Run For Your Life?

coffee12.jpgYou may have seen the cartoon that showed a father walking his daughter down the church aisle to be married.  They are arm in arm, and he is holding on to her hand.  He leans over and whispers to her: "Okay, I’ll fake a heart attack and then you run for your life."  Now I don’t know if that is what she had in mind for her wedding day.  Yet, many of you probably understand that cartoon.  It is not that marriage is a bad thing.  Marriage, in fact, is something very, very good.  However, marriage is big — very big!  Marriage is something that demands much grace, much forgiveness, and a solid commitment.

I have performed many, many weddings.  I have talked with each one of these couples about marriage prior to the wedding.  Never have I talked with a couple I thought knew exactly what they were getting into.  How could they possibly know?  Even those who have been previously married to someone else and are getting married again do not know what to expect from this new marriage.  After all, this is the first time that these two people have ever married one another.  So they really don’t know what they are getting into as they anticipate marrying THIS person.  We can do our very best to prepare ourselves for marriage but that does not remove the risk.  Yet, a part of the unknown includes the tremendous joy that may be in store for this couple.

Now this is not a knock on these couples who are about to get married.  I had no idea what I was getting into either.  Charlotte and I will have been married thirty years on August 11, 2008.  We continue to learn and grow.

What would you say to encourage someone about to get married?  Suppose that two people are about to be married.  They have asked for some advice from you.  What would you say?

I might encourage the following:

  1. Treasure God above all else.
  2. Be quick to say, "I’m sorry."
  3. Ask for help sooner rather than later.
  4. Avoid, at all costs, credit card debt.
  5. Love her/him for who this person is and not who you want them to be.
  6. Encourage, encourage, encourage your spouse.
  7. Be a person who is growing to become more Christlike.  Be intentional about this.

This list is just a start.  What would you add?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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12 thoughts on “Run For Your Life?

  1. 1. Don’t go to bed angry with each other.  Resolve your conflicts before going to bed even if that means staying up till 3:00 am (or, God forbid, later).  Refuse to be distant from one another.2. Prepare to change. Love demands you change.3. Don’t raise your voice with each other.4. Always be completely honest with each other (honesty with kindness).  No secrets (other than surprises and blessings, of course).Besides the ones you mentioned, Jim, these came to mind. 

  2. I would add: Seek friends that you can be completely honest with – that will encourage you, hope with you, cry with you, pray with you.  Marriage is too hard to try to go it alone.

  3. Always be honest and open with your spouse.  There are so many things that build up over time because they go unsaid for many reasons, usually wanting to preserve the marital bliss.

  4. Many years ago, I noticed a remarkable positive change in my husband and our marriage.  I didn’t know what caused it, and I didn’t learn for a very long time.  The change came about as the result of a conversation that my father had with my husband.  I don’t know who approached whom, and I will never ask.  Much later, Marty told me the conversation, and the wisdom my father gave to him.  Dad said the best thing Marty can do for us is to not keep score (of who does what for whom), but instead to look for things he can do for me, and then do them.  His attitude should not out of obligation, but of love for me.  He then told Marty that most marriages fail because people get married for what they can get and what they can receive, and unfortunately, they never realize that marriage is about giving. My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on June 1, 2010; Marty and I will celebrate our 25th  on the same day.As you know, we’re conducting a Marriage Enrichment class right now at church.  The first week of the class (and in the workbook) repeats what my wise father told my husband so many years ago.  Happy marriages that last are marriages where both partners have a servant’s heart toward the other.

  5. Dont’t fret over the small stuff, in other words ask yourself if what you want or think you want is more important than happiness in your marriage.  Remember you spouse has an idea too, so be sure and listen to their ideas and thoughts you might just learn something!

  6. Hi Adam– Good to hear from you.  These are very good and very practical.  Each one is very good.  In particular, I appreciate the one regarding honesty.

  7. Mark– Absolutely right.  Marriage is too difficult to go at it alone.  How encouraging it is to have other people, good friends, who are like-minded and will walk with you through the years of marriage.

  8. Jen,  That is very true.  I like what you said.  You are right, it is not good to hold things even in an effort to preserve "marital bliss."  Thanks for what you said. 

  9. Doug,A very good comment!  In particular, I like what you said about a spouse having ideas, insights, opinions as well.  That is important. 

  10. Jane,I like your comment!  Your dad sounds like a very wise man.  I think his perspective on marriage is very much on target.Your last line regarding the importance of a couple having a servant heart toward one another is incredibly important.Thanks.