I was reading a book that my friends gave me as gift for my birthday last year entitled “Connecting: 52 Guidelines for Making Marriage Work”. As I go over the chapters, I read an article about A Recipe for Marriage. I think this one I should learn by heart. Here it goes:
A RECIPE FOR MARRIAGE
By Harold J. Sala
One of my memories of growing up was the trip to my grandmother’s house. One of the memories I will always treasure is the platter of oatmeal cookies which she always had available. After I married, I asked grandma for the recipe. ”Well,” she said, “you take about a cup of oatmeal and a couple tablespoons of this, and a pinch of that…”
There was no recipe, no precise measurements. She had years of experience and knew what mix was necessary to produce delicious cookies, batch after batch. A recipe for marriage is much like the one my grandmother had for oatmeal cookies. The success or failure depends entirely on what you put into it. Leave out an ingredient or use too little of it, and it’s just not right.
In developing a recipe for marriage, lets start with the mixing bow of faith. It’s a proven fact- leave God out of your marriage, and you’re headed for trouble. The first ingredient that goes in to the mixing bowl is the flour of commitment. In baking, nothing is more basic than flour, and in marriage nothing is more fundamental than commitment. Sadly, lacking in many marriages is the kind of commitment that was pledged at a marriage altar: “Till death do us part!” Commitment means, “God brought us together, and come high water, someway, somehow we’re going to get through this problem!”
To the flour of commitment add the oil of communication. Effective communication is the mutual exchange of ideas, thoughts, attitudes, information and feelings. It’s prerequisite to real love, and without it your love withers and dies.
Now, add the ingredient of love. In tennis love means nothing, but in marriage it means everything. No wonder Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:25)
Another ingredient that allows what you put in the oven to come out successfully is baking powder. Leave it out of oatmeal cookies, and you have tough, flat little wafers. Marriage, on the other hand, needs the baking powder of forgiveness. Leave this out and the marriage is apt to collapse in times of stress.
Now, add the eggs of meeting each other’s needs. In baking, eggs bind the ingredients together. In marriage, meeting each other’s needs keep temptation away, and adds joy to a relationship.
Another couple of ingredients need to go into this mixing bowl - a sprinkle of humor and more than a dash of understanding. In cooking we use salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and other spices to keep the food from tasting bland. We also need some seasoning in marriage – the kind that enables us to laugh at ourselves, our failures, and foibles. And beyond that, the graciousness that allows your mate the same latitude for human failure that you give yourself.
A final thought: None of these ingredients taste very good separately but mix them together with oatmeal, apply heat, and you have something very, very good. Grandma’s recipe works for marriage as it did for oatmeal cookies.