Concerning the longview of marriage, I (Steve) came across an article where Cliff and JoAnn Payne offered advice after 60 years of being married. They shared things like how important it is to laugh together. They said that the “secret to being close” to one another is by both of them being “close to God.” Cindy and I couldn’t agree more. You will both change in many ways through the years. God will help you to grow together despite change, if you look to Him to help you.
Here’s something else that was said, which caught our attention:
“Aside from laughing together, the Payne’s found the most important thing in marriage is realizing each person has different strengths and weaknesses. Also realize that each person is constantly changing. ‘Recognize up front that BOTH of you are changing and the person you fell in love with is not there anymore,’ Cliff said. ‘You have to continually fall in love with each other again and again.’”
This goes along with something written in the book, Marriage Clues for the Clueless:
“If you and your spouse have been married for a number of years you may have five or six different spouses. But they will all be the same person.
“This isn’t really as confusing as it sounds. As we age and have life experiences, we change. Unless you are newlyweds, you and your spouse are not the same as when you were married. You spouse doesn’t go through a metamorphosis and become a completely different person every seven years. But both of you change because of circumstances and growth. Some of the causes for change can be: Age, Children, and Life Experience.”
Insights Concerning Change
Some insights Cindy and I got from both sets of comments are:
1) It’s important for married couples to realize that we DO have different strengths and weaknesses. Sounds like a simple notion, doesn’t it? But I have to tell you that Cindy and I struggled (greatly) with this fact earlier in our marriage. When we eventually recognized and put intentionality into making this truth work FOR our marriage instead of struggling to change it… WOW! It’s amazing how much more we enjoy being married to each other. It takes so much of the angst out of our relationship, not to mention how much better we are as a marital team. This is not only for our benefit and pleasure, but also for God’s.
2) We also need to realize that we ARE constantly changing. We aren’t the same people we were when we got married. Neither one of us is the same as we were even last year (perhaps last month), for that matter. Instead of looking at that fact, and putting a negative spin to it, we need to work with it. It’s important not to allow it to grow into something negative. In God’s plan for our lives together, it’s important to find ways to bridge our differences. We should give our marriage partner the grace and love we expect God to give to us.
Like the Payne’s, it’s imperative for us to continually fall in love with each other over and over again. That’s what it means to have the longview of marriage. It’s what we promised we would when we said, “I do” to each other. And most importantly it’s what we promised God.
In closing, here are a few more tips to help you in the longview of growing your marriage:
“Fall in love over and over again. You constantly change. You’re not the same people you were when you got married and in five years you won’t be the same person you are today. You have to re-choose each other everyday. If you don’t take care of your spouse’s heart, he/she may give it to someone else or seal you out completely. Always fight to win your spouse’s love just as you did when you were courting.” (Gerald Rogers)
Keep in mind:
“Long-lasting love doesn’t happen by accident. We don’t find ourselves holding hands after 25 years with the one that we love by pure chance. Love is deliberate; it’s intentional, it’s purposeful, and in the end it’s worth every minute (and every effort) that we invest.” (Darlene Schacht)
As you look to God to help you fall in love with your spouse, over and over again, “May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.“ (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
Steve and Cindy Wright
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