Forty years ago, I first went out with my wife Sharon. We married after a courtship of three years and four months at the ages of 21 and 19. At the time we felt so grown up! Now, looking back and having grown up children, I think how very young we were.
As I write this, I am aware that many relationships don’t seem to last very long. Even our own marriage went through some extremely rocky patches; but somehow, we have come through those times and our relationship is stronger than it has ever been. I have been trying to think what we have learnt over the years that is worth passing on.
There were many times when things were tough, when it would have been easier to give up than to carry on, but hanging in there during those times paid off in the end.
It was very easy for me to focus on my partner’s shortcomings, but I have learned that if I concentrate on all of the good things about her, then my thoughts and actions are transformed.
Letting go of the past
This is easier said than done! We have found that with good counselling, positive prayer, patience and understanding of each other, we can be released from hurtful and negative experiences which try to control us.
Life is often so busy. This tends to squeeze love and romance from the relationship. We cannot always drop things to make more time for each other, but making one another a priority and planning ahead to make sure we have some leisure time can make a difference.
Many of the attributes that attracted me to Sharon were different from my own. Over the years the temptation was to try and make her more like myself! I am glad that I realised my mistake. The fact that she is different is why I fell in love with her. May she always be the person God made her to be.
The love of God
If it wasn’t for the amazing love of God we would have not got through. He has helped us to let go of hurt and to replace it with a deeper love for each other.
Wherever you are in life’s journey, commit your way to Jesus and don’t give up.