Celebrating a Marriage Milestone
Saturday, August 12, 1989, began cool, and I went horseback riding. By 5:30, temperatures had soared toward 90. Air conditioning brought relief in the Franklin, Indiana, church since I had decided on long, puffed sleeves. I remember the details of that hot August day because I married Dave in a ceremony that went too long (to our wedding party and guests, we apologize).
This year on August 12th, we celebrated with our 3 adult children in Birmingham, Alabama, 3 amazing people that we love being with.
Making a Marriage Work
Don’t be fooled by smiling Facebook photos. Marriage is hard work.
A satisfying marriage requires two people who work every day to communicate and serve,
staying when we want to walk away,
honoring one another in public,
choosing to put one another first (over children, jobs, and personal desires).
I’m not a marriage counselor, but I’ve been fighting for a marriage for 30 years. Two books stand out as having impacted me:
- A Promise Kept: A Story of Unforgettable Love by Robertson McQuilkin
- Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs
Returning to Your First Love
As much as I love my husband and celebrate our years of marriage, Jesus is my first love. I fell for Him in 1983, six years before I married Dave. Staying in love with Jesus takes work, too, because my heart wanders. Jesus pointed out this problem when He said,
“I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. . . You have patiently suffered for me without quitting.Revelation 2:2-5 NLT
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first.
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has compiled a list, “40 Evidences That You May Have Left Your First Love.” The first six statements from her list point out my distracted thoughts and help me to put my focus back on my first love, Jesus.
- You can go hours or days without having more than a passing thought of Him.
- You don’t have a strong desire to spend time with Him.
- You don’t have a strong hunger for the Word; Bible reading is a “chore”—something to mark off your “to do” list.
- Spending time in prayer is a burden/duty rather than a delight.
- Your worship is formal, dry, lifeless, merely going through the motions.
- Private prayer and worship are almost non-existent . . . cold and dry.
Returning Every Day
How do I return to my first love? I practice spiritual disciplines like–
- Reading the Bible–even if only for a few minutes every day.
- Studying the Bible–every week I make time to dig in for an extended period of time.
- Worshipping Jesus–I sing or play worship music & I tell Him how grateful I am for His grace and mercy.
- Praying–all the time, in the car or doing laundry, but I love to rest and listen to Him face down on my carpet or yoga mat.
Stay Rooted & in Love with Jesus
I took some time away from social media and this blog to rest and listen to Jesus. The ideas in this blog aren’t just something I promote; it’s something I live. But, I’m back at it, encouraging a simple and practical faith in Jesus. Follow me or subscribe to this blog to receive more thoughts like this one in your inbox.