We recently spent some time tidying up our home.
We found that we have A LOT of clutter.
Years worth of clutter. Years worth of memories.
Our marriages often look the same as our attic space!
We have years worth of memories in our marriage.
When you clean your house and decide what to keep and what to throw away you spend some time with the item and reflect back on the memories you have with it. Thanks to Netflix many of us sit looking at a yearbook from 1987 trying to figure out "does this spark joy?" or "should this sparks joy" or "what does spark joy even mean?"
In the same way, when we look back over our relationships we should take time to sit with the memories we have and enjoy them.
Back to our attic....
In all the clutter we found a VHS (yep, a VHS) of one of our first marriage conferences.
We watched it....
It did not spark joy...
It did spark jokes, laughter, and mild embarrassment...
Suffice it to say, we are so glad God is constantly growing us.
Despite the embarrassment of watching us fumble through our conference, watching that video of our early speaking experience led us to spend time reminiscing about other firsts.
Like First Homes.
Like First Birthdays.
Like First Dates.
Our first date was a hike with a picnic lunch, packed by Dale's Mom, outside of Birmingham, AL. This got us thinking. We still live close to that area. We know how to pack a picnic lunch. We could easily go out and re-create that first date experience! We could take a moment to pause and reflect on the highlights of our life together.
Reflecting and Remembering the great moments of your relationship is like good medicine. It can help heal anything that might be ailing your marriage.
Most of us have many moments that come to mind when you think back on your relationship. Maybe, like us, you've got 20+ years of memories to pull from. Maybe you're newly married but have memories from your dating life that you can sit with. Maybe you're engaged or dating and are in the midst of creating your memories. Regardless of your stage in relational life, taking focussed time to reflect on those memories is vital to the health of your marriage.
Memories are important. Paul stresses their importance by including memories in his letter the Church at Philippi.
"I thank my God every time I remember you."
The value of remembering people, things, experiences, etc is so important because leads us into thankfulness to God. It is the same way in our marriages. When we remember moments in our relationship it brings us to places of great thankfulness and joy.
When Dale pulled a boat through his parents garage.
When Jena drove Dale's car off a small cliff and had to crawl back up the hill.
It's the same experience of when we take Communion as a Christian Body. We use the same language that Jesus used and say "Do this is Remembrance of me." In that moment we are resting in a place of reflection and remembrance of the sacrifice He made for us.
Remembrance re-connects us to intimacy with The Father.
Remembrance connects us to intimacy with each other.
Scripture continues to quote Christ as saying "as often as you take it".
When we take communion often we stay consciously aware of the sacrifice Christ made for us.
When we remember our relationship highlights often we stay consciously aware of how blessed we are in our marriage.
This remembrance should not be done just on anniversaries or birthdays. It should be a vibrant, regular part of your married life. It should be done often.
Revisit, Remember, and Reflect on your relationship often
Make memories as often as you can.
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This leads us to our first Keeping it Real Date Night!
1 - Sit down and think about your First, or Favorite, Date.
2 - Take time to remember the details of that date. Clothes, Food, Experience, etc
3 - Pick a day within the next 2 weeks to recreate that date.
4 - Share a photo from your date via social media with the hashtag
5 - Post your photo in the comments below or on our Facebook Page.