Ah, the day of love proclaimed! Signs of it are everywhere, especially the local grocery store where men are scouring the card rack with a look of panic when they realize that there are only 2 cards left to choose from—typically they read “To My Great Aunt on this Valentine’s Day” or “To My Teacher on Valentine’s Day.” Nothing a black Sharpie can’t fix!!
We had a special Valentine’s service yesterday at church. A bouquet of roses was given to the couple married the longest at each Mass. Our winning couple had celebrated 63 years of marriage! How amazing and beautiful! They were cute; we could see them from our seat. I had been watching them throughout the service– holding hands, being kind…still sweet on each other. Isn’t that part of the key– kindness and sweetness?
I think about the people whose marriages I admire most and there are some key factors in their success:
Commit to each other every day. Right before we exchanged our marriage vows to one another, I asked a friend what his marriage advice was. He told me to re-commit to that marriage and person every day. He said some days are harder than others and that you may not always “feel” like it. But that seemingly small action will carry your marriage forward, even through the hard times. We recommit every day.
Be kind to one another. It is the little things that add up, like bringing coffee every morning with a kiss (this happens in my house), the rubbing of tired feed without asking, warming up the car or filling the tank. These little things are done in love without expectations. They are done for the joy of making someone else happy. With that being said, words matter. Please, thank you and I love you can go a long way in showing gratitude and respect for your forever love.
Forgive and ask for forgiveness. We all make mistakes. Life is a process of learning, be partners in learning. Try to walk together in this journey. Sometimes, you will have to take the lead to help the other through and sometimes you may need to be led. It hardens the heart when you hold grudges.
Hold Hands. Don’t lose touch of your love. Connect with one another. Sit by each other. Be boyfriend and girlfriend!
Respect and value each other. This is your life partner, the one that God gave to you for ever. By honoring each other you raise the level of your relationship and can learn to communicate and tackle most anything that comes your way. The Priest yesterday told a little story about a couple that were together for 40 years, he asked them, “What is the secret of staying together for so long?” The husband replied, “I get the last word.” He had a little spark in his eye and then he continued, “Those last words are ‘Yes, My Love.’” We can all learn from that.
On this Valentine’s Day, don’t let it end here. Fall in Love with your spouse every day. May God bless your marriage and may you have a Valentine’s Day that lasts a lifetime!