My wife and I aren't very good role models for parents who are trying to encourage their kids to have long engagements or for those who are trying to get their children to "not move too quickly" in a relationship. We met in August, were engaged in October and married a year and a half later in July.
Someone once asked me, "How do you know when you find the right one?"
My answer wasn't very helpful I'm afraid. I said, "You just . . . KNOW!"
I "just knew" a few weeks after meeting my then future wife Bev and, as Billy Crystal said in the movie When Harry Met Sally, "When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
My wife and I have been married for 36 years now. Most people would say that we have a great marriage but it hasn't always been sweetness and light. We have had our share of little differences. My wife is a liberal, I'm a conservative. She's a dietitian. I like greasy food. But we still hold hands when we take walks together and things just don't feel the same when we're apart.
Marriage is too often taken lightly in my opinion. If someone doesn't like where their marriage is headed, they quickly just bail out and move on their the next "future ex." Fewer and fewer people are willing to work at their marriages and tend to give up on them WAY to easily, usually when one party or the other doesn't get their way.
No one has asked me for marriage advise lately but if they did I'd have a few choice tidbits for them. The first advice I'd offer is to yield. No argument is worth going to bed angry over. Sound like good advice? It's in the Bible.
"do not let the sun go down on your anger," - Ephesians 4:26
The next thing I would advise is to make sure you both have similar beliefs. It's possible to have opposing beliefs and still be in a successful marriage but it's a lot more difficult than it needs to be. And guess what . . . that's in the Bible too.
"14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" - 2 Corinthians 6:14
And finally, place God first in every decision you make. Do that and you can overcome anything. God already has a plan for marriage. It has been proven to work amazingly well. All we humans need to do if follow the plan! Every marriage that has ended in failure has, for sure, NOT followed God's biblical model from the book of Ephesians.
"22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her (sacrifice)26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church - 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband." - Ephesians 5:22-33
The plan is simple, yet we continue to get things wrong, time and time again. If we'd only listen to God! If we'd only stop thinking of ourselves and trust in the One who created 'love' and 'marriage' to begin with.
I thank God for my wife. What an incredible blessing she has been! I pray that everyone would find that perfect someone created especially for them. Trust in the Lord. All his ways are good (Psalm 25:10). The success of ANY marriage really depends upon who we are willing to serve - ourselves? Or God.
"15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15
New Year's Eve - When Harry Met Sally