Build a Great Marriage


I came across an advertisement the other day for an episode of the “Oprah Winfrey Show” that was showcasing married love. The title of the show was “The Greatest Love Story Ever Told”. I don’t really watch her program, but being intrigued, I decided to TiVo the show and see what Oprah had to say about married love.

Arguably, Oprah may be the most important African American woman of our generation and one of the most notable public figures of our time. She is one of the most influential women in the entertainment industry, if not the most. She is also the most successful daytime talk show host ever. Viewed by millions of people everyday, primarily women, Oprah’s influence on our culture is staggering. Although our views are different on several life and philosophical issues, I greatly admire her philanthropic efforts.

She is not married but has been in a long-term relationship with her boyfriend of many years, making this show all the more interesting. Although very supportive of the traditional marriage relationship herself, Oprah has alluded to marriage not being for her. She has hinted at various reasons for feeling this way such as her own childhood memories and a possible fear of failure or commitment. Nonetheless, she dedicated an entire program to married love stories.

I was not at all surprised that the tone of the show reflected a prevailing, universal attitude which suggests there is some mysterious secret that makes a marriage work. Oprah herself, visibly touched by each couple’s story, offered words such as “fate”, “destiny” and the “power of love” as reasons for the longevity of some of these relationships.

The program showcased four different couples with the hope of gaining some insight on why their marriage was successful. Here is a link to the program which aired on November 14th. The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Two couples stood out the most to me. For the last 27 years of their nearly forty years of married life, Patricia and Alton have written each other a love letter everyday! Pretty amazing! With that kind of heartfelt communication going on everyday, how can they not build a great marriage? (Please see tip #2 in our Surviving the 5-10 Marriage Struggle article)

Perhaps the couple that offered the most telling insight into what makes a successful marriage was NBA basketball star Grant Hill and his wife Tamia. After they both shared testimony of the many challenging struggles they have endured, Grant poignantly stated, “ everyone knows that marriage is hard work,” confirming that great marriages are built. Successful marriages are not the product of fate or destiny but the by-product of dedication and commitment.

Keep working hard and you can build a great marriage!

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