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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marriage


We had something kind of unusual happen to us Saturday night. Bob and I went out for supper. We were enjoying our meal and having a nice evening. When our waitress came to our table to give us our bill, she asked how long we had been married. We told her it had been 26 years. She then said "You look happy. Would you mind telling me how you have kept a happy marriage?" We told her that we were Christians and because of that we have God in the center of our marriage. We also said we like to have fun and try to maintain a good sense of humor. She told us that many people she knows are getting divorced so she was looking for advice for whenever she got married. I don't feel like I'm too good at giving advice off the top of my head and later have thought of more things I would have liked to say. I wish I had said that just because we are Christians doesn't mean that marriage is always easy. I would have liked to have told her that respect is important, and more. We didn't have a chance to say much more to her, as she was very busy and we only saw her for a minute as we left. I'm glad she is thinking enough about it now to ask questions and I hope the advice she gets is helpful. What about you, what advice would you give in a situation like that?




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23 comments:

Megan (FriedOkra) said...

I think having weathered one short marriage early, when I still had an extremely fairy-tale-ish view of life and love, I'd add that real love is a CHOICE, not something that magically happens thanks to fate, or destiny, or whatever. And that in marriage, as in most relationships, contrary to what the world may lead you to believe you DON'T have to say/express/"get out" everything you think or feel. Sometimes you just keep your mouth shut and let it go on by.

Howzat?

SharonB said...

Actually Mari I think you said more than you realize! She saw actions long before she asked about your marriage. She saw that couples can be happy, enjoy one another-even after 26 yrs. She was watching the way the two of you communicated and looked at eachother.
And who knows what those moments may cause her to "search out" in the future.

Karen said...

That was so cool and it sounds like you said just the right thing - what a witness your marriage is that a light was shining out! That is awesome.

Cherdecor said...

Mari, you did a really good job explaining to this young lady about the longevity of your marriage. That is so exciting that the Lord had you at that place at the right time. It sounds like a devotional I read recently! (:

Rohal Call said...

I agree with the other ladies who commented. I think it is GREAT that you used this opportunity to share your faith as the central part of your lives and marriage. You can always think of things later that you wish you had said, but you did say the most important thing.

A Stone Gatherer said...

Mari, I think you did great! Alot of christian marriages may not have God completely at the center! I agree witht the others, your example sometimes doesn't need alot of words. You and Bob show true commitment!

Bonnie said...

I agree with Mari. The fact that she ASKED means she wants what you guys have !! Have you heard this quote by St Francis of Assisi ? "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words." Powerful ... and it's what you and Bob were doing, without even realizing it !!

Bonnie said...

Uh ... I mean, I agree with sharonb !!

Rebekah said...

I agree with Sharon too. Actions truly speak louder than words.

Have you thought about writing a letter to her and dropping it off at the restaurant? You mentioned that you thought of several things to say after the fact. Maybe even an invite to church.

What a testiment to what God can do when He is in the middle of a relationship

Jennifer said...

How cool to know that your love is shining through to others. I know that she wasn't only witnessing your love for Bob but also your love for God. i think your answer was perfect. If you aren't living for God but trying to live for your spouse the marriage is not going to work.
Smiles!

Laura said...

I think your example has said a ton. Marriage is almost scary now because there is so much divorce and you hear so many horror stories. But the biggest thing that impacted Aaron and I was looking at our parents. People kept telling us "Oh sure, you're all fairy-tale happy right now, but just wait until a year after you get married and then you'll be fighting." We'd just look at our parents. You and Dad and Ron and Pearl have been married for a long time, and neither of us could think of more than one or two times when we ever saw you upset at each other. It can be done, and we will follow in those footsteps and show our kids that it can be done too.

Anyway... my advice after being married for only 2 year now... work on your own problems, and not the other persons. Don't marry unequally yoked - and I don't think that just means Christians don't marry non-Christians. I think you have to have the same belief systems and goals in life or you won't have unity. And unity is the #1 thing. When you become married, you can't think you're an individual anymore, because you're not. Now you're one person, one heart, one mind, in two bodies. And that was Jesus's prayer for us - that we would be one, as He, the Spirit and the Father are one.

But I think people scare young people about it too much now. If you are both Christian, have unity on issues, and promise to stay together no matter what - for real - you're not going to have problems, and marriage will be the best, funnest, most awesome and wonderful thing ever! It is for us!

Sorry that got so long!

Mary said...

Mari,

You and your husband were a good example long before you began to answer the question. She knew from observing you and your husband that you had something special. Your advice was great and she will remember you and hubby for a long while and the years that you have spent together. Thanks for doing this random act of kindness. You may have made a big difference in her life.

Blessings,
Mary

Just Another Day In Paradise said...

Well that would have caught me off gaurd too.
I agree with Megan that it's a choice. It's not always easy or perfect, but you have to have the right attitude that it's for life.
I think a sense of humor is very important too.

girlymom said...

What a huge compliment! You answered her beautifully. I am not very good with answers on the spot...I have to ponder things a bit too and then later think of the smartest things that would have been perfect to say. I think what you said was very important.

Nancy said...

What a neat thing to happen to a very neat couple, nothing happens by chance, you know... I agree with all the others & Laura hit it on the nose with unity of two people plus the Holy Spirit..Very cool.

Deb said...

Mari, You said what you were supposed to say. That was a divine appointment!! Great Job:)

Jennifer Partin said...

That was a providential seed you planted. I'll be praying for her to have that seed watered.

What an inspiration you two are! Really in an age of divorce it's nice to hear of those who have stayed together. Sadder too is the divorce rate is actually higher among Christians! (51% vs. 50%)

Sandra said...

I think you did great Mari.

My husband and I have been through our ups and downs the last 10 years of marriage but if there was no faith and no God in our relationship, we certainly wouldn't have made it this far. Not to mention communication.....boy is that a biggie LOL

Compromise is another one, I've learnt that I don't always have to be RIGHT about something, it's not a competition. I agree with Megan, sometimes it's better to just say nothing.

Hugs,
Sandra

Shelly said...

The adivce I would give is to enjoy every moment and not be bothered about the little things. Everything works out to the way it needs to. Whatever you choose is the way. We can choose to be happy or miserable. Sometimes there are chances where there is the wrong one, but for the most part we can all be happy.

Mel's World said...

Mari,

Hindsight is always 20/20, but I think you spoke from your heart and that is exactly what that young lady was looking for. She wasn't looking for a "calculated answer" but words from your heart.

Good for you for being honest and good for her to ask the difficult question! That gives me hope for the future...now if we could get more of them to ask that question, wouldn't it be amazing!

xoxo,
Melissa

Maiju said...

I agree with Megan. You need to choose to want a good marriage and work for it. And then you need God too. There was a time I just settled and tought that our marriage is this - not very fulfilling but bareable. I decided it's good enough. But it wasn't good enough for God. I can't take any credit of how He healed the broken parts of our marriage. Now I enjoy it totally!

LeslieW. said...

That is awesome that your hapiness is visable to complete strangers...I bet part of it was Christ's light a shinin'.

He Knows My Name said...

mari, i'm sure she didn't expect you to say what you did and she will NOT forget you said you were Christians. i just want to say i love your blog and each time i tried to go from mine to yours i got another page of something...so i finally went into my blog roll and i had you at ....blobspot.com. :)) ~ janel