Bill Ellis: Strengthening marriage on Valentines Day and every day
I was introduced to Valentine’s Day when I was in the second grade, in a two-room schoolhouse, with no running water or indoor plumbing. That doesn’t sound too romantic to most of us, but it was a big day in our school.
Mom made sure that every second- and third-grade girl in my room — both grades met in the same room — received a Valentine from Billy Ellis.
I do something special for Kitty on this day. It may be a beautiful card, a meal together, a gift or her very own bag of popcorn. We were officially engaged on Valentine’s Day, February 1955, married on June 4, 1955.
A news reporter asked an older couple, “How did you manage to stay together for 65 years?” The woman replied, “We were born and married in a time when if something was broken, we would fix it, not throw it away.”
Most long marriages have had a thing or two that needed to be fixed. If you are smart, you will get it fixed.
Some thoughts on improving marriage:
1. Do not think seriously about getting married until you are no longer a child.
2. A man should never get married until he is able to support a wife. A woman should never marry a man until he is able to support her.
3. When you marry, you marry the whole family.
4. Do not go into debt for things.
5. Never put anything on a credit card that you cannot pay for at the end of the month.
6. Make sure you have health and accident insurance.
7. Save something from each paycheck.
8. Two can live as cheap as one, but only half as long.
9. Go to church each week, read the Bible and pray daily if you want a successful marriage.
10. Never complain about the blunders of your spouse before you have reached perfection.
If the marriage is breaking or already broken down, it is time to fix it. In Putnam County, we have some competent marriage counselors.
The best counselors are usually pastors. They have been trained in putting life back together.
On Valentine’s Day, think about those whom you love. A card, phone call, email or a spoken word will help make their day. February is a good time to hear and speak many kind words.
I recall getting a letter a day from Kitty for two years with this word on the back — SWAK, translated — “Sealed with a kiss” and often with the imprint of the most beautiful lips I have ever seen.
Brother Paul said, “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13:13). How right he was!
Bill Ellis is a syndicated columnist who can be reached at P.O. Box 345, Scott Depot, WV 25560; phone 304-757-6089.