This past weekend was our anniversary. We had a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite “special occasion” restaurants. I even splurged for dessert:) It was nice just to celebrate us! Like all couples, we have had wonderful, mountain-top experiences. As well, we have been through struggles, have disappointed each other and shared the greatest grief. But, we have done it together – creating a life together. A life that perhaps I did not envision as a young bride but one that I love and appreciate more each year.
As an empty-nester, I want to appreciate my marriage – and my husband – more as the years go by. I think maturity helps me do that. I don’t want to become complacent or take my husband, and his love for me, for granted. I did some reading and studying last week – about healthy marriages and how I can continue to make it a priority in my thoughts and actions. I think it is good to rehearse these things mentally.
These are some of the ideas/suggestions that were helpful reminders for me. Perhaps they will be for you as well.
* My spiritual life has to be my top priority. In order for any of the other relationships in my life – especially with my husband – to be all they can be, I must be daily in the Bible and in fellowship with Christ. If this is lacking, it affects everything else. I cannot possibly have the right attitude (humility, patience, kindness, etc., etc) and be all that my husband needs from me if I am not walking in the Spirit.
* Keeping myself physically and emotionally pleasing – for my husband – is important. I will never be 25 again. Or even 35. Nor will my body. But I want to continually strive to be my best for my husband. Not for the attention or praise of anyone else – but for my husband because he is important to me. This includes continual habits (like exercise -ugh!) and the daily little things (like what I wear or fixing my hair.)
* Being conscious of outside influences – through media, music, entertainment, etc – not only guards my heart but also guards the spirit of our home. It can become easy to let down our guard, especially once our children are grown, but this can be a slippery slope. The enemy never gives up and we must continue to be vigilant – and on guard.
* Being a wise steward of our finances is a blessing. We are not rich, by any means, but our budget is also not as tight as it was when we were raising a family. But that is not an excuse to spend unwisely. When I am considerate of our money and try to be a good manager of our household finances, it is not only a help to my husband but it also shows appreciation for his hard work. It is also Biblical.
* I want to regularly examine how my attitude, as well as my actions, reflect my heart. The honeymoon phase may be well past but I want my husband to know that I admire him, respect him and appreciate him. I want him to know his heart is safe with me. I may not gush and giggle to show it, as I might – or might not:) – have as a newlywed but these are still so important to me. To him and to us. And I want what I say and what I do to express that.
There certainly is no perfect marriage. But I am thankful for these decades I have been given to continue striving to make our marriage all that it can be – and should be – as the gift from God that it is.