By Jeanette Berry, November 1974

Tom and I have been married over twenty years.  I had assumed that there was undoubtedly a point in marriage where you were over-the-hump and could just coast along without all the effort necessary to keep the marriage fresh.  Perhaps sometime after the children were all grown and you have such a backlog of love, memories, and good experiences, then it would e just smooth sailing into the sunset.  Then...

I just read some shocking statistics stating that with the exception of the first three years the highest rate of divorce is among those married twenty years and longer.  That means instead of coasting I am now in the danger zone and must start putting forth more effort than ever.

It is said that men marry for companionship, so I want to be the best companion ever.  Togetherness can be overdone.  I can, however love what he loves, and be interested in his interests.  I may not go to the woods to hunt with him---(he says most women cannot stop talking long enough), but I can listen with genuine delight as he tells about "the one that got away."  I can console him when he needs it (which for his is not often) and encourage him without pushing.

I want to reverence him.  The Amplified Bible defines this as notices, regards, honors, prefers, venerates, esteem, defer, praises, love, and admire.  This is an attitude that pays the richest of rewards.  In Esther 6:6 King Ahasuerus said, "What shall be done unto the man whom the king delighteth to honor?"  It is fun to try to think of ways to honor your husband.  One of the best is to speak so highly of him to your children that they think he is next to God.  He really is, you know.  Speak OF him with honor in your conversations with others.  Speak TO him with honor, then put your words into action.  With honor comes respect and deep love.  You must taste and see.

I want to keep sweet.  In my first yearbook he wrote, "May you always stay as sweet as you are now."  This became a challenge to me.  A quiet sweet spirit is not only important to husband, but God says this is a quality of great price.

Perhaps you will be challenged to set some goals for your marriage.  The Holy Spirit can give you the power to be all you should be for His name sake.                                ---A happy preacher's wife.

P.S.  I cannot help but wonder if my husband read the same article.  He brought me breakfast in bed the other morning!

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