Both my mom’s parents and my father’s parents celebrated their Golden wedding anniversaries! My parents have been married for 46 years. Long marriages are not new to me, but this week, I heard about a couple, D.W. and Willie Williams, who have been married for 82 years! I had to sit down to process this. Life expectancy is 78 years, but they have been married for 82 years! My first question was, how old are they? He is 103 years old, she is 100 years old. They live in Charlotte, NC and they married in 1937. This is mind-boggling! Not only did I listen to the newsclip, but I also went online to read their story. They credit the good Lord for their longevity and long, happy marriage. As one might expect, they were pressed to share their secret to a long marriage. She said something few people would expect. She said, "I don't have no secret for that; just be nice to each other." I’ve heard many people say the key is communication. I’ve heard people say the key is to never go to bed angry with one another. I’ve heard that the key is praying together, daily. Be nice to each other, Hmmm!
Over the next few days, I pondered on this. I think “be nice,” is sort of like what I used to tell my nephew when he was leaving the house driving my car! “Be careful.” In those two words, were a whole list of bullet points - drive the speed limit, keep your phone in your pocket, keep your music at a normal volume, keep your hands at 10 and 2, remember the rules of right-of-way, and more! All of that was summarized as, “Be careful!”
“Be nice,” what are the bullet points here? Be kind, be courteous, be generous, be faithful, be loving, be merciful, be patient, be friendly, be complimentary, and be pleasant. Anything else? In the book of Proverbs, there are at least 5 references to the quarrelsome wife, such as in 25:28 NIV. “Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” Proverbs 21:19 states, “Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife.” Proverbs 27:15 states, “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain, and a contentious woman are alike.” As I compare different translations, I see that the NASB translation uses the word contentious, the CEV uses the term nagging, and the KJV says brawling. I think we can glean from this that quarrelsome, nagging, contentious, and brawling are antonyms for nice.
Proverbs references the wife, but I think a quarrelsome husband would be just as irritating. Mrs. Williams said, “be nice to one another,” which means both people should participate in being nice in order for it to be effective. This reminds me of the golden rule. “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31) We say this to our children in regards to their relationships with siblings and friends. I have never thought about it as a rule for marriage, but it certainly applies. Husbands and wives should treat each other as they want to be treated - not as they have been treated, but as they desire to be treated - nicely! “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her." (Ephesians 5:25) That was awfully nice!
A few more Scriptures about being nice, but certainly not a complete list:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
All bitterness, anger and wrath, shouting and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience;
~1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
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Have a wonderful week!
I am a wife, mother, educator, and author who, between other duties, enjoys writing. My name is actually Kimberly Griffith Massey. In this blog, I will share some sighting of God's light each week.
Author Photo by
Heather G. Rollings, 2017
Cover photo by Carlton Griffith Photography