Often in our world people have marvelous ideas that sound good “on paper. ” When the rubber meets the road however the actual implementation seems nearly impossible. When you stood at the altar on your wedding day, it sounded like a great idea! Now, at times, it may seem impossible!
We believe that Celebrating daily begins with two simple words “I DO”. When we stood at the alter as a couple before God and many witnesses we said “I Do” to the vows of matrimony. Twenty-three years later, we have found it invaluable to say “I Do” to the following three aspects of marriage every day.
I (Jay) remember the first time I held Laura’s hand. We were on our 1st date, and innocently she grabbed my hand as we snaked our way out of a sold out Atlanta Braves Baseball game. My heart leapt out of my chest. I had NEVER felt like that before at the touch of a woman’s hand.
Do you remember that feeling? We like to call that feeling “the liver quiver”. You know, those moments in your life where without notice you have no control over the sensations you are feeling. God gave us those feelings for a reason, to bless us with emotions that the rest of His creation will never feel.
Often in marriage “LIFE” has a way of dulling our senses and we can quickly forget that our spouse is God’s fulfillment of our needs in a mate. We have to intentionally build time into our marriage that allows those feelings to flow.
We recommend that couples have regular dates. These dates don’t have to be expensive or consume vast amounts of time. Some weeks our “date” is to put the kids to bed early (YES, even our teenager) and watch a favorite TV show together. Further, we recommend that couples intentionally “get away”. Farm out the kids, go for a night or a weekend, but make time to reconnect and watch the liver quiver again.
In our society it is plain to see that relationships of all kinds are “disposable”. If this one isn’t working out, simply move on to the next. But we firmly believe and scripture confirms that circumstances should not dictate our commitment to the union.
Ten years ago we met Paul and Lucy Keller, they were Celebrating their 20th anniversary. Paul dutifully pushed Lucy around the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. Paul & Lucy had stood at the altar and said “I Do” for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health. Little did they know that a tragic car accident would render Lucy a paraplegic 18 months into their dream life together.
Last moth we saw Paul & Lucy again. They were Celebrating 30 years together at our Celebrate Your Marriage conference at Grand Hotel. Lucy’s challenges still exist, but they haven’t let their circumstances dictate their commitment to each other or the FUN they have as a couple. They swim, canoe and yes golf together regularly. A shining example of saying “I DO” to even the most tragic of circumstances.
We live in a contractual society. A contract is an agreement between two human beings with a beginning and an end. Marriage is SO much more. Marriage is a covenant which is a commitment between two human beings in the presence and with the blessing of God. A covenant is eternal.
From the Covenant Marriages website “The value of a ‘covenant marriage relationship’ as opposed to a ‘contractual marriage agreement’ lies in a person’s understanding and acceptance of God’s intent for marriage and the importance of His presence in the marriage”
Bottom line? Chances are one of you will be standing over the casket of the other. You started your life together with the words “I DO”, may you be able to finish with the words “I DID”.
By saying “I Do” to the Concept, Circumstances and Covenant of marriage daily, you will walk through life living the Celebration God intended. Blessings~
Jay and Laura Laffoon are marriage experts! For 23 years they have been on this marriage journey together. In 1995, they founded Celebrate! Ministries, an organization designed to encourage and inspire couples to celebrate their marriage. The Laffoon's use humor and real life stories to motivate others to not give up but to Celebrate! Thousands of couples across the U. S. have learned to celebrate their marriage at the Laffoon's popular, “Celebrate Your Marriage" conferences. “Celebrate Your Marriage" has been described as a “Vegas show without the show girls"