Yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary. Jennifer is an amazing women, and I feel like our marriage just keeps getting better. As a pastor, unfortunately I hear about many problems in marriages, so I know that we have something very special and unique.

Great marriages don’t happen by accident. You must be committed to keeping your marriage strong. We have to fight to keep our marriage on the right path. We’ve spent a lot of time reading books together, going to marriage groups together, and praying together. Here are a few keys to our marriage.

Prayer

Don’t underestimate the power of prayer. If you start to disagree or have a time of intense fellowship, take the time to pray together. Prayer puts our focus where it needs to be.

Communication

This is a given. If you want a great marriage, then you can’t hold back. You have to share what you are feeling, and the only way you can really do that is through ….

Trust

When you trust each other, you can share anything.  Intimacy happens when we truly know and trust each other, and there is no fear of rejection. Trust takes time, and it must be earned, but it is imperative that you build that trust early in your marriage.

Commitment

Your priorities must be in order. Strong marriages take commitment. A commitment to do whatever it takes to keep the marriage strong. I believe that marriage takes precedence over your children. I am not saying that you neglect your role as parents, but the best gift you can give your children is for them to see a strong marriage. I see way too many child-centered homes in today’s society. Children leave, spouses stay!

Time

The old saying that quality is better than quantity simply isn’t true. Make time for your spouse. Go on dates, pray together, have fun together, go on long walks on the beach, be spontaneous, revisit some of your old hangouts, just spend time together. If you don’t plan in advance, it won’t happen because you will have busy schedules.

Vision

Do you have purpose in life? Do you have something that you and your spouse are both passionate about? For us, knowing that God has a calling on our lives is huge. We can get through hectic and crazy times when we know we are doing God’s will.

Passion

I’ll keep it PG, but let me just say that it can get better with age 🙂

 

What would you add to the list? What are the ingredients to a strong and lasting marriage?

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