I’ve been married twice.
I was married for 25 years and then a widower for 3½ years. I’ve now been remarried for over 8 years.
So, I guess I know a little bit about marriage?!
And I’ve been very fortunate.
One of my sister-in-laws said, “Kenny, most people don’t do well with one marriage; you’ve done great with two.” And I have. I had a wonderful first marriage and now have a wonderful second one.
Now I know there’s a lot of good marriage advice out there but here’s the best marriage advice I’ve ever received.
It came from my best man.
He was making some comments during our marriage ceremony when he offered us a challenge. He said, “I know that both of you are competitive so I want to give you guys a challenge. I want to challenge you to out-serve one another.” At the time his words didn’t seem that profound, but over the years I’ve found that it’s by far the best marriage advice I’ve ever received.
So much so that my wife and I have turned this challenge into a little game. We often joke with one another about who’s out-serving who. (I think she’s way ahead but I’m trying.)
I serve my wife in small ways.
And I serve her in much larger ways.
Surprisingly, here’s what I’ve found that serving one another does: it creates a cycle. The more I serve my wife the more she responds, and the more she responds the more I want to serve, and the more I serve the more she responds—and the cycle continues.
One of the reasons why I think serving is so central to a successful marriage is because a good and growing marriage is about “the two becoming one,” and our oneness in our marriage is most threatened by our individual selfishness, and our individual selfishness is best curbed by serving one another.
So, if you want a great and growing marriage, take the challenge and try to out-serve one another.
How about you? What’s the best marriage advice you’ve ever received?
I’d love to hear it, so please leave a comment.
Oops, got to go. I’m off to vacuum the living room! 🙂
Ken L Roberts