When people find out I’ve been married to the same girl for 37 years in a row, they smile and sometimes applaud. But I did just about everything wrong in the early days. I was selfish. And this was before we discovered how to spell Wii with two I’s. I was cheap. So cheap that I got after my bride for only getting one cup of tea from a teabag. “You can do better,” I said. “My mother (which is a great way to start a sentence) used to use the same teabag for weeks. Then she’d make soup with it. And salad. Then we’d floss with the string. Then my friends and I would smoke the leftovers.”

How have we stayed stuck all these years?

I learned to avoid saying:

“You have too many shoes already.”

“Crying is blackmail.”

“Shopping is not a sport.”

“Honey, the playoffs are on, can we talk about this during the ads?”

I learned to never eat garlic unless she does. To go ahead and laugh. Even when she says, “You want breakfast in bed? Sleep in the kitchen.” I learned to say, “I made some mutton curry with oregano. I hope that sounds okay.”

Most nights I read to her. One of my books. What a blessing!

She doesn’t show me bills until I’ve eaten.

We love when we don’t feel like it.

We look for the good in each other. And always find it.

Every single day I say to myself, “I can’t believe she married me.”

In time I came to discover that one of the greatest marriage savers doesn’t cost a thing and only takes 5 or 10 minutes a day. Every night we pick up an ancient book and read it together. We read things like,

“Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:12-14).

If we absorb such truths, the Bible never leaves us where it finds us.

Like nothing else, reading its truths and praying together has transformed our marriage, brought us contagious joy, and provided a foundation to weather the storms.

Keeping the romance alive helps too. Tonight I can’t wait to see what she does when I say, “Hey! Let’s go buy you some shoes.”