Gratitude, marriage and your funny bone

The world record for shortest marriage is six hours, but remains in dispute as to whether it belongs to Rudolph Valentino or to Brittany Spears. Then there is J. Lopez at eight months, and Elizabeth Taylor at eight months.

“The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret,” Henny Youngman said. My vote for the secret ingredient is gratitude! Gratitude and prayer. I have picked up a few threads of truth in my fifty years of marriage.

World Wide Marriage Encounter tells us that today one in two marriages fails. If the couple is married in church and continues to go to church, only one in fifty fails; but where the couple is married in church, continues to go to church and has a prayer life together, the failure is one in 1005.

Next to gratitude is humor! I wouldn’t try marriage without it. Here are a few thoughts to make the road more pleasant. Presently I am at 50 years plus 6 days.

Nutritional doctors have revealed that research shows that certain food eaten years ago still causes grief and misery today. It is known as wedding cake.

Things change as we get older. At our age we don’t care so much about having buns of steel anymore. We’d be happy with buns of cinnamon.

We become more forgiving with age: “To the person who stole my anti-depressants - I hope you’re happy now!”

Marriage is like a deck of cards. It starts out with Hearts and Diamonds, and much later ends up with Clubs and Spades.

There is so much to be grateful for, to a God who is bountiful in his blessings.
Take the miracle at Cana, for example. 6 stone jars at 30 gallons each, that equals 180 gallons or 800 bottles of wine.

The Lord has been outrageously generous at times in my marriage. Ten years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. As I stood on the sidelines wondering about God’s plans, I had no idea how great the future would be. Ten years later, I am surrounded by nine grand children and their parents. I can’t say enough thanks for this.

Turn to God in prayer. Mother Mary makes a good intercessor. At the Wedding feast at Cana she turned to Jesus and simply said, “They have no wine.” When your marriage runs into difficulties, turn to Mary. She will tell Jesus. At times in every marriage you have to cry out for grace.

From personal experience, after 50 years of marriage, I can attest to the need for Christ in my marriage. I do not think I would still have a marriage if it were not for the graces that are there for the asking.

If my wife and I did not stand hand in hand on Sunday mornings asking the Lord’s blessings, we would not have the marriage we have enjoyed. We would no longer have the ability to accept each other, to forgive each other, to love each other. 

Here’s to the home that [every couple] shall build.
It shall have a kitchen on the first floor,
A bar on the second floor,
A bedroom on the third floor,
And a cathedral on the fourth.

So they can eat when they are hungry,
drink when they are dry,
make love when they are lonely,
and have salvation when they die. Emily Jennings

(567 words)

By Ken Rolheiser