Romantic Marriage

  • “Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?” – Groucho Marx
  • “If you want to read about love and marriage, you’ve got to buy two separate books.” – Alan King
  • “A wedding is a funeral where you can smell your own flowers.” – Eddie Cantor
  • “I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” – Rita Rudner
  • “If you want to sacrifice the admiration of many men for the criticism of one, go ahead, get married.” – Katharine Hepburn

celebrateromantic-marriageThese cynical quotes hint at one of the problems I see in many marriages. The problem of a lack of romance. Do you remember how you pursued your spouse? Men do you remember all the little things you did to impress her, to show her your love, affection, and care? Ladies, do you recall how you chased him until he caught you? If your remember all these things, why did this pursuit stop? Somehow after we “won” the hand on that beautiful young lady or that handsome young man, we stopped pursuing them – romance slowly dies. Romance does not have to die!

Long term, happy marriages keep the romance alive.

Others often say of these couples that they act like teenagers when they are together. You can see the love in their eyes.The following five points are to help you begin to rekindle that chase. If your spouse was worth the effort then, isn’t she (he) now?

  1. Make ordinary times extraordinary. This is not as difficult as it seems. Simply slip notes of encouragement and love into work papers or pockets so they can find it while they are at work. Call or text during the day . . . just because. Say “I love you,” with an embrace and a kiss at the end of the workday.
  2. Make time for special occasions. In other words, KEEP DATING. Leave the children with family or friends and go out on a date. This does not have to be a full, expensive evening. This can be a trip to a fast food place and a walk in the park or at the mall. Just take time for the two of you. Now that our son is away at college, this is easier for us.
  3. Practice spontaneity. I know that practicing being spontaneous sounds like an oxymoron, but stay with me on this. As couples we need to be prepared or at least be open to the idea of the moment. We need to realize we can drop what we are doing, turn off the game and do something together for a while. Whatever you leave undone to be spontaneous will be waiting when you get back and you can check the scores or watch the replay for that game.
  4. Show appreciation. Say “thank you” to your spouse. Thank them for: taking care of the children, for cooking a wonderful meal, for taking you out to dinner, for what they do around the house, for what their job provides, etc. Thank them for being who they are. Tell them you love them for being them.
  5. Be compassionate. This is as simple as listening to each other and showing empathy to their personal and work struggles. This necessitates kind responses and conversation. This offers and provides assistance when needed. Compassion is a practical demonstration of the love you profess


Putting Off Marriage


Talking to Christians in Colossae, the Apostle Paul encourages them to change their ways.  He reminds them that now that they are different. “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”  (Col 3:8-10). It is worth noting that Paul tells the Ephesians something similar in Ephesians 4 and then in chapter 5 compares the relationship of Christ and the Church to that of husband and wife.

This recognition caused me to pause and consider the things we need to Put Off when we marry and what we need to Put On in their place.

Put Off

Put On



Critical Judgment












Profanity (Destructive language)



Gratefulness (Thankfulness)




Contentment (Joy)


Agape Love / Trust






A Not Surprising Marriage Report

smileIn the past year, after finding that the average couple spends $30,000 on their wedding and 12.5% spend $40,000 (this does not include the honeymoon) Emory University professors Andrew Francis and Hugo Mialon surveyed 3,000 people of varying income levels and married only once to see the effects of expensive weddings. According to a report on Their findings may need to change the way many approach their wedding day.

Wedding Costs and Marriage

  • Couples spending $20,000 or more increase their odds of 3.5% over couples spending $5,000 – 10,000.
  • Those that spend approximately $1,000 have the greatest odds for a longer marriage.
  • For the prospective grooms; spending $500 – 1,999 on an engagement rings decreases divorce rates by 1.3% over those spending $2,000 – $4,000.

A conclusion is that the more you spend on your wedding day you are increasing your chance for divorce.

There are a couple of possible factors:

  1. Couples who spend a lot on the wedding start the marriage with increased debt. Debt is a factor in many divorces.
  2. Couples focus too much on the day and not the marriage.

Do not misunderstand, I like weddings. Setting aside a day to celebrate the beginning of a marriage is a great idea. In 1st Century Palestine Jews had week-long festivals when a couple married. Jesus attending such an event in Cana (cf. John 2). Jesus used some of 1st Century wedding traditions to illustrate our need to be ready for His coming (Matt 25:1-13)  and to answer a question about fasting (Mark 2:18-20). But we must not let the day become more important that the marriage that follows.

Spend as more time preparing for your marriage than you do on your wedding.

Remember that the wedding is just the beginning of a marriage.


Image via: Daniel Howell Photography

What Did You Expect?

Everyone of us enter marriage with certain expectations. Some are natural, some are 12307952_10206589030497621_5876259313852573140_oachievable, and some are just plain unrealistic.  These unrealistic expectations have potential to damage your continued marital happiness, so I suggest that you avoid them.

Unrealistic Expectations

  1. Our relationship will never change, it will always be the same as it was (is) in the early years of our marriage. I am sorry, this just is not true. The relationship will change, the thrills will be different. Consider this from a FB post I read, “Falling in love is a passive and spontaneous experience. But after a few months or years of being together, the euphoria of love fades. It’s a natural cycle of EVERY relationship. Slowly but surely, phone calls become a bother (if they come at all), touch is not always welcome (when it happens), and your spouse’s idiosyncrasies, instead of being cute, drive you nuts. The symptoms of this stage vary with every relationship; you will notice a dramatic difference between the initial stage when you were in love and a much duller or even angry subsequent stage.  At this point, you and/or your partner might start asking, “Am I with the right person?” And as you reflect on the euphoria of the love you once had, you may begin to desire that experience with someone else. This is when relationships breakdown.”
  2. The Honeymoon Excitement can be maintained or resurrected. I suppose I have to be the one to tell you that you have to go to work, if you have children then the role of parenting will impact that honeymoon feeling, and bills will come in the mail. Your love will have to change from infatuation to intention (read the above quote again).
  3. If my spouse loves me they will know my needs and wants without me having to tell them. NO ONE, not even your spouse can read your mind.  Tell each other your wants  and needs. Husbands, follow your wives interests on Pinterest if you want her to think you can read her mind.
  4. We should be just alike in everything.  We should have the same likes and dislikes, think the same, and do the same activities. NO! I am not sure I would like Amy if she were exactly like me. You are different people with different backgrounds and different genders – you will have differences.  Celebrate those differences and learn to try new things together.

There are other UNREALISTIC expectations, what you can think of?

– Scott

Avoidance Plan

us at beachToday Amy and I complete the first 27 years of our marriage and begin the next 27. A number of years ago a friend from my teen years called to tell me that he and his wife (another friend) left him after 23 years of marriage.  Just before we ended our phone conversation, he lamented, “Scott, this is one of the hardest things I have ever been through. I hope you never have to go through this.”

I don’t know all that happened to bring about an end to their relationship. I know that like in most cases there were mistakes made by both husband and wife. I do know he still loved her and to him this came out of the blue. With help early on, maybe they could have worked things out.

Back to mine and Amy’s anniversary and our marriage.

Amy and I come from a long line of love, both sets of our parents have been married over 50 years. We both committed to “death to us part.” Someone gave us this piece of advice when we were getting married: Weddings are easy, marriage is hard. For that reason we have a Divorce Avoidance Plan in place. A plan that I now share with you.

Divorce Avoidance Plan:

  1. Make sure your spouse knows you love them.  Tell them and show them daily.
  2. Date, date, and date some more.  Dating does not have to be expensive. A date can be as simple as a walk around the block. Continually do things together.
  3. Hold hands often.  Get caught holding hands in public. Read about that here.
  4. Continue to pursue (court) each other.  Attempt to keep the romance alive.
  5. Talk about your day.  Listen to what your spouse says and be empathetic to their stresses.
  6. Be in the same room as often as possible. Make an effort to be near each other.
  7. Guys – open the car (truck) door for her.  This can be difficult when the children are small, but now that Andrew is in college and we are in the early empty nest stage of life, I need to get back to this habit.
  8. Send “flexts” – flirtatious texts – to each other when work or schedules separate you during the day. Excuse me while I grab my phone . . . Okay, I am back.
  9. Worship together. Sit together in worship assemblies and hold hands during prayer.
  10. Pray for each other – daily.

What would you add to this list? What things do you do?

– Scott

Don’t Believe the Lies

smileMarital lies. Not the lies one might tell their husband or wife like, “I did not forget that tomorrow was our anniversary.” These marital lies are the ones we tell ourselves.

These self-lies are often the root of the arguments and irritants in our marriages.

  1. My wife (husband) should make me happy.
  2. My husband (wife) has to meet all of my needs.
  3. My spouse, because they love me, knows my needs without my having to tell her/him.
  4. I know how things should be done and my wife (husband) should be willing to do things my way.
  5. No matter what I say or do, my husband (wife) should not respond in an irritable or angry tone to me.
  6. My spouse should ask me about my day first.

I am sure that as you read the above statements you realized at least two things. 1) You tell one or more of these statements to yourself (or have in the past). And 2) You can see how unfair they are to your spouse.

Take a moment to look over these statements. If you see that you are telling yourself these lies, then learn to see them for what they are and try to think differently. Tell yourself that they are not true and try rewording them as truths. Take number 3 for an example. Tell yourself, “My spouse will only know what I need and be able to help fulfill that need when I communicate that need.”

Have a great marriage!

– Scott

The Ring

This great thought comes from my childhood friend.  I had the pleasure of performing his wedding to his lovely wife Carin more than a few years ago – nearly 21 years. He posted this on Facebook and I use it with permission. – Scott


The Ring

I took my wedding ring off a couple of months ago for the first time in many years. My wife gave me a black tungsten ring for Christmas as a replacement for my original gold wedding ring. I had kind of hinted for one!

If you looked at my wedding ring, you might notice that it has seen better days. It received its unique custom shaping in a variety of ways. It’s been caught, pinched, squeezed, pulled and scratched. I have reshaped it a time or two, but have not really kept it off long since I’ve been married.

After wearing the new ring for a couple of days, I learned something about myself that I never really knew. It started to bother me to not have my ‘old’ ring on. And then I figured it out.
You see…to me, my wedding ring represented something much more than a round, flawless ring. It reminded me that marriage can be hard but it can persevere through the toughest of times, even protecting the couple from harm that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to endure alone. I know beyond any doubt that I am so very thankful to God for the marriage I have with Carin.

You might say, “How does that warped ring feel on your finger?”, as it’s surely no longer perfectly round. The truth is, it’s a very comfortable fit. It’s almost as if the finger has grown to fit the ring, or the ring continues to grow to fit the finger – very similar to a husband and wife who grow to become a better fit for each other with time. Again, after almost 21 years, we have been through some ‘bumps’ and ‘trauma’, but we’ve grown to be a better fit for each other through that too!

If you see me wearing my new black tungsten ring on my pinky finger, now you’ll know why.

  • Tom Biggs
ecs talent show 1972-73

1973 ECS Talent show, I am on the left, Tom is on the right. One of the girls is Darla (who posted this pic to FB) and the other – I cannot remember her name. Tom and I go way back.

You Never Know

amy and scottRecently, Amy and I got caught.  We did not know someone was watching.  We really did not even consider that someone might be watching.  We only found out when Alice told us. She came up to us after Bible classes a day or so later , “There they are!” she said. “My two sweethearts.  I saw you at the store the other day.”

She then told us that she and a friend were shopping and her friend pointed out a couple holding hands as they shopped, “Isn’t that sweet?!” Alice’s friend said as she point to the couple holding hands. “Ooh,” Alice cooed, “I wonder how long they have been married . . . Wait!” Alice stared harder, “That’s Mr. Scott and Mrs. Amy – he’s the preacher where I go to church and that’s his wife!”

I am glad we were caught.  I hope the world sees Amy and I holding hands as we are in the Mall, at Target, or Walmart. I hope that somehow the fact that we still hold hands after 26 years of marriage plus the nearly 2 years we dated will influence some other couple to be affectionate and to stick together.

When We Hold Hands

By B Scott McCown – September 08, 2015


When I hold your hand,

I am saying I love you.

When I hold your hand,

I am saying I care.

When I hold your hand,

I am keeping you near me.

When I hold your hand,

As we walk or in prayer.


When you hold my hand,

I know that you love me.

When you hold my hand,

I am walking on air.

When you hold my hand,

You are keeping me near you.

When you hold my hand,

One life – one path we share.


When we hold hands,

Others take notice.

When we hold hands,

Let the world stop and stare.

When we hold hands,

We are walking together.

When we hold hands,

Life’s burdens we can bear.

  • Scott

Making Marriage Matter

This weekend Central is hosting an event we are calling Marriage Matters Weekend. We are looking forward to Dr. Danny Camp

Amy on our wedding day 8.12.89

Amy on our wedding day 8.12.89

being with us Friday night and Saturday morning. Our prayer is that our marriages will strengthen as a result of what we learn.

As I was thinking about this weekend, I looked through some older posts on Marriage and came across this one in the archives: One Day in a Happy Marriage.

Today you get a glimpse, just a few moments – 10 to be precise – of a happy marriage.  These are moments you can recreate in your marriage that, if you put into practice daily, will help your relationship grow exponentially.

  1. Start the day praying for your marriage.
  2. Say, “Good morning (insert affectionate term here), I love you.”
  3. Be affectionate: i.e. hold hands, hug, kiss (Kiss AFTER you brush away morning breath.  Nothing can kill a morning like morning breath).
  4. Embrace and kiss before you leave for work.
  5. If job(s) allow call each other a couple of times or text a few “I love you”s all along.
  6. Kiss and embrace when you get home. Growing up, we were not allowed to bombard Dad with all of our news, homework, etc. until after Mom welcomed him home with a kiss.  One we would “eww-gross” and try to break apart.
  7. Work on household chores together – including meal preparation.
  8. Sit on couch together while you read or watch TV.
  9. If children are small get them ready for bed – together.
  10. End the day with quiet time (quality time) together.

– Scott