What Makes For An Enduring Marriage?
Two words: character counts.
We have to be a certain kind of person in order to make marriage work. That character must be such that when trouble comes in a marriage—as it inevitably will—our natural response will be one of patience and forbearance, one that refuses to retaliate but is willing to listen. Otherwise, our carnal, selfish nature contaminates what would have been a blissful union.
There is no short-cut to character building. It takes time. Speaking for myself, my character was formed while going through much heartbreak before I met my darling wife Lucy. After tasting pain, I certainly don’t want to inflict it on others, let alone my wife. It also births a spirit of empathy and long suffering.
Sadly, many people get married so young, their character didn’t even have a chance to form. Even more tragic, many people get married without knowing the Christ who wishes to imprint His gracious and holy character in their hearts.
I don’t know about you, I am more terrified of displeasing God if I should treat Lucy shabbily. Thus, an indispensable ingredient to a strong marriage is a healthy fear of God.
I am not sure what God’s reward will be for an excellent husband or wife. Will it be the words “Well done!”? A crown? Some wag would say, “A T-shirt that says ‘I Survived Marriage!’”
But I do hope that God will honor me for being affectionate, faithful and understanding to my wife while on earth.
Now that’s character!
Oh, Lord, may it be so!
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