“Wanna know the secret to a great marriage? Neck and pray every day.”  — Rev. Regis Farmer

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to talk about sparks flying, family gatherings, laughter and great food.

Yes, June is nearly behind us and that can mean only one thing.

No, not Independence Day celebrations. We’re talking weddings. Big, small and in-between.

June has traditionally been known as “wedding month,” so chances are you’ve been to a ceremony in the past 30 days or so.

But now that July is almost upon us, the weddings that took place over the past month have now morphed into ... marriages.

So much time, so much effort, so much money has been poured into the big day that it sometimes blinds us to what comes next.

Now, the heavy lifting begins.

Think about it. What did we just hear young lovers profess as they exchanged their vows before God and before us?

“(Name), do you take (Name) to be your wedded (husband/wife) to live together in marriage. Do you promise to love, comfort, honor and keep (him/her)? For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. And forsaking all others, be faithful only to (him/her) so long as you both shall live?”

Man, that’s real.

And, if we’re to get real deep on the subject, today’s divorce rate shows we’ve got only a 50-50 shot of success.

So I’ve been thinking. Have I aquired any wisdom over the 20 years of my marriage that could possibly help young newlyweds?

It’s taken me a while to truly grasp some key concepts, but I’ve learned that all of life is a fluid work in progress. And we never really “get there.”

But we can still aim for the bull’s-eye.

That said, it would take me days to explain all that I think makes a wonderful marriage. But for the sake of time, let me share what I believe it isn’t.

•It’s not about only love. It’s about COMMITMENT, in good times and in bad.

•Love, for that matter, is not a feeling. It’s a VERB.

•It’s not about purchasing a house. It’s about creating a HOME.

•It’s not about keeping your home neat and tidy. It’s about LIVING in it.

•It’s not about eating dinner together. It’s about SAVORING a meal as you share stories, and laughter — and yourselves.

•It’s much more than just remembering your anniversary. It’s about never forgetting WHY you got married in the first place.

•It’s not just holding hands as you walk through town on “date night.” It’s about staying IN TOUCH with your partner for life.

•It’s not just about creating a budget. It’s about sharing a VISION of where your money should go.

•Yes, sometimes it’s about fighting in your marriage. But it’s always about FIGHTING FOR your marriage.

•It’s not about just talking things out. Sometimes, it’s just about LISTENING.

Chances are, if you’ve gotten married this month, you probably have been best friends for a while. Now, you are partners. And you are examples for others to watch as they follow in your footsteps.

Hmm. Sorry, but that reminded me of just a couple more things:

Always expect the best. But always be prepared for the worst.

Be sure to neck and pray today.

Then say “I do” all over again tomorrow.


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