5 Tips to Build a Relationship that Lasts
#1 Plan Your Marriage--Not Your Wedding
I love to see two people come together and make the commitment of marriage. Nothing warms my heart more. I've even had the honor of officiating beautiful wedding ceremonies of both young and older couples.What saddens me most is when the bride and groom vow to keep this commitment, and many times focus more on the wedding day (one day event), versus their marriage, which is supposed to be a lifelong event.
#2 Learn From Past Mistakes
No judgement here, I've been divorced too. Twice, in fact. I made the mistake of giving my heart to two abusive men. I'm the first to admit my life and relationships have been far from perfect. But, I learned from my poor choices and mistakes, have put my past behind me, and I have now been married to my current husband, John for nearly 21 years (we've been together 23). If we want our relationships to last, I've discovered they take a lot of hard work.
#3 Be A Giver--Not Just A Receiver
Recently I watched Dr. Phil about a young married couple. The woman had been abused all her life, the man wasn't very understanding and wanted sex all the time, became frustrated and would hit things and yell because he wasn't getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
In a relationship there is a time of both giving and receiving. People often say marriage is a 50/50 commitment. But in order for any relationship to work, the stakes have to be much higher. When we each are willing to give 100% we can make it through any storm in life. John has been my rock through my storms in life. He's been committed to me 100% no matter what.
#4 Love Isn't A Feeling--It's A Decision
We can feel a number of feelings in one day. Love is not based on feelings and neither should be your marriage or relationship. Love is a decision that you make when you say your vows or commit to a person.
John still loves me when I'm unlovely. He forgives me when I'm hurtful. He supports me when everyone else deserts me. No matter how I look, He tells me I'm beautiful every single day. And he encourages me to keep going on when I feel like giving up.
When I am weak, John is strong. So when he's weak, I owe it to him to be the strong one. Relationships are based on love. People often confuse love with infatuation, lust, or sex, or even the little goosebumps and chills they get up and down their spine when in a new exciting relationship.
#5 Love Never Fails--People Do
The best definition of Love is found in the Bible.
I Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
John and I are still learning to love. We both mess up. But we never give up. There is a huge difference. If you have to give up, give up the things in life that are pulling your relationships apart. Realize early, the only person you can change is yourself. If you give love, acceptance, and respect, the same will come back to you. Because Love never fails.
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