They are best friends. They enjoy each other. They love being together. They were married for 32 years on March 24. They commute together to Nashville every day for work. They work at different places, but they always drive together.
I tell them that they need to teach a marriage class at their church. They have what so many married couples are looking for.
But it hasn’t always been this way.
They went through a very difficult time early on in their marriage. They were separated for about a year. By all appearances, things looked hopeless. Then a friend invited Debi to a revival. She went and took her two young sons with her. Later that week, Les decided to go.
Over time, God began to soften their hearts. And then one day Les surrendered his life to Christ. His truck became his altar. After seeing the drastic change in Les’s life, Debi completely surrendered her life to Christ.
Now, their marriage is far from perfect. There are no perfect marriages. They both have faults, weaknesses, insecurities. But after knowing them on a personal level for the last 12 years, I have learned some very important things about cultivating a good Godly marriage. Here are three of them.
- They overlook each other’s faults.
We all have faults. If you wanted to, you could find lots of things wrong with me. But something I have observed through watching Les and Debi is that they choose to overlook each other’s faults. They choose to hone in on the positive and not the negative. They use their words to build each other up instead of tear down.
When Debi talks about Les, she intentionally highlights his positive attributes. For example, Les became a deacon at their church a few years ago. They interviewed Debi as part of the deacon selection process. One of the questions they asked her was if she thought Les would be a good deacon. Her response was, “Yes! Without a doubt! I’m just excited that you all are seeing in him what I have been seeing for the last 15 years.”
Wow! Talk about a woman who greatly respects her husband.
Reminds me of Proverbs 14:1. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
- They make their marriage a priority.
They invest time and energy into their relationship. They love to spend time together. Whether it’s driving in the car together to work, or reading books on the back porch, they love nothing more than just being together. They even make it a priority to go on weekend marriage retreats each year.
On one such occasion, Debi’s coworker asked her why she was going on a marriage retreat after 30 + years of marriage. He said, “Don’t you know everything you need to know about your husband by now?” The answer to that was an emphatic NO! We don’t ever get to the point where we know everything there is to know about our spouses. We should be constantly striving to learn new things about them. Spending quality time with our spouses is key to a healthy and happy marriage.
- They have fun together.
When is the last time that you have been around a married couple who laughed with each other? It’s rare, huh? But isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it magnetic?
That’s how it is whenever I am around Les and Debi. They flirt with each other. They laugh and banter back and forth. It’s very obvious that they truly just enjoy each other. They are best friends.
Debi has been one of my Godly mentors for many years now. I have learned so much from her. She holds me accountable. One thing she constantly reminds me of almost every time I see her is to make my husband a priority. It’s a strong word that I constantly need to hear. To be honest, Skip often gets the leftovers of my time. I love him dearly, don’t get me wrong. But I let the busyness of life creep in, then after a while, I put our relationship on the back burner. Good marriages will not happen by accident. We have to be intentional to make our spouses a priority.
I don’t know where you and your spouse are today in your relationship, but I know that I certainly need to hear these words today. It seems like marriages are crumbling all around us. Our marriages and families are precious gifts from God! They are worth fighting for! They are worth investing in!
So what are you investing in?
We have heard the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side.” Rick Warren says that’s not true. The grass in NOT greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.
Want a great marriage? Pour your time, energy, and heart into what you have! Water your own grass…and watch it grow!