Family Matters: Applying Winston Churchill’s Wisdom to Matters of Love and Marriage
Since this month marks the 56th anniversary of Churchill’s being made an honorary U.S. citizen, it’s a fitting time to reflect on some of the words of wisdom for which he is so famous.
Churchill apparently exercised the same dogged determination in love as he exhibited in war. Never mind the pivotal role he played in WWII, he contended that his “most brilliant achievement” was persuading his wife to marry him. When Churchill passed away at the ripe old age of 90, he and his beloved Clementine had been married 56 years.
Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the British Bulldog. Had Churchill been a marriage counselor instead of a Prime Minister, his marriage advice might have sounded something like this:
“The price of greatness is responsibility.”
Want a great marriage? Don’t sit idly by, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for your spouse to create it for you. Take responsibility! Take ownership. Do everything in your power to make your marriage the best it can be.
“The first quality that is needed is audacity.”
A great marriage requires bold risk-taking. It takes a sold-out, 100-percent, do-or-die commitment. No hedging your bets. No holding back. You have to give it your all. Pour body, soul, and spirit into making your relationship all that God intended for marriage to be.
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
This is true in every area of life, including relationships. Want a happy marriage? Cultivate a happy heart. Focus on the positive. Be loving, kind, cheerful, patient, as well as quick to forgive.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Marriage is more about making a life than making a living. If you will concentrate on what you can GIVE rather than on what you can GET, you’ll stand a much better chance of making life wonderful in every way.
“‘No comment’ is a splendid expression. I am using it again and again.”
Don’t feel obligated to voice every thought that pops into your mind. Some things are better left unsaid. Be slow to speak. Weigh your words carefully. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
“Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.”
Do trials and hardships send you spiraling to the ground? Pressures spin you out of control? If you can stay anchored and work together as a team, you can rise above the buffeting winds and soar higher than you ever thought possible.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Don’t wallow in self-pity – push through your misery. Just as the joy of holding a newborn follows the intense pain of childbirth, couples who pull together to confront their problems report feeling happier and more deeply satisfied afterward than those who let difficulties drive them apart.
“Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never.”
This was Churchill’s strategy in dealing with the enemy during WWII. Let it be yours, as well. For your marriage to survive, you must repel anything and everything that threatens to destroy it — “great or small, large or petty” — with unyielding tenacity.
Every marriage will face adversity sooner or later. How will you respond when it comes? Will you panic, throw up your hands in despair, and watch your marriage crumble before your eyes?
Or will you do as Churchill urged and meet each new challenge with “intense vigilance and exertion,” doing whatever is necessary to protect and preserve life on the home front?
Could your marriage use a dose of that kind of moxie? Then take a page out of Churchill’s book and apply it in matters of the heart.
Jennifer Flanders is fiercely committed to nurturing and protecting her marriage and family against every foe. To read more of her encouragement, visit https://lovinglifeathome.com.