Saturday, November 9, 2013
May I have your attention please? This is the part of the evening where "the dad" stands up here and offers words of encouragement to the newly married couple. Words of advice to help them have a long and healthy relationship.
Over the years I have noticed a few things about relationships and marriage. In my 36 years of marriage to my wife Bev I have gathered some much-needed wisdom about marriage relationships, and just what it takes to have a successful one. Still, just to make sure I had all the bases covered before offering any advise here tonight, I thought I would check with the one source that everyone seems to turn to these days for their wisdom and truth . . . the Internet.
Most of the advice I found out there was pretty lame but I did find some insightful quotes. Here are a few.
“The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.”
“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.” -Lyndon B. Johnson
“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” - Rodney Dangerfield. That's not really a tip. I just thought it was funny.
Humorous quotes are one thing but good, real life advice is like gold!
Here's a really short list of tips to consider. Let's start out right where most married couples wind up eventually anyway . . . the toilet.
1. Toilet paper - Toilet paper was designed to be dispensed over the top not under the bottom. Actually, it IS designed to be USED under the bottom, just not dispensed that way.
2. Leave the toilet seat down. If the toilet seat was designed to be left UP then what is it's purpose? Why even have a lid? If everyone closed the toilet seat after they were done in the bathroom we would never have to text someone our name because they "dropped their phone in the toilet." We would never have to get a new toothbrush because Jerry Seinfeld dropped ours in the toilet. We would never have our dog drinking his fill from places he shouldn't.
Behind the wheel. Asking directions when we don't want to, stomping on imaginary brakes, listening to Aunt Edna from the back seat. We've all been there. I don't need to repeat things we already know to be true.
Those tips are somewhat humorous, and minimally helpful, they don't really have the ability to change a marriage like the tip that I am about to give you.
Earlier today I had the privilege of reading a few verses during Krystle and Travis's wedding ceremony.
Ephesians 5:22-33 spoke about submission . . . and sacrifice . . . and love . . . all essential for a successful marriage. But the verse that speaks loudest and contains the most the wisdom for building a successful relationship together is the last verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. Listen to it again.
"9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their work. 10 If one falls down, the other can lift him up. But pity the one who falls and has no one to pick him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him . . . . (now here we are at the important part so look right at me now) - a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Why would King Solomon, the wisest man on the planet, suddenly switch from talking about TWO people in a relationship, to three? Well, the reason is . . . the key to ANY successful relationship . . . is to have God at its center. The key to any relationship "lasting forever" . . . is Jesus. Please allow Him to come into YOUR life and work a miracle in YOUR heart. And experience what it means to have a marriage LITERALLY made in heaven.
Let's pray . . .
Father, 2000 years ago you performed your first miracle. You changed water into wine at a wedding festival just like this one. Tonight, I humbly ask that you work another miracle here. Create in this couple a love that is unconditional, submissive and sacrificial. And, above all, create in this couple a relationship that contains you. For it is through you that our relationships find meaning, far beyond our expectations or what we feel we deserve. For you taught us that faith, hope and love will remain after all else fails. But the greatest of these is love. YOUR love. Amen.