I’ve Got A Winner In You!


In 1978 I met a girl at college who later became my wife. Our short courtship lasted only five weeks before we became engaged and from the day we first met to the day we were married was just over three months. I know the conventional wisdom of today is that you need to be in a long-term relationship before you can ‘know’ if he or she is the right one. Some say you have to live together as a ‘trial for at least a year. Many others say you don’t need to get married at all. After all its just a “piece of paper.” Well, I don’t know about all that,  I just know what I have personally learned and experienced.

Here is what I have learned and experienced from 40+ years of marriage. Marriage, like life, is much like getting on the monster rollercoaster at the amusement park.  You voluntarily get into the car, put your belt on and wait for what you know will be the scariest yet most enjoyable ride of your life.  As you ascend up to the top you hear the click, click, click, of the cars and you grab ahold of the bar as tight as you can.  At that point you wonder, “What did I do?” Yet, the thrill of it all is just, well…so much fun! During the ride your adrenaline is pumping as your heart races.  Sometimes the ride has you screaming,  sometimes you get brave and you take your hands off the bar and raise them high, daring the ride to throw you off!  The centrifugal force throws you back and forth in the car and your hair is flying in the wind. The line to the rollercoaster is always long.  Everyone wants the thrill of the ride even though its scary. What I notice about all the people ahead of me that are getting off the ride is that they are smiling, laughing, and most run to the back of the line for “one more ride.”

Throughout my young life I watched my parents marriage as well as many other marriages that were successful. The length of their courtship varied and their stories were always different.  But the common thread they all seemed to have, was a committment to see the ride to the end.  Where did they get that commitment?  More times than not they shared a belief in the divine nature of marriage and that it was ordained of God. That belief gave them the strength to endure both the good and the bad times that come in a marriage.

On the first anniversary of my marriage I began dedicating a song from that year to my wife which best expressed my love and devotion. Now forty-five dedicated songs later my favorite is still my first. “I’ve got a winner in you, no way I can lose. A love I can hold on to.  I’ve got a winner in you.”  crooned Don Williams. (“I’ve Got A Winner In You”, Country Boy,1977)

All marriages can be “winners” if both parties are committed to each other. That commitment is best supported by a belief that marriage is of God, not man! Using the Lord’s commandments as a foundation for our marriages will cement in our hearts the sacred nature of our unions and the knowledge that they can be eternal in nature. So let’s buckle up and enjoy the ride!

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