Marriage – a good example

In generations past, couples had extended families around them to exemplify examples of good/godly marriage. Then our culture changed. People moved to the suburbs, extended families became something we saw on holidays and our elders were placed in elderly housing. Soon TV seemed to become the only examples of marriage we were seeing.

This evening some of us in my family tried to come up with the Top 5 TV couples. By that we meant couples who were obviously in love, intelligent and respectful of one another.

We came up with 3 right off the top — and all of us came up with the same 3. But I was hard pressed to come up with more than 3!! How sad that we had to go all the way back to Ozzie and Harriet for #4!! Here are our top 3 in no particular order:

Peter and Elizabeth Burke from White Collar

They have been married for 10 years at the start of the show. They are deeply in love with one another and the have SERIOUS trust for one another. I love that there is no stupid jealousy. They know one another’s character and respect and honor each other’s strengths.

peter and elizabeth

Rob and Laura Petrie from The Dick Van Dyke Show

They are very much in love and, even as a comedy where they show and exaggerate one another’s foibles, there is intelligence and essential honesty and respect between them.

rob and laura

Lord and Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey

Now, I know they’ve had their ups and downs (his initially marrying her for her fortune, his temptation early on and her bitter hurt and anger after the loss of their daughter), but they seriously love one another and respect one another. Her faithfulness and support whether for rich or poor, his gentle respect for her and their commitment to the marriage is heartening in TV today.

robert and cora grantham

Sometimes it is just hard to find examples of good marriages around us. Godly marriages can be even harder! I guess it has been such a longing in my heart to show to my children a loving and godly marriage. Some things I think are important that are not often shown in our culture today:

  • faithfulness – being fully and equivocally committed to one another and leaving NO room for straying
  • loyalty – being 100% on the side of each other and never opening a door to division (which often means shutting down slander or bashing from others firmly and immediately!)
  • desire – working hard to stir up physical desire for one another, even in the tired and hormonal years, and opening our  hearts to accept that desire from our spouse
  • companionship – building that comfortable friendship with one another and not taking it for granted, even when life situations grow hectic and stressful
  • respect – giving and expecting a healthy respect to each other with no hidden snarkiness or feelings of superiority
  • faith – being a source of faith and trust in the Lord for one another, being that cord that is not easily broken

So, how are YOU doing? Are you being a good example in your marriage to your children or to other younger couples watching you? Are you struggling to see godly examples around you to follow as you allow the Lord to redefine marriage in your own eyes and mind?

I pray that the Lord guards and protects each of our marriages and that we take our marriages (but not ourselves) very seriously indeed!

Blogs I might be linking to:
Menu Planning Monday, On The Menu Monday, Erin Branscoms, Marital Oneness, The Better Mom, Multitudes on Monday, Hear it On Sunday, Sharing His Bounty, What Joy Is Mine, Playdates at the Well, Back to School Monday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Time Warp Wife, Funky Planet Frequent Flier Club, Encourage One Another, Living Well Wednesdays, The Welcoming House, Legacy Leaver Thursday, What’s Up Wednesday, Thought Provoking Thursday, Hearts 4 Home, Thankful Thursday, First Day of My Life , Thankful Thursdays, Thankful, Thankful Thursday Brown-eyed Bell(e), Big Family Fridays, Faith Filled Fridays, Feasting In Fellowship Friday, Fellowship Friday, Homemaking Link-up Week-end, A Little R&R, Pieces of Amy

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  1. Is it sad that the first ones I thought of were the Cosbys? I don’t watch much TV anymore. Thanks for pointing out the need for more good examples for our kids!

    • Hi Helene! I thought about the Cosbys and in many ways they were a good example. But there is also the aspect of the show that pushes Dad into more of a buffoon role and Mom the one who is always calm and level-headed. For that reason, they didn’t make my cut. I tend to be VERY attuned to shows that husband/father bash. So glad you came by!!

  2. It is hard to find couples – married couples that are great examples! I’ve never watched White Collar but that is good to know. These reality TV shows, which are not one bit reality depict marriage as ridiculous. The only one I can think of is CSI NY Danny and Lindsay – so far so good.

    The Cosby’s – there was just something that was off. The wife tried to wear the pants way too often. Downtown Abbey – I agree with what you shared.

    Ward and June Cleaver – Leave it to Beaver – ? It’s really difficult!

    • Kathleen, my family thought I should have put the parents in Phineas and Ferb, but since I never watch it, I can’t tell. And yes, I agree with your view of the Cosbys. I thought of the Cleavers and was just concerned that they never really seem to communicate. Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoying my fun look at marriage.

  3. Very interesting commentary on our society today.

    I have been reading an old book by Ben Stein (Bueller….. Bueller……) called The View From Sunset Boulevard. In it he writes just what Hollywood is trying to get us to believe, about life and the world, with the characters they create. It used to be mandatory reading in colleges and universities around the country. Now it’s hard to find.

    You are so right, it is very difficult to find any relationships on TV that resemble a good marriage. It’s sad.

    • Debi, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that book, sounds very interesting!! Thanks for coming by, dear!

  4. love the old days with archie and edith to me that was a great couple Yes he was awful and she was always at his whim but they had love and it was evident

    • Interesting, Angie. We actually discussed them and they went on our “What NOT to be as a married couple” list! 😀 Thanks for coming by.

  5. I’m going to say the Cosbys. I think they had a great deal of love and respect for one another. Both were involved in their children’s lives. Both worked full time jobs but made time for family.

    • I think your assessment is accurate, Stephanie. But I was just a little too uncomfortable with the way everyone made so much fun of Dad for it to make the cut, although they were really close!

  6. My husband and I are huge fans of the Dick van Dyke show, and their strong marriage is one great reason why! We can each relate to them–I feel like Laura a lot of the time–and we both appreciated how crazy they were about each other, how they fulfilled their God-given roles as husband and wife, and how well they showed each other respect, love and forgiveness. That’s a rare thing on TV nowadays…which is why it isn’t much, unfortunately. Love this post! 🙂

    • Thanks, Jamie!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. And thanks for coming by.

  7. I think it’s normal to be hard-pressed to find healthy, loving examples of couples from television or Hollywood. It’s sad, but true, since their focus is not on God–who holds our marriages together through our surrendered hearts. I’m just hoping to be one of those couples who lives out love in a life filled with pain and trials. So I’m daily anchoring in Christ to do just that! 🙂 Thought-provoking post, Kate.

    • Amen, Beth!

  8. These are good examples, Kate. And I agree with those qualities you list. I do hope my husband and I are providing a good example for our children.This is a good reminder to try even harder on that.

  9. I think this story could’ve been a lot better and worth reading, if there were REAL examples of marriages, not TV marriages that are created / designed to increase viewership and ratings. What about the real examples out there?

    • Point taken. But the point of the post was what our culture (via TV) shows as healthy marriages. My children can evaluate good marriages around them, but if I shared those, you wouldn’t know any of them anyway. 😀


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