The Keys to a Successful Marriage – Part 1

The key to successful relationships, and especially the key to a successful marriage, is the willingness of each person to serve the other in love. This lesson was brought home to me in a very simple way early in my courtship with Pam.

Our dating relationship was unique on several levels. First, my Dad fixed us up on our first date because he knew I was too shy to pull it off on my own. He also knew I was crazy about Pam but didn’t know what to do with that.

Second, when we started dating, she had to break up with a young man who did not take rejection well. He came to my house in the middle of the night and threatened to beat me in my own driveway. My brother came to my rescue, though accidentally. (Another story)

Third, while I had a great model of a long-lasting, loving relationship from my parents, my Dad was not real wordy about what I was to do or be as a Christian husband. So I went out and bought a book. It was called The Act of Marriage by Tim LaHaye.

There were a lot of little cartoons and illustrations in the book (yet another story) but one in particular grabbed my attention. It was a picture of a husband bringing some cookies and milk to his wife, who was sitting on an easy chair. The caption read, “If you want to be treated like a king, treat her like a queen.”

Now my Dad never had a “talk” with me; Pam and I never got premarital counseling… but that little cartoon has never left my conscious mind. It has literally guided much of my married life, and also much of my marriage counseling I have given since.

And oh by the way. Tim LaHaye didn’t come up with that little item. Jesus did. You may know it as “The Golden Rule.” Do unto others as you would have them do to you. And while there may not be a cartoon to go with it…

… it may be the smartest advice your marriage will ever get!


“Serve one another humbly in love….”   (Galatians 5:13)

FOR REFLECTION: Think of something important that you want your husband or wife to do for you. How can you do that for them first….in loving service?

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