The Coshocton County Beacon February 11, 2021 - Page 4

4 • The Beacon February 11 , 2021
In honor of Valentine ’ s day couples share keys to a strong marriage
By Tara Gracyk
TheCoshoctonBeaconToday . com

Love is the catalyst for every relationship and the anchor that keeps relationships steady and secure . It is essentially the bedrock of any long-lasting marriage . And a long-lasting marriage is the hope of every newlywed . But , to have a good , healthy , enduring love story it takes a lot of effort .

Marriage , like any other relationship , has its ups and its downs , happy moments and challenges , too . Every marriage requires give and take , sacrifice , perseverance , dedication , commitment , a willingness to learn and grow , and the unwavering choice to love the other person day in and day out , no matter what .
“ Marriage isn ’ t just feelings of romance . It is hard decisions and actions taken for the good of your spouse and family . It is a growth process in learning to turn away from selfishness . There is a direct correlation between the level of your selfishness and the level of reward that will come your way in your marriage ,” said Dave Martin who has been married to his wife , Esther Martin for 43 years .
Mindy Fehrman , who has been with her husband Russ Fehrman for over 38 years said , “ Marriage is not 50 / 50 . Some days it is 10 / 90 and some it is 80 / 20 . Do not assume it will always be equal .”
Brenda and Richard Davis , who wed one another 48 years ago said , “ Marriage is a commitment that you both have to work at . You can ’ t be selfish at all . There ’ s lots of sacrifice involved . In the Bible , Jesus says ‘ greater love has no one than this : to lay down one ’ s life for one ’ s friends ’ and in marriage , sometimes you have to be willing to give up some of your hopes and dreams of other things in an effort to pursue your relationship with each other and for the sake of your marriage .”
As a couple who will be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary this June , Mark and Ann Simmers agree . “ Of course , there is sacrifice in marriage . Many times , you will be
Submitted Russ and Mindy Fehrman of Coshocton will be celebrating 37 years of marriage on Feb . 18 , 2021 . putting the other person first , or their needs before your own . The needs of your children and the family come before your own . You were used to living for you when you were single , now there is a give and take . You have to learn how to work together , as a team , as a unit . That doesn ’ t come easily in all areas ,” said Ann . “ Marriage , in order for it to work the way God intended , is nothing but sacrifice ,” Mark said .
Learning how to be a couple , to be one together instead of a single individual and learning to not be selfish are some of the most challenging aspects of marriage , but they are not the only tests couples face . Learning how the other person thinks , learning to see things from the other ’ s perspective , learning to understand one another ’ s feelings and communication styles , learning to communicate , learning to really listen to what the other person is saying and what they are not saying , as well as learning each other ’ s love languages and speaking those love languages can be challenging also . Then , as Mark Simmers and a couple of the other husbands explained , men have the added pressure of knowing they have another person and their family depending on them to provide for them and to keep it all together for them .
In spite of the demands , however , each of these couples agreed , the sacrifices and difficulties are worth it because what they have gained has been far greater than anything lost or sacrificed .
So , what do these couples credit the success of their marriages to ? For Russ and Mindy Fehrman , they say communication , shared goals , and lots of humor have contributed to their marriage surviving even the most taxing times . Dave and Esther Martin credit being committed , learning to give and take , not being rigid , learning selflessness and not giving up on the learning curve required to be selfless as aiding in the length of their marriage . Ann Simmers on the other hand shared , “ it ’ s not what but Who . We both found the Lord in our teenage years . He is the one that guides , loves and forgives . It is our choice to yield to what He wants in our marriage . What you learn over time is yielding brings peace and joy , even when it is difficult .” Similarly , Brenda Davis affirmed , “ God has helped make our marriage last as long as it has . He has always been the
Submitted Richard and Brenda Davis of Coshocton have been married for 48 years .
glue that has held us together .”
These married couples shared things they feel are important for every couple to consider before marriage . Russ Fehrman said couples should consider the fact that they will never be alone again . Similarly , Mark Simmers said , “ Guys , set your mind to this – it ’ s permanent .” Additionally , pre-marriage counseling to address the issues of faith , finances , children , communication with one ’ s partner , etcetera was recommended as well .

Marriage is a commitment that you both have to work at . You can ’ t be selfish at all . There ’ s lots of sacrifice involved .
Brenda & Richard Davis
“ Don ’ t skip marriage counseling . If you have baggage , any kind of baggage even from childhood or past relationships , emotional issues or unresolved issues , you need to get those things taken care of through counseling so they can be resolved before you commit to marriage . There will be enough issues as you take your journey together , so start with a clean slate ,” said Brenda Davis .
Davis also said , “ When you marry you make a covenant between you , God and your spouse , and you have to do everything you can do to be committed to that . It is important to understand how God views marriage . Commit your lives to Jesus
Christ and develop a personal relationship with Christ because He has to be the center of your relationship . He has to be the head of both of you .”
In marriage , in any relationship really , there are some key components to having a strong relationship . As Russ Fehrman said , “ there is no key with a magic answer . You must make things happen with your partner .” Accordingly , his wife Mindy expressed the importance of communication , of letting one ’ s partner know when something is wrong but also letting he or she know when something is right , too . Mark and Ann Simmers said , “ Forgiveness is essential . Although there are many reasons for divorce , God ’ s highest way is to forgive and let go of the past .” Dave Martin explained he feels the most important key in a marriage “ is this : pray together with your spouse and ask God to help you .”
Brenda Davis said , “ My grandma always told me to keep God the head , and Rich ’ s cousin always said , ‘ do not let the sun go down on your anger , work it out before you to go bed .’ Don ’ t let it fester . It makes you a prisoner and gives you a wound . Life gives you lemons . You can either make lemonade or become sour . Always try to keep a positive attitude because attitude is everything .”
Mark Simmers conveyed some encouraging thoughts also . “’ But God ’ is one of my favorite phrases . But God will help you in every aspect of marriage , if you let Him . It ’ s also a blessing to have someone with you to ‘ spill your guts ’ to and really talk things out with .”