By Dr. Harold Sala
How do you write the story of a marriage with a happy ending? Around the world today, vast numbers of couple remember Valentine’s day by celebrating with flowers, candy, and candlelight dinners. But the reality is that far too few marriages today are being written in such a way that they will have a happy ending.
You can write the story of your marriage so it does have a happy ending. Here’s how.
- Make a steadfast, unwavering commitment to each other.
- Understand God’s plan and purpose for your marriage.
- Learn to communicate at a deep and intimate level and give each other the right to freely convey emotions and feelings.
- Don’t live with conflict.
- Forgive quickly.
- Have fun together.
- Meet each other’s needs.
On today’s commentary, I’m going to complete describing the ten ingredients of a marriage with a happy ending.
The eighth ingredient that goes into the mix is something that, at first, you might think isn’t necessary, but it is. It’s “Keep each other’s confidence!”
There are some things that absolutely need to remain stored in the data banks of the two people who met at a marriage altar; yet, at times, both husbands and wives often talk in a disparaging manner about the flaws and foibles of their mate, as though they were entirely disassociated from the person. On numerous occasions, my wife, Darlene, and I have done marriage conferences when either a husband or a wife—and it’s usually the latter—would stand and describe the failures of the other in such a way that the person scrunched down in his seat and wanted to become invisible.
My daughter, Bonnie, sometimes quips, “Christians don’t gossip; they just share prayer requests.” Right! Enough said!
The ninth ingredient that goes into a marriage that has a happy ending is living with a purpose.
Purpose is why God created our first parents and put them in the Garden of Eden; however, when Adam and Eve chose their will over God’s will, they turned their back on His purpose, and life became confused and troubled. So is it today! God has a purpose for your marriage, though you may not have discovered it. Raising godly kids may be part of it. Shining as a light in a dark world is also part of it. Touching the lives of hurting people near you is also part of your purpose. Purpose means you and your marriage make a difference where you are.
Finally the tenth ingredient that contributes to a marriage that can have a happy ending is ridiculously practical—support and build each other up instead of accusing the other of doing something dumb!
Why? Let me tell you, based on some fifty-four years of marriage. Stuff happens! Like what? Like forgetting to pay a bill on time. Like leaving your passports and money in the room safe and getting to the airport without money or documentation. Like forgetting to get gasoline and running out of fuel. When we first got married, Darlene and I made the decision that when stuff happens, we would grimace and say, “I planned it that way, you know!” Nonsense! Nobody ever plans that kind of stuff, so when it happens, we grimace and refuse to hurl angry words at each other as do many. Such was the husband who told his wife, “I don’t know how God could make you so beautiful and yet so dumb.” “That’s easy,” replied the wife. “He made me beautiful so you would love me and made me dumb so I would love you!”
May God give you a marriage as happy as the one Darlene and I have had—one that is certain to have a happy ending.