Today I had the honor and privilege of presenting a citation to Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Lee for their 70th wedding anniversary. My friend, Marty Dyer, the pastor of Newsong Church, asked me if I would come to their church this morning and make the presentation. I was glad to do it. While I did not know Alvin or Margret Lee, I figured they were amazing people to have been married for seven decades. (I know that 70 years is not a record, but it is way above average. I remember when Paul Harvey used to mention those who had been married 50 years.)

One of the questions that comes my mind, at a time like this, is what are the secrets of their success? In listening to their story I think I identified some things that shaped their marriage and allowed them to achieve such a remarkable feat. He was a contractor by trade, but this was a tool that allowed him to do ministry in many countries. As I listened I learned they worked together. This was a team effort. They had common goals. They were one in purpose.

As I watched the video, it was evident that family was important to them. It is hard to have a happy marriage, if you don’t make the family a priority.

Finally it was evident that God was first in their lives. It seems obvious that if we want God to bless our relationships we need to make Him our priority. How do we expect God to bless us when we don’t bless Him? The Ecclesiastes tells us that “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” When God is woven into our marriage and an integral part of every aspect of our lives it makes a huge difference.

Periodically, I hear someone say that the divorce rate in the church is about the same as in the world. That could be in part because many in the world are living together and not getting married. But the research has shown that if a couple worships together, prays together and serves together the likelihood of divorce is almost negligible. Let your marriage be one that God wants to bless!

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.