Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Celebrating Your Marrige Every Day

Today is our thirty-fifth wedding anniversary!  On the one hand it seems like we've been married forever (we've been married much longer than we were single!).  Other times though we wonder where all those years went.

We have usually enjoyed celebrating  in pretty simple ways each year - a quiet dinner, a weekend away, tickets to a concert. We've never needed a lot of fancy things. We're still wearing the same rings that we put on June 26th, 1976. Jackie is wonderfully creative so I've enjoyed many handmade cards and gifts. She unfortunately is married to a not so handy person so I buy the classic card or small gift punctuated by a song I've written now and then for extra special years.  I can write music, but my presents never equal hers!

We did celebrate twenty-five years with a dream trip to Austria and Switzerland and just returned from an awesome land/cruise to Alaska for thirty-five. At this point in life we're thinking we had better do a few more bigger trips or we're going to run out of time to finish our bucket list.

However, whatever ways you and your spouse choose to celebrate anniversaries I want to challenge you to in a sense celebrate your love every day. No, not with chocolates, roses, trips or concert tickets. But more with little, thoughtful acts of kindness and love that let one another know again and again they are loved and special.

And usually couples sort of develop and negotiate these over time and they differ from marriage to marriage.  For example, we often sit together on the couch with my legs on hers or vice versa. We surprise each other with a treat we know the other person likes. We do something tangible that the other person might not care to do - put gas in the car, iron a shirt, or kill a spider. Those are all little touches of love.

As a pastor I'm busy a lot on weekends but as much as possible I try to sit with Jackie during one of the services unless I'm teaching. (I'm teaching on our anniversary today by the way - what else is new?)  We make one day a week available to each other to just be together, often doing something special, sometimes running errands.  The point is that it's just us and it reminds us of our commitment to each other.

We say "I love you" a lot and speak with respect even when we have conflict. We try never to talk negatively about the other person outside our home. We try not to let irritations simmer.  We say thank you and I appreciate all you do and that sort of thing in everyday moments.

We've been far from perfect all these years but we do know this, marriages hang together for long periods of time when love is expressed is some way most every day.  What little loving habits do you have or could you develop?

You'll have to come up with what works and impacts each other best in your relationship.  But don't merely wait for the big days and the major anniversaries. Yes, plan for those, celebrate and have fun. But share some of your love every day and you'll more likely celebrate more and more of those major milestones together year after year.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

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