RESPECT: How to Stay Married for 50+ years

February 1, 2011 | By More

What is the secret of a long and happy marriage? According to one local family whose members have all been happily married to the same spouses for 50 years or more, the answer can be boiled down to a simple seven letter word; respect. 

Webster’s Dictionary gives the meaning of “respect” as esteem, admiration and courtesy.

“Always treat your spouse better than you treat yourself,” explained Dorris (D.L.) Moody, one of four brothers who, like their deceased parents, have all been married a half century or more. DL’s wife, Martha, agreed. “You’ve got to respect each other. If you have differences, discuss it, but work it out together.”

Easier said than done, perhaps, but consider this. Respect for others is a learned behavior.

“We all learned by the example of our parents,” said Owen Devure Moody, who has been married to his wife Faye for 60 years. “Our parents taught us to be unselfish. They had a what’s mine is ours’ philosophy and always lived a Christ centered life.” They kept the Lord’s Day holy and took their family to church faithfully and taught them to trust in God and live according to His word, the Bible. We truly believe it certainly has been the glue that has held our marriages together,” said Owen.

The brother’s parents, Alvie and Rachel Moody, who were originally from Heber Springs, were married 51 years before Alvie died in 1975. Rachel died in 2006, only 36 days before she would have celebrated her 100th birthday.

Youngest brother Charles Moody, married to his wife Lorene for 50 years, added, “We all knew what was expected of us. Our parents expected us to follow through by example.”

That life-long example has worked its magic on the Moody brother’s children as well. With two children in each of the four families, all Moody children are also happily married.

You might say “love begets love”.

Oldest brother, Julius, who moved to Clarksville in 1963 along with his wife of 63 years, Edith, remembers how their parents “loved everybody. If one of the neighbors needed help, our Dad was the first one there and the last to leave. Their door was always open.”

“As the Moody home was located only one-half mile from the railroad, our mother thought the hobos, who generally traveled by train, had a way to tell the Moody house was always open.”

“I guess word got around camp they were never turned away,” said D.L. “During the great depression several homeless relatives were provided food and a bed,” he added.

Like their parents, the Moody boys and their families are all actively involved in the Christian Church. Brother, Owen Devure is a retired Southern Baptist Minister who served as pastor to four Baptist churches over a period of 40 years, and all three others brothers are Deacons in their respective churches. D.L. and Martha’s son, Randy, also carries on the family’s Christian tradition as pastor of a Presbyterian Church in the state of Florida.

Everyone in the Moody family agrees on a few simple rules for maintaining a healthy marriage.

“Read the Scriptures. You can’t pray when you are mad. And, never go to bed mad.”

The Moody family offered one final piece of advice. As Ruth, the wife of Billy Graham once said, “Agree to disagree. If you don’t have differences of opinion, one of you is unnecessary.” This is what respect is all about.

Or, to put it in secular terms, recording artist Aretha Franklin sang it best in the movie, “Blues Brothers,” when she belted out her smash hit ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’:

“I ain’t gonna do you wrong while you’re gone; Ain’t gonna do you wrong (oo) ‘cause I don’t wanna (oo) All I’m askin’… Is for a little respect when you come home (just a little bit); Baby (just a little bit) when you get home (just a little bit);

Yeah (just a little bit)

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what is means to me;

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, take care, TCB (Take Care Baby.)” 

 

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