A number of years ago I regularly met with a spiritual father, who graciously volunteered to counsel me, read what I was writing and hold me accountable in my walk with Jesus. I loved those sessions from this seasoned man of God who was – over a long and amazing life – a farmer, then a missionary, then a pastor and then a college professor. In one of our meetings he gave me a copy of his musings about how his marriage lasted over six decades. I have listed his eight pieces of advice for you below.
1. We kept on, and on, leaving father and mother, cleaving to one another forming an ever-growing and changing union.
2. We worked hard at thinking about the positives of each other.
3. We sought absolute honesty before God and one another.
4. We embraced and enjoyed God together: serving, being pastors, parenting and worshipping.
5. We sought total spiritual oneness, far more than sexual oneness.
6. We laughed together about our failures and our life. We sought something fun for our relationship on a weekly basis.
7. We held one another accountable concerning risky tendencies.
8. Lastly, we admitted the possibility of “growing apart” in our marriage and committed ourselves to keep working at our abilities to seek periodic renewals, counseling, marriage enrichment, reading books, deepening of empathy and overcoming angers.
There you have it…profound wisdom from a matured marriage in which both partners now live with their Savior.