We just celebrated our 19th Wedding Anniversary. That's almost two decades folks. In this day and age, I think it's a wonderment to make it past 10 years let alone almost 20!
What is the secret ingredient that Bruce and I use to keep our marriage on course?
Short answer: God.
Our marriage has always been centered in Jesus Christ. We believe He brought us together, on purpose, for a purpose and each day we see glimpses of those purposes that spur us on to more.
But to break it down into applicable illustrations I give you 19 things, in no particular order, that we do that have helped keep our relationship solid.
a sense of humor is important and laughing releases feel good endorphins! (by the way, laughing together is awesome...laughing at one another is a good way to stay humbled but tread lightly there.)
praying together, praying for one another. It makes a HUGE difference. (check out the Power of a Praying Wife/Husband by Stormie OMartia)Try it when you are in the midst of a disagreement and see if that doesn't have an impact!
open, honest, sometimes frank, but always laced with love and respect. And we keep working on making it better.
flowers and candy, that's dandy! But touch my heart and make it spark!
whether its outdoor activities we both enjoy or just watching a fun movie together.
6. Joint Projects
from big projects like fixing up our vintage trailer to smaller ones like setting up camp, we each have a part to play and it enhances the experience when we each do our part and also when we help the other with theirs.
7. Date Night
So important!! We can get pretty caught up in giving our time to other needs and other people so its important that we stop and evaluate when was the last time we had some quality time alone together. And it doesn't have to be expensive-- coffee and a walk is just fine.
That moment at the end of the day when you sit down and face one another and ask how was your day, and listen to their answer with full attention.
Find our what it means to me. Now that you're singing it, discovering what your mate values and giving it the respect that deserves is crucial. Speaking to each other in respectful tones matters. Sarcasm cuts deep.
giving one another space to breathe, space to rest, space to think, space to just be ourselves.
sometimes just hearing the words 'you can do this' can make all the difference in the world.
to be the me who God called me to be. and permission to pursue it without guilt. Freedom to make choices. Freedom to express opinions without fear of judgement.
regardless of knowing all the details, I can choose to trust --and be patient in getting all the answers.
it's hard to know whats going on inside the other persons head but seeking to understand is the first step.
whoa. daily. big time. just extend grace in the moment even if forgiveness isn't possible quite yet... and speaking of....
always be quick to give it.
17. Words of Affirmation
words of life! express gratitude to your spouse, be thankful for big and small things.
18. Acts of Service
I pack his lunch, he makes the morning coffee. It's little things but it all says I love you.
having family and friends who hold us accountable, pray for us and love us has had a major positive impact on our own relationship. We highly recommend every married couple be in some sort of small group for that intimate time of community.
So, there you have it.
I don't claim to have the answers but this is something that is working for us. We are committed to the marriage and we are committed to Christ who directs it.
Happy Anniversary to Us!