Like many, I watched the movie On the Basis of Sex again in honor of Ruth Bader Gingsburg, who recently passed away. Regardless of your political tendencies, you can appreciate Ruth’s determination and strong will to fulfill her dream against all the odds at the time. Because of her, laws were changed to be inclusive or removed to prevent discrimination based upon gender.
What I love about her story is her marriage. We are all familiar with the saying, “Behind every successful man is a supportive woman,” but in this case, it was a loving husband. Ruth would not have achieved her goals or accomplished half of what she did without her husband, Marty (and vice versa). They were truly a team and a partnership. They didn’t define roles as his and hers but rather did what needed to be done. He cooked and cleaned, and so did she. They both raised their kids. More importantly, they were each other’s biggest fans. They went beyond cheer leading…they got involved with each other’s career.
Marty was thrilled each and every time Ruth had a victory, and he made a point of celebrating her. How many marriages can say this? Unfortunately, it seems couples are each on their own path, only intersecting briefly at night around the television. Marriage takes work. Great marriages take investments of time, energy, passion, love, and commitment. I was fortunate to witness such a marriage first hand with Dr. Dallas and Opal Shafer. He was the pastor of the church when I was a child, and they took me into their home when I needed them most.
Dallas and Opie toured the country providing a marriage workshop that aimed at equipping couples to celebrate one another. I had the privilege of helping them with a workshop in Nottingham, England, and upon his death, compiling all his material into a booklet: Celebrating Your Marriage. In it, he shares the foundation required for a healthy marriage and offers insights, counsel and hope for couples to rise above the noise of life to create a truly fulfilling relationship.
Like anything, if we don’t work at it, our marriage will fail. Too often, our marriages are last on the list of things to do when, in reality, it should be number one. Want to raise healthy kids? Show them what a great marriage looks like! Want to be successful at your career? Be sure your home life is secure and happy because the stress of an unhappy marriage will come to work with you. Our time on earth is too short to be miserable.
Ruth and Marty were both professionally successful, but it wasn’t at the expense of their marriage. In fact, it was because of their love and loyalty to one another that they got there and stayed there. How is your marriage doing? On a scale of one to ten how would you rate it? If you are anything under an eight, then please get help! Celebrating Your Marriage is a great start, and you can get a copy here.
Thank you, Ruth, for standing tall and fighting the good fight. Thank you, Marty, for showing us what a real man looks like. Here’s to celebrating your marriage!