I've been reminded lately that a happy marriage isn't something that just happens. In fact, marriage is harder than I ever imagined it to be. I wonder how many of us would ever say "I do" if we had any idea just how much sacrifice, pain, struggle, and work is involved. It sure ain't the "happily ever after" of Disney cartoons. But when it is good, it is better than any princess romance.
I would be lying if I said that I always liked Jim. He'd be lying if he said the same about me. Some days, weeks, even months and years are just plain rough. Some seasons the feelings of romance and joy just aren't there. Some seasons it is simply a matter of sticking it out, working on it, forgiving a lot, giving a mountain range of grace, praying through tears, and just waiting til it gets better.
Since moving to We Will Go, we've had to work through many changes as a family and as a couple. We've had some hard talks and less-than-happy days. We've had to look straight into the face of discontent and disappointment and move on together from those points. We honestly could not have done it without God. But we've lived through another season of struggle and come out once again committed to stay together forever, no matter what, for better or worse. And our love gets more seasoned more richly with each obstacle that we successfully overcome together.
So tonight, I want to share some of my favorite marriage quotes and just say it right here and now,
Jim, I love you. And I vow again to love you forever. In sickness and in health. For richer. For poorer. For worse and for better. I promise to stay no matter what. I promise to be faithful to you and to the One who gave you to me.
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” -Mignon McLaughlin
“Happily ever after is not a fairy tale. It’s a choice.” -Fawn Weaver
“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.” -Ruth Bell Graham
“A great marriage is not when the ‘perfect couple’ comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” -Dave Meurer
“Marriage is a commitment- a decision to do, all through life, that which will express your love for one’s spouse.” -Herman H. Kieval
“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. The first to forget is the happiest.” -Unknown
“To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up.” -Ogden Nash
”No one can go back and change how it started but a new future for any marriage can begin the moment one person begins to invest in it.” -Fawn Weaver
“Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. Its the way you love your partner every day.” -Barbara De Angelis
“A happy marriage doesn’t mean you have a perfect spouse or a perfect marriage. It simply means you’ve chosen to look beyond the imperfections in both.” -Fawn Weaver
“Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; re-made everyday, made new.” -Ursula LeGuin
“One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he falls out of love with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again.” -Judith Viorst
“Marriage: If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by.” - F. Burton Howard
“The greatest favour we can do our children is to give visible example of love and esteem to our spouse. As they grow up, they may then look forward to maturity so they too can find such love.” -Eucharista Ward
“One of the most amazing gifts in life is to find someone who knows all your flaws, differences, and mistakes, yet still loves everything about you.” -Unknown
And one of my very favorite is very simple.
When Steve Brown of KeyLife Ministries is asked what is the best piece
of advice for staying married,
he simply says,