Words of Hope: Marriage Experts

My parents were married for 58 years, and they deeply admired and loved each other. They worked hard to root out bitterness, detachment, infidelity, and dislike. Shann and I talked about their marriage and why they had such a beautiful love, and so much of it was their willingness to submit themselves to learning and counseling. They never settled. When they both went through a challenging time with Dad’s cancer and his inner struggles and Mom’s fear of the future and historical tendency to feel unloved, they met with some of the best counselors in the USA. I love this. My parents had tremendous relational wisdom, yet they submitted themselves to more counsel and accountability. Shann and I love Mom for her relentless pursuit of the most excellent way. I am proud that she didn’t settle just to get along with Dad but truly wanted a united and deeply loving marriage. Not as roommates or co-problem solvers, but deepest friends and lovers of each other and of God. I am grateful to my Dad because he was one of the most open to recommendations and changes. He easily welcomed adjustment from any family member. He loved love and did everything he could to love my Mom with all his heart. John Gottman from the University of Washington has found that 80 percent of men all share one quality—they refuse the influence of the feminine. He also found that 80 percent of divorced women share the same quality—dislike of the masculine. If someone dislikes you, it’s hard to receive their influence, and if someone never receives what you recommend or say, it’s very easy to dislike them. My parents were highly skilled at receiving the influence of the other and working hard to never allow dislike or bitterness to have a foothold. I bless them for this gift to my children, their children, and me. 

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. – Romans 13:8 

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