I have had the pleasure of meeting a few couples that have been married for over sixty years. One such couple was in my last pastorate. Their names were Walt and Alice.
Many Sundays, you could hear Alice calling for her husband across the auditorium by saying, “Lover! Are you ready to go home?”. On another occasion, as they were making their way to their car, I overheard her saying, “What a beautiful night! It’s a night for lovers!”.
I remember once asking Walt to describe to me the key to their success as a married couple. He thought for a few moment and said, “Years ago, my wife told me that if I was to ever leave her, everything would be split in two. She would get the inside and I could have the outside.”. He then added, “So, I thought I had just as well stay with her. “.
During my tenure as pastor at that church, I watched Walt and Alice very closely as I often marveled at the love they shared. Though God had obviously blessed them for their faithfulness to Him and their love for His Word, I noticed that they had something else that few seem to possess: even though they were in their mid eighties, they felt comfortable acting like little children around each other.
My Definition of a Great Marriage
I have a few definitions of what makes a great marriage. This is probably my favorite:
“A great marriage is when two full grown adults feel safe and vulnerable enough to allow the little children within themselves to come out of their house and talk and play with one another.”
If you think about it, when your relationship with your spouse is at peak performance, you feel like acting like little children around each other. When you feel the most in love with your mate, you laugh at even the smallest of jokes and your spirit and your words are playful toward one another. Quite simply, you are like two little children laughing and playing on the playground of vulnerability.
We are All Little Children Deep Down Inside
Every one of us are little children deep down inside. Even the scriptures refer to adult believers in Christ as “little children” in I John 2:1.
Have you ever been to a bridal or a baby shower and witnessed how the ladies act? They are like little girls as they talk, laugh, and play their little games.
If you are ever around a group of men when they are relaxed and feeling free from the pressures of life, what do you find? You often see grown men acting like little boys that are feeling happy, fun, and free.
Our Greatest Moments
For my wife and I, our greatest moments as a married couple are not marked by money spent or assets acquired. Our high times are measured by the same standard that was present just a few months upon meeting. Our marriage is at its best when we both feel free to talk, run, play, and even even fall to the ground on that playground of safety and vulnerability.
Life sometimes requires us to have a tough exterior. It is true that in certain situations and environments it would be unwise to reveal your thoughts or your feelings (Matthew 7:6). A home, on the other hand, is to be a different setting. In a Biblical home, all involved should be able to dream, verbalize their dreams, trip up over themselves, laugh, and even cry without feeling ridiculed or demeaned. Sad to say, this type of an atmosphere seems to be a rarity in even many so called Christian homes.
If marriage is ever to be enjoyed as God intends, then both participants will have to find a way to encourage the other to step out of their house and into a place of safety. If a spouse is not feeling safe in a relationship, trouble usually arises from that point on.
Our 2-step process to solving marriage issues, helps couples to progress in making each other feeling safe in a relationship. To learn more about this 2-step process, feel free to research our site or order our materials on marriage and relationships.