Love For A Lifetime: Building a Marriage That Will Go the Distance, by Dr. James C. Dobson and published in 1987. It would be six more years until I got married.
I have no idea where I got this book. And I’m sure I’ve meant well by keeping it on my shelf… I’m sure I’ll read it someday.
But, listen to this, Dobson writes in the first chapter,
[Regarding the five out of ten marriages that don’t end in divorce]… “According to clinical psychologist Neil Warren, who appeared on my “Focus on the Family” radio program, all five will stay together for a lifetime, but in varying degrees of disharmony. He quoted the research of Dr. John Cuber whose findings were published in a book entitled The Significant Americans. Cuber learned that some couples will remain married for the benefit of the children, while others will pass the years in relative apathy. Incredibly, only one or two out of ten will achieve what might be called ‘intimacy’ in the relationship.
By intimacy Dr. Warren is referring to the mystical bond of friendship, commitment, and understanding that almost defies explanation. It occurs when a man and woman, being separate and distinct individuals, are fused into a single unit which the Bible calls “one flesh.” I’m convinced the human spirit craves this kind of unconditional love, and experiences something akin to “soul hunger” when it cannot be achieved. I’m also certain that most couples expect to find intimacy in marriage, but somehow it usually eludes them.
He goes on to ask this question, among others, “When the story of your family is finally written, what will the record show?”
On a couple’s date night last Friday, the six of us wrote down the answer to this question: What are three words you want to define your marriage? In other words, a year from now, three years, five years, when someone asks you to describe your marriage in three words, these three words would be a pretty good description. The cool thing about this exercise is that couples are writing their own words, individually. This way — unless they inadvertently use the same word — they end up with six words that cast vision, purpose, and mission.
Do you want to know mine and LeRoy’s?
Mine were Bold, Creative, Fun. LeRoy wrote down Adventurous, Globetrotting, Peaceful. One of the other couples came up with words that were all synonyms of intimacy.
No rating or takeaway, only because I haven’t read it.
I’ll keep it on my shelf a little longer. Tipped on its’ side so that I’ll know it’s unread.
What are your’s and your spouse’s words you want to describe your marriage? Let me know in the comments.