Several years ago, a famous comedian, Red Skelton, shared with the world what helped make his marriage work. He commented that he and his wife felt it very important that they set out one night a week to go out and have a very nice dinner. He went on Tuesdays, and she went on Thursdays!
Red was funny, but he was never known as a guy to be taken very seriously. There are a lot of different ideas about how to help our marriages. I read somewhere that Sony once had a billboard up about Playstation: “If he’s at home, he won’t cheat on you.” I am not sure how solid that marriage advice is. A few years ago, there was a magazine article that talked about how an affair could possibly put a spark in your marriage. I am sure that one is a bad idea. In the world’s way, marriage is a temporary and a moving target. Try some different stuff, and your marriage might survive. But in God’s Word, he tells us he wants our relationships and marriages to thrive, not just survive. At a wedding, people are there hoping that the marriage makes it and thrives, gets better over the years. Nobody is at their wedding thinking that they are going to try and battle their way through five or six years and then maybe get out with a nice couch and a set of cookware.
As I started to think about what makes a marriage flourish, I thought of things like patience, encouragement, trustworthiness, unconditional love, kindness, and a forgiving spirit. It would be hard for a marriage to grow or even stay intact without those things. All of those things are qualities that the Word calls us to have as God’s people.
So, it seems wise advice that, if we want better and stronger marriages, we should live our lives filled with the qualities we are called to have as God’s people. Scripture tells us that the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, and self-control. If, with God’s help and guidance, we can live those qualities out each day, will our marriages be better? Of course. I think we could at least get to the place where we could go out to eat with each other once a week.
You can find other marriage-fix ideas. There are a lot of books you can buy. Red Skelton even has five or six other ideas of his own you could look up. But, I would suggest that we can find most of what we need in this area in God’s Word.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
— 1 Corinthians 13:4–5