Over the weekend, my husband and I had some time to re-watch my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary party. At the party, in my father’s speech to their guests, he identified three pillars that attributed to their successful marriage of fifty years: love, respect, and trust. I was inspired by his speech to write this blog about these three pillars with the hopes that it will help couples that are going through challenges in their marriage.
Love: Do you remember when you started to develop feelings for your partner? What was that like? Imagine growing that love…describe it, feel it, and experience it! Love is a deeper feeling that grows as your relationship develops. “Husbands, love your wife” Ephesians 5:25. For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. It sounds easy, but if you have been married for a while, you realize that it’s harder than it sounds. When you find yourself struggling to feel that “love” for your spouse, it may help to remember how our Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross because He loves us. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Respect: This word is used loosely at times, but what does it mean in your marriage? What do you do to show your spouse respect? “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” Ephesians 5:33 Here are a few tips of how to show your spouse respect: be patient, show kindness, demonstrate unselfishness, and always be humble. These are ALL action items…things that you must do! Here’s an example: when your spouse comes home tired from work, give him/her space and time to unwind before discussing things about your home, kids, your work, etc. This action will show your spouse/significant other that you respect their need to unwind before tackling various topics.
Trust: This is one of the primary foundations that holds a marriage together. If trust has been broken in your marriage, give your spouse a chance to earn your trust so that your marriage can be restored. Even Jesus submitted Himself to the trust test, teaching people to see if He was really who He claimed to be: “Do not believe me unless I do what my Father does” John 10:37. What does that mean for you as a couple? Trust and truth go hand in hand. That is why keeping secrets or being dishonest is the biggest trust killer. Be honest with your spouse includes telling him/her the truth of where you are going, who you talked to, what you said, where you spent money, etc. Many marriages have been saved because both spouses committed to being honest, even when it involved painful truths.
In summary, by instilling these three significant pillars in your relationship, your marriage will have a higher probability towards success and hopefully even celebrating 50 years! Remember, when circumstances occur in your marriage that makes it challenging to apply these pillars, do your marriage a favor and seek professional help from a marriage counselor that can assist in navigating healthy ways to repair and restore your relationship.