Last week was a well-timed kickoff of my online virtual Zoom study for Discovering Jesus…
This week, Bill and I celebrated 42 happy years of wedded bliss. We are not perfect, and our lives together has been very much like a roller coaster (mostly due to challenging circumstances)
It is common for us to say phrases of comfort to one another, like:
“Our today is not our forever”
“I would rather be in this difficult situation with you than on vacation with anyone else”
“We can do this–TOGHETHER. ”
“Team Farrel: Us and God. Let’s pray.”
When we were dating, engaged and newlyweds, we would go to church, look for a couple with a little grey hair and a whole lot of affection for one another. We would then sit behind them. During the greeting time, we would introduce ourselves and inevitably, Bill would say, “Wow, you two really look in love. How many years have you been married? ”
They would answer 20, 30, 40, 50 and even sometimes 60 years. Then Bill would say, “How did you do it?”
The explanation would take longer than the few minute casual greeting time, so most Sundays, we were invited to lunch with one wise and godly couple after another. We were mentored to have a long lasting love week after week, especially those first few years, by the biblical insight and common sense of everyday couples who loved each other and loved God.
For the past 42 years, even after we began writing books about relationships, when we give a wedding or wedding shower gift, we include a card with our “bullet point list to a lasting love”:
- Pray with and for each other daily
- Have a daily bible devotion. Your strength in your walk with God, will be a strength for your marriage.
- Attend a bible believing church together
- Join a small group of couples that love each other and study marriage enrichment with them.
- Weave enjoyment into your relationship: laugh together often, exercise to release happy endorphins
- Forgive readily, lavish love, grace and mercy on each other
- Affirm, encourage, and praise one another all day, every day
- Honor your differences, (yes, like Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti )
- Cultivate your romantic life and have “Red Hot Monogamy” (s*e*x) often.
- Be nice. Use words and actions that build up, not tear down.
- Kindness and affection go a long way.
- Smile. Hug. Kiss.
- “We love because He [God] first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Look around. Take a young couple to lunch. Pass on God’s wisdom, your common sense, and those daily ups and downs of life. Marriage will be stronger around you, just by sharing your journey with others.
Bill and Pam Farrel are bestselling authors of 55 books, including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, are relationship experts: speakers, coaches and Co-Directors of Love-Wise. They are the parents of three sons, and enjoy time with their sons, their 3 daughter in laws, and 5 grand children.