Author Topic: How To Marry and Stay Married: Secrets To Happy Marriage  (Read 132 times)


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How To Marry and Stay Married: Secrets To Happy Marriage
« on: April 27, 2019, 07:49:45 PM »
Looking back, it was easy for us to fall in love. But staying in love, well … that takes hard work.

By Vernard Gant
The first time that I saw Cynthia, she was standing in the cafeteria line at Columbia Bible College (now known as Columbia International University). Until I arrived on campus in the fall of 1973, she was the only African American attending the college.
She told me that she was excited to have someone of color there to talk to … to understand some of the challenges she was going through. And I was sure happy to see her! She had a certain glow about her—a sense of warmth and joy that made me want to know her.
It didn’t take long for Cynthia and me to discover that we had a lot in common, even though I was from Alabama and she was from Pennsylvania. We were both from moderate-income families and our parents had never been divorced. And we were both followers of Jesus Christ.
Neither Cynthia nor I began college with any intentions of marriage. We both went there for an education.  But we enjoyed being together and had a lot in common. Before we graduated, I asked Cynthia to be my wife.
Looking back, it was easy for us to fall in love. But staying in love, well … that takes hard work.
Now married for almost four decades, some have asked us, “What’s the secret to your marriage’s success?” Like all couples, Cynthia and I have had many ups and downs. If we were not Christians, there were times that I’m not sure we would have made it.
Over the years, we’ve discovered some principles for a successful marriage. Here are eight of them, in no particular order:
1. Don’t put your marriage on a pedestal.
Every marriage struggles with shortcomings. In the early years of our marriage, I thought that we were supposed to be an almost perfect model for others. But I quickly learned that people don’t need to see a flawless marriage. They need to see a couple asking for God’s help as they deal with their shortcomings and weaknesses.
When God brings two sinful people together, it’s war. But God is the God of the supernatural, and He gives us the wisdom and strength to make a relationship work.
Our children don’t see me as perfect dad or Cynthia and me as the perfect couple. They need to see us dealing with our imperfections so they will know how to deal with their own imperfections.
2. Do for your spouse what you want him or her to do for you.
Consider the consequences of your words and actions. Ask yourself how you would want to be spoken to, or treated, or cared for.  And then do those things.
The Bible paraphrase, The Message, says in Luke 6:37-38, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
3. Recognize your differences and be willing to defer to one another.
Your spouse is not just like you. Learn to live with your differences.
When I was growing up, we didn’t have family meals, but Cynthia’s family did. Every night they ate together around the table. In my home it was every person for himself.
Today I really don’t care if we eat together as a family. But it’s important to Cynthia, so I defer to her. You see, there’s a lot of give and take in a healthy marriage.
So instead of dwelling on how different you are from your spouse, think about the things you have in common. And be willing to give up your preferences for one another.
4. Remember that deep friendship is a key to true intimacy.
These days, you see a lot of sex in the media, as though it’s the glue to a lasting marriage. But sex is not the key to an enduring bond between a husband and wife. You have to become friends first.
And what do friends do? They spend time together doing things they both enjoy.