The news about marriage in these days is generally not very encouraging. If you look at the news and hear the stories about Mel, Al, John, and a host of others it causes you to wonder if anybody is working to make their marriage strong.
If you watch television and movies you can see that marriage as portrayed in these venues is a joke. Homosexual unions are lauded and portrayed as the norm in the mindless world of many of the sit-coms.
It has been our privilege through the years to know a few couples that have been married for more than seventy years. The couple we have known the best are Bill & Dorothy. They will never have their name up in lights because most people in our world do not recognize the greatness that they exemplify.
I wish every person could get to know this wonderful couple. I wish everyone could hear the story about how they met, about their dating years, their early years of marriage, and their commitment to one another since their wedding on February 4, 1939!
When our family was transitioning from Oklahoma to Texas, Bill & Dorothy invited us to live in their home. We had the privilege of spending many hours with them during those days. They were gracious hosts, whether it was eating at their table, having dessert, playing Rumikub, watching a ball game, watching the family dog perform his many tricks, or just sitting talking.
Dorothy is a hugger. She has a wonderful, sweet spirit that welcomes everyone. She freely says, “I love you,” and she shows it by the way she lives her life. Bill is a delightful man.
Bill has a marvelous sense of humor, his stories are delightful, and his advice is overflowing with wisdom. Through the years he has written poetry and love letters to Dorothy. He has written “Bible” lessons that he has shared with his co-workers at the hospital where he volunteers (A couple of years ago Bill was honored by being named Volunteer of the year at the hospital). He has delivered a few of those lessons at church and they are always outstanding. At ninety plus years young, Bill still plays golf every week.
Bill & Dorothy are both givers, not takers. They exemplify the spirit of humility. Bill & Dorothy would not want this article to be written about them. However, I will run the risk of getting in trouble, because in a world that seems to no longer understand marriage, their story needs to be told.
While reflecting upon seventy plus years of marriage, Bill wrote down some thoughts. I wanted to share them with you in the hope that they will bless your marriage, as Bill & Dorothy has blessed our lives.
We desperately need to hold up couples like Bill & Dorothy to our young people. They need to know that what they see on TV, in the movies, and on the news shows is not the only way. They need to know that God has designed a better way and that there are people who have followed God’s plan who have been extremely successful.
By the way, our good friend, Donnie Hilliard publishes a semi-annual magazine in which he highlights couples like Bill & Dorothy. If you would be interested in learning more about “Our Families Magazine,” feel free to let me know and I will help you get in touch with Donnie. Every Christian family could profit by having this magazine in their home.
After reading these thoughts I hope you will share with us your thoughts about couples you have known who serve as Models for Marriage. Bill has titled his thoughts, “Five Marriage Remarks.” Thank you Bill for sharing your wisdom. Thank you Bill & Dorothy for being a model that we can all imitate. Thank you to all of the other godly couples who are showing us the better way.
“ I want to talk to you about marriage, what a great life, or I might say, and ‘could be’. What a great institution it is and why not? God organized the first one with Adam and Eve. Lots of people wonder how two people can live together for over 70 years or until death separates them. But that is God’s plan – one man for one woman for life! Your contract is for life. You will have lots of ups and downs. You should be willing to carry each other’s burdens. Watch your finances. They will cause more separations and heartaches than anything else. It CAN BE DONE. And it sure gets sweeter every year!
I want to give you some advice as to what we should say to our mates that might help our marriages. Remember that two minds are better than one.
Just five remarks, and we will start with five words for the first remark and then four words for the next remark and then on down to one word.
5 Words: “I am proud of you”
4 Words: “What do you think”?
3 Words: “I love you”
2 Words: I’m sorry”
1 Word: “We”
Now let’s break each remark down to where we can understand them. First remark has five words:
5 Words – I am proud of you. Don’t wait for your mate to say it first. This is something we all like to hear and more than once a week.
4 Words – What do you think? Anytime there is something big going to happen, like going on vacation, buying a car, or new house, anything that involves the whole family – we should talk about.
3 Words – I love you. This is so important to say – not only say it but show it by your actions – with a kiss, a hug, a surprise gift is always nice, regardless how big or how small. It does not have to be a special occasion, or when you have done something wrong.
2 Words – I’m sorry. This is something we must say a lot; but it must be from the heart; and it is alright for your mate to show their hurt by their action.
1 Word – We. Anytime there is something that involves the whole family, it must not be “what shall I do” but “what shall WE DO?” – The WHOLE family should decide it. You should talk about it, pray about it. Pray, pray, pray – morning, noon and night when it is day and when it is night. It is alright for everyone to speak their mind. And remember a marriage with God in control will always work out for the best.
Friends are very important, and your mate should be your BEST friend.”
July 12, 2010
If you read this blog regularly you probably noticed that this is the only article we have posted this week. We have been busy getting ready for our ninth Preacher Training Camp at Lewisville. Starting this Sunday we will have fifty young men (high school & college) in addition to about fifteen staff members involved in PTC. We will share more about this wonderful week in a future post. Please pray for everyone who will be involved.
Dear Father, we thank You for Bill & Dorothy, as well as the many other couples like them who serve as Models for Marriage. We are thankful that You have not left us alone in this world to figure it out for ourselves. Thank You, Lord for giving us that plan in Your Word, and in the lives of those who have followed Your plan.
Father, please bless every couple who is seeking guidance and please bless those who are struggling in their marriage. Help us to seek counsel from those who have tried to do it right, not who have been perfect, but who have tried to follow Your plan.