WISDOM FROM AN OLDER COUPLE
Today I want to pass along to you what I call Wisdom from an Older Couple. My wife and I have learned some vitally important lessons over the last 43 years of our marriage. These insights and practices have been a tremendous help to us, and I wish to pass them on to many of you who are younger, who may not have acquired these lessons or insights yet. I trust they will be a great blessing to you.
Accept and tolerate one another’s harmless preferences. It may be as simple as how you each load the dishwasher. It might be that one likes to wear their jacket in the house and the other does not. Whatever it might be, you will find greater peace and harmony if you practice this principle.
Be intimate often. Once or twice a month will not be enough. I would encourage you to aim for once or twice a week. There are of course seasons in your life such as pregnancy, new baby sleepless nights, or illnesses that you will need to adjust and adapt to, but do not let them go on for an inordinate amount of time, and they become an excuse. Find a way, make a way. You will enjoy your marriage much more.
Strive every single day to encourage and uplift your spouse. A kind word, an encouraging text, an email, or a call, a considerate and thoughtful deed. Do not let a day pass without doing this in some way.
Remember your great enemy, the devil, is trying to tear your spouse apart every day of their life. Do not lend satan a helping hand! Do all you can to be your spouse’s advocate, defender, supporter, and biggest fan.
Lavish your spouse with the same love and grace God has shown to you countless times in your life, because of Jesus Christ.
Stop putting unrealistic expectations on your spouse. They will be very destructive to your marriage. I have known many who expected their spouse to meet their needs in ways that only God could truly meet. Ways that would be impossible for a spouse to ever meet or ever live up to. Your spouse cannot meet all your emotional needs! Only God can do that!
Accept your spouse’s limitations. Don’t shame them, or put them down because of them. Don’t let their limitations exasperate you. Work with them as they are.
Don’t expect your spouse to be someone they aren’t. I am not saying we cannot each grow in greater Christlikeness and godly character. I am saying their personality and temperament shape them in significant ways, that in fact, it was God who made them that way. An example: I hate fairs, large crowds, and public events. I do not like parties. Never have, never will. I am not a vacation and travel guy. I hate airports, planes, and all that goes with them. I praise God that my wife accepts me for who I am, and does not expect me to be someone I am not.
Pray with your spouse every single day. It will change your marriage in powerful and profound ways. It will bless every single other aspect of your marriage relationship. As a result, you will get many answers to prayers you would not otherwise receive.
Go on walks together as often as possible. Kathy and I have a prairie lake trail, about 3 miles from our home that we drive to and walk around. It has drawn us closer together, and I have picked many wildflower bouquets for her while we walked! It is also a good time for me to listen to what is on her mind, and heart.
As you grow older, life and your body bring changes. Learn to adapt to them, and work with them, rather than resent them, or try to keep things the same as when you were both younger. Make adjustments necessary to keep your marriage thriving.
Cooperate with each other. Work together, not against each other.
Luxuries and the finer things of life are not the secrets to happiness. Godliness with contentment is. Kathy and I find great joy and peace in a bowl of rice and beans and the simple joy of being together sharing our lifelong journey of faith in Christ.
The older we have gotten, and the longer we have been married, the more enjoyable our marriage has become. Why? Because we have learned much, grown in Christ much, and outgrown much of the immature selfishness of our youth. We love growing older together. Just the two of us.
Learn to value your spouse’s constructive, loving suggestions and advice to you. They have your best interest at heart and know you better than anyone else.
Never forget how short life really is. Your time together is flying by. Try to make the most of it, and don’t let pettiness eat away at your relationship. You will be dead soon, and into eternity in no time at all.
Be kind! Be kind! Be kind to your spouse! When you aren’t kind you are being cruel. Burn this verse into your brain – Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel! Prov.11:17 NLT
Helping you become a Strong Disciple,
Because of Jesus,
Pastor Mark Darling