th anniversary celebration that still holds true today...
Story “I love you too much” (My story on how I wanted to go on a date with Mom & Dad.)
When I was about 7, living at our humble abode in tiny town, MN, just a stone’s throw from my Grandparent’s home, I was bound and determined to go on a date with my mom and dad. “Son, I love you too much to have you go on this date with your mom and me.”, declared my dad. “What you talking about Willis?” If you really, really loved me I would be going with and you would be feeding me some steak or a hamburger and fries.”, I pleaded. My dad retorted, “First of all, that costs a lot of money.” “Dad, I know you have money. “, I stated confidently. “Oh yeah, how do you know that?” my dad asked. “I looked in your checkbook and you have a ton of checks in there!”, I slyly replied. “Son, even if I had all the money in the world, I love you too much for you to go on this date with your mom and me.”, my dad consoled. “I don’t get it! If you really, really loved me, I would be going along.”, I begged. It was at that point that my dad taught me the order. God, spouse, kids, the rest. “I love God first. That allows me to be the best husband that I can be to your mom. Part of being the best husband that I can be, which includes exclusive dates with your mom where I can focus my entire attention on her. By being on the same page with your mom, that allows us to raise, encourage and correct you kids together. A united front. A team. That allows us to be better parents to you, your sister and brother.”
Wow! 40 years later and I’ve told that story hundreds of times to my buddies struggling and fighting for their marriages and families. Think about our society today, where it is now more common to divorce or not even bother getting married. Most people put themselves or work first. Many put their kids first. Those are formulas destined for failure and divorce. As for formulas that work, here is an awesome one….
Matt 7: 24-27: Jesus said…
The Wise and Foolish Builders
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
We may be celebrating J&C’s 50th tonight. When I look at this audience, I would also like to recognize the marriages that have surrounded J&C and our family. In my generation, we grew up with video games. You don’t like how the game is going, you just hit the ‘reset’ button. You didn’t hit the ‘reset’ button. You persevered under those storms. Whether you realize it or not, you embraced the teachings of Jesus and kept your marriage on the rock. You showed us how it is done: mercy, sacrifice, forgiveness, grace and most important love. You have lived Matt 7: 24-27 – well done. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I love you all! Cheers and goodnight!
Odds are that you know someone struggling with marriage. Please forward this to them. Truth be told, it should be shared with every marriage that you care about. Usually, marriages don’t seek help until years of damage and fade. What if everyone implemented the above ‘best practice’? I don’t believe we would have any marriages in divorce court.
Truth, that’s a fact Jack.