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Brief Secrets for a Successful Marriage
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By Raymond S. Moore

This morning as I write this, Dorothy gave me my bi-monthly assignment: "How would you like to do an article for me on marriage?"

Me? for her? Yet I realized that this may be less of a task than for her to write one for me.

But she said, "You should know. You've performed so many weddings."

This was a great encouragement to me, Most people ordained to the ministry know that performing a wedding ceremony is far from the complex and enduring exploit of successful mating. Yet Dorothy subconsciously inferred that I did both well. Just like her.

After 65 years of courting, winning, marrying, keeping and loving her, marriage has never been an endurance contest. Instead, I thank God time and again every day that He gave me such a woman.

Yet she did not come easy. She was Miss Independent in the most discreet, gentle, loving but firm sense of the word-true, pure, lovely and of wonderful report. But really hard to get. Other men had found that out before I had my turn. But once I had her, I determined never to let her go, but care for her like the loveliest pearl, the most serenely beautiful jewel that she was.

Now for a sober moment, and then a few of our secrets....

If I were writing this for a young man or woman who had not yet made the decision, I would tell them to consider Paul's counsel to Titus "to be sober minded....a pattern of good works...showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech that cannot be condemned...." And the Apostle's advice to the Philippians: To think on "whatsoever things are true...pure...lovely...of good report." Then look for the same traits in your prospective mate.

Virginity was a mutual standard-a high goal, yet not always possible in either or both, groom or bride, because of previous marriage or a history now forsaken. Yet moral purity is crucial. Lusts must be laid aside and the Golden Rule be the Rule always. This determination on our parts eliminated a common reason for divorce.

And we had a few other tidbits, that you might call secrets:

Faith. We had a deep, identical faith in God above all things.

Interests in common. We enjoyed being friends, well before we became lovers. We are still best friends.

Money. When I found her frugal, I asked if she would like to be family treasurer. She did, and has been for over 63 years, including our Moore Foundation. Since debt is a major reason for divorce, her management avoided that obstacle and I was busy enough getting colleges, universities and school systems out of debt, and keeping them out.

Lifestyle. Share household duties, even if she is at home all day. Make sure she is a great cook, for health, not to appease.

Alter ego. We soon agreed that if ever there was a happening of a doubtful source, we would pass blame to Smitty, our imaginary elf. Then the matter was dropped. One never blamed the other. God can guide strong minds.

Deadline. We have practiced without fail Ephesians 4:26: "Let not the sun go down on your wrath." If Smitty ever did fail us, and a disagreement did rarely cloud our day, we settled it before we went to sleep at night. This is top marriage insurance.

Authority. One never claimed authority over the other. Dorothy always regarded me as "bishop" or head of the house. Therefore it was incumbent on me-as on every husband-to be responsible, never erratic, and to insure that she is treated like a Queen, always!


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