Advice from the Marriage Recordholders

As you have no doubt heard by now, the new Guinness World Record holders for the longest living married couple are Clarence and Mayme Vail – married for 83 years.

The secret?

According to their recent television interview, they feel like the answer is quite simple: you take your vows seriously!

“You make your vows, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer,” Mayme said. “I guess you just stick to it, come what may.”

According to I Corinthians 7:28, married will encounter “many troubles in this life”. We all know them, but here are just a few: health issues, job losses or changes, children, relocation, financial instability, families. A large number of the 50% of married couples who divorce site one or more of these as “reasons”.

In a 2003 study called “Marriage in Utah,” the number one reason for divorce in Utah was “Lack of Commitment.” Each of those couples most likely spoke vows/promises to each other similar to what Clarence and Mayme did many years ago. The difference proves to be a belief that marriage is a covenant relationship, not simply a contract between to consenting adults. Covenants are made to be kept for life (“come what may”); contracts can be cancelled for lack of performance or if things don’t work out the way they were expected.

Did you mean it when you said “for better or for worse?” Are you committed to your wife – for life – come what may – no matter what?

Jesus commands husbands to love our wives “as Christ loved the church”. His love for us is not contingent on our performance. It never fails. He vowed to love us, no matter what, come what may – and He is completely faithful to fulfill that vow. He demands nothing less of us.

Our love, our commitment, our covenant vow to our wife – is not contingent on her loving us in return; or her respecting us; or her performance as a wife. Christ expects us to love as He loves – unconditionally. No ifs, whens or buts.

Sound hard? Absolutely. It is pretty impossible huh?

That’s exactly why Jesus tells us how in John 15:5. Learn it. Quote it every day – come what may.