How to Have a G.O.A.T. Marriage (Article)

HOW TO HAVE A G.O.A.T MARRIAGE (Article by Dr. Abidan Paul Shah)

(Published in the newspaper Daily Dispatch, Henderson on January 29, 2022)

Last weekend, my wife Nicole and I had the joy of watching our daughter Abigail marry her sweetheart, Jarrett. I had the privilege of walking her down the aisle and then step around to the place of the officiant. In the week’s leading up to the big day, I prayed that God would give me the words that would not only help them through their journey as husband and wife, but also that they would remember the rest of their lives. Here’s what I shared with them:

JARRETT and ABIGAIL, God has brought you to each other and you’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. I want to share with you how you can have a GOAT marriage. As you know, the NFL playoffs are on, and you hear a lot about “The GOAT.” It stands for the “Greatest Of All Time.” At one time, calling someone a “goat” was negative, but now it is positive. So how can you have a GOAT life together? I want to suggest that you keep the letters G-O-A-T but change the acronym:

  1. G = GOD

Psalm 127       1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…”

That is a wonderful promise, but also a dreadful warning. You can build all your life all you want but it’s a waste of time if God’s not in the midst. Does that mean we do nothing? Of course not. 2 “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” In other words, to be successful in life, you will have to rise up early and sit up late, you will have to work hard and work smart. The promise for those who have God at the center of their lives is that you will not eat the bread of sorrows, and when you lay your head down, you will sleep sweetly knowing that God is in control.


James 1:2 “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”

That verse reminds us that in life trials don’t always come with a warning, and they are of various types. This is a fact of life, but how can we have joy in trials? 3 “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” We often hear that tough times make us stronger and bring out the best in us. All that is true, but how does that work out practically? Here’s a suggestion: Know the difference between problems in life and facts of life. You can work on the problems in life with God’s help, but you have to trust God with the facts of life, things you can’t change. He is always way ahead of you “working all things together for your good.”


Always remember to be grateful. First, be grateful to God for all he has done for you, especially in sending Jesus into this world to give his life for you. Also, thank you for giving you the Holy Spirit to be with you through life.

Secondly, be grateful to the people God has sent in your life to help and guide you, starting with your family and friends. Look around and see all the people on your left and right, and all around. They are here for you. Never forget to be grateful.

  1. T = TIME

There is a simple principle in life for being successful: “Whatever you give your time will become better in time.” If you want to get good grades, give it time. If you want to play sports, give it time. If you want to a good marriage, give it time. If you want to raise godly and successful kids, give it time. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5     15 “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time…”

Both of you have accepted Christ as your Savior and King, but if there’s anyone here who hasn’t, please do so as soon as possible so you can redeem whatever time you do have.

I hope you remember every single moment of this beautiful day. Something tells me that you’re not going to forget your wedding message! G.O.A.T. = GOD. OBSTACLES. APPRECIATE. TIME.

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