Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

Steve and I are getting ready to celebrate our 35th year of marriage.  We haven't felt like 35 years were going by in our lives, but yes they have.  It hasn't always been perfect, and we haven't always done the right things, but we have always worked at our marriage, and are blessed with a Happy Marriage.

I believe that the number one reason that we have a  "Happy Marriage", is that Father, Son and Holy Spirit are the center of our marriage, and corresponding to that, we have tried to attain wisdom and understanding about marriage, raising children and life.   When it comes to wisdom and understanding, we have to pursue it, practice it, desire it, love it and get it. Those qualities don't just come to us on their own.

Proverbs 4:6-7 “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

The old saying: "Practice makes Perfect" bears some merit.  I don't know about the "perfect" aspect, but I do know that  "Practice produces fruit".  Hopefully as we live our lives, we are constantly practicing what is good. In this we are improving as we go along.  In the New Testament we are told that we are going from glory to glory, and it is in that way that I like to think of my life.  It applies to marriage.  We have to practice what is good, to enjoy the fruit of a good marriage.  That good fruit is a part of God's glory shining through us.

I was at a bridal shower a while back and all of the ladies were asked to share some "Secrets to a Happy Marriage" with the young bride.  I've made a list today of some of those "secrets" that really are not "secrets" at all, but treasures of wisdom found and learned through my life and the life of others that I know, who have attained "Happy Marriages".  These secrets are simple, many of you have been taught them all of your life.  Its just everyday wisdom, in everyday words, but its what we learn from the Bible and much of it in Proverbs.  Some of it we learned in Kindergarten, and forgot. Its always good to remember again.

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

  1. Pray together.
  2. Honor each other.
  3. Never speak disrespectfully to each other.
  4. Support each other in front of the children.
  5. Go on dates; even after 35 years it is important to go on dates together, even if it is just a walk in the park, or a cup of coffee at Starbucks.
  6. Hold hands … even in public (yes, we're "those" type of people)
  7. Laugh  and LAUGH SOME MORE!!
  8. Don't take yourself so seriously; Crush that spirit of offense under your feet.
  9. Enjoy your children and grand-children together.
  10. Look at the other persons point of view. Sometimes we can get in a rut of our own way of thinking… stop pause and turn your thoughts in a different way.
  11. Stop complaining… please refrain from the moan, the complaint, the sigh, the sarcasm.  The Lord grew weary of the children of Israel behaving this way, and our fellow human beings get weary of hearing us do the same. Negative, frustrated, complaining expression of fear and woe takes a person out of the atmosphere of faith, and into the atmosphere of heaviness.
  12.  Resist having a critical,  negative, correcting or controlling, spirit  
  13. Speak gently
  14. Speak kindly
  15. Bring each other special things.. cup of coffee in the morning (my hubby does that for me), glass of cold iced tea in the afternoon (I do that for him), a late night snack, a pair of slippers, a blanket, a sweater, all these are considerate kindnesses that bless.
  16. Learn to become interested in each others interests.  Its not always easy to get my thoughts geared into tractors, motorcycles or trucks.. I make myself get up and look… listen and participate.  My hubby does the same for me.
  17. Look and smell nice for each other.
  18. Forgive… really, let it go.
  19. Don't expect each other to be the same as each other.. enjoy your differences, its okay; its natural to be very different from each other and  yet still be one of heart and mind.
  20. Learn the differences between men and women and allow these differences in each other.
  21. Men are men, don't resent them for it Ladies.
  22. Women are women, don't resent them for it Guys.
  23. Enjoy the differences that God gave you rather than allow frustration to enter in.
  24. Be an encourager. 
  25. Look for each other's gifts and talents and thank the Lord for them.  We create a blessing for ourselves, when we see through God's eyes the blessings of someone else.  I thank God every day for my husband, for his gifts, his strength, his goodness and kindness.  If you don't think you see these things in  your spouse, ask the Lord to show you all the good things that are there.  Pretty soon you will.  Cultivate those things with thanksgiving.
  26. Get rid of pride.
  27. Put on humility
  28. Be strong and helpful, not weak and needy.
  29. Its not about winning or being right.  Its about loving and being patient.
  30. PRAY!! I know, I said that already… its a good way to start and a good way to finish; I have found the only way to navigate anything in life is to Pray.

I have lived with this man of mine for 35 years… and he with me; we have worked through many difficult things throughout our life together, and have come out still holding hands and preferring one another's company to almost all things. These are the things we have learned. I pray that they will add something to your marriage and family life.

 James 3:17 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” 


  1. This is beautiful...
    Being only 10 years in and our three kids still at a young age... it's easy to let go of some this; these values and levels of necessity. I can see where we both -but mostly myself - need to step it up a notch.

    I appreciate this round of encouragement here today!! May have to print this one out and post it on our headboard. lol!

  2. Pam, what a beautiful heritage to hand down to your children. In a world of throw away marriages, you are a blessing. Not only to be marriage after 35 yrs but to be in love. THAT is a true gift from the Lord.

    I loved your list and it's a sweet reminder of how to be kind and loving. Thank you!

    Hope your anniversary is as sweet as the both of you ♥


  3. I loved your advice and need to remember to put several of the items on the list ino practice on a more regular basis! Thank you to you and Steve for being a wonderful example to us and for teaching Nathan what love looks like! After God, he is my greatest treasure in this life!

  4. Many, many congratulations to you and Steve on your anniversary!

    I love your wedding picture. It reminds me of my parents' one - my dad also wore one of those frilly shirts with the big bowtie and my mum had lace around her veil (which I also wore when I got married)

    I also really love your secrets to a happy marriage. I think you absolutely must make this into a cute printable to share on Pinterest. We could then print them out and give them to young couples as a wedding gift.

  5. Happy Anniversary. :) Such an honest and good post. A good marriage is one that has been worked for and they are worth so much more than most even care to understand. I LOVE my hubby way more now then I ever imagined possible. Some days the loving is easier than others but every day is worth it. Happy anniversary. What a blessing a sweet marriage is and a good testimony too. Thank you for such a beautiful blog.

  6. Hello, This was lovely and had me choked up!! You two were made for each other!
    Sometimes marriage is like a new pair of boots, we just need to work at breaking them in! And after a little bit, it becomes your most favorite pair of boots! You two are also like peas and carrots- they just go together, well at least down south they do! You both still look like teenagers...
    Yours Always, Roxy

  7. Great post my friend...thank you for sharing your heart and your wisdom. You are beautiful...Hugs, Camille

  8. Congratulations Pam and Steve. We celebrate our silver anniversary at the end of this year. What a great list. I am all for taking an interest in your husband's interests. I married a New Zealander. They are rugby fanatics. I knew zilch about the sport but I chose to watch the games with Brett and learn the rules, names of players etc. I now jump up and shout 'yes' in unison with him when the All Blacks score a try (or touchdown as you call them in the NFL) He comes with me to garage sales and antique shops and even lets me buy china.... once upon a time he would say 'What do you need another tea cup for?' I have also learned to overlook the small stuff ... the coffee cup left on the table that sort of thing. I loved how in the movie Fireproof they focused on these issues. Too many wives allow these minor flaws such as forgetfulness to irritate them and they build up a record of wrongs and I've seen marriages fall apart as a result. Never forgotten the day we were invited to lunch at the house of a couple from our church. Their marriage was already in trouble but they were trying to reconcile. The wife arrived home from work walked in the door and in front of us chastised her husband for leaving his boots in the doorway. She spoke to him like a naughty child. And yes, not surprisingly, their attempt to reconcile failed. I always do my best to speak well of my husband in public yet so often I see women putting down their husband. I cringe when I hear jokes at women's meetings that mock men or comments such as 'He's so useless at DIY'. Years ago Brett encouraged a young woman who was complaining about her husband's poor DIY skills to give him the opportunity to just try his hand at building a fence. They were going to pay someone but were short of money. The husband ended up doing a great job on the fence and they are still together!
    How are you planning to celebrate? I can't decide whether to have a family dinner and invite friends .. have ideas for a silver and white themed table or to go away somewhere special, just the two of us.

  9. 35 years ... THIRTY-FIVE???? Goodness, Pam, you must have been a child bride!!! You both look absolutely fabulous, but I suspect it's what is *inside* that makes you so beautiful.

    I loved this list: I loved that it began and ended with praying together. I think, more than any other thing, I hate to hear of one speaking disrespectfully TO their spouse and OF their spouse. Ooooh, it's so horrid (but so common - especially, I have to say, with ladies :( . It's a definite NO-NO ).

    It's also SO important to remember - as you said - that men are men. They aren't like us... they simply aren't! Ladies, deal with it!

    And in the end ... and I'm sure, Pam, you'll testify to this ... marriage has to be between to people (both sinners) who simply commit to loving each other and staying together NO MATTER what... Getting 'fed up' of each other simply is not an option.

    Love this list. Love the one who wrote it
    Anne x

  10. Bevy, Cinnamon, Himilce, Kirsteen, Nikki, Roxy, Camille, Ann and Anne, Thank you so much for ALL of your comments. I treasure each of you and all that you have to say. I am wishing I could have a tea party and have all of you here for a lovely chat; it would be the highlight of my year. Each thing you all said was full of that "wisdom" from heaven. Love you all.

  11. Happy Anniversary to both of you, such a sweet post and good reminders for all of us.

    A strong marriage in the Lord is such a blessing. Wishing you and Steve many more happy years together.


  12. This is a wonderful list, full of wisdom. Congratulations on celebrating 35 years together. I a friend who said their "secret" for a long happy marriage was to have a servants heart towards the other.
    Many blessings to you (oh, and #6, we are "those" type of people too, lol)