I love celebrating our anniversary. It means we’ve reached the milestone of another year. We’re still very much in love. We’re still committed to one another and we’re still having fun. We celebrate our 47th year of marriage this month!
Many couples have many ways of “making it” this far or perhaps they just don’t know another way to live. I’ve always thought that being in a chronically ill marriage would be worse than never being married at all. But that’s not our story.
So, what are the things we can implement into our marriage to not only have it survive 47 years, but thrive throughout those 47 years? Allow me to share a few of those things.
- Maintain a heart of love and dedication to one another.
- Hold hands when you take a walk, when you pray at the meal table and when you pray together just before bedtime.
- Continue to date.
- Buy small gifts for one another.
- Remember important dates through the sharing of greeting cards.
- Purchase flowers for special occasions and for no occasion.
- Write love notes or text messages or both often.
- Maintain a spiritual component of prayer together as often as possible.
- Don’t stop kissing.
- Say “I love you” multiple times in a day.
- Notice each other and while you’re noticing smile at your life mate.
- Go to bed at the same time routinely.
- Be affectionate.
- Maintain your intimacy.
- Compliment one another frequently.
- Say “thank you” for the daily mundane things accomplished by your spouse.
- Read a marriage book together to challenge your marriage.
- See a respected counselor or pastoral couple who can encourage you to grow in your love relationship.
- Go to a marriage seminar/retreat.
- Take a mini vacation for just the two of you.
- Praise in public; construct in private.
- Disagree agreeably and resolve issues promptly.
- Never take your mate for granted and work at noticing the “little things.”
- Have good will toward your mate at all times; think the best.
- Take time to listen to each other and hear one another’s heart, not just words.
- Serve in a mission bigger than yourselves, e.g., your local church, a missions project.
- Don’t be legalistic; give grace to one another.
- Keep communication lines open in order to always build trust.
- Stop attempting to change your mate. That’s God’s job.
- Keep your marriage a higher priority than the life issues you are dealing with.
- Pursue personal growth. The healthier you are, the healthier your marriage will be.
And last: Apologize quickly by learning to say, “I am sorry; I was wrong; please forgive me.”