advice

Marital Wisdom

Photo by Roy Hsu

In “A Testimony of God’s Grace and Love,” from the June 2013 issue of Sojourners, Leroy Barber shares five principles for a lasting marriage.

What other advice would you add to this list? (Share your marital wisdom in the comments section below.)

  1. You can have a great marriage even if your parents did not. We often meet people who think because their parents’ marriage didn’t go well, that will be their experience. Both of our parents’ marriages ended, yet we committed to one another and have been able to stay together based on that commitment.
     
  2. In Christian marriage, mutual submission and care are needed. You are partners and friends; not “man” plus a woman to serve “man.”
     
  3. People change and so will your spouse. You have to commit to changes that will happen with your spouse. Spouses will change and grow, just as you will.
     
  4. Kids don’t make a marriage. Your children will leave, and marriages centered around children are soil for unhappiness. Do something to give your undivided love and attention to your spouse every week.
     
  5. Spend money on your marriage, the same way you save for the house, your kid’s college education, or a rainy day. Put money away to spend on or go away with your spouse.

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The Graduation Speech I Wish I Could Give

Image by Andresr /shutterstock.
Image by Andresr /shutterstock.

Choose carefully those with whom you surround yourself. Pay attention to that which you pursue with all your heart, all your soul and all your might -- and to what compromises you are willing to make in that pursuit. Make those compromises judiciously and with reflection, because when they all add up, you may realize that you’ve become someone you don’t recognize.

Who you will become is determined in large part not by what you acquire, but by what you give -- and how you give of yourself.

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