Recently I was blessed to go on a trip for my 10 year marriage anniversary. We took the opportunity to travel up the Eastern side of the United States and stay in various bed and breakfasts from Richmond, Virginia to Marblehead, Massachusetts trying new foods and looking at old things. It proved to be a wonderful way to celebrate one of the great blessings of my life (my marriage).
This reflection is meant to spur thoughts in your mind about how you might best celebrate, enrich, reflect on, and appreciate the marriage or close relationships in your life. I know many readers have been married longer than I and some long to be married or have a healthier marriage. But I hope these reflections can find a way to serve you where you are.
- A trip does not make a good marriage, but a good marriage can make a trip. Don’t get caught thinking it is the special events that make a strong marriage. It is the daily investing yourself and sacrificing for one another that gives you something to celebrate.
- If you don’t have the habit of talking regularly, you will have to plan a trip of entertainment to fill the silence. Work hard to develop a close friendship with your spouse. If you need help with this consider the 2010 Conversation and Prayer Topics tool .
- If you are going to drive, make sure to get a GPS unit. It is a worthwhile investment, but don’t trust it in New York City. My TomTom and I had a falling out when it took me through the Bronx and Queens, thereby treating us to much “Northern hospitality.”
- Save for the trip. As Dave Ramsey says, “The best trips are ones you don’t have to pay for when you get home.” The sacrifice of saving is a healthy marital discipline. The fun of the trip balances this discipline with delight.
- Remember, your spouse is the trip. The goal is not to get away and be entertained. The goal is to remove yourself from distractions. With this in mind, don’t over plan the trip. Full schedules make for stress and less conversation – that’s what you’re getting away from.
- Fancy foods don’t taste that much better than regular foods. Chilean Sea Bass isn’t that different from Georgia pond bass. The one exception would be the Lamb Osso Bucco at B’asta in Cranston, Rhode Island. I’m pretty sure that is the first dish we will get to taste in heaven.
- Take time to reflect on the way God has changed you as individuals and as a couple. Without this conversation God will likely get left out of the trip. This should be a time of encouraging your spouse and strengthening your faith as you remember God’s faithfulness.
- Take time to anticipate the challenges that likely wait in the coming years. What will be different about the next season of life? This is not a time to try to develop a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, etc…, but to discuss the key priorities and values with which you would face those challenges. You will likely guess wrong on the particular challenges, but the unity of values will prove very worthwhile.
- Plan a trip that fits the two of you. For us this was antiques and history for Sallie and new foods and country views for me. Once we gave ourselves the freedom to forget about what “we should do” on a trip up the East coast, we were able to plan one we would actually enjoy.
- Celebrate your marriage daily (not just once a decade). Don’t let a day go by without pausing longer than you have to and telling your spouse how grateful you are to get to take your one trip through life with them. Thank God for this blessing regularly in your prayers and treat your marriage as if it is one of the primary ways God will work in your life (to shape your character and deepen your joy).
If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Marriage” post which address other facets of this subject.