Do you think your marriage can make 50+ years? In many couple’s minds, 50 years is a long shot. Seeing my parents reach that mark has brought me great joy. I have watched my parents over the years go through good, bad, hardships, trials, joys and disdains. As I reflect on my parents, the sad reality is this is not the norm.
At one time, there was a society that valued marriage as a covenantal relationship between a man and woman. Now, this idea is being attacked and distorted in various ways. What are some essentials to having a marriage that lasts for years? While speaking to my parents, I summarized three key aspects that couples should strive for in their years of marriage.
First, having the right perspective is key in marriage. You are to be a servant to your spouse. In a day and age where servant hood is frowned upon, this is key in marriage.
Life is not all about you. It’s not about your wants, your desires, and your dreams. Jesus says in Luke 22:26-27, “It is not this way with you…the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.” Marriage is not what you can get from the other person, but what you can give. Seek to serve your spouse and serve as Jesus served. In marriage, servitude is a key aspect.
Another key aspect in marriage is praise. This includes giving praise to the One who has brought you together. Praise the Lord! The Lord has designed a spouse for you that compliments you. He made you as two different people and brought you together for the glory of His Name and the good of His people. The areas that you lack in, He has brought this special person in your life who is there to help you. He has brought someone to help you see your sin and become more Christ like; a person you can walk through life with sharing your inner most thoughts, challenges, defeats and victories.
When your pride gets in the way because your spouse has corrected you, think of it as an opportunity to give thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18: “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” There may be times when your spouse corrects you and your first thought is defense, but give thanks instead because your spouse is assisting in your sanctification.
Lastly prayer is key. Your dependency must be on the Lord. The Lord is the only One who will be able to get you through to death do us part. Prayer must be a regular part of a couple’s life: praying together, participating in family worship, seeking Christ with all you have.
Paul says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). Prayer helps the other aspects fall into place. Prayer keeps everything in perspective. Prayer points you to giving thanks to the Savior and prayer is communicating with the One who is mighty and Sovereign over all. Prayer takes you to the feet of the Savior and the admission of your inability to love your spouse as you should.
Do you have the right perspective in your marriage? Do you give God thanks for your spouse? Is prayer a consistent part of your marriage?
These are three aspects that I hope are helpful to you. I am pretty sure there are more that you can add. Now, there are times when my parents have disagreements and disputes. They are not immune from sinning against one another. However, glorifying Christ is the end goal. My parents are just one of many marriages that have made 50+.
Christians, as marriage and family life continue to be attacked, we must display Christ in our marriages. Marriage is most beautiful when two people are brought together, glorifying the Savior.