Website owner:  James Miller

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On Happy Marriage

   I remember that right after I got married I made a vow to 
   myself.  I said, "I am going to do my very best to make this 
   marriage work.  I am going to go more than half way in this 
   marriage.  I am going to be just as flexible as I can be, 
   accommodate her just as much as I can, within the confines of 
   principle and conscience.  If it is not an important issue of 
   principle or conscience, then I will yield to her as much as I 
   can."  And in my marriage I believe I have pretty much lived up 
   to that vow (I have been married forty years now and it has 
   been an unusually happy marriage).  God has told us to put Him 
   first in all things.  To me that means living right, living 
   true to moral principle and conscience (i.e. living true to 
   God's commandments, the teachings of Jesus Christ, and to the 
   light that dwells within us).  God comes first, doing right 
   comes first, all else comes second -- and I believe in doing 
   that.  I felt at the time that in the vast majority of cases 
   there would not be an issue of principle or conscience 
   involved.  My experience over forty years has confirmed that.  
   That means that in the vast majority of cases I am free to be 
   as flexible and accommodating as I wish.  I believe this 
   attitude on my part, this willingness on my part to be flexible 
   and to accommodate, is one of the most important reasons why 
   our marriage has been such a happy one.  In a marriage 
   flexibility is of critical importance -- at least flexibility 
   on the part of one of the partners.  If neither partner is 
   flexible it is a ship headed for disaster.  

   Nowhere in life is following the teachings that Jesus has given 
   us more important than in marriage.  Jesus taught us not to 
   fight, not to argue, to seek peace; to give in, to go more than 
   half way; to forgive; to not retaliate, to not give back evil 
   for evil; to watch our words; to be kind, patient and 
   understanding; to be humble, to serve others, to deny 
   ourselves.  He taught us humility, self-denial, peacefulness, 
   patience and kindness.  The wise man knows the value of all of 
   these things. 

   As is true in so many things in life attitude is of critical 
   importance in marriage.  Wrong attitudes ruin marriages as well 
   as so many other things in life.  What are the right attitudes?  
   Look to the teachings of Jesus. 

   There is a saying regarding marriage that goes something like: 
   "Choose well, then love your choice."  We should choose our 
   future mate with great care and a clear eye.  It is a situation 
   where a mistake in judgment can cause us great trouble later.  
   No other decision that we make in life is so critical.  We need 
   to find someone that we can easily run in double harness with 
   on a very long trip.  But once we have made the decision, made 
   that lifetime commitment, we need to love our choice.  That is 
   where attitude comes in.  We need to learn how to live with 
   that person.  Choosing a marriage partner is like many other 
   choices we make in life.  We choose jobs, houses, many other 
   things.  We make decisions and then live with them.  Whenever 
   we make decisions and choose things there are always all kinds 
   of considerations, pluses and minuses, pros and cons, good 
   points and bad points to consider.  We settle on a house that 
   is some kind of compromise of what we want.  Nothing is ever 
   perfect in life.  The house may be mostly what we want but it 
   is quite a distance from work and that is a negative.  It 
   doesn't have as much space for storage as we would like.  
   Another negative.  There are always some negatives in our 
   choices.  It is the same way in marriage.  We make our choices, 
   then live with them.  Living with them is where knowing how to 
   live life comes in.  And that is where knowing (and practicing) 
   the principles given to us by Jesus comes in.  He told us how 
   to live life. 

   The wise man knows that there are some things in life that are 
   very important.  One of these is good health.  He knows how 
   important good health is and how important it is to pursue it 
   by proper life habits.  He knows it is worth all the effort you 
   invest in it.  And he knows that another thing that stands 
   right up beside health in importance is a happy marriage.  He 
   knows that a happy marriage is worth all the effort you invest 
   in it.

   I recognize that I have not provided the answer to all marriage 
   problems.  If you are frugal and your partner is an 
   incorrigible spendthrift do you give in to her spending 
   inclinations and allow her to reduce you to bankruptcy?  If you 
   are religious and you have been unlucky enough to find yourself 
   paired with a wanton whore what do you do?  And if you find 
   yourself married to some person who is cold, arrogant, mean, 
   malicious, spiteful and evil life could be a pretty hard jog 
   for you.  This is where a good clear eye before marriage is of 
   critical importance. 

   Jun(?) 2006

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