16 Reasons We’ve Been Married 40 Years

Ramona and I are celebrating forty years of marriage. Yes, that’s forty in a row. No matter how long you’ve been at this little thing called love, I hope you’ll be inspired by these reasons we’ve been married all those years.

  1. We never checked our phones during dates. Rotary phones were too clunky to bring along anyway.
  2. Once or twice I said, “You’re right. We should have turned back there.”
  3. Somehow I married a girl who loved Jesus more than she loved me. When storms blow, He is our go-to shelter.
  4. We love each other when we don’t feel like it.
  5. Sometimes I wake up and think, What can I do today to make her glad she married me?
  6. We go looking for the good in each other and find it.
  7. I finally learned to start telling her what I did that day.
  8. We say “I love you” every single day.
  9. Eventually I started listening to that little voice that says, “Ask forgiveness.”
  10. We didn’t have sex before marriage. And we’ve made up for it ever since.
  11. No phones at mealtime. Unless the kids call.
  12. About eighteen years ago, I finally learned to put her first.
  13. Sometimes I say sweet things like, “Let’s go buy you some chocolate.”
  14. We don’t let the sun go down on our wrath; we stay up and fight.
  15. We read together. We have time-traveled and world-hopped together through books. Ramona just read these words to me from Billy Graham’s wife Ruth: “It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain. The same goes for a man who expects too much from his wife.”
  16. Number 16 is God’s grace. By his grace we said I do, and we did. By God’s grace we left no alternatives but to press on, stumbling at times, knowing God forgives, and desiring that His love govern our lives and legacies.

And one more: We learned to lower our expectations. Ramona once told me, “All I was really hoping for was a husband who knows how to set a mouse trap.” And she’s right. I can do that.


Phil Callaway

Phil Callaway, the host of Laugh Again, is an award-winning author and speaker, known worldwide for his humorous yet perceptive look at life.

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