Forty-Six and Going Strong
If you know me, or very much about me, you are probably thinking, “Floyd, it’s been a long time since you were forty-six!” And, of course, you would be right! But, it’s not my age I’m talking about. Rather, on the 29th of July, 2018 my wife and I will be celebrating our 46th Wedding Anniversary! And, as the title indicates, our marriage is, in fact, still going strong! How, you might wonder, in this day and age, can a couple stay married to each other for such a long time? Well, stick around and I will share a few of our “secrets.”
First of all, at a very early age I fully understood the importance of the phrase, “Yes, Dear.” Now, there may be those of you who think this is the verbal copout of a spineless man who is totally dominated by his over-bearing and demanding wife. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. You see, at our house “Yes, Dear” is a two-way street. And, it is not based on dominance nor over-bearingness (over-bearingness must be a word because I just used it!). You see, at our house “Yes, Dear” is based on the simple phrase “If it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.”
One of the unfortunate lies that we are bombarded with regarding marriage is the fact that it is a “50 50 Proposition.” You see, in truth, marriage is 100% giving by both parties. Agreeing that “If it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter,” you soon realize that over 98% of the things that we encounter in marriage, and life!, really don’t matter! So, when my wife always wants to buy a green car, we buy a green car – it doesn’t matter! When she wants to decorate with a southwest or lighthouse theme we decorate with a southwest or lighthouse theme – it doesn’t matter! When I want to visit six museums while we are on vacation, we visit six museums – it doesn’t matter!
“But, Floyd, what if it does matter?” you might be thinking. Well, that’s when marital compromise needs to come into play! For example, fifty one weeks of the year what we watch on television doesn’t matter, but when the World Series is on it does matter!
Now, due to societal norms, we find that the male of the species tends to get their way most often. And, again due to these norms, they believe they should. However, at my household quite the opposite is true. You might think this is because I am a really nice guy. If you were to ask around you would discover that I am a really nice guy, but that has nothing to do with the reason my wife seems to get her way so much. Actually, the reason is based directly on scripture. Let me explain.
We know that the Church is the Bride of Christ, thus making Him the Bridegroom. Jesus tells us that we should view, and treat, our wives as He views, and treats, the Church. Personally, I believe that means that we need to be willing to sacrifice for our brides. Let’s look at Jesus as our role model for this sacrificing: He was whipped until His back was raw; He was nailed to the cross with spikes through His hands and feet; He was stabbed in the side with a spear; He had a crown of thorns crushed into His head. Now, if we are willing to follow Christ in this matter, what color car we drive, how we decorate our homes, or what we watch on TV doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice, does it?
One other key to our decades of marital bliss comes from a very simple, but important grammar lesson: Love is a verb, not a noun. As a result, Love is something that takes a whole lot of work, and a whole lot of “Yes, Dears!”