The answer: Perseverance. And not just plain old perseverance... but "consistent perseverance." Constant, steady, undeviating despite difficulty and opposition. Let's face it... the world does not make being married easy. Our own selfishness and desires and temptations make it difficult.
I love being married to Anthony. We're about to celebrate our 20th anniversary next month. And in all that time, I have not found being married to be easy. It has been work. Hard work. We have had to make conscious and deliberate choices to keep our marriage happy and healthy.
I have been told before that I don't understand what it is like to be unhappily married. Or I couldn't possibly understand what a friend is going through because I don't know what it is like to be married to their husband. My advice is trampled over because I am happily married. As if my authenticity is discounted because I have "consistently persevered" over the past 20 years.
So, If you were looking for advice on money, would you go to a lottery winner? Or perhaps someone who started with nothing and worked their way up the ladder?
If you were looking for advice on how to lose weight, would you turn to someone who was blessed with high metabolism? Or would you ask someone who lost 50 pounds in a year and has kept it off for five years?
And, if you were looking for advice on how to make it through a difficult time in your marriage... who do you think might be someone to turn to?
Don't discount the advice of those who truly have been there. Just because they make it look easy... doesn't mean they haven't sacrificed, prayed, cried, studied... and have done it with perseverance... consistently.