“What does it take to create an enduring, long-lasting relationship?” That question was asked of me several times during our recent 50th anniversary cruise.
So what was my answer? “That’s an easy one,” I replied.
Having God as the center of any marriage for one. No one can sustain a perfect relationship without a strong anchor. For the marital-bliss-winds can shift direction at any time and chaos, tribulations and uncertainty follow. No one can sustain happiness forever for that depends on emotional up and down days; but if God is your anchor, you’ll find true JOY and remain grounded.
Communication ranks right up there as well. Spouses aren’t mind-readers! When one asks, “What’s wrong?” and the other sarcastically replies nothing,” how is that helping? Don’t stubbornly resist, talk it over. Don’t let one’s hard-headedness dictate what Satan gleefully desires.
God created the first marriage and Satan promptly went about messing things up. Not only did they not communicate, they failed to seek God’s Will: His Word! Whenever a couple is uncertain, asking, “What should we do about . . . (whatever) ?” Don’t make decisions harder than they should be. You’ll find the answer anchored in Scripture and that should end the discussion.
Laughter! The devil hates to hear Christians joyful and God loves it! Life is too short to not enjoy it! Don’t settle for second best and don’t sweat the small stuff. Enjoy each other’s company, marry your best friend and seek to be a team even after you have children. (I’ve seen so many marriages break up because one loves their children more than their spouse.)
No matter how busy you are, spend as much time together as you can. In my book “Life’s Too Short to Eat Bad Cheese!” I wrote about marriage being a three-ring-circus. A circus has one large ring in-between two smaller rings. The large representing together time. Sometimes, for a number of reasons, those rings get lopsided . Too many spouses lose themselves in the other’s relationship, giving up their interests for the sake of the other. What happens then? They become boring. Never lose your identity – it’s what made you unique and why they fell in love with you in the first place.
Don’t become stagnant. Continually grow and change. You’ll never get bored with each other. I’ve been very fortunate to have two and my husband three diverse careers. We’ve moved twenty times in our lives as well as lived in a motorhome fulltime for six years, traveling around the States. We’ve met wonderful people and seen sites many only dream about. Our life’s been blessed!
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
Has any reader picked up on the fact that the same attributes which create a successful marriage, contribute to a close relationship with our Lord?
What is your relationship to Christ? Cultivate a beneficial and meaningful relationship with Jesus in the same way:
Communicate: the more you read your Bible, the more you’ll understand how to please him and the closer you’ll get to a stronger, richer relationship.
Use your Spiritual Gifts, don’t allow them to become stagnant. Make your relationship with Christ your largest center ring. Grow and Blossom together. Those gifts can help others in need, but one must practice them.
Become JOYFUL. Even amidst trials and hardships, consider how God has blessed you. Praise Him for the home He’s provided, family you have, for the food on your table and the friendships you enjoy.
Beautiful Ellie. I write about many of those you touched on in one of my books. Happy Anniversary and wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas. ❤
Aah thanks dear friend and have a Very Merry Christmas, ❤
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Thank you Ellie ❤
Wonderful advice, Ellie. Happy 50th anniversary. That is something to celebrate. So many marriages don’t even last five years. I wish you and your husband all the best and a Christmas filled with love ,peace and joy. ❤ xxx
Aah, thanks so much Carol. I praise God that we are one of those lucky couples whom He has Blessed, keeping us together when we easily could have thrown in the towel. In any marriage there are so many good and challenging times. My husband is now the man I knew he could be. I love him “more today than yesterday” (the lyrics to one of our songs, 1968/69 🙂 )
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