Mom & Dad attest the longevity of their 54 year marriage to the Mentorship they received from Dad’s parents who’s marriage lasted 63 years until the death of one parted them. It’s all about WHO you’re actually married to, and I’m not just talking about the other spouse….
All marriages are not put together by God, and a marriage license from The State (legal marriage) can not bind two people at The Heart…I am living proof of that fact. Jesus said “What God hath joined together, let no man put asunder (separate)” and my parents’ marriage (a real spiritual marriage) shows proof of God having done the joining.
Whether God put a man and a woman together by The Power of His Spirit OR whether two people only got together on their own and ‘on paper’ will prove itself over time. According to our parents, even though God does the joining of marriages that last there’s a certain cooperation on the part of both spouses that is still required.
After several failed legal marriages and witnessing how my parents overcame things that could have torn them apart, I finally asked them how they made theirs last. Their answer was simple but PROFOUND:
“Divorce was NOT an option for us. I had to put my selfishness away, and one thing I can always depend on your Dad for is whatever decision he makes for us, it’ll be for the sake of the marriage. The decisions we make aren’t for his benefit alone or mine, we make our decisions for the sake of the marriage.” –Mom
That short conversation 3 years ago unleashed a powerful tidal wave. What is Mom saying? First things first…quitting is not an option. I received the biggest shock after each of my failed marriages. We made solemn vows before God publicly saying “for better or for worst, etc., etc,. till death do us part” in a church before God, a minister and a congregation…so I’m thinking ‘the deal is sealed’and believing I’m with someone who’s in it to win it no matter what.
The extreme bottom line of our situations centered around the fact that our love for each other was not enough, and the ones I was with simply quit. We weren’t bad people and I don’t believe our problems were beyond repair. One by one for whatever reason, they simply quit.
Mom says we live in a throw-away society now where people are conditioned to throw old and broken things away rather than maintaining them well and repairing them like we used to. (That’s BIG…please don’t miss that!)
While it’s true that Dad and Mom got legally married, their hope and dedication was not to the state sanctioned legal contract. They got spiritually married first and foremost…not only to each other; they got married to The Marriage itself. They loved each other when they got married and still love each other now, but they are more dedicated to The Marriage than to themselves individually or each other. (Pause and re-read if you have to!)
Mom re-introduced a Biblical concept to me in a way I could receive it, and my parents have been modeling that concept to my Sister and I all our lives. This is what I’m sharing with you now.
The Marriage itself is a 3rd party entity of it’s own outside of each spouse which binds spouses together in ways they can’t do with their own wisdom or strength…and the submission of both parties to The Marriage is a MUST if the marriage is going to last: “til death do us part.”
What does that mean in a practical, day in and day out way? When we as spouses are focused on each other, each one’s faults, failures, foolishness, fumblings and frailties ALWAYS SHOW UP and without the unconditional and unfailing love of God being The Centerpiece and Governor of the relationship, destructive fault-finding of each other creeps in and kills the relationship over time like cancer.
Constructive criticism is one thing and a necessary thing, but when it comes to constant fault-finding which stems from a judgmental heart that’s something completely different, and the evidence of whether one is being constructively criticized or being nagged to death with fault-finding will show up. One’s true motives can’t hide.
The judgmental heart of a quitter drives that person to condemn and find enough fault in their spouse to quit. For them, it’s easier to quit than to submit! The submission we’re talking about is not just to the other person but to The Marriage itself.
The purpose of this covenant relationship is to cover each other’s weaknesses, not to exploit them or badger the other about their weaknesses or reject them. These are not God’s ways.
“Love covers a multitude of sin” and “God is Love” the Bible tells us! HE is the binding force of unfailing and unconditional love and unity in The Marriage, and one’s heart can’t be changed to love that way without submitting to God Our Father as an individual first.
One can’t be transformed from being a fault-finder to an unconditional lover without being a worshiper of God, a receiver of His Love and finding ultimate contentment in God by dwelling in His Presence. If we try to replace God by making our spouse our source of joy…that person will eventually let us down. As beautiful as our spouses might be, they were never supposed to replace God as our source of joy.
This is why God must be The Centerpiece and Governor of The Marriage. If you can picture God being at the top of a triangle with each spouse at the lower corners, that couple comes closer together as they both move towards God…
Herein are part of Mr. David and Ouida J. Dill’s Legacy:
1) When spouses are more than just legally married to each other, and spiritually married to God first and foremost individually and collectively He IS The Marriage, which means DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION IN GOD. If the marriage is truly going to work, quitting by either spouse is not an option! Our Promise is to persevere for a lifetime and, Almighty God Himself is The Source of perseverance, wisdom and strength in marriage.
2) Choosing a spouse who won’t quit doesn’t have to be hard. Start with YOU. Are you a true worshiper who loves God with your whole heart because you recognize and you’re constantly focused on His unfailing Love for you?
Do you love Him and and appreciate being in His Presence more than any human being or physical object? If so, then you are now equipped to to put away judgmental and fault-finding ways, and to love your spouse with The Love of God NO MATTER WHAT…you can’t give what you don’t have.
3) Once you’re solid there, do you self-improve? Do you regularly improve your physical body which is also the temple and dwelling place of God within you? Are you willing to take the absolute best care of yourself as a gift to yourself and your spouse (or future spouse)? Do you read, study, learn, understand, receive and feed on The Word of God who is The Bread of Life?
Is God the source of your empowerment to be the absolute best person you can be on your own as an individual? In other words, are you a single or whole person the way God intends for you to be in spite of your relationship status? Are you acknowledging the God-given gifts placed within you that are pre-programmed like a DNA sequence; like a tree inside a seed waiting to manifest?
Are you letting God cultivate those gifts within you, and exercising those gifts for His glory? Do you recognize your assignment to be blessed by God and to be a blessing to others? God wants you to DO YOU and be the best you He created you to be whether you’re married to somebody or not, no matter what age you are.
4) The example of my parents’ marriage before me (and now presented before you) equips us to better qualify and recognize who we should and shouldn’t be with. It’s been said ‘we attract who and what we are’ into our lives, so one who lives by the above 3 Real Deal Dill Legacies will hopefully attract the good thing they’re looking for.
One who lives this way can recognize who is and who isn’t living this way, and be QUICK to filter out quitters before a relationship even starts.
Does that potential mate make passionate pursuit? Do they research widely available sources of information on how to make relationships last, how to resolve conflicts, how love is communicated in different ways, or how to meet the needs of their spouse better?
Where there’s no cultivation there’s no growth, so is that one a cultivator? Are they one who believes in leaving the other person better than they found them, and do they live their lives in such a way that brings out the best in themselves and others?
5) One thing Dad and Mom taught us:The Dill’s don’t quit, we’re in it to win it and we achieve every single thing we set our minds to. This requires problem-solving ability! Wisdom and understanding is the order of the day, and these will either come by the shortcut of Mentorship or the wasteful long haul of Pain.
“If any man lacks wisdom, let Him ask of God…”
Answers can’t hide from questions, and when we don’t know what we need to know, the most vital lesson I’ve learned is to ask God “What questions should I be asking You about this Lord?” That’s a Prayer God is standing by to answer! He promised that when we trust in Him with all our heart and acknowledge Him in all our ways, He WILL direct our paths.
In conclusion, the foundation of Mr. David and Ouida J. Dill’s Spirit-Led Legacy has been laid in their love for God and their love for each other. May the seed of their marriage legacy richly bless each reader with a bountiful and Godly harvest of blessings which far exceed what any of us can ask or think. In Jesus’ Precious Name, By The Power of His Shed Blood, Amen and Thank God! ♥♥♥