Love is complex and takes time to develop, even throughout marriage.
My family just had the enormous joy of celebrating my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. It is rare indeed that couples remain married long enough, or live long enough to reach such a momentous milestone. I figure that anyone married that long will have some premium advice on how to make a marriage last. Seizing the occasion, I asked my mom to come up with a few tidbits of marriage/relationship advice to share with you on the blog.
So here are 10 tried-and-true pure-gold tips from my mom, a 60-year marriage pro:
- Don’t confuse love with infatuation. Love is much more than just a feeling—it’s a choice.
- Love is giving and serving.
- To love, you need to “grow up” and make mature instead of childish choices.
- When you say “I do” on your wedding day, you enter into the school of love. Remember that you will always be a student. Learning how to love requires constant, life-long effort.
- As you go through life, you will have to adjust to one another again and again.
- To overcome difficulties, you have to set aside personal interests and die to self. It’s hard, but it’s worth it.
- Always try to esteem, recognize and encourage your spouse.
- Read Gods precious Word together for encouragement and guidance.
- Pray together.
- Use the “Love Passage” (1 Corinthians 13) to regularly evaluate if you’re doing a good job loving your spouse:
- Am I patient with my spouse?
- Am I kind to my spouse?
- Am I envious of, or feel like I’m in competition with my spouse?
- Am I boastful that I am better than my spouse?
- Am I rude toward my spouse?
- Am I seeking my own interests rather than my spouse’s interests?
- Am I easily angered?
- Do I keep a record of wrongs?
- Do I always protect and guard our relationship?
- Do I choose to trust my spouse?
- Do I hold on to hope for our marriage?
- Do I always persevere?
- Does my love for my spouse never fail?
There you have it. Brent and I have been married for almost 28 years, and given my mom’s list, still have a lot of learning and growing up to do in the marriage department. I guess that’s her point– that a good marriage requires a life-long commitment to work at being a better lover. I think that this week I’ll try to recognize and encourage Brent more. What about you? Which piece of my Mom’s advice will you put into practice this week?
Oh, and thanks Mom—for your and Dad’s amazing example! What a gift and what a legacy you have left for your children, grandchildren and their children to come. I love you!!!