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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thirty-six Years with the Same Man: 13 Secrets of a Long, Happy Marriage

Photo by: Ana Resiek

This week my husband and I celebrate thirty-six years of marriage. We began dating three years before that. So, here we are, together all these years, a grandpa and grandma who still hold hands, sit close, and like each other.

How did we do it? How did we make it this long?

By God’s grace.

No one can have a long, happy marriage without learning some valuable lessons along the way. Let me share with you some of the things that make our marriage successful:
  1. We are committed. When we said “I do” and “I will” at the front of the church on that July afternoon, we meant it. Those vows were lifetime commitments.
  2. We love each other. I’m not talking fuzzy feelings, folks—although we have those, too. I’m talking love in action. Love means putting the other first. Love means yielding, listening, being considerate, holding one’s tongue, helping, serving, learning patience, overlooking, and appreciating each other’s strengths.
  3. We build up and don’t tear down. I let him know in words that I’m thankful for the things he does. When he walks in the door, I greet him. I compliment him on jobs well done. I tell him he’s handsome. I won’t say anything negative about my husband to others. He encourages me, too.
  4. We try to do what the Bible instructs us to do as husband and wife. The key passages for wives are: 1 Corinthians 7:34; Ephesians 5:21-24, 33; Colossians 3:18; and 1 Peter 3:1-6. The key passages for husbands are: Ephesians 5:25-29, 33; Colossians 3:19; and 1 Peter 3:7.
  5. We’re committed to our family. Our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren are very important to us. We desire to show them love and, when asked, guidance. We want to encourage them.
  6. We have fun together. We laugh, watch old movies, date (even at our own table at home), and enjoy traveling together. We love experiencing new things, and we have many shared interests.
  7. We have the same life purpose: to glorify God and build up His church. I believe it has been very important to our marriage to be united in our most important goals.
  8. We complement each other. We each bring a set of strengths (and weaknesses) to our marriage. We’ve noticed over the years where each makes up for the other. (It was interesting to see how our parenting styles balanced out each other.) We work well as a team, each using his abilities.
  9. We trust each other. Trust builds with the years. I trust my husband to do right, to act responsibly, to be truthful, to guard family secrets, and to be faithful to me. He trusts my judgment and frequently asks my opinion. Mutual trust and respect is a very important component of our marriage.
  10. We help each other. My husband knows I will drop what I’m doing to help him. I know he will do the same. We don’t take advantage of it, but we know the other is there when needed.
  11. We have friendship. There’s nothing like a lifetime friend. He’s my best friend. Years of shared experiences—good and bad—have only strengthened our friendship.
  12. We do the little things: “good morning,” kiss good-bye, “I love you,” leave a note, call in the middle of the day, a touch on the arm, a shared joke, nicknames, flowers on the table, eating meals together.
  13. Most important: we both love God. It’s true; you actually get closer to your spouse as you get closer to God. Only the Lord can transform us through His Word. The more we’re like Christ, the more we do what’s right. Love is, after all, action. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

Happy Anniversary—ours!

heirs together of the grace of life
(from 1 Peter 3:7)


  1. Excellent post, Lou Ann! Thanks for being such an encouragement!

  2. Happy anniversary! You pretty much described us!

    1. Thank you! Glad to hear you can identify with this. God bless you!

  3. Happy Anniversary!!! Wonderful post. One to bookmark for sure!

  4. A very happy anniversary to you both! I like how you described love.

  5. A very happy anniversary to you and Roy! You look so happy standing in front of the castle together. Your post is excellent in describing the important points in a lasting marriage. Great job!


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