However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
My wife Kasey and I celebrated 46 years married in May... we've pastored in three states, planted four churches, raised and married off four children and have seven grandchildren so far. I begin my 28th year as Chaplain at Hope Christian School next month, and love serving as pastor to Vineyard Church ABQ. We've worked through lots of troubles, as Paul wrote to friends in Corinth: "those who marry will have worldly troubles..." Finances, schedule, parenting, bedroom issues, health, extended family, church squabbles, bad habits, friendships, snoring, unwanted pets, you name it, we've had to deal with it. Marriage is wonderful and troublesome at the same time!
In four words, here's my cliff-notes version of what produces a lasting healthy marriage:
1) Agree -- getting on the same page takes work, prayer, discussions and arguments, rebuttals and more. Yet Team Floyd discovered that when we agree, the journey becomes peaceful, detours are smaller/shorter, and satisfaction rises to new levels. 1 Corinthians 1:10 is to a church family, but applicable to husbands/wives: I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. My advice: do whatever it takes to find and maintain agreement in key marriage/family issues.
2) Serve -- Larry Crabb's book The Marriage Builder exposed me to this concept. Marriage is not a 50-50 deal. My job is to serve my wife, no matter if she reciprocates or not. Her job, ditto. This is much easier when filled with Holy Spirit, duh. Before telling wives to submit to husbands, Paul wrote "...giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. I understand that loving Kasey means serving her. Period. My advice: choose to serve your mate as a primary goal each day.
3) Overcome -- Marriage is one long problem-solving adventure. They never stop, the problems, issues, heartaches, tragedies and difficulties. Once we discovered we were "team Floyd" and decided never to allow an issue to come between us, our level of overcoming increased significantly. Issues come along nonstop, expected and surprising. We learned to deal with them rather than deny, neglect or blame shift. Hoping this will go away has not worked for us. Paul assured us that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." "These things" include death, stupidity, mistakes and accidents. Again, hard work but worth it eventually. My advice: Never stop problem-solving both small and large issues in you and in your marriage. Determine to overcome.
4) Represent -- One basic purpose of married life is to present a picture of Jesus and his bride, the church to our culture. Through our individual personalities and marriage, we re-present that eternal couple. Paul said as much in Ephesians 5: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." The way we live as a couple draws or repels others to know Jesus. My advice: Acknowledge this truth, and decide it will guide your marriage overall.
Stuck with Kasey for life -- and loving it, Chaplain Perry Floyd