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A few thoughts on the keys to a good marriage.

Love and marriage is a topic that always seems to be trending.

Many people, particulary when they are young, look forward idealistically towards marriage, as if their partner will complete them and fulfill them in fairytale-like ways.

I love being married. Donna challenges me to grow and loves me unconditionally in many ways. But marriage is not the perfect picture many grow up and dreaming.

After 30 years of marriage, I have found that marriage is both better and harder than I expected.

A few minutes ago, Donna and I came back from a lunch date. We talked about the challenges and blessings of marriage. As we talked, we did find that our challenges tended to be in a few key areas. Maybe they might be of help to you.

Communication

One of the key areas of marriage that is both better and harder than I expected is communication. It is essential in a healthy marriage to be in clear communication with your spouse. But this communication may not always come naturally. You may have different preferred methods of communication.

Sometimes your spouse may mean one thing in what he or she says and you may receive it as something completely different. Or you may even have different ideas about what needs to be communicated.

For example, I’ve been very busy lately with my new role at Wheaton College and with Mission Group. We have grown our team so that I now have about about 60 people on my different teams and in different roles. It requires a lot of delegation. My wife mentioned to me a few months ago that it felt as though I was delegating tasks to her the way I delegate tasks to my team.

Now, I think I delegate well to my team, so that’s not the point.

But I asked her to tell me more. I listened, because after decades of marriage …

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