A good friend was asked to speak at a wedding I attended this year. He was asked to share his thoughts about what it takes to have a successful marriage. Following is an excerpt from his speech. While he talks specifically about marriage, I felt his thoughts apply to all relationships. I believe he eloquently captured God’s recipe for all our human interactions.
If one were to say that being married is easy, that would not always be true. If one were to share that marriage is difficult, that would not always be true. I realized in reflecting upon what I wanted to share with you that there is no single recipe for a successful marriage. In marriage, the commitment to love, is what a couple brings to their relationship, each and every day.
In sharing some of the characteristics that I believe contribute to a successful marriage I would include the following:
FORGIVNESS: Do not dwell on your disagreements…Remember to forgive each other and remember the importance of forgiving self.
ACCEPTANCE: Show acceptance and tolerance for each other and each other’s family and friends.
GOOD JUDGEMENT: Remember good judgment and healthy life choices are paramount.
COMMUNICATION: Good communication and making time to communicate is crucial.
UNDERSTANDING: It is important to try to understand each other and be sensitive to each other’s feelings and needs.
COMPASSION: Remember to be compassionate toward each other and to show compassion to others in our world.
HUMOR: Laughter is medicine for the soul. Laugh with each other often.
GRATITUDE: Be thankful for the many gifts that God has bestowed upon you. At the end of each day share with each other something for which you are grateful.
FAITH: Be faithful to one another and be faithful to God. Faith gives us strength, renews us on our life journey and supports us in times of joy and sorrow.
LOVE: Most important of all is love. In scripture we read that we are to “love one another as God loves us.” Always remember what it is that you most love about one another and never forget how very much you are both loved by others and by God.