Want to Be Married for Life?

Married for Life - AdobeStock_84428522Most of us, when we marry, would say, “YES! We intend to be married for life!” But then life together gets real, real messy. And that’s when our commitment can waiver. We’ve been there several times in our 50+ year marriage. But thank God (literally) we have stuck it out! And now we’re in a great stage of marriage. Of course, that’s not without putting in a lot of work, learning new communication skills (and unlearning bad ones), jumping up and down on our commitment MANY times, gritting through some tough seasons with tenaciousness, and most importantly, help from the Lord as we’ve leaned upon and learned from Him!

Now, that’s just a brief way of telling you what it takes to be “married for life.” This comes from one couple’s (our) perspective who has been married more than 50 years. But we’re going to share here some additional tips from others who have been married more than 50 years.

These tips come from a book (published in 2004) titled, “Married for Life.” It was compiled by Russ Potter and Bill Morelan. Unfortunately, it’s no longer being published; but the tips (if they are applied) are as relevant as ever! Plus, they come from “time-tested” married couples.

Married for Life Tips:

So, here’s the first very important one:

“First, make a commitment to the Lord and to each other.” (Melvin & Maggie Smith – married in 1933)

They go on to support this statement by saying,

“Marriage is a miracle in which the Lord joins two souls so they can experience a special kind of blessing, an inner growth, and an opportunity to glorify Him that they would never have known apart. Make a commitment to God and to your spouse that you will abide by His rules for marriage—and experience everything this miracle has to offer.” “I’ve taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow your righteous laws.(Psalm 119:106)

Here’s more great advice that Herman and Mary Sue Davis (married in 1943) gave:

“Let life’s experiences draw you closer together. … Just as clay is fired in a kiln, so will your marriage go through periods of intense heat. But remember that your Heavenly Father is using these times to remove imperfections in your relationship and make it stronger and more beautiful. Face the difficult times together; and let the Lord mold and perfect your marriage. If you do, He will lift you to higher levels of intimacy with each other and with Him.”

Strengthened Through Fiery Times

We understand that principle all too well! We’re presently going through a time of “intense heat” with some health issues. It’s always something, isn’t it? But we’re DETERMINED to draw closer to each other and the Lord through these trying circumstances. And as we do, the sting is lessened in many ways. This brings to mind the scripture:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

And while you’re working through the problems that hit you in life, remember:

“Love always takes maintenance; and kindness is a big part of that! …While ‘love maintenance’ may not require as much money, it does take a lot of time and effort, and of course, kindness. Make a careful inspection of your marriage. Observe interactions within your home; and then compile a ‘to do’ list (and a ‘not to do list’). Pay special attention to the little things, which make such a big difference in a relationship.” (This marriage tip is from: Merle and Evelyn Lashey – married in 1946.)

Forgetting Kindness?

It’s amazing how we too often we forget to apply kindness when we’re rushed, tired, feeling overworked, overwhelmed, and feel stressed! But repeatedly, we’re told in the Bible to “be kind to one another.” And yet, there doesn’t seem to be an exception clause included that you don’t have to apply kindness under certain circumstances. (We’re talking to ourselves here too because we too often forget about this important principle.)


“If you speak in haste, apologize with haste, too!” (Bill and June Vogt – married in 1944)

They go on to say,

“You have two enemies to contend with: haste and pride. If you lose the fight with the first, you must win the battle with the second, or the war may be lost.”

That is so, so true! And here’s another truth:

“Remember the Golden Rule also applies to your spouse.” (Gerald and Geneva Clark – married in 1944)

We too often forget that particular “rule” don’t we? To this tip, the Clark’s also said:

“Be the best of neighbors to your spouse! Treat your partner exactly as you want to be treated—with honor, respect, gratitude, gentleness, civility, patience, kindness, humility, politeness, thoughtfulness, forgiveness. God’s command to you, His desire or you can be summed up in one word—love.”


If you want to be married for life, realize (and live out the fact that):

“Everyone has problems—just stay together and work them out!” … God has unlimited perspective; He can see over the wall. He perceives with utter clarity and can lay bare the root of the problem. Make God the partner of your marriage today, and He will make your marriage strong for all your tomorrows.” (This “Married for Life” advice is given by John and Clarice Gillespie – married in 1945.)

These have been simple marriage tips, but marriage-transforming, when applied. We hope you will take all of them to heart and apply them to your marriage relationship. And, as you apply these principles, we pray:

The LORD bless you and keep you, the LORD make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace.(Numbers 6:24-26)

Cindy and Steve Wright


To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:

7 Essentials - Marriage book


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