Reflections on Marriage

I grinned when I read it and immediately hovered over the “share” button, but then hesitated.

Some of my family and church friends won’t like this.

I sat back and thought for a minute.

Who cares? It’s TRUE.

So, I clicked and shared it.

Marital advice abounds on social media. Much of it is good, but a lot of it is trite. Especially from ministries, which is why this quote from Focus on the Family caught my attention:

A strong marriage requires two people who
choose to love each other
even on days when they struggle
to like each other.

–Dave Willis

I wish someone had told me that way back in 1987 when I became a Mrs.

I tried to bestow a little of that wisdom with my daughter as we planned her wedding, but no one can really prepare newlyweds for what they’ll face. As she and her husband celebrate their first anniversary, I overheard their comment to some newly engaged friends,

“We’ve heard the first year is the hardest.”

I think I was able to stifle my snort. At least nobody looked my direction.

Man and woman sitting on a bench.

The first year certainly has its challenges, but the reality is that every year has challenges. The key to a successful marriage is not only how a couple responds to challenges, but also how they respond to each other.

After 29 years of responses–good AND bad from both of us–I think a good question to ask is this:

Will this response make it easier or harder for my spouse to like me? 

Lord, there are days when neither of us are very likeable, and we struggle in our relationship. Thank You for loving us unconditionally every single day. Please make Your patience and grace abound in our marriage and sustain our love when our “like” is faltering.

Photo Credit: Nuttakit,

Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell consults, writes and speaks on a variety of topics. Her clients appreciate her technical expertise and attention to detail on their websites, projects, and social media strategies. Technical "how-tos" are Susan's favorite articles to write. You can find her working as a blog designer and contributing writer at Fistbump Media. Susan also serves as a hospital chaplain associate and is a voracious scripture memorizer. She's a conference speaker and passionate expositor of God’s Word, and active on Twitter, Facebook, and

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One comment

  1. Great article, Susan. Love the Dave Ramsey quote. Such truth, we choose to love. It’s a choice and an action. Love can’t always be a feeling or we’re all in a heap of trouble. 🙂 Blessings, friend!

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