Today is my wife and I’s nine year wedding anniversary! We’re going to celebrate by visiting the Country of her choice (…at Epcot 😉 ) we’ll then eat at the restaurant of her choosing (in the Country of her choice 😉 ) and of course celebrate with a gift exchange as well. However some of our favorite anniversary traditions we’ve both come to love are as followed:
- We reminisce of all the times we’ve shared together
- We reflect on why God brought us together in the first place
- We dream about all that God might want to do through us in the years to come.
I’m sure we’re not too different from many other couples out there as we all enjoy reminiscing. But I’m curious, how often do we as couples do numbers 2 and 3? How often do we reflect on why God brought us together? (For some this idea may be foreign but) I’d like to propose that whatever brought you and your spouse together (I believe) God was in it and He has a plan not only for you but for your marriage as well! If you have children a primary call is to raise them up in the way they should go but that’s only one aspect of God’s plan. Think about your gifts, how you complement each other, think about your passions – how do they intersect? Begin to pray and invite God to speak to you both concerning His plan for your marriage – you might just be blown away with what He has in store for you both!
And that brings up something we all love to do as well: Dream! I think it’s natural for us to dream as individuals and for most of us we dream as couples as well (about where we’re going to vacation or travel or what we’re going to do after retirement). But how often do we invite God into the equation and ask, “God, what do you have in store for us in the coming year(s)?” I’ve seen only few couples do this but those few who do are some of the most amazing couples I know!
Our marriage is by no means perfect:
- We sometimes struggle in the area of communication (we have a lot going on in ministry and raising 4 (soon to be 5) young children)
- We get in disagreements and even arguments at times
- And believe it or not (with the exception of Survivor) we have opposite TV viewing habits
But outside of our yearly anniversary practices of reminiscing, reflecting and dreaming with God we’ve also found these few practices VERY helpful in creating a marriage we love:
- We date regularly (our goal is every other week and with few exceptions we stick to it and often meet that goal – remember it doesn’t have to be a 5 star restaurant, what’s important is intentional time together investing in the relationship)
- We always forgive (This is one of the core values in our family, we not only impress it upon our kids, we live by it – it’s something God calls us all to do and it’s especially important when it comes to your spouse)
- We remember our Covenant (our wedding rings nearly always remain on our ring fingers, we remember our wedding vows and we guard and protect ourselves from anything that might try to interfere with the covenant that we made with one another before the Lord)
So today as Emily and I will celebrate I hope these few thoughts will encourage you in your marriage and help you create a life you love! Lastly, did you think of some helpful practices you and your spouse have found to ensure a happy marriage? I’d love to hear! Please share your comments below!