Steve and I recently celebrated our 30Th wedding anniversary on August 8Th. Also, I recently had a manicure done and the lady asked me, " How long have you been married?" I told her 30 years, and she said, "How do you stay married to someone for that long?" So, I decided that I would try to put the answer to her into words for anyone to read that may be interested.
l. Love is the biggest ingredient of course. You stay with your mate because you love them and you want to be with them. In fact, you couldn't imagine living your life without them! Along with this would be respect. You should show each other respect. This is a two sided coin described in the Scripture. Eph. 5:28 says, " So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself." Eph. 5: 33 says, "... and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Show each other the respect and love like you did when you first got married. There are several ways to keep your love renewed.
a. Don't forget to touch. Keep on hugging and kissing y'all! Enough said.
b.We go on a weekly date. We have gone to lunch together every Friday since our children were little. This is a standing date that we look forward to each week.
c.. We are courteous to one another. ( Consider each other's feelings, treat each other with the kind of courtesy you would at least give to a friend, such as saying please, thank you, good morning, good night, and always kiss each other good night.)
d. We keep no record of wrongs. The Bible speaks about this in I Corinthians 13: 5 "... does not take into account a wrong suffered." Don't bring back up things that happened in ancient history. Let it remain ancient history and in the past.
e. Don't always have to have your own way. Don't be selfish! You don't always have to have everything your own way, always have to be right, or always have to have the last word! Your marriage is asking for trouble if this is describing you! Again, I Cor. 13:4"... seeks not it's own way."
f. Be free with your "I'm sorries". If you have a problem in your marriage that is your fault and you never apologize, this causes resentments to build up. It is like building an invisible brick wall one brick at a time. Until you just cannot be heard when you speak. Your mate may soon begin to treat you like you are invisible!
g. Keep the lines of communication open. Keep on talking to each other! Steve and I have coffee together every morning outside, where there is no T.V., no phone, no distractions, and we just talk about different things, i.e. plans for the day, politics, the church, all different subjects. You need to practice talking, and don't just talk about the children.
h. R& R. This does not stand for rest and relaxation ( although that does not hurt either) This stands for reminisce and remember the good old days! Think back and remember why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place! What was it that drew you to this person? What were the qualities that you admired in your mate? Remember all of the fun things that you have done together. Be nostalgic!
2. Keep Christ in the center of your marriage. This is the most important thing. Steve and I are not a two stranded rope, but our marriage is a three stranded rope, with Christ in the center. Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, " Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly (easily) broken." When Christ is at the center of your marriage, He will strengthen it. Rely on Him to help you.
I would love to lead you in a prayer of commitment that you could pray for your marriage:
O Lord, we want to grow in spiritual intimacy in our marriage. We commit ourselves to spend regular time together in Your Word and in prayer. Help us to be faithful in this commitment, and show us how to be accountable to one another to do it. Help me to pray for my mate even when I am angry with him. Help me to be loving and respectful of my spouse. Make us a strong, three- stranded rope that will never break. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus, Amen!