Keeping your marriage shiny and new...

I've been reminiscing a lot this week of my sweet love story with Jarryd. It feels like just yesterday that I walked into a class in grad school and felt my stomach drop as my eyes met his for the very first time. 5 years later and I can never imagine my life without him! Falling in love with him will always be one of the greatest highlights of my life. It brings me great joy to know that our love story is only just beginning and it's my desire to never stop falling in love with him.

The Lord taught me something this week when it comes to marriage that I thought was a great visual example of how important it is to always work at keeping your relationship healthy.

I was looking at my beautiful engagement ring... I remember in great detail how magical the day was that my best friend gave it to me. Then it dawned on me... When was the last time that I cleaned it!?! It didn't look that dirty to me but I decided to bust out the old jewelry cleaner and give it a quick polish.

WOW!!! There's my pretty ring! 

I was almost blinded!!! 

I had no idea how dirty it had gotten and was blown away by how different it looked once I cleaned it. How had I become so desensitized to its dull and filthy complexion? My incredibly beautiful diamond ring had become a lifeless rock on my ring finger. And the saddest thing of all was that I had inadvertently become content with its new normal, yet uninspiring appearance. 

When I first got it I bet I cleaned it several times a day. I took great care in making sure that it remained as flawless as possible because I cherished it. I also knew that it would be on my finger for the rest of my life and that it deserved great devotion to help it stand the test of time.

The day Jarryd proposed... one of the happiest days ever! 

I also remember that I used to get compliments on it all the time. It seemed like everywhere I went someone would make a comment about how beautiful it was, I would then in turn respond with how amazing the man was who gave it to me. The radiance of my ring reflected how my heart felt inside for Jarryd. 

The very next day after I cleaned my ring I got a compliment on it! All of the sudden people noticed it again. 

And then the Lord hit me with a beautiful comparison to apply to marriage...

So many couples are great at taking care of their relationship in the beginning of their marriage. Fueled by an intense desire to beat the divorce rate statistic that gives them less than a 50% chance of making it. In the beginning, they find great joy in serving and delighting in their spouse. Going above and beyond to show that other person how special they are and how much they are unconditionally loved. Never going to sleep angry, freely forgiving, and humbly admitting when they are wrong (even when they are right). Dating each other, not out of obligation or convenience but with a passionate desire and a creative spark. Sacrificing their own wants and desires for the good and joy of the other person.  

As a result of this loving care in the marriage, these newly married couples are usually much more noticeable. You can spot them from a mile away! The couple who can't get enough of each other and are probably displaying a little too much PDA. And even with no PDA at all, a couple who demonstrates this unconditional love is easily recognizable! That love is inspirational and completely contagious! 

Jarryd and I now have 3.5 years of marriage under our belt and a beautiful baby girl. We have full time jobs (both in and outside of the home), busy ministries, personal projects, and a countless number of other things that demand our time and attention. Life is definitely very different now than it was in the beginning of our marriage but that will never be an excuse to be complacent in taking care of the precious gift that God has given us. And even though we are now in an extremely different stage of life which brings about new obstacles and challenges, our priority is and will always be to glorify God through our marriage. 


But with regular attention, your marriage can be just as shiny and new as it was in the beginning. Maybe with a few scratches and dings in it (Let's just call it vintage) which just represents how you have weathered the many storms of life. But none the less, your relationship has the potential to be more radiant than ever. One that people notice from afar and think to themselves... "I want what they have!" 

Ask yourself these questions this week: 

Think back to how you were in the beginning of your marriage... even though life has changed... In what ways have you become less disciplined in how you care for your spouse?

Have you become desensitized to your marriage becoming dull and lifeless?

Does your relationship need some polishing? (I'll give you a hint on this one... the answer should always be yes!)

When was the last time someone complimented you on what they see in your marriage?  

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