My time with my granddaughter today reminded me of years ago when I was raising our children. It seems like it was yesterday. However, our children are now adults and independent. We are officially empty nesters and it feels good! Not sure why part of the description I found on the dictionary says “being empty nesters could cause depression and loss of purpose for parents”. Wally and I actually feel quite the opposite and have a wonderful sense of fulfillment!
People ask us all the time what we do to have a healthy and strong relationship after so many years. It’s no secret that we practice a few things that have certainly helped us. We still go out on dates, we support each other’s projects and give each other space. Throughout the years, we’ve invested in our marriage by taking the time to attend couple retreats, workshops or conferences like “I Still Do”. We both love to read and have invested in tons of books to strengthen our relationship. One of my favorite ones is “The Five Love Languages” by Doctor Gary Chapman and both Wally and I understand the importance of investing in our personal growth. In fact, the time and financial commitment to go through the John Maxwell certification and staying actively involved, has helped us both grow individually and as a couple. There’s been times when we’ve reached out to people we trust for advice or accountability and in more than one occasion, someone has interceded for us in prayer, which is probably why I’m a firm believer that prayer works!
As I meditated on all these resources we’ve used, it’s obvious we are not a perfect couple and far from it, but it ALL has allowed us to improve in the following areas:
- Communication. There isn’t anything we wouldn’t be able to address and without a “good one” we would have been done a long time ago.
- Trust. Couples build trust and betray trust. It’s just part of being human beings. We’ve learned to trust God more that we trust us and simply love each other -to avoid disappointments.
- Forgiveness. I’d be lying if I told you we haven’t had to forgive each other. For many couples, a lack of this one is the reason to separate or divorce.
Is there such love as the one described in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 of the bible? Maybe not but we can always aim at it and compromise.
I hope you found this helpful and please share with others you know may need help in their marriage. Stay close to each other and reach out if you, or someone you know, needs help!