Advice for a lasting marriage

I was sorting through some old papers recently and came across a stack of brightly colored note cards. Dearly loved women from my past wrote these cards for me at my bridal shower. Some have recipes, others scraps of wisdom or helpful tips. The thoughtful advice from seasoned matriarchs and the practical counsel penned on that day are just as encouraging now as they were then.

In fact, the notes speak to me more today, after almost 18 years of marriage, as I now know for myself what it means to have a loving, fruitful marriage. I’m so grateful to the Lord for putting so many wonderful older women in my life as I entered into marriage. Their examples still bear fruit in my life today.

Here are some of the notes I received in June 1991:

* Remember to show and tell each other often how much you love, respect and appreciate each other. Give each other lots of compliments. Don’t criticize each other. Try not to correct each other, especially in front of other people. Take control of your thoughts. As much as possible, replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. Be happy!

* Hold hands when you are having a “disagreement”.

* Marriage is not 50-50. It is 100% of effort by each person.

* Try very hard to set aside time just for you and your husband, especially after you have children. Go on a date or do something special, at least once a month. You won’t regret it!

* Never end the day with a grudge.

* “Never, never, never give up.” –Winston Churchill

* Start out your marriage the way you want it to be. It is difficult to change after the pattern is set.

* First of all, keep your eyes upon the Savior who gave His life for all. Be sure to read His word every day and let it be a pattern for your lives. Don’t ever let the sun go down until you’ve forgiven each other if you’ve had a bit of a quarrel. Tell each other “I love you” every day. We have a little thing between us that we squeeze each other three times, and that means the same thing. Have fun.

* Support each other as you encounter life’s challenges; this will make you strong in each others’ love.

* Put your arms around your husband and tell him that you love him (and count to 10 before you let go), as many times as you can, during the day.

* Take long walks together. Walking is the best time to talk.

* Remember to keep your friendship alive. Your husband is your best friend. Let the Lord be the Lord and the head of your home. I know this is your desire.

Some of these women have gone to be with the Lord now, after decades of faithful marriage. Others are getting older, but are still holding hands, hugging and taking walks with their husbands. As for me, I am grateful to God for 18 wonderful years with my beloved.

I’m planning to attend two July weddings this summer. The brides were both little girls when I said my vows. I offer them the same advice that was given to me: Laugh together. Walk and talk together. Forgive each other. Keep Christ as the head of your home. Read the Word. Pray together. Remember that you are each others’ best friend, so always take time for each other. Give 100%, all of the time. And Never, never, never give up!


  1. Molly,
    Thank you so much for this post.
    I just found your blog(s), and I’ve subscribed to both of them. I’m also ecstatic about “My Audio School” – What a gift you’ve given the homeschool community!
    My emergent/reluctant reader loves audio books. I can’t wait to download some of these for him.
    Blessings to you for your ministry,

  2. Molly,
    This was very sweet and a great reminder.
    Thank you and Happy Anniversary!

  3. What wonderful advice! I’ve been married 16 years and last weekend went to the wedding of one of my husband’s friends – he’s 40 and she’s 43 and they’re both getting married for the first time! It was a great weekend (grandparents took our daughter) to reflect back on our wedding vows! And, what has kept us together for 16 years and counting!

  4. Beautiful advice for marriage! I loved your teaching today on Cindy Rushton’s website, love your sites,and your aduio school – what a huge blessing all this is! Thanks so much!

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