Matthew 19:4-6 – “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – My parents couldn’t afford a carriage. Not even a bicycle built for two. Yet their love and devotion for each other was something money could not buy. They spent 66 years together as husband and wife. Today would have been 69. God joined them together and only God was able to separate them. But only for awhile.
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – When Harry Met Sally
My mom and dad’s marriage was like this. They married young (dad was 18 and mom was 16), many times a recipe for failure, but for them a smashing success. The fact that it was a marriage of three (dad, mom and God) had more to do with it than anything else, I am sure.
“Michael and I had great role models. Though his father has passed away, his parents had an amazingly strong marriage, as do mine. Both weathered really tough times. For us it has been normal to stay together through difficulties. We grew up witnessing that firsthand.” – Tracy Pollan
Life was not easy for them, scratching to make a living early on. Working hard for life’s necessities, never getting a chance to enjoy life’s luxuries. But they understood it was more about making a life than it was about making a living. They were more concerned about providing a good home for their children than providing a nice house for them. Weathering “really tough times” made for “an amazingly strong marriage.” As such, they were great role models for my two brothers and me.
“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one’s wife happy. First, let her think she’s having her own way. And second, let her have it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson
In marriage, a sense of humor helps. In speaking about the “perfect balance” in marraige, my dad often joked “marriage is a 50/50 proposition – I give 50 and she takes 50.” In reality, my mom and dad usually offered each other nearly 100%, demanding little for themselves. Now that’s “perfect balance.” Sure they had their selfish moments, we all do, but to them marriage was mostly about the other person (and their three boys).
“Don’t marry the person you think you can live with; marry only the individual you think you can’t live without.” – James Dobson
When my dad passed, my mom could hardly bear the thought of living without him. When he entered the hospital that last time, never to return home again, it was one of the few times in 66 years of marriage they spent the night apart for more than a couple days. Yet she still longed for more time together. That’s real love. Not what passes for love nowadays.
I like marriage. The idea. – Toni Morrison
It was more than an idea to my parents. It was more than an ideal to them. It was real.
My Advice – If you are married, or are contemplating marriage – Be like my parents.