What makes it good marriage advice?
Some of the best marriage advice I’ve heard came around a campfire the other week. A single, unmarried fellow threw out the question across the smoke of the fire, and he got some answers.
Moments before, the young man learned that one couple’s 51st anniversary was behind them. He asked everyone else how long they were married. Another couple had been married almost 37 years and the younger couple for 16. Collectively, their marriage experiences equaled over 100 years. One hundred years of marriage advice!
“So, since you all have been married for so long, what is the best marriage advice you can give?”
We answered in turn around the fire, and it happened according to length of experience. What amazed me is that each couple did not need to take a lot of time to think. When you have been there and experienced it, you already know what works.
Advice from experience
- Compromise. You have to learn to compromise. “She likes things one way and I like it another. Learn to compromise,” he said.
- Commitment. You must be committed to the relationship. “Sometimes we don’t even like each other very much,” she said, glancing sideways at her spouse. “But you stay in the relationship because you are committed, and then the ‘liking each other’ comes back.”
- Covenant. You didn’t sign a contract that you can back out of, “he said. “View your marriage as a covenant, which is unbreakable and unchangeable. Then work at making your marriage the best it can be!”
- Cherish. Appreciate what you have instead of comparing with others. Express that appreciation; admire and affirm your spouse. “Work at building each other up instead of tearing down.”
- Communicate. You have to communicate, talk about things as they happen. “When you don’t like something, say it. Don’t let it bug you for months; just talk about it,” she said emphatically.
- Change yourself, and not your spouse. “Don’t try to make your spouse into something they are not. Let your spouse be who they are.”
What to do with advice
There you have it, from folks who’ve endured through many seasons of life. Check out the advice and see if it’s biblical or not. Flesh it out in your own relationship and stay the course. If you follow this advice, your marriage will be happy, fulfilling, and secure.