The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received

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.

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And I serve her in much larger ways.

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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

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23 thoughts on “The Best Marriage Advice I’ve Ever Received

  1. Great word…..and words we've tried to live by for the past 26 years! Something we need to model for others…servanthood…it's a marriage changer!

  2. KENNY: I believe there is a lot of truth in what he told you. Barb and I have been married 51 plus years and there have been many challenges but almost entirely from sources other than one another. The fact that both of us grew up in Christian homes contributed more to success in marriage than any other one thing. Examples set before us by our parents we're priceless. "Let not the sun go down upon your wrath" is a principle worth consideration. Communication, honesty, integrity, and love will contribute to long lasting success and happiness.

  3. While you have the vacuum out already why not do the whole house instead of stopping with the living room? LOL. I think this is a great article. Definite blow to selfishness. Who couldn't benefit from that?

  4. This is excellent, Ken! Thank you for sharing this. My clients will be reading this one for sure. I am tired of the self-centeredness in the world…including my own!! LOL So glad God is faithful to His Word.

  5. Wake up each morning and think of a least 2-3 reasons you love you spouse and then make you tell them or show them the reasons you love them each day. By the way, today is our 28th wedding anniversary.Thanks for tying
    the knot so well and being a great example for us. love

  6. Ken, thank you for this! It really is quite simple, but that underlying issue of self-centeredness / self-absorption is at critical mass levels in our land. It is so refreshing to hear and I am SO thankful that my husband agrees with you! 😉

  7. Ken, My wife and I have been doing that for now 35 years and as you have said that you and Missy have made it into a game [so to speak]. What Carol and I do is every other week-end I will take her out for Breakfast and or lunch [or maybe even dinner] and then the other week-end she does it to me. I really owe her more time then what I think that I do, but who is really counting. Whenever I try to get one up on her she outdoes me on the next one. This is excellent advice to give to every new couple when they are getting married. Blessings sent from the FAR NORTH – Alaska Your friend Rick

  8. The thing I can do is to marry at list a good wife, who can give me time to enable you me many ends to meet of I have already made. I mean have a caring woman and more interested in my marriage. A wife I have to make smile when she don’t think so. Give her reasons why she should stay around with me. To let her know how to keep our marriage going. My secret is staying married, My wife tells me that if I ever decide to leave, she is coming with me.

  9. Yes your is the best. It is also a good marriage experience to sharing openly to one another with sweet words and at the same time appreciating one’s effort by saying well done,thank you , please and this is an additional booster to strengthening one another!
    Brother Andrew Nguri

  10. This is great advice Pastor Ken! I’ve heard this before and it’s good to read how it can be applied and walked out. Thanks for sharing and giving examples.