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John & Margie Cooper were married in 1941. They settled down on a farm with high hopes of becoming the nation’s largest onion growers. But 4 years later after Margie had given birth to 2 children, she fell victim to polio and spent the majority of her time years completely bedridden. Gone were all the payoffs that John had expected to receive from his alliance with Margie. There was no housekeeper, no sex partner, no child care. Gone also were all aspirations of a big farm because you just don’t compete in "big" farm industry if you have to give a big chunk of your time to a wife who has polio. When John & Margie celebrated their 50th wedding, someone who didn’t know him well asked John to explain his years of unselfish devotion to an invalid wife. John said something worth remembering, "How do I explain my years of devotion to Margie? Well, I promised in the beginning that I’d stay with her no matter what, and I’m a man of my word." Now that may seem simplistic to some but for John Cooper it was the bottom line and he never looked back. And I would say to you this morning, the most essential ingredient to a happy marriage is making a promise and never looking back.

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