Because of current circumstances in my life, I have had opportunity to witness seven or eight weddings over the past two weeks. I was actually surprised at how many young couples are getting married. I thought that marriage was a thing of the past. But apparently I have been wrong. Good! I’m glad I was wrong. Before pronouncing the marriage vows the officiator has offered advise to the bride and groom.
1. Communication is a key to a successful marriage. Together your joys will be doubled, and your sorrows will be divided. To the bride: “When your husband gets home each evening, ask about his day…and then listen with your ears and your heart. Your concern and interest can lighten his load and inspire confidence.” To the Groom: “Ask about her day…her ups and her downs. Be the man she can lean on. Be the man who willingly takes time to listen to her. And both of you need to know when not to speak. That too, is an important part of communication…wisely determine when to let emotions calm before voicing your opinions.
2. Create a budget, and live within that budget. The only time you should go into debt is for a home, education, or a modest car. You are at the beginning of your lives. You don’t need the newest and the best. Character is built when second-hand is okay while together you work and save and sacrifice for better. You have years to reach your financial goals. Be patient. Don’t allow debt to destroy peace and harmony in your marriage.
3. To the husband: Take your wife out once a week…just you and her. Every day she should know how much you love her, but that weekly date is the time when you let her know she is still your sweetheart. At first you may only be able to afford a walk around the park with an ice cream cone. But it’s the one on one experience that can reignite the reason why you are here today with a desire to live together as life companions.
To the wife: Get dressed up for your date with your husband. Wear his favorite dress…or his favorite jeans. Fix your hair the way he likes it best. Make him happy to take you out. And if for financial reasons it’s only a walk through the park, put your arm through his and let him know that things will get better. You have confidence in him, the future, and your financial goals.
As the officiator offers this advise the young couples have smiled and nodded their heads in agreement. It’s easy to agree before life’s challenges come into play.
Understanding how important marriage is to man, woman, and child, I have said a little prayer for each bride and groom. I pray they will remember the officiator’s counsel. And I pray they won’t give up on each other and their love.
For thirty-eight years I have experienced the highs and lows of marriage and family. These experiences have given me a wisdom I didn’t have as a young bride. Even if the officiator’s advice is accepted and lived, it cannot guarantee that their marriage will weather the storms of life. But those storms will be less fierce when caring communication, financial peace of mind, and devotion to each other (and none else) are fundamental to that relationship.