the best marriage advice

17 July 2013 14 comments

The best marriage advice I ever got was long before I was ever married. 

An elder from my church could see that I really, really, really liked this Joshua Bennett kid. So he said, 

"Make a list of all his faults. 
I mean, every single one." 

Really? Does that sound like a good idea for building a strong relationship?

"Then go down that list, one item at a time. Choose to accept each of those faults. If you come to one that you can't accept, then don't marry him. But if you make it through the list, then marry him and enjoy it. ... Later, when you're married and he has the same faults and they're driving you up a wall, you can preserve your sanity by knowing that you've already accepted that about him and it's okay." 

This sounded really strange to me, but it was immensely helpful. 

The same things that bugged me about Joshua before we got married are the same flaws that he still has to this day; apparently saying your vows does not instantly perfect a person. But I've chosen to accept and love and support him---so I can get on to really enjoying him :)

Eight years into this marriage and I'm happier than ever---not because I married a perfect man (he's really great! but he's not perfect), but because I chose to accept the man I married. 

Good advice, Stan. Thanks. 


  • Katie said...

    This sounds like an extremely terrifying yet sage exercise in acceptance and love. I'll have to keep it in mind whenever that time comes! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Anonymous said...

    Funny! This is the same advice I've given my kids. I said you can always live with someone's good points, but you must decide if you can live with their flaws. If so, then you've got the basis for a long lasting marriage.

  • Anthony said...

    I still remember sitting down with you at Southern and discussing this very piece of advice. I told it to someone just the other day. I still haven't had the chance to use it just yet.

  • Andrea said...

    Thanks for sharing this! A good example of a grace-filled marriage, before it starts. Whenever my time comes, maybe you can be my marriage counselor. :)

  • Carley Brown said...

    My co-worker is getting married this weekend. Honestly right now it feels like "everyone" is getting married, and whenever that time rolls around for me I will take this into account because it truly was great advice. Thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous said...

    Thank You. I've reached that stage in my life when everyone around me is getting married so thoughts about my future someone has increased, I'm always thankful to find useful tid bits about marriage to tuck away until my time comes.

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