While attending Harvard University, Teddy Roosevelt met Alice Hathaway. He immediately knew that she was the girl of his dreams. He wrote these words in his diary: “A year ago Thanksgiving Day I made a vow to win her. Now that I have done so, the aim of my life shall be to make her happy and to shield her and guard her from every trial.” I can relate very well to how Teddy felt. I too fell madly in love at the first sight of my wife. From across a crowded room, I knew that she was the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. I too committed myself to woo her, win her and try and make her happy for the rest of my life. I can’t say if I have achieved that, I guess she would have to be the one to answer that question. But I know this, every marriage has its difficult days, its rocky roads, its stormy sessions, and its terrible times. I read a quote by Robert Dodds who said, “The goal of marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.” Success in marriage is more than finding the right mate, it is being the right mate. It is more than finding the person who pleases you, it is pleasing the person whom you have found. When I counsel young couples, I always ask this question; “Do you think marriage is a 50/50 proposition?” Usually, they look at each other before answering and then turn to me and say, “yes”. My response shocks them when I tell them they are wrong, that is they only commit to giving 50% to their marriage, it is already in trouble, that they both must commit to 100% and by doing so they have a 200% chance of having that successful marriage. Marriage has never consisted of just two people, but three people: a husband, a wife and the Lord. We must allow the God of love, the God Who created marriage, to be the center of the marriage. Perhaps the words written in James 1:19-21, might be good to place on a plaque where wives and husbands could constantly be reminded to, “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” Remember this, no marriage is as good as it can be. So, are you giving only 50% to your wife or your husband?

– Rev. Darrell Morgan is the pastor at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Fort Payne.

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