“What God has joined together, let man not separate.” Matthew 19:6
In earlier generations most folks accepted without question the concept of marriage as a lifetime commitment. My father‐in‐law, James Dobson Sr., was no exception. This is what he said to his fiancée after she agreed to become his wife:
I want you to understand and be fully aware of my feelings concerning the marriage covenant we are about to enter. I have been taught at my mother’s knee, in harmony with the Word of God, that the marriage vows are inviolable, and by entering into them I am binding myself absolutely and for life. The idea of estrangement from you through divorce for any reason at all [although God allows one—infidelity] will never at any time be permitted to enter into my thinking. I’m not naive in this. On the contrary, I’m fully aware of the possibility, unlikely as it now appears, that mutual incompatibility or other unforeseen circumstances could result in extreme mental suffering. If such becomes the case, I am resolved for my part to accept it as a consequence of the commitment I am now making and to bear it, if necessary, to the end of our lives together.
I have loved you dearly as a sweetheart and will continue to love you as my wife. But over and above that, I love you with a Christian love that demands that I never react in any way toward you that would jeopardize our prospects of entering heaven, which is the supreme objective of both our lives. And I pray that God Himself will make our affection for one another perfect and eternal.
James and Myrtle Dobson enjoyed a loving, committed, fulfilling marriage that began in 1935 and ended with his death in 1977. They never wavered for a moment through all those years. If you approach your own marriage with this determination, you’ll establish a stable, rewarding relationship that will last a lifetime.
- Shirley M Dobson