Love and Marriage

Each February, retailers rush to cash in on the Valentine’s craze. I don’t mind. I love any opportunity to celebrate love and marriage. The American poet Ogden Nash said, “Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” I read that to my wife on our anniversary last, um, when was that? Oh, August.

Actress Lana Turner said,“A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.” My wife found that man. But decided to marry me instead. I love this from Mignon McLaughlin: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, and always with the same person.” Not long ago, my nephew Michael tied the knot. During the bachelor party, my son Steve and other friends took Mike to Walmart, bought him a giant onesie and a Sharpie, then marched him around the store asking shoppers to write marriage advice on his outfit. Before long, the onesie was covered with slogans like, “Happy wife, happy life.” “The wife is always right.” “Listen to your wife.” “Just say ‘yes dear.’” You know. The standard stuff. One lady wrote the words, “Don’t do it,” across the front in large letters. I’m thankful Mike didn’t take her advice. It’s become the mantra of for too many. “Don’t commit.” “Marriage is outdated.” “It’s an antique.” “Just live together.” “Why do you need a contract?”

Studies are showing that commitment is vastly underrated. One from the US Department of Health and Human Services states that getting married and staying married reduces depression in both men and women. Another study found that married men live an average of seven years longer than unmarried men. That’s equal to the benefits of giving up smoking. One cranky guy said, “It just seems longer.” He was wrong. It makes perfect sense. If my wife passed away I would die of my own cooking.

On average, married people are more likely to survive a heart attack. They have fewer colds. And flus. And trips to the doctor. By far—surprise, surprise—they have the most satisfying sex lives. Studies show it and Sripture teaches it. Marriage was God’s idea. And it is very good. I highly recommend it. After all, I have been such a blessing to my wife. We read in Hebrews 13:4 that “Marriage should be honoured by all.” Whether or not you plan on tying the knot, let’s honour marriage.

And ladies, remember this advice from Phyllis Diller: “Whatever you may look like, marry a man your own age–as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.”

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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