I imagine we all know many June brides, and my family has at least five couples who will be celebrating from 15 to 56 years this month.
Recently, I had a couple ask me, “What’s the best advice you have for us as we get married?” Immediately I thought of one sentence my mom told me 37 years ago. She was an expert in many areas and marriage was one of them. Mom said, “Don’t go to bed mad.” Now that was great Mama advice, but it is also found in Ephesians 4:26b. “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger,” but verse 27 really got my attention. “And give the devil a foothold.” As a husband and wife, we will not agree on everything. We may even get upset at the action or lack of action of our partner, or we may feel overworked or underappreciated. Still, it is not worth allowing anger into our lives because the enemy would like to destroy a partnership in which God ordained. There may be a point when we agree to disagree, but let it, whatever it may be, go.
If my husband, Chris, were to give a piece of advice, he would say laughter is so important in a relationship. Yet again, that’s scriptural. Proverbs 17:22a says,” A cheerful heart is good medicine.” There is a time to just chuckle or down right belly laugh at with each other, but laughter can surely ease the mood. In light of good humor, Chris says his favorite verse is Proverbs 27:15. “A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike.” Surely he is joking, right?
If my dad were to give his advice on a happy marriage, he would tell us to serve the Lord with all of our hearts. When God has his rightful place in our lives, everything else is going to work out because God is faithful. Ecclesiastes 4:12b tells us “A cord of three strands (husband, wife, God) is not quickly broken.” Couples may face health issues; and adversity may come from other directions, but the cord of three strands will stand.
As I began to reflect on the couples who are near and dear to my heart, I have gleaned some good advice by watching the way some people live. For instance, Bobby and Casey would tell us to be sure we tithe. I’ve watched the couple enjoy God’s faithfulness for years and I know them well enough to know they will not rob God (Malachi 3:8), yet they live by Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." We cannot out give God!
I would encourage each of us to be an advocate for our companion. Take up for them, and if something need to change, ask God to change them or maybe change us. We should pray for each other and don’t neglect to pray for the children God entrusts us to raise.
While many are celebrating another year of marriage and others are contemplating a lifelong commitment, my prayer is that we will enjoy a marriage just like God planned it to be.