What is Marriage?

I got 5 easy tips that answer the age old question of “What is Marriage?” If you want to live in a happy marriage even when life feels “shipwrecked” you will need to have the guts of a survivor!

by James Hess

What is marriage

You can be happily stuck with each other even a midst attacking children savages, and erupting volcanoes!

A few years ago a friend of mine who was about to start a new job filled with lots of money and traveling the country as a bank rep asked me, “So, what is marriage. . . really?”

Now Imagine embarking with your spouse on a dream island vacation as I give my response,


Marriage is planning a trip to an island getaway with all the luxuries of Hawaii, but surviving and thriving even if you crash land on a totally wild deserted island, like castaways.”

I had Hawaii on the brain recently and that is how my answer came out of my mouth.

That friend and I worked a tedious job together for a foreclosure property protection company. One of the regional directors was fond of dropping special assignments on my desk. On one occasion I had asked this droll curmudgeon who never smiled how his vacation with his wife to Hawaii had been. All he could do was complain about his wife and how bored he was.

As I gave my response to my friend it occurred to me that “Mr. Regional Director Man” wouldn’t last 2 minutes in a “Blue Lagoon” situation with his wife.

After that point. . . whenever I saw him I would imagine two skeletons (each wearing a curmudgeon cardigan sweater) on a beach somewhere! That is why marriage is a “survivor” type scenario.

Here are the tips on how to have a “survivor” marriage. Marriage is unity in these 5 aspects of married life:

  1. Always hold on to hope (together). Jesus is our hope in this harsh dog-eat-dog world. We need him now more than ever in our relationships! With every date, planned time of intimacy (and spontaneous too), and being a team together . . . do it with hope in your hearts.
  2. When you panic in your marriage over a crisis (and you will)–quickly calm your nerves by holding on to Jesus with every last bit of trust you got. Handle the situation as if it is a tremor of the volcano on your marriage island. Respond to it by helping each other reach higher ground. You will avoid the damage of an eruption that could happen if it is not handled properly.
  3. Pragmatic Optimism” all the way! Try to find the “bright side” of things in your marriage. Use the adversity of life to strengthen each others strength of character. 
  4. Use the resources smartly that are at your disposal. Don’t covet or work too hard for everything. Don’t lose sight of your relationship with God, and each other. The things that really matter in life: Contentment and appreciation go a long way with God and with marriage.
  5. Lead her with humility! There aint nothin more attractive to a wife, and it will make sure you do not end up as cardigan wearing skeletons!


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