PLAN– Just like you planned the wedding, plan to have a good healthy marriage. It won’t just happen by osmosis. It takes work! Plan to stay encouraged in your marriage by attending marriage workshops and retreats annually. Get involved in a marriage ministry at your church or one that offers it. Attending events such as these do not mean that your marriage is in trouble. It is a proactive approach to make sure your marriage remains healthy and your relationship solid.
PROMOTE – Make it a habit to encourage and appreciate one another daily. Promote your spouses’ strengths privately and publicly. Keep a journal of the things that you find attractive about your spouse. Promote kindness and tenderness in how you interact with one another and speak to each other. Let your children, family and friends see you interacting in a loving way which leads me to my next point.
POSITIVITY – Choose your friends carefully. Associate with positive people. Positive does not mean perfect. Get connected with others who have the same values as it relates to the sacredness of holy matrimony. Surround yourself with those who support your ideals and allow them to hold you accountable to living it out authentically…not perfectly but, authentically.
PRAYER – This is by far the most important. Pray for one another in your own private time and pray together frequently. The saying holds true that a family that prays together stays together. Prayer is not an excuse to be lazy or not do the work still required but it is from prayer that you will find the strength, encouragement, and grace to continue in the work even when it gets challenging.
While this is not an exhaustive list it is a good start to maintaining a good, long, loving relationship. Your happily ever after starts today and everyday beyond. Years down the road your marriage will still be an encouragement and blessing to others as much as it is for yourselves. We may not see your work behind the scenes but, we will get to celebrate with you year after year which is much more lasting and impactful to your family, friends, associates, and for generations to come.