Column: Marriage by design

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Commentary by Logan Everett

If you were asked, “What is the key to a happy marriage,” what would your answer be? Some may say that commitment is the key (and essential). Others may say laughter, realistic expectations, sacrifice or even romance. As you think about your own marriage or relationship, what would you say has been the one or two components that have kept you together?

Without a doubt, all of items listed above are important within a marriage, but what is the key to making marriage last? In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes the well-known passage about the characteristics of love. I do not doubt the love between a husband and wife, but it takes an additional effort to determine how they love one another and how they experience that love.

The unconditional love we possess for a spouse is far more than sacrifice or positive compliments; it is not contingent upon a mutual agreement of “I’ll scratch your back if…” Both husband and wife must adopt this attitude:

“I will continue to be what I who I need to be, regardless if you are who you need to be.”

This type of relationship can be called a covenant relationship. The alternative, a consumer relationship. This attitude is essential for a husband and wife in their marriage – just as a mother and father with their child. For some, this comes more naturally. For all, it requires mindfulness, intentional communication, understanding boundaries, finding strengths, among so many others, but most of all … it requires unconditional love and a constant replenishment of that love. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians, “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”

I believe everybody deserves a happy and truly satisfying marriage. I also believes it takes a tremendous effort to love one another – for better or for worse, love never fails.

Product I recommend: “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller with Kathy Keller.

Logan Everett is a licensed marriage and family therapist associate with Groff & Associates and practices on the northeast side of Indianapolis. If you would like to contact Logan for questions or comments, please email him at logan@groffandassociates.com or call 474-6448 ext. 112. 

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