This week my parents, Tim and Lynette, are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
My parents’ faithfulness to God and to each other has been a tremendous example to Joe and me as well as to countless others. We are so excited to celebrate this milestone with them at Behind Our Smiles! Joe and I sat down with them and asked them about their marriage and their secrets to a life-long, happy marriage. Here is some of the wisdom they shared with us!
1. Don’t dish on each other.
(Tim) Never make fun of your spouse in front of other people. I think sometimes it’s very easy, when other people are saying, my husband is this, my wife is this, we never do that. In fifty years, never ever, ever. When we’re in public, at parties, even if other people are making little comments that may not seem like that big of a thing, they add up over the years. You got to realize this is your spouse. Don’t dish on her. Be careful about what you say about each other in public.
My wife and I have done a really good job of never making fun of each other. Not only in public, but I think you have to be careful at home. If you’re looking to have a little romantic evening, and you’ve been questioning your wife about this or that, or her appearance, how exciting of an evening are you going to have? Be careful what you say about each other’s looks!
2. Put your spouse above the kids.
(Lynette) The thing that I see with this younger generation, is they get so obsessed with the kids, where the kids are really number one and the husband is on the sidelines. That’s not how it should be. He’s the leader, he’s the love of your life, he’s your husband and you focus on him. You take care of your children, but those kids are gonna go. And you’re going to have nothing left when they’re gone.
(Tim) Put your spouse first, don’t put your kids first. Yes, you can take your kids to soccer and basketball but you have to make time for your wife. I can tell you that when they’re all out of the house, you’ll have nothing in common if you lived in the bleachers.
3. Put in the work.
(Tim) You gotta work at it. It’s not just going to automatically get better. For me, what you put into a marriage is what you’ll get out. And over our fifty years it took a lot of work to get where we are. It paid off. These things just don’t happen overnight, the reaping and sowing of what you do in life, it will come back.
(Lynette) A lot of people talk about the work, but it sounds like this is going to be really painful. But the result of it is, is that you’ll be happier and you’re going to get along better and you’re going to reap the benefits. It’s certainly worth it, the effort you put in will be worthwhile.
4. Don’t worry so much about the future.
(Lynette) I look back and think, time went by so fast. Why did I waste some of those years fretting over the little things. That was so unimportant. Why did I do that? Those things aren’t as important as I thought they were. I think it’s so important to have a sense of fun. Have fun in life!
5. Be part of a good church.
(Tim) As I look back, you look at the support of your church, your church family when you’re going through hard times. You can’t put a price on that. Your immediate family supporting you through hard times. The big thing is sometimes you have to look and say, I’m not the first to go through this, other people have. You say to yourself, hey if this is the hand I’m dealt, then I’m going to do the best that I can.
(Lynette) We all don’t like to admit that we’re wrong. It’s human nature. If you’re struggling, admit you need help. There are so many great counselors, churches. The Bible says, there’s wisdom in counsel. I encourage you, get support, there are great support systems out there.
Get in a good church. It’ll make a big difference in your marriage. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
6. Trust God day by day.
(Lynette) I always had a mindset, of take it day by day, during the hard times. It’s all gonna work out, just get through it. Get through today, get through tomorrow. I just trusted God – it’s out of my hands, its in His hands. I’m just going to trust Him to work it out.
7. Make time for each other.
(Tim) Go away on escape weekends. You have to take your wife on a date night. It’s not something that is said, it’s something you have to make time for. If you can make time for soccer and swimming and ballet you have to make time for your wife. It’s important that we give the time to each other . The Lord is first in our lives, and everything else after that will just follow.
8. Build your marriage on Christ.
(Lynette) When we became Christians, it enhanced everything, our lives were dramatically changed. Everyone has those questions, and it pulled it all together: our purpose in life.
And then with this commitment we made, it really drew us together and it made life so much better. We had a shared passion for serving God, and fulfilling the Great Commission. This shared vision, brought us closer together. Also, we were in a thriving church with many young couples as friends, all of us on fire for God!
(Tim) What did the Lord do in our lives? WOW. I realized the responsibility as a Christian now to do things in a marriage according to the Bible, and according to making the Lord happy, and not necessarily always yourself. Where a lot of times in marriage you’re thinking of yourself first or your wife first, but we put Jesus first and I think that has changed everything.