photo by Karen Anderson Photography (I don't think she does weddings anymore though!)
Just three weeks to go and then... my husband and I will have been hitched (but not itched!) for seven years. SEVEN YEARS! That went by fast!
When we were newlyweds, we bought a full eight place setting dinnerware set. After seven years, there were only pieces remaining...a few plates, a couple mugs, and some bowls! We have been thinking about getting a new set for a while but have been too lazy and too stingy with our money. However, this past weekend we decided it was finally time to renew our dish cabinet! We took a trip to Costco and came home with a lovely new full set of dishes! Yay! It feels good knowing we can actually invite someone over and not have to ask them to bring some of their own plates! Ha ha!
I think sometimes, marriage can be similar to those old dishes. Shiny and new, and at first, you treat them with care and delicately. But after awhile, you become lazy. They start to get thrown in the sink, sometimes they get dinged and dropped, or maybe they just don't look as "in style" or "beautiful" to you as they once where.
Sadly, for many today, it is easy to just throw the old marriage in the garbage and go out and get a new one. But I've learned from others examples, that it just doesn't work that way. I have always been taught that marriage is eternal, and I believe in that. I also believe it's up to us to make it that way!
A story told in a General Conference of our church by Elder F. Burton Howard comes to mind. He told about when he and his wife were first married and the only thing they registered for was a set of silverware. His wife carefully chose the set that she wanted. When their wedding came and they opened the gifts, there was no silverware at all in any gifts. They laughed about it, and the years went on. Money was scarce but piece by piece his wife collected the silverware set until eventually they had the entire set. Even then it only came out for special occasions and sometimes not even then. After any use, it was hand washed and dried and carefully placed back in it's box, if it needed polishing he would go get the polish and they would carefully polish any stains away. He continued to say,
"Over the years we added to the set, and I watched with amazement how she cared for the silver...
...I noticed that the silverware never went to the many ward dinners she cooked, or never accompanied the many meals she made and sent to others who were sick or needy. It never went on picnics and never went camping. In fact it never went anywhere; and, as time went by, it didn’t even come to the table very often. Some of our friends were weighed in the balance, found wanting, and didn’t even know it. They got the stainless when they came to dinner.
The time came when we were called to go on a mission. I arrived home one day and was told that I had to rent a safe-deposit box for the silver. She didn’t want to take it with us. She didn’t want to leave it behind. And she didn’t want to lose it.
For years I thought she was just a little bit eccentric, and then one day I realized that she had known for a long time something that I was just beginning to understand. If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by."
I have always felt like my husband and I have had a good relationship. But, like every couple, we have been through some trials together, and you know... we have our days ;). Sometimes we get lost in the everyday routine and I neglect to put that extra care and polishing into marriage that I should. I know I'm probably not the only one that does this and so I decided to challenge myself...
For the month of June and for commemoration of our anniversary month, I will be doing a little series here on my blog about:
I'm so super excited about this! I hope that it will be a fun thing to do, I hope that it will help me strengthen my marriage a little, and hopefully it will help you strengthen yours at the same time! I have some plans already in place (date night ideas, marriage tips, daily challenges, etc.), but if you have ANY suggestions or anything that you feel has TRULY strengthened your marriage, please tell! I would love to try them! I don't consider myself a marriage expert (who is?), but I do LOVE my husband and want to make our marriage last FOREVER! I'm excited to be creative with this, so leave me your thoughts!