The Secrets of a Fifty-Year Romantic Expedition: Matthew E. McLaren, PhD

We all have seen marriages that work well, and we’ve also seen some that are disasters. Historically, marriage has been a lifetime proposition. Two people, coming from differing perspectives, stood before a minister or a public official and promised that they would remain with each other until death intervened. As medical advances improved lifespan, marriages lasting fifty years or more became increasingly common. In the recent past, however, high expectations and peer pressure have led to the breakup of many marriages that began with the best intentions and great commitment. Make no mistake about it: the institution of marriage is under incredible pressure today. Relationships borne of great love and wonderful romance all too frequently settle into a dull routine that seems more like a sentence than a celebration of undying love.

Dr. Matthew McLaren has lived in the laboratory of his marriage for over fifty years. Because a laboratory is where we learn from experimenting with a variety of ideas, Dr. McLaren has made important discoveries that provide the foundation for marriages that last and that grow. Those discoveries have been gathered and placed in this book, The Secrets of a Fifty –Year Romantic Expedition but also for the benefit of those of us who live in a world where marriage is truly the fundamental building block of society.

Some who are single may suspect that this book is not for them, but I think it is. No one who is about to enter into marriage should do so without a clear understanding of what the journey ahead is like. Dr. McLaren’s friendly style places the foundation pillars of a lasting relationship where we can grasp them and put them into practice, right at the beginning of the relationship.

For others who have been in a marriage for a number of years, this book is a refresher, a reminder of some of the things that they’ve seen or experienced themselves. Even the best automobile benefits from a tune-up from time to time—and marriages are like that too. As one settles into a relationship with another person, it is easy to take for granted some parts of marriage that benefit from greater attention. This book provides that tune-up from the vantage point of one who has experience.

Throughout more than forty years of service as a church pastor and leader, I’ve been saddened by the broken relationships that I’ve witnessed all too often. Marriages begun with such hope and anticipation have failed miserably. That need not happen. What you will find in the pages that follow will provide important insight that will encourage you as you pursue the marriage of your dreams.

Mark Johnson

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4 NIV

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12 NIV

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19 NIV

The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:24 NIV

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:8-9 NIV

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