The must-have ingredient for a healthy marriage


Graphic by Dear Lillie

Justin Davis:

When grace is missing from a marriage, three words dominate that relationship:

You. Owe. Me.

A lack of grace will cause a husband to be furious with his wife for going to a different gas station than he went to [making him late for a meeting]. A lack of grace will cause a wife to notice all that her husband does wrong and not see all he does right….

If you want to see change and improvement in your marriage, take a few minutes this week to think about how messed up and imperfect you are — and how God loves you anyway. That is grace….

Grace is the starting point from which all change is made.


– See the original post: One Thing That Changes Every Marriage.

– Graphic by Dear Lillie; cropped from the original. Original available for download at the Dear Lillie Shop.


Quotes on Marriage, from Billy and Ruth Bell Graham


We’re all indebted to Marriage Missions for assembling a great collection of quotes on marriage by the Grahms and their children:

“Mother and Daddy came from quite different backgrounds. Daddy was raised on a North Carolina dairy farm and Mother, thousands of miles away in China. They have very different personalities, strengths, ideas, and ways of doing things. But, Mother is fond of saying, ‘if two people agree on every thing, one of them is unnecessary.’” (Gigi Graham Tchividjian, daughter)

“Raised as a Presbyterian, Ruth Graham had no experience in submitting to a husband’s authority the way the evangelist, who was reared in a Southern Baptist family, expected. Ruth once was driving and hit the accelerator instead of the brake, sending her car crashing through a fence. Nobody was hurt, but in a phone call from California, Billy Graham demanded that she surrender her driver’s license. Ruth argued with him, standing her ground…

After a long moment of silence, Billy Graham said, ‘I don’t recall reading in Scripture that Sarah ever talked to Abraham like this.’ Ruth Graham retorted: ‘Well, I don’t recall reading in Scripture that Abraham ever tried to take Sarah’s camel away from her.’” (Jocelyn Y. Stewart, Times Staff Writer)

Ruth and I don’t have a perfect marriage, but we have a great one. In a perfect marriage, everything is always the finest and best imaginable; like a Greek statue, the proportions are exact and the finish is unblemished. Who knows any human beings like that? For a married couple to expect perfection in each other is unrealistic. The unblemished ideal exists only in ‘happily ever after’ fairy tales. I think there is merit to a description I once read of a married couple as ‘happily incompatible.’ Ruth likes to say, ‘If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary.’ The sooner we accept that as a fact of life, the better we will be able to adjust to each other and enjoy togetherness.” (Billy Graham)

I think this one is perhaps the best:

I pity the married couple who expect too much from one another. It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be: ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain. The same goes for the man who expects too much from his wife.” (Ruth Bell Graham)

It’s my job to love and respect Billy; it’s God’s job to make him good. God called you not to make your husband good, but to make him happy.” (Ruth Bell Graham)

I asked Mother how she endured so many years of goodbyes. She quoted a mountain-man who said, ‘Make the least of all that goes and the most of all that comes.’” (Gigi Graham Tchividjian)

As I grew older I realized that my parent’s love for one another was deeper than just the look in their eyes each time one of them came into the room. Their love was based on more than their physical and emotional attraction. It was based on solid, uncompromising commitment—first to Jesus Christ, second to the institution of marriage, and then commitment to each other.” (Gigi Graham Tchividjian, daughter)

My mother taught me by her example that Jesus is everything. He was the wellspring of her love and joy and peace that overflowed into our home. His presence was enough to ease the pain of her loneliness without Daddy. His power was enough to get her through the day, for all practical purposes, as a single parent. I have no doubt that the reason I love Jesus and I love my Bible is because she did… she planted those seeds in my heart long ago.” (Anne Graham Lotz, daughter)

Learn more about Ruth Bell Graham.