by Howard and Jeanne Tomlinson|
How can you be sure your marriage will last in a world of disposable relationships? Most people think a successful marriage is falling in love with someone who will meet all our needs. Hollywood has led us to believe that finding a good looking partner with sex appeal, a neat personality and money will truly make us happy. Even though these qualities appear desirable, none of them are essential ingredients for building a strong marriage that will survive the storms. What, then, are the necessary qualities? Youll find them in most traditional wedding vows.
On February 14, 1988, I found out firsthand that Howie is an incurable romantic. Since August, I had been living on Long Island and Howie and I were spending much time together, exploring the northeast and growing in our love for each other. On that cold winter afternoon in February, we stopped at Hecksher Park in Huntington on our way home from church. We walked together beside the lovely pond, stopping at a park bench. Howie suddenly dropped down on his knees, held my hand and asked in anticipation, Jeanne, would you marry me? With joy I accepted his proposal, Oh, yes! He surprised me later in the day with a dozen long-stemmed red roses, starting a tradition for each Valentines Day thereafter.
Our marriage got off to a great start because we took our vows seriously and committed ourselves to making each other happy. Howie often quotes Howard Hendricks who said, You know youve married the right woman when you cant live without her! He often looks for ways to make me feel special, like holding the car door open, giving me love notes and gifts, and taking me out to eat. We celebrate each wedding anniversary by spending the night in a romantic inn. Howie has worked hard to be the provider and spiritual leader of our family. He also prays with me every night.
Marriages that survive the intense pressures of modern life need more than attraction and romance to hold them together. The key to success is an unselfish commitment to love each other for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, as long as you both shall live. When the storms of life hit, only marriages founded on the rock of love and commitment will stand.
For Those Who Hurt
You may be struggling with your marriage right now, wondering why things are not working out as you dreamed. You may even be questioning whether its worth it to stay together because you dont feel in love anymore. Realize that every couple experiences times of doubt and difficulty and many marriages are hit by traumatic events. The only foundation stones for lasting success are sacrificial love and commitment. Nevertheless, let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband (Ephesians 5:33). Put the Lord first in your marriage, keeping in mind that the family that prays together, stays together. Commit yourself to be faithful to your vows and choose to love your partner, even when its hard. Unselfishly decide to put his or her needs ahead of your own. Begin today to seek for ways to make your sweetheart happy. You may end up feeling like newlyweds forever!
To order this book, click here.
|Chapter 4: Meeting That Special Someone||Table of Contents||Chapter 6: Standing or Falling?|