“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1Corinthians 13:7, NIV

Love is a great thing! (What an understatement!) But love is misunderstood so many times in life. Love is understood often in ways that are not healthy. I know in my life my understanding and appreciation for love has grown over my forty-nine years. That has been especially true over the past twenty-two years of my marriage with Christina.

The humorist, Sam Levinson, once shared, “Love at first sight is easy to understand. It is when two people have been looking at each other over the years that it becomes a miracle.” That certainly is true of marriage.

I would be less than honest if I did not say that marriage is not easy. Two people with different approaches, appreciations, and ways of doing things will have to work to get along. Men and women are certainly different from one another. And, yet, the vows we take at the marriage ceremony are vows for a lifetime.

How can I make this relationship work for a lifetime? First, I can remember the priority of relationships in life. My first priority is my relationship with God. Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God with all one’s heart, mind, and soul. God is Number One because when I am in the right relationship with God, I know I am okay – forgiven and worthwhile. I am His son or daughter. That must be my first priority because then I am right with myself.

My second priority in relationships is with my spouse. My third priority in relationships is to my children. In so many ways, our society says otherwise. It says our children deserve better. And they do. They deserve better marriages from their parents! They deserve to have marriages modeled in a healthy way so they can see the realities that await them.

QUESTION: What were the strengths and weaknesses of your parents’ marriage. Thank God for the blessings and insights you received from their example. If you are married, ask God to share a healthy perspective on love and marriage with your spouse.