I lied. Not exactly, but here are five more ways we realized that we missed in the first ten. Adding one more blog on the same subject is risky, but it all keeps adding up. It seems marriage is threatened in so many ways today, that to read anything which offers help and hope is encouraging. So, we submit to you our final five marriage priorities that Mary and I realize were so important to us plus a bonus.
- What we experience today is a direct result of how well we walked out our marriage in earlier years. We are now in our 60’s and realize that how we prioritized our relationship in our 20’s, our 30’s and our 40’s directly reflects upon where we are today. What seeds we sowed then are being reaped in our relationship today. Sow good seeds.
- Procrastination will kill a relationship. Taking care of issues as soon as is possible is best. Don’t wait until they become worse or compound through procrastination. At the same time, I had to honor Mary as she processed the issues before she could confront them. Meanwhile, I needed to deal with myself.
- Make your marriage a higher priority than the issue. Issues will come and go in a marriage, sometimes daily. Make sure you keep your relationship ahead of the problems. In other words, do not make the problems more important than the fact that you are married for a lifetime. Even in disagreement, Mary and I would strive for alignment.
- Never stop investing in your marriage. We went to seminars, read books, listened to teaching series and sought out help from those we respected to speak into our marriage. We were open with others about our mistakes.
- There are seasons that are dull, boring and gasping for air. Persevere through those; accept them as a bit normal, but work toward providing freshness in as many ways as you can. Admitting that we are in one of those seasons is the best place to start.
Bonus: Find a challenging mission outside yourselves and your family. We lead a small group, do premarital counseling, share in seminars together, have served on mission teams and did outreach to the homeless in Philadelphia. Marriages need a mission focus outside themselves; it keeps our passion and our compassion alive.