The Most Important Key

Another Question from Love Songs:

What, with your experience with couples, do you feel is the most important key to a long happy marriage?

Unconditional love.

Long marriages are not always happy. This is a reality because life is not always happy. Living life as partners means you love on the good days and you love on the not-so-good days. You love when you don’t “feel like” loving. You love when your love is not reciprocated. You love when the future looks good and you love when it looks like there is no future.

It’s no accident that the marriage vows are about promising unconditional love. For the last several years, Mark has been using marriage vows based on 1 Corinthians 13. He wrote these vows for a special ceremony at NewSpring that took place back in 2004. Over 30 couples were on the platform as we recited these vows to our spouses in chorus. Since that day, almost every couple Mark has married has requested these vows. If you read 1 Corinthians 13 in the New Living Translation, you’ll recognize these words.

By the grace of God’s Holy Spirit, I will be patient and kind to you. Because I love you, I won’t demand my own way, or hold past faults against you. I will be loyal to you, always faithful from my heart. I will always believe the best about you. I will always defend you. My love for you will never end.