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Marriage License: A Learner’s Permit

It’s a wise groom who has to be dragged to the altar. He knows what love is. It’s death. If lovers don’t know this, they are headed for trouble. Never will you have your way again. You can’t be happy if this other person isn’t. No matter who wins the argument, you lose. Always. The sooner you learn this the better off you will be.

Love is an exercise in frustration. You leave the window up when you want it down. You watch someone else’s favorite TV program. You kiss when you have a headache. You turn the music down when you like it loud. You learn to be patient without sighing or sulking.

Love’s doing things for the other person. In marriage two become one but the one isn’t you. It’s the other person. You love this person more than you love yourself. This means that you love this person as she or he is. Acceptance. We ask ourselves frankly what that impulse is that makes us want to redesign a person. It isn’t love. We want the other person to be normal like us. But is that loving the other person or ourselves? Love brings out the best in people. They can be themselves without artificiality. People who know they are loved glow with beauty and charm.

Let this person talk. Create the assurance that any idea, any suggestion, any feeling can be expressed and will be respected. Allow the other person to star once in a while. A wife’s joke doesn’t have to be topped. Don’t interrupt your husband in the middle of his story. Cultivate kind ways of speaking. It can be as simple as asking them instead of telling them to do things. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Married life is full of crazy mirrors to see ourselves. How stubborn, how immature we really are. You may be waiting for your wife to finish because you never lift a finger to help her.

Love is funny. Its growth doesn’t depend on what someone does for you. It’s in direct proportion to what you do for him or her.

The country is swarming with people who have never learned this. So are divorce courts.

“Men are from Mars...”, Part 3 - Ephesians 5:23,24”, Countdown! Golden Minutes Ministries Newsletter, (Long Beach, CA, October 1996).