6 Characteristics that Make Marriage a Classic

What Makes a Marriage Classic

My husband and I have been called a lot of things over our almost five decades of marriage, but when someone called us  “classics” it stopped us in our tracks. The young lady said  when she looks at us, she sees the word “Classic.Like the way someone looks at old pictures or thinks of good memories and gets sentimental and nostalgic. If we have a classic marriage, what makes it one?

What makes a Classic?

What do you think makes a classic?

Cars, literature, movies, music, architecture or clothing styles come to mind when I think about classics. When I think of a classic, foremost is its age. Like in old. Such as an oldie but goodie.

If the marriage that Dennis and I have is classic, then what characteristics make for a classic marriage?

Characteristics of a Classic Marriage

1.  Longevity (Age)

Classic car collectors look for one of these age distinctions: Antique – older than 50 years; Classic—older than 25 years; and Vintage—a car manufactured between 1919-1930. Hmm. ..We may be classic now, but we are on our way to becoming antiques!

Marriage is full of transitions, seasons and roller coasters. I’m thankful we both stuck it out when we didn’t know what was around the next curve. When you survive the worst together, the ride gets smoother the longer you’re married.

2.  History

Architectural classics are well built to stand the test of time and to remind us of the time period it represents. The Greek Pantheon, the Roman Colosseum and the Egyptians Pyramids remind us of the history of a bygone era.

A classic marriage has a history no other two people share.

Our marriage has given us a history of adventure, rocky roads, heartache, disappointment, pain, loss and financial struggles. Because of what we have established together, no one else can appreciate what we’ve created together.

Our experiences and commitment to stay when marriage was at its worse have given way to a uniquely-one-of-a-kind classic.

3.  Originality

Every classic is an original.  Not another one like it

One of the things a car collector looks for is potential. He sees the beauty in the details, how solidly it is built, its uniqueness. Even if there is a little rust or imperfection or dents, the car enthusiast looks past that, expecting to restore it to its full glory.

So it is with marriage.

Two imperfect people join hands and hearts and agree to become one the day they marry.

Dennis and I have allowed God to heal and purify our junk individually. Together, we look past the other’s imperfection, choosing to let God restore the classic beauty that’s been inside the other all along.

It is a beauty to behold.

4.   Commitment

For a classic to remain one, it takes commitment. For a classic to keep its value, regular maintenance, repair and restoration is expected.

Commitment takes time, energy, and investment.

A classic marriage is one where two learn how to become one. They understand when they promised

to have and to hold from this day forward for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part”

that there would be no other escape clause.

5.  Appreciation

Classics don’t depreciate; they appreciate in value.

A classic marriage appreciates because of its age, its history, its originality and uniqueness.

Marriage of this caliber gains admiration from others, because of what it has to offer to a world wanting this kind of marriage.

I am thankful that I get to wake up next to Dennis every morning. Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate how he takes such good care of me– financially and physically.  Both of us realize how blessed and  secure in the love we have for the other.

We invest in what we value.

6.  Legacy.

A classic marriage has a legacy.

Literary classics stand the test of time. Generation after generation read these works and are touched to their very core by themes that resonate. Themes of love, hate, death, life and faith touch upon some of our most basic emotional responses.

Our marriage is built  on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ. We took our roles as parents seriously in teaching our children what Deuteronomy 11: 19 commands. Living a Christ-honoring life was never a second thought to us.

In our early years of parenting we didn’t understand the impact of this lifestyle. (Let’s face it, those years you feel you struggle just to survive.) Today our adult children are raising their own children, and it is a joy to see life-producing fruit in what we planted.

Classic car owners enjoy attending  Classic Car Shows, not only to admire the cars, but to listen to the stories. Collectors own these cars for different reasons—sentimental, nostalgia, a sense of accomplishment.

The car’s “classiness”  is appreciated more by the telling of the story.

Every marriage has its own story. Will your marriage grow to become a classic?

Action Plan
As a couple, discuss the characteristics of  a classic marriage. How does your marriage compare?
What foundation are you building your marriage on?
What story do you want your marriage to tell?
Photo by Mark Duffel on Unsplash





  1. Amanda

    Great article. People can relate to the terms classic, vintage, and antique. Buying vintage or antiques is a sought after hobby for many. Having value in such items is a high commodity. Now, take that value and apply it to your marriage. What’s it worth to you? What’s it worth to your kids and grandkids as they watch you? What’s it worth to those around your sphere of influence as they watch, listen and learn how you navigate through life’s up’s and down’s.
    Yes, you guys are definitely classic, but by the grace of God through many prayers, many forgivenesses, many acts of love, you are nearing vintage.

    1. Debbie

      Thank you, Amanda for your thoughtful and kind words. Every married couple needs to ask themselves the questions you posed here.

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