Tips and Tricks - Keeping your marriage alive: Whether you've been married for 38 years, 8 years or are a newlywed, you've probably picked up a few keys to a happy marriage, one which is nurturing and continues to grow. Maybe your marriage has struggled, but you've found a road back to each other and have insights to offer those in a similar situation.
- Enjoy every minute of the good times.
Last evening our pastor brought a message from Matthew 12. This verse struck me especially:
35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.
I know it's out of context, and probably is not what Matthew intended for me to get at all, but I was thinking about it in terms of marriage and family life. When things are going well, we need to store up those memories and lessons. Take lots of pictures. Keep a journal. Tell stories about the good things in your life to your children. You will be glad you have these good memories to go to when you need them.
- Stand together through the bad stuff. . .
because, mark my words, the bad stuff will come! I recall many walks DC and I took when our children were young. We'd talk about families we knew who were going through such hard times. We wondered why we hadn't been hit. It wasn't long before we were! We spent over 10 years wondering what in the world had hit us. We didn't really ask "Why us?" because we remembered how fortunate we had felt before. We knew we lived in a fallen world. We knew we had done everything we could do to raise the kids in the Lord. But Satan had a great time trying to destroy our family. He tried to convince us that we were unworthy parents. But God never let us go. He never will. (If you're new here, check out the stories on my sidebar "A Story of Deliverance" and "Journey Through Anorexia).
- Be a team.
There are so many times I recall that one of us was really down, but the other one was okay. We were able to help each other up, and not drag each other down. It is so important to have common goals for your life together. DC was attracted to me because of my independence. There have been times when that independence has been a bit too much for him, but he remembers that's why he liked me to begin with. I loved his gentle nature, his sweetness. We have both changed over the years (I'm still independent, and he's still sweet!), but we remember why we "fell in love" to begin with.
I love this quote from Earlene Fowler, one of my very favorite authors, from her book, Irish Chain. She was looking back at her life as she sat in the office of one of her college professors from years ago: "Everything seemed so certain then. We knew exactly how we felt about things, where we were going, how we would get there. Our concrete plans reminded me of the mosaics created by . . . artists . . . bits and pieces of stone and glass laid out just so - the scene becoming clearer as you stood further and further back. Except our lives weren't really like those mosaics, whose pieces, once the artist placed them, could be cemented permanently into place. Looking back, I realize now we were more like kaleidoscopes - our designs twisting this way and that, unpredictable as clouds, changing sometimes for the better, sometimes not, but always open to that unexpected color combination we'd never think of on our own."
I know God has had a plan for everything that has happened to us so far, and for everything that will happen in the future. We just need to fit ourselves into His will.