Rev and I got engaged 42 Valentine’s Days ago.
I gave him a plaque several years ago that reads, “I would rather do nothing with you than anything with anyone else.” I felt that way then and I still feel that way today. He is not only my husband; he is my very best friend, my bff.
I thought you might be interested in knowing some secrets we believe have helped us have lasting love and friendship.
1. Don’t push hot buttons – Repeating what you’ve always done will get the results you’ve always gotten. It doesn’t take long to learn which words and actions get negative reactions. So, make it a rule to NEVER intentionally do or say any of them. You’re going to disagree once in a while, but fighting just for the sake of having the last word or getting your own way will sour your relationship in the long run.
2. Make time for each other everyday – Stop spend time with each other everyday. We sit down and go over what we call “the events of the day.” This shows the other person you value how they spend their time. Talk about situations that challenge you individually and be honest about your feelings. This is great for everyone in your family, kids too.
3. Say I’m sorry and forgive quickly – Don’t wait for the other person to apologize. If you’ve messed up with words or actions say so and ask for forgiveness. On the flip side, if you are the one with hurt feelings accept the fact that life is messy at times, and decide to forgive hastily.
4. Never do anything that would end trust – Trust is harder to regain than it is to maintain, so before you say or do anything that will damage your loved ones ability to trust you . . . stop. Whatever it is, it’s not worth it. If a situation has robbed your ability to trust seek godly counsel. (On a side note, I don’t recommend pouring your heart out to a friend or family member . . . these situations need professionals who will protect the confidence you are sharing.)
5. Communicate well – talk/listen – When Rev and I were taught something called, “active listening” in college. You do this by repeating back what you heard the other person say, to make you it is what the other person meant. It can feel awkward at first and takes a little extra time, but it really is a great technique. And believe me it takes longer to get over anger and hurt feelings than it does to listen and talk for understanding in the first place.
6. Never stop flirting – This one is huge! It’s playful and fun. Admit it . . . you loved flirting while you were dating. Why stop. It makes you feel young and keeps chemistry alive. My parents were married for 60 years and had their own little flirtatious language that no one knew but them. Give it a try. It may just be the spice your relationship needs.
Now, because I don’t want to discourage you with an overly lengthy post; I’m going to share the other half tomorrow. So make sure to come back you won’t want to miss numbers seven through twelve.
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21