Making Marriage Work 1: Compatible


February--and specifically Valentine’s Day—is the love month.  I thought for sure I was getting engaged on Valentine’s 38 years ago. Alas, it was not to be for another month.  Such a waste of the day of love.

Yes, the romance of Valentine’s, engagement and weddings is special.  But marriage is about much more than those celebrations.  Marriage is about the realities that live out that love day after day, year after year.  Steve and I still love and enjoy each other 38 years later.  We have three amazing children and five remarkable grandchildren, who call me Jeedoo.

We know it is God’s grace that we have continued to truly delight in our life together.  But there are some truths that have contributed to our peace and joy and love.  I will share just three of them, with a few specifics in each.  The three realities:  We are compatible.  We are complementary We are complimentary. I wrote about these last year, with great response.  So here they are again, with some updates.In this first post, I will talk about how we are compatible.  I will do the other two next week.


Yes, I know opposites attract.  And we will get to that in the next point.  But we have found that a key to our enjoying being together is that we are compatible on some important issues.

God is first in our lives.

We each love Him more than we love each other.  He is the center of our marriage.  We pursue our relationship with the Lord individually and together.  We pray together often.  The Lord speaks to each of us through the other.   We want His will for our lives and our life together.  When we don’t agree, we wait on clarity from Him.  We are committed to serving Him with all we are for our whole lives.  We trust Him in the good times and the challenging times.

We have similar views on issues that can be divisive.

In topics such as money or politics or even some priorities, our views are not necessarily the same, but they are similar.

Regarding finances, for example, a key for us is that we agreed one of our objectives in life is not to get rich.  (Though of course we are rich spiritually, and compared to most of the world, we are wealthy.)  We seek to be wise in our spending, not extravagant or wasteful or materialistic.  We try to be purposeful and generous.

The same with politics.  We do not agree on everything politically, but our views are not widely divergent.   We might talk about two sides of an issue, but we won't raise our voices over it.

Even theologically we have some differences.  Again, we can challenge each other on some views, but we agree on most doctrinal issues.

We can have lively conversations on these and other issues, but these topics will not usually cause conflict for us.  Peace is more achievable in this compatibility.

We have similar social needs.

Our social needs are not the same—I am an introvert, and Steve is slightly more extroverted.  But neither of us has great inclination to go out and socialize a lot.  Of course, our ministry gives us many opportunities for that.  We get to party often.  And our children and grandchildren help us do fun, adventuresome things.

So, if we have a free day or evening, both of us would prefer to stay home.  We might watch sports or a movie together, or I will read and Steve will fix things outside or inside the house.

It’s possible to have a great marriage without such compatibilities.  Having some different interests can expand our borders.  But I think our similar interests and desires have really been important for us in building a great partnership together.

Tomorrow we will talk about how we complement each other.

What about you?  What are areas of compatibility with your spouse?  Or, what are strong priorities for you that would need to be true in a potential spouse?

c2013 Judy Douglass