Irv Gordon was the original owner of a 1966 Volvo P1800. It holds the Guinness World Record for the highest mileage recorded—3.25 million miles. What was the secret to this astonishing accomplishment? According to Hotcars.com, “He claimed that his secret to longevity was regular oil changes, closely following the manufacturer's maintenance guidelines, and keeping the car clean.”
Irv proved that consistent maintenance and care of a vehicle can transform ordinary expectations into extraordinary results.
What are you and your spouse doing to extend the life of your marriage? The secret to longevity in marriage requires careful maintenance of your vertical relationship with God and horizontal relationship with your spouse.
Love God More than Your Spouse.
Loving God involves more than emotional admiration. It also means obeying Him (John 14:15). Spouses who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and minds (Matthew 22:37) will also love each other. Love for God goes hand in hand with loving others. The apostle John warns, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:8, ESV). How we treat our spouses reflects our love or lack of love for God.
Love Your Spouse as Yourself.
Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Your biblical neighborhood begins with your household and expands to the “end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
We are instructed to show preferential love for those closest to us. The apostle Paul reminds us, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10, ESV).
Christian husbands and wives have a unique physical and spiritual bond that is precious and requires meticulous care. We should nourish and cherish our spouses as we would ourselves (Ephesians 5:29).
Do you want your marriage to run like a well-oiled machine? The secret to a long, God-honoring marriage begins with following the owner’s manual—the Bible. God’s marriage-maintenance plan includes a daily application of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23a, ESV).
Loving God more than your spouse and loving your spouse as yourself can prevent marital breakdowns and the desire for a spousal trade-in.
This article first appeared in the Birmingham Christian Family Magazine.