It all starts with the right number. The world's prescription for a perfect relationship is, "It just takes two." At least that's the message sent in numerous songs, like this Motown classic by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston:
But Billy and Ruth Graham say a good marriage should actually consist of three people: a husband, a wife and God.
And the Grahams should know. They were married for more than 60 years until Ruth passed away in 2007.
In honor of Valentine's Day, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has published five pieces of marriage advice that Billy or Ruth Graham have shared in the past.
1. Many of my friends have broken marriages. How can I prevent divorce?
"Remember: marriage isn't just a social convenience or a legal custom. Marriage comes from God, and it is one of His greatest gifts to us. When times of stress or disappointment come (and they will), remember that God brought you together, and you made your marriage vows not only to each other but also to Him," Billy Graham said.
Click here for the rest of his answer.
2. Are my spouse and I "incompatible"?
"Before we married, someone gave me a gem of wisdom: 'Where two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary,'" Ruth Graham wrote.
Click here for the rest of her answer.
3. My spouse wants to leave me. Is this happening because God is mad at me?
"No, it isn't happening because God is mad at you (even if your wife is). God doesn't want your marriage to be destroyed, and you shouldn't blame Him for whatever has gone wrong. God gave marriage to us, and His desire for us is clear: 'What God has joined together, let no one separate' (Matthew 19:6)," Billy Graham responded.
Click here for more.
4. What's the big deal with looking at something mildly pornographic online?
"What was God's plan for sex? God's plan was that His gift of sex would be a profound expression of the love and commitment that a husband and wife have for each other. It also was to be a symbol of their unity – a unity based on their commitment to each other and to God. In God's plan, 'a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh' (Genesis 2:24)," Billy Graham responded.
Click here for the rest.
5. Will God lead me to the right mate? How can I make my marriage stronger?
Ruth Graham wrote several poems about love and marriage, sharing her own love story and encouraging others in their relationships.
"Dear God, I prayed, all unafraid
(as we’re inclined to do)
I do not need a handsome man
but let him be like you;
I do not need one big and strong
nor yet so very tall,
nor need he be some genius
or wealthy, Lord, at all;
but let his head be high, dear God,
and let his eye be clear,
his shoulders straight
whate’er his state,
whate’er his earthly sphere;
and let his face have character,
a ruggedness of soul,
and let his whole life show,
a singleness of goal;
then when he comes
(as he will come)
with quiet eyes aglow,
I’ll understand that he’s the man
I prayed for long ago."
Click here to view more poems by Ruth Graham.