Once, on a flight from Europe to Texas, I was blessed with a lovely neighbor from London. She was fun, she was talkative, and she was cute. We had a great time talking about video games, work, flowers, and God.
At one point we began talking about her parents’s pending divorce and the future of her relationship with her boyfriend. At which point she asked me:
“You seem happily married. How do you make a marriage successful?”
So…I failed. I offered a few weak platitudes about being nice and the conversation drifted to other topics. When the flight ended we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, but her question stayed with me. It haunted me for months, begging for an answer.
Years passed and now my sister is getting married. She asked me the same question the other day. But this time I was ready! After years of searching for a simple, universal truth that summed up the countless bits of wisdom surrounding marriage, I found the answer in Christ. And I have lived it ever since.
So here it is my one piece of advice, for anybody, on how to make a marriage successful:
“Know that love is a decision, not a feeling.”
Love was never meant to be lowered to just some happy feeling or some fleeting attraction. That wasn’t the passion we celebrate in Romeo and Juliet. That isn’t the force that conquers all. And that is certainly not what Christ felt when he died on the cross for you.
Love is willing the well-being of your spouse above your own life. You have to choose, each day, to love your wife. You have to decide, each morning, to love your husband.
And the good times cycle with the bad times. They just will.
It is your “yes” that has the power to outlast anything this life can throw at you.
That is the love God has for each one of us.
And that is the love that will make your marriage last.
I love you K.
May God bless your marriage.