It was a blessing to grow up under a marriage that would eventually last 48+ years. As I thought about it, and was encouraged to share, I began to see some of the things that will help encourage me in my marriage, as well as other couples.
Just like my marriage and yours, my parents’ marriage was not without trials. Over the years they experienced many challenges (besides raising kids like me that didn’t always listen, or do what they were supposed to do). Through it all, there are many things in their marriage to be desired, and many things that younger couples can work toward.
This inspired my list of 7 Things I Want in My Marriage That My Parents Had.
Stability. My parents live in the same house today, that I grew up in. We moved into that house when I was 6 years old. To my knowledge there was never any threat of us not living in that house together. As a teenager, when I stayed out past my curfew, I knew I could and would go home to my family in that house. When my siblings and I came home on break from college, we all knew where we’d stay. Even today when my wife, and our 3 kids go to our hometown we never get a hotel room, because we know there is a place for us. That stability creates a great foundation.
Traditions. My wife and I are working to create family traditions in our family. Things that we do on a regular basis that create memories and a family bond that lasts. Our family tradition growing up was driving to New York every August right before the school year started. We faithfully did that until I was the last child at home, and then it was done occasionally. Yet, after I left home my parents began to do it by themselves annually until the drive got to be too much for them. All of our marriages could benefit from creating traditions.
Growth. I posted a “throwback” picture of my parents on the day of their anniversary. I look at that picture and look at some of their recent pictures, and can only imagine how different they were. I am sure my dad was a completely different man in that picture than the man he is today. I am sure he and my mom have grown tremendously. My wife and I are in that process right now. Growth individually and growth in marriage are a great thing.
Common interests. My parents have known each other since they were kids. They share some similar interests, but I’m sure they have differing interests as well. Yet, they do many of these things together. My dad, much like me, is crazy about sports. He is also crazy about politics, unlike me. I’m not sure if my mom has always been interested in those topics. But if I call right now both of them are probably watching one of two things: sports or politics! Maybe that developed over time, but having common interests is something to desire in our marriages today.
Memories. Take a trip down to my parents basement and you’d think you are in a mini-museum. Filled with pictures, artifacts, trinkets, music, and more, you will definitely be taking a trip down memory lane. I am just now truly appreciating all of the things they have down there. Many of the things that they have bring back feelings and thoughts of those experiences. They didn’t even have the technology available to us today to capture every memory, but they caught a lot. I pray that we are able to capture as many memories, not just of our kids, but of our marriage as well. They are priceless to us, our kids, and will be for our grandkids as well.
Longevity. As I said above, they have beat the odds. Their marriage has stood the test of time, and it has overcome many challenges. There is something special about being in relation with someone for that many years. It speaks for itself. It shows that at some point, or points, both people have sacrificed something for the other and have loved and respected one another. All of us should strive for that, and reject any thought, words, or advice to end our marriages prematurely. If it is broke, fix it, don’t throw it away.
“BFF”. Although they may be hard pressed to admit it, they are both each other’s best friend forever! :) Yes, they disagree. Yes, they fuss. Yes, they watch TV in different rooms sometimes! LOL But I believe at the end of the day, there is no one else they’d like to continue this marriage journey with. For younger couples this may be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is a lesson that they should learn. When you and your spouse are BFFs, your marriage becomes even more wonderful. Whether we are at that point or not, we should strive to get there and remain there.
Every one of our marriages has it’s challenges. Just as well, every one of our marriages can stand the test of time, and be enjoyable, fruitful, and worth everything! I encourage you to sit down with your spouse and go over this list. Work on getting these 7 things in your marriage today, so when 48 years comes around you will have something great, that is beneficial to all those who have witnessed it.
Source: Jackie Bledsoe, Black and Married With Kids