Love Advice From a Couple With 34 Years of Marriage Experience

By: Bethany Baird

Today I get to introduce to you a 34-year-old love story. This couple is very special to me because they happen to be my parents.

I am so excited to introduce to you to Mike (my dad) and Heidi (my mom). With over 34 years of marriage experience, this amazing couple has been an example of love, faithfulness, and commitment. In a generation that is clueless on how to attain lasting relationships, I can’t wait for you to hear from a couple with a proven resume.

Instead of listening to Hollywoods cheap advice, I’m offering you a front row seat into a couple who’s stood the test of time.

Give us a quick introduction of yourselves. How did you meet? How long have you been married? 

My beautiful bride, Heidi, and I met 37 years ago at Florida Bible College over appetizers at the Freshman Welcome Party. We had a lot in common, we were both really tall. But, we also had a love for children’s ministry and foreign missions. We struck up a sweet friendship, studied together, served in ministry together…. needless to say, we were soon engaged and married a year later.

Our mutual love for God and children’s ministry continued into our marriage. We moved to San Antonio and served in ministry together as husband and wife, which was an incredible unifying part of our marriage.

We also, started a business together, which was sweet. We spent a lot of time together working side by side. Soon, God began to bless us with children…. 9 children in 18 years.

We will be married 35 years this December and truly count every year a sweet blessing.

Was every year perfect… the answer is of course “no”. There were times we found ourselves on our knees praying through some pretty stressful stuff. Unfortunately, many times we were too prideful to seek answers through wise counsel. But, through it all, in spite of our prideful hearts, God has been so gracious to us in many, many ways.

If you could go back in time and give your newlywed selves advice, what would you tell yourselves? 

If we could go back and counsel the newlywed Mike and Heidi, we would definitely tell them to seek out an older, wiser couple to give them some much-needed guidance and wisdom such as:

  1. How to communicate better with one another in every area, never ignore problems. Get them out and talked about asap.
  2. How to ask for forgiveness and choose to forgive often.
  3. How to serve one another more humbly.
  4. How to meet the others’ needs more effectively.
  5. How to seek to proactively praise and encourage one another.

How can single people best prepare for marriage? 

Having a godly mentor, whether you’re single or married, is one of the most important things you can do. We were too prideful many times throughout our marriage to humbly seek advice, just assuming we could figure it on our own. How many roadblocks could have been avoided had we sought godly advice in those early years. We were young and just too prideful to ask for help many times. But, again, God is always gracious and merciful to see us through in spite of our prideful hearts.

He is the perfect picture of pure, unconditional Love.

Single or married, we all need to seek out guidance from older, wiser, godly folks. God did not intend for any of us to do life alone. As a single person, you can seek out an older wiser married couple now to begin forming good ideas for what married life should look like. Ask questions, spend time in their home, observe how they communicate and how they seek to love one another.

Heidi and I have such a deep and abiding love for each other and seek to serve one another and be a true blessing in each other’s lives.

Love is a choice, not a feeling!

We are blessed to be lifelong best friends, sweet and loving husband and wife, father, and mother to our precious and amazing children, their sweet spouses and our adorable grandchildren.

We truly are blessed beyond measure and look forward to growing old together, serving and honoring one another and bringing glory to God through it all.

Thanks so much mom and dad for sharing with us!  

I’m so grateful for my parent’s willingness to answer a few questions about their marriage. I would love to hear your practical takeaways.

In what ways can you better prepare for marriage as a single? Did they say anything imparticular that stood out to you?

Mike and Heidi

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  • pensive girl

    I have someone I love dearly, we’re best friends and lovers and trust and know each other so well, but still I doubt that we would make a good husband and wife. It’s been hard to acknowledge this, but I think you need more than just love for one another for a lifelong marriage. You need to be in line with one another in several ways, for example how you picture your future, your most important values and objectives, and you need to have the same driving force behind your actions. Also, I think you should have hobbies and interests in common, otherwise it’s going to be hard to share your limited time with each other later in life. You should believe in the same things. You should, in some ways, think similarly. I used to think nothing was important as long as you love each other, but I’ve painfully come to realize that this may not the case.
    What do you think, guys? I’m sitting here, realizing that I love someone that I probably shouldn’t marry. It’s not like I have a checklist or anything, this realization has come slowly in the course of a long relationship during which we experienced a lot, we fought a lot and had a hard time, the only thing holding us together being honest love. Never would I have thought I would end up in such a situation; I didn’t even think such a situation exists.

    • JustBabs

      Hi, be glad you are thinking about this before marriage not after. Check of you have the same faith, same family values – e.g. both want kids and same vision/values – e.g. hard work etc. I think these are core values that should be shared in common. Others such as hobbies also count-at least there should some you share in common. Also how your partner treat you now counts a lot. Also it is important to seek mentors as stated in the article – they can help shed some wisdom on your situation.

    • “your most important values and objectives, and you need to have the same driving force behind your actions.”

      Absolutely – as someone else put it, “kindred tastes, motives, and ambitions” are important, also honesty and respect. I think if tastes, values, and ambitions are compatible, that’s more important than shared hobbies or interests. Passion will fail over time – friendship, respect, and shared values won’t. Also the list of five pieces of advice above are great. There’s also value in sticking together through tough times – at least until an end is inevitable.

      God bless!

    • Brianne

      I strongly encourage you to ask godly, older women and men whom you trust and whom know your situation. If you and your boyfriend go to the same church, ask your pastor and/or other trusted authority members of your church. If you don’t, talk to his pastor and ask him what he thinks. I would definitely encourage you to pray about it and seek godly counsel from wise, older believers. Blessings! 🙂

    • pensive girl

      Thank you all for your nice answers! I appreciate it!

      The thing is that he doesn’t go to church, his faith is not strong. I think this is why our motives and ambitions don’t quite align. He was raised Christian, though, and I always hoped he would start turning to God one day. He has a good heart and there is true love and kindness in him, but on the other hand, he lets bitterness rule his mind. I don’t feel able to compensate this forever. I wish for someone who strengthens and supports me in my beliefs because I am not always as strong as I should be, either. As much as I wish I could persuade him and make him see the good that I see – I’m afraid it’s not in my power. One needs to consciously open up to be healed.
      In this situation, I hesitate to believe that we could still have the happy family together that I envision.

  • This is so sweet and awesome! What an inspiration. Your parents are amazing, and they’ve raised amazing kids. What role models. Thank you for interviewing them.

  • Halee

    Love this!! Will be printing this out.

  • Gracie

    This is the sweetest thing. I am totally an advocate of friendship then marriage for Christians, its SO MUCH BETTER than a cheap attraction then marriage. This is the way I want to find the guy God wants me to marry.

  • You’re blessed in your parents – and their advice for newlyweds is, IMHO, spot on. Pretty sure that’s why I’m still with my coparent after 25 years of marriage, through some very hard times and major changes. Besides, of course, that we love each other dearly. 🙂

  • EllieC.

    What a good idea to interview your parents! I really enjoyed reading this!

  • Lauretta

    Thank you so very much for this post! Your parents sound wonderful!
    I was just wondering, what are your views on interracial marriage? A lot of people have been judging two of my relatives(who are both Christians) because their skin colors are different.
    Thanks in advance! God bless!

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