A Time to Focus on
The Marriage Relationship
years ago I had the wedding rehearsal jitters. It was really
happening. We were committing "till death do us part"
in less than 24 hours. I felt both excited and scared as
I anticipated our new life together.
and I met on a blind date. I had a friend who said "You
really have to meet this guy!" and he had a friend
who wouldn't leave him alone with, "Mark, you've just
got to meet this girl." Finally, we both grew tired
of hearing about it and gave in to just one date. Well,
the rest is history. We dated, got engaged and tied the
knot within 10 months.
17 years have been years of growth. There have been wonderful
seasons. There have been difficult seasons. We have grown
our family from two to six as we have added children to
our home. We have experienced a variety of friendships,
jobs and homes.
have enjoyed one another. We have been
frustrated with one another. We have agreed.
We have disagreed. But through the ups
and downs, we have been committed. We
have been committed to love, to stay together,
to work through conflict, to apologize,
and to change as needed. This weekend
we celebrate that commitment.
Our anniversary is an annual event that allows
us to stop, remember, celebrate, and recommit
to our relationship. It is a time to be just
the two of us. It allows us an opportunity
to evaluate the time and energy we are giving
our marriage on a regular basis.
celebrated our anniversary throughout the years in a variety
of ways. Some years it was an evening out to dinner. Other
years we've gone away for one or two nights. And three times
in our seventeen years we have taken week-long trips - just
the two of us.
anniversaries can be a point of contention, though. We had
years that one of us had an expectation that wasn't met.
We've had anniversary celebrations that were in the midst
of a season of difficulty in our marriage. And we've had
financially lean years where even dinner out and a sitter
were difficult to fit in the budget.
Whether your anniversary is fast approaching or months away,
here are some ideas for making the celebration special:
are going through a difficult season of marriage and have
not sought help, consider counseling to assist you in moving
beyond your struggles. A good counselor working with two
people who want to make it work can help heal and strengthen
a hurting marriage.
hasn't been a part of your marriage relationship, make a
decision to evaluate your faith and seek out a church to
attend regularly. There is truth in the saying that "a
couple who prays together, stays together."
a book on marriage together. Willard Harley's His Needs,
Her Needs is a great place to start. When Mark and I read
together, he uses a blue highlighter and I use a pink one.
This gives us the opportunity to highlight the things that
were important to us and then discuss them together.
a marriage conference to invest in and strengthen your relationship.
Several events are available nationwide:
Family Life Marriage Conferences Call 1-800-333-1433
United Marriage Encounter Call 1-800-334-8920
is the blending of two lives into one family. It is giving
and receiving. It is love, trust, and commitment. And it
is work - work that brings forth wonderful benefits of life
shared with another. We can't let marriage sit on the backburner
and expect it to survive. We can't wait until the kids leave
to give it the time it needs either. We have to invest time
and energy now to keep it healthy. I'm glad I said, "I
do" that day seventeen years ago. And I'm glad we've
stuck it out and got the help we needed even in the difficult
Savage lives with her husband and four children in Normal,
Illinois. She is the founder and director of Hearts at Home,
an organization designed to encourage, educate, and equip
mothers at home. Jill is also the author of Professionalizing
get more information about Hearts at Home call 309-888-MOMS
or visit the website at www.hearts-at-home.org
2001 Hearts at Home. All rights reserved. Reprinted with