Recipe for a Happy Marriage
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine. Song of Solomon 6:3 (NIV)
While attending a writer's workshop in the Spring of 2022 our leader guided us in what would be many "10 minute" writing exercises. Among the many challenges, writing down a recipe, meaning one that would be easy to recall and pen in a matter of ten minutes, was included. These ten minute exercises had (and continue to have) great purpose when it comes to writing freely...as well as suppressing your inner editor!
What came to my mind however wasn't a recipe for my Nana's Apple Pie or our favorite chocolate chip cookies. Instead it was a recipe for a "Happy Marriage"! As I recall my thoughts went something like..."what would I say to a young couple getting ready to tie the knot?"
The following ingredients are what poured out of my heart within that ten minute exercise as well as just a few more thoughts on what has kept my husband and I together for 42 years!
Gather the following:
A Healthy YOU! Please don't bring extra emotional baggage as you will collect a different set as you grow, change and mature together!
Maturity. Marriage is not for children. Be a child during childhood. Bring a child-like joy into marriage, but don't expect your spouse to become your parent.
Faith. Yes, faith will bind your love together. Adding this ingredient will definitely sweeten your lives!
Hope. Stir heaping helpings of hope into your marriage. Look toward the future...together.
Love. Love one another as The Lord loves you.
Mercy. Mercy for physical ailments as well as heartaches. You will need mercy too.
Compassion. This goes well with mercy. Use what The Spirit gives you and use it abundantly! In fact, free pour it generously!
Patience.This ingredient takes time to hone. Recognize when you have too little then add more and more, and a little more to the more!
Passion. God has given you to each other! Make sure your spouse knows you are attracted to them. Keep the flame lit!
Endurance. Marriage is not a home run derby. Today's world will make you feel like every day should be a home run, but trust me, there will be plenty of days where you will strike out. Marriage is a lifetime commitment and you will need to run this race pressing forward always.
Forgiveness. Add a heaping helping of this ingredient every...single...day. This goes for both partners...you will need it!
I'm certain many more ingredients could have been added to this "10 minute" exercise but take this list as a nod from Nana. Even as I am typing this post I am reminded of what has worked and what I need to work on more.
May it serve you well!
Dear Lord, I continue to ask Your blessing on our marriage and on the marriages of those who have taken the time to read these thoughts!