Articles, Blog

Cultivating a Healthy Marriage

November 18, 2019

I think every one of us who is married
recognizes how vitally important it is to maintain a healthy and happy marriage
relationship. If you don’t do that, it could end in divorce, or it could just be
lifelong drudgery, misery with this other person. It’s in your own best
self-interest to try to cultivate a happy and healthy marriage. And so Jan
and I have found that one of the most important things to do is to spend time
with each other. When we went to seminary, I covenanted together with her that I
would set aside certain time when I would not study, and this would be time
that we would spend together and I wouldn’t allow my studies to encroach
upon it even if that meant I was going to get lower grades. And not only did I
do that through seminary but through doctoral work, and now on into my
academic career we still have these times that are set aside for each other
when I just don’t study, and I put those away. And I think this gives you the
opportunity then to to connect, to continue to live one life together
rather than to allow your lives to go off into separate paths. Certainly one of
the biggest challenges, I think, to a marriage relationship is having children;
the demands upon both parents, but especially upon the mother, are just so
exhausting and stressful that this can put great strains on a marriage. But
I would just want to remind folks that there’s life after children. In fact, in
the long run they will be with you for a relatively short time compared to the
time before and after they’re gone. And so you don’t want to be living with a stranger when the kids go off to college.
It’s in your best self interest to keep cultivating that relationship so that
when they do finally go away, it’s like being newlywed again. It’s just you two
again in the house instead of having other people in the house with
you. And that really is wonderful I think.

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