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Keeping Love Alive: Happy Valentine’s Day!
It is Valentine’s Day and across our country, and throughout many parts of our world, it is a time to celebrate love and romance. For some, this will involve a gift of flowers or a heart-shaped box of chocolates; for others, a romantic dinner for two, or perhaps a card or a poem or time spent together holding hands on a quiet walk. Multitudes of meaningful ways exist for us to express our love for one another.
On this special day, John and Sara are taking the opportunity to celebrate their love and to reflect on the amazing journey of their marriage of forty-five years. It is also an opportunity to focus on the ways they have chosen to keep their love alive—for each other, and for their family. It is a journey that has involved continuous growth, devotion, faithfulness, and a willingness to learn, day by day, how to love each other more.
A successful marriage relationship has several essential elements that John and Sara would like to share today, before speaking with several other couples from our area about how they keep their own love alive.
Respect is of utmost importance. A deep intrinsic respect for each other will guide how you treat each other, both in private and in front of others. It is especially essential to reveal this mutual respect at home with children. Differing points of view are inevitable, but constructively working through challenges together in private will enable you to agree on solutions and maintain unity.
Likewise, you must protect your oneness. “Always Kiss Me Goodnight” is a saying that has been embroidered on many pillows, and for good reason. It is another way of saying, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26, NRS). Do not go to bed upset with each other. Instead, work through misunderstandings before you sleep. Oneness is also protected by only having eyes for one another and by maintaining intimacy on all levels. Each day, think of some little thing that you can do to bless your spouse. Make time for each other, have date night, set aside moments in your day to look into each other’s eyes and talk. Laugh with each other, be kind and loving, protect each other’s hearts.
John and Sara’s strong faith has also served to provide a Christian foundation for their marriage and home. They are equal partners, but with different God-given roles. As husband, John is the head of the home, holding the seat of authority, while Sara holds the seat of influence and steers the household. The husband is willing to protect and provide; to lay down his life for his bride as Christ has done for us; and to listen to the counsel of his wife. In turn, the wife respects and supports her husband, providing counsel and giving wind to his sails, while nurturing the family as a whole.
For more on Keeping Love Alive, be sure to watch the video that accompanies this article. In it you will encounter four more special couples and discover how they met, the story of their marriage, what they value in their beloved, and their words of wisdom and encouragement for others.
In the video you will find out more about James (Jim) and Eleanor Hamilton, who have been married for seventy-one years and have five children and twelve grandchildren; Robert (Bob) and Edna Stewart, who have been married for sixty-three years and have two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren; John and Sara Vogt, who have been married for forty-five years and have four children and two grandchildren; Clint and Lauren Owlett, who have been married for eleven years and have four children; and Eric Holcomb and Erin O’Shea, who are engaged to be married on July 1, 2017.
Their stories will warm your heart and shed light on how couples can keep love alive through the days, months, years, and decades of life. . . . .
Happy Valentine’s Day!