Marriage is a Gift- Treat It As One

Recently, a beloved Dove leader, Steve P., wrote a blog celebrating his 47 years of marriage, and giving us excellent advice on how to stay married - and happily.

It was amusing to me that when I posted this on my FB pg., I got losts and lost of warm "congratulations" posts- even though it was a picture of Steve and his wife, Mary, and grandson.  And stated 47 years.  We don't look like them,  and don't have a grandson, and have only been married 40 years!  But having said all that, perhaps you'll take the time to truly read what follows. It is marvelous advice, and I'm happy to say my husband and I do practice some of these.  (Yes, we still have work to do too.)  Enjoy!

Maintain a heart of love and dedication to one another.
Hold hands when you take a walk, when you pray at the meal table and when you pray together just before bedtime.
Continue to date.
Buy small gifts for one another.
Remember important date through the sharing of greeting cards.
Purchase flowers for special occasions and for no occasion.
Write love notes or text messages or both often.
Maintain a spiritual component of prayer together as often as possible.
Don't stop kissing.
Say "I love you" multiple time a day.
Notice each other and while you're noticing smile at your lifemate.
Go to bed at the same time routinely.
Be affectionate.
Maintain your intimacy.
Compliment one another frequently.
Say "thank you" for the daily mundane things accomplished by your spouse.
Read a marriage book together to challenge your marriage.
See a respected counselor or postoral couple who can encourage you to grow in your love relationship.
Go to a marriage seminar/retreat.
Take a mini vacation for just the two of you.
Praise in public; construct in private.
Disagree agreeably and resolve issues promptly.
Never take your mate for granted and work at noticing the "little things".
Have good will toward your mate at all times; think the best.
Take time to listen to each other and hear one another's heart, not just words.
Serve in a mission bigger than yourselves, e.g., your local church, a missions project.
Don't be legalistic; give grace to one another.
Keep communication lines open in order to always build trust.
Stop attempting to change your mate.  That's God's job.
Keep your marriage a higher priority than the life issues you are dealing with.
Pursue personal growth.  The healthier you are, the healthier your marriage will be.
And last:  Apologize quickly by learning to say, " I am sorry; I was wrong; please forgive me."
                                            Marriage is a gift- Treat it as One