In light of our silver anniversary this week, I thought I'd take up Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesday" theme of Secrets to Make a Marriage Last and give my own list of making a marriage last.
1. Love Extravagantly. Be unstinting with love--loving thoughts in mind and heart and loving thoughts spoken out. Love the way we want to be loved...and the love comes back at us, overflowing our cups and our hearts. Look beyond dripping-faucet-things that can annoy but can be looked past--lovingly. Keep loving and loving and loving.
2. Laugh Together. When my husband and I were still dating during my freshman year of college, he gave me a teddy bear for Saint Valentine's Day--a very "squunchable" (squeezable) bear. Early in our marriage, my husband hid the bear with silly little notes explaining his hiding place: in the cookie jar, hanging from the rotating ceiling fan, etc. Lately, Keith has taken to putting the bear in silly positions in our room, accompanied by silly notes: seated on the space heater with a note explaining about warming his bum on a cold morning, tucked head-first under covers on a Monday morning, etc. His sense of fun loves me. Love and laughter meld together beautifully.
3. Pray Together. Our hands seek each other beneath quilts, and his deep voice prays low, praying for me, for children, for faith in our family, for God's leading, for our love and obedience, for His grace. And both loves--God's and his, tuck me in lovingly as sleep comes swift and stays quiet.
4. Touch Often. In mornings I move slow. Pain makes movement stiff, awkward. But when he comes downstairs, I rise to wrap my arms round, bury my nose into his neck, and welcome day with him. At night my hand sweeps his silvering hair, running through the flat top, touch gentle. I lean down for a kiss, always wanting more. And he gives it. Late night he folds back quilt and slides in, and I pull myself to his side, nestling to him for prayer, for talk, for touch.
5. Talk Art. One of our favorite things to do is browse art museums, pointing out what we like, what we don't, how a painting needs a little this, a bit that. We analyze color, discuss subject, talk style, and reveal soul. I see his, and like what I see; he sees mine and I hope he likes what he sees. His hand rests on back of my electric wheelchair as he speaks, and I marvel that he's somehow mine.
6. Be Patient. I love my husband's patient waiting. When pain gripped me so hard that I couldn't see past myself, he waited. It was hard, much harder than I can ever realize. I hope that I'm able to give more now as pain recedes a little, releasing me a bit to see beyond it. But he didn't give up. He waited. Patiently. And I love him so much for loving me patient.