On my 50th wedding anniversary I was asked, “Stuart, what’s the secret of your long and happy marriage?” And the best answer I could think of was, “Keep your promises and live a long time!”

I must admit that while my reply was given in a semi-facetious manner, after later reflection, I concluded that maybe it wasn’t a bad answer after all. For one thing, it has the great benefit of being simple.

And I really believe simplicity is so important because today we have more seminars, books, videos, sermons and various other ingenious aids dealing with marriage than ever before in human history. Yet we seem to be making a bigger mess of marriages at the same time!

I wonder if perhaps we need to keep it simple.

The vows I made to Jill over 52 years ago were surprisingly brief:

“Stuart, will you have this woman to be your wife, to live together in the holy bonds of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health? And forsaking all others, will be you be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”

“I WILL,” I affirmed loudly and clearly — and I meant it! And for more than 50 years, I have kept those promises in mind and have endeavored to live by them, enabled by God’s grace.

And today, after more than five decades, Jill and I are enjoying a more vibrant and exciting marriage than ever before! There’s no doubt that God truly blesses the marriages of those who walk according to His will.