Today I saw a sad sign posted on the curb.
It was not a joke–and I sure didn’t laugh.
It is a sad, but true fact that my husband and I are becoming a rare commodity. Our marriage has lasted 30+ years and we are more committed to love than ever.
So how does this happen? Can two people stay married for a lifetime? While much of the world would think it impossible, I want to share five things that have helped us to stay married.
Our first date was over 35 years ago, and while it started as a courtship, we quickly became best of friends. I loved his humor, and he loved that I laughed at his jokes!
Life consisted of making a home in everything from a parsonage to an apartment, a mobile home, a duplex and rental homes. We are grateful for God’s provision every step of the way, and after traveling to several countries on mission trips, we’ve learned that
HOME IS WHEREVER WE ARE TOGETHER
While there can be no perfect marriage when two imperfect people are involved, and there certainly are no easy formulas for a healthy marriage–I can offer a few of the priorities that helped us to get this far:
1) LAUGH TOGETHER. A lot. Seek to find the good in your situation and choose joy.
2) PLAY TOGETHER. Often. Life can be difficult, but the struggle to make time for each other should always be a priority. Do something that you both like, but don’t be afraid to try something new. We started playing golf after 50 and now its one of our favorite things to do together!
3) FIGHT AND FORGIVE. Just fight fair. There’s no sense in pretending that you won’t fight. Stop saying things like “you always”, “you never”, or “I don’t want to talk about it”. Choose to work it out even if it takes all night–then choose to forgive. Settle it and let it go. Look for the good and right and godly way to move forward.
4) PRAY TOGETHER. Out loud. There. I said it. I know it’s hard for some of you, but there is nothing more calming or endearing than hearing my husband call out to the God of the universe on my behalf and or for our children and grandchildren. I trust that as he hears me praying for him, his heart will be encouraged and our hearts will be more closely in tune with the heart of God.
Without a healthy relationship with God through Jesus, we would have not made it this far, or this well. I know unbelieving couples can make it work, but it’s rare to have a healthy marriage for this long without Him!
5) STAY TOGETHER. Assume it. Don’t plan for the alternative, or you will find yourself wanting to take the not-so-easy way out. When we ignore divorce as an option, we work harder to get it right. Not only do we plan to stay together for a lifetime, we prioritize our calendars to be together as often as we possibly can. We love traveling together and as much as we can we sync our schedules and jump at the chance to “escape” together.
We made it a priority to save for the big moments, like our 25th Wedding Anniversary. We planned and saved years in advance, choosing to place value on making memories instead of accumulating things. It didn’t happen overnight–it took years, but we are so glad we did!
The world can’t seem to fathom it, but God did create us to live happily in our marriages!
**This post was shared on the weekly Salt and Light Link-up Facebook page.