Last week, I wrote about debt and the implications of Proverbs 22:7. I would like to look at another proverb this week, one which I believe is important if you are to be successful in life. Proverbs 5:18, “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.”
Is this one of the secrets to success?
What do the following men have in common: Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and Jeff Bezos? If you answered that they were all highly successful entrepreneurs, then you would be correct. But did you know that, according to Wikipedia, all of these men are currently married to their first spouse?
Now, maybe you can find just as many ultra-successful entrepreneurs who have had multiple marriages, or maybe have never been married. But something tells me that you won’t. You see, maintaining healthy relationships, specifically a healthy marriage, is a cornerstone to happiness. And while success is not dependent on your happiness, I can’t name one person who has achieved the levels of success of these men while claiming to be miserable. Money may not be able to make you happier, but happier people just may be able to make more money.
The secret to a happy life
Over the past 75 years, Harvard has conducted the Grant and Glueck study. The study followed the emotional well-being of two separate populations of men. Their conclusion? Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says, “Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” He goes on to say that, “It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.”
In other words, having a lot of friends on Facebook does not count. The relationships that matter are the close, personal relationships of our lives. Is there any coincidence that the study has committed to a new phase focusing on the closest, most personal relationship of the all, marriage?
Two are better than one
Yes, I realize that the Grant and Glueck study does not attempt to correlate success with healthy relationships. And you may think that I am jumping to conclusions. But, think about your own life. How many times have you depended on the support of your close relationships to get you through a difficult season?
The truth is, the road to success is always under construction. You will encounter difficulties along the way. And you will want someone there with you on your journey. Consider these words from Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
Commit to work on your marriage
If you are in a healthy marriage, then you have someone to travel with on the road to success. I strongly encourage you to spend time working on your marriage as part of your success story. And when you have achieved your goals and dreams, remember the spouse of your youth, and rejoice in what you accomplish together.