Tuesday, December 17, 2013

10,958 days ago...

                Today’s publication date is exactly our 30th wedding anniversary (or 10,958 days). If I could go back and tell that newlywed couple a thing or two (or any newly or nearly married couples like my two sons), this is what I’d say.


1.       Don’t major on the minors. If you read John 14, you’ll see Jesus saying “Let not your heart be troubled” not once but twice. He’s about to die and yet He says that. Unless you are about to be crucified for the world’s sins, don’t get so worked up about anything. Jesus essentially says, “Don’t sweat the big stuff.”
2.       Listen twice as much as you talk. When you look in the mirror and see two ears and one mouth, think about why God did that! And both are close to the brain, so think when you listen or talk. James 1:19 says, “be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”  Hurtful words can never be unsaid.
3.       Forgive quickly. Don’t hold grudges. Quick forgiveness doesn’t make you powerless, it empowers you both and takes away the power of the offense. “Hurt people hurt people” so if you have been hurt, you are more likely to hurt your spouse, who will hurt you back. The cycle only ends when forgiveness comes. The center of forgiveness is “give” and unforgiveness costs you more than it does them.
4.       Little things can make a marriage G-R-E-A-T or G-R-A-T-E. My wifee recently did a whole bunch of great “little things.” Deposits in the love bank don’t have to be big but they need to be often. But oh how the not-so-great “little things” can grate on a marriage. Little withdrawals from the love bank come with huge service fees and high interest rates. Jesus said in Luke 19:12-27 to be faithful in small things.
5.       Don’t win fights; instead lose rights. When you and your spouse fight, there won’t be a winner because you are on the same team. It’s like a boxer’s own right and left gloves trying to knock out the guy in the middle. No one wins. Paul says in 1 Cor. 7:4 for you to lay down your rights for your spouse and it goes both ways.
                I don’t have a secret cure for a perfect marriage (unless of course both spouses are perfect and plan to remain that way). But Jesus did say “What God joined together, let no one separate.” If you ever said, “I do,” then knuckle down and kneel down and say to each other, “And I still do.”