Jerry Newcombe

I remember another “C” was commitment. If you’re committed to each other, then you’ll work things out, even if hard. This is not the same as romantic feelings. It’s rock solid commitment. Feelings come and feelings go. Then feelings come back, and they go. But commitment slogs on.

I remember a man who got married before I did. He also got divorced before I got married. I asked what happened. They got into a fight. OK, that happens to virtually everyone.

And then he said, “Don’t you love me anymore?” And she hesitated and said, “I’m not sure.”

He shouted, “That’s it. It’s over.” And it was off to the divorce court.

But feelings of love are one thing, and commitment to each other in love is a different thing. Millions of couples today think that that if they fall in love with the right person, then the feelings of love will continue. But, again, feelings come and go. Commitment remains the same.

My wife and I made an agreement that before we got married, we could freely talk about divorce. But after we got married, we wouldn’t even joke about it, since divorce is not an option.

I used to laugh at the late Mrs. Billy Graham’s joke, when she was asked if she ever considered divorce. “Divorce? No. Murder? Yes.”

I say I used to laugh until I saw some episodes of true crime documentaries, showing where ‘til death they departed---because one of them murdered his or her spouse.

Another key “C” for a happy marriage is communication. So often couples communicate on different levels. After a fight, if the husband buys her flowers, she might think he’s trying to buy her love. Talking things out is so helpful. Marriage Encounter weekends teach excellent tools for communicating with each other.

One great question to ask is: “What can I do to prove to you that I love you?” Listen to the answer, and then do it.

The last “C” for a happy marriage I want to highlight is confession---confessing sin and forgiveness of same. “I’m sorry” are some of the most important words in any language.

The Bible says, “don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” In other words, don’t go to bed with a fight unresolved.

So on the anniversary of a third century saint who prized his faith in the Lord and the importance of marriage above his own life, we can renew our commitments to love those whom God has placed in our lives, including our spouse. Happy St. Valentine’s Day.

Jerry Newcombe

Dr. Jerry Newcombe is a key archivist of the D. James Kennedy Legacy Library and a Christian TV producer.