By   •   January 7, 2017   •   Topics:

Couple holding hands


People sometimes ask how my husband and I have stayed together for 40 years, since our personalities are so different. For example, I'm a detail person and he isn't. Please encourage couples to stay together, even if they have differences. It can happen, with God's help.


Thank you for your testimony; you and your husband vividly illustrate the old saying that “opposites attract.” It’s not always true, of course, but when it is, God certainly can help them overcome their differences and have a solid and happy marriage.

But this can be true of every marriage, even when the differences aren’t as great. After all, no marriage is completely free of conflict; no husband and wife agree completely about everything. My wife, Ruth, often said that if a husband and wife always agreed about everything, then one of them wasn’t necessary! God gave marriage to us, and He knew we’d need each other’s gifts and strengths.

I’ve often asked myself why so many marriages fail today. Many reasons could be given, of course, and tragically, not every marriage can be saved. But I’m convinced a major reason many marriages fail is because we’ve given our young people a false view of love. All too often love is seen only as an emotion or physical attraction.

But true love—the kind of love God has for us—renounces selfishness and seeks, instead, to do what’s best for the other person. This can happen as we put ourselves into Christ’s hands and ask Him to be the center of our lives—and our marriages. The Bible says, “Love is patient, love is kind. … It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

Learn more about God’s love for you—and your spouse.