Last week, both sets of my grandparents celebrated anniversaries. 53 years for one, and 60 years for the other. Nathan's grandparents have been married for 50 and 48 years each. Nathan and I read an article a couple days ago about an Iowa couple who passed away within an hour of each other after being married for 78 years. They were holding hands as they died after a car accident, and after the first spouse died, they noticed that a heart beat was still coming through on the monitor. It was the other spouse's heart beat being detected because they were holding hands. It made me think about what helps marriages to stand the test of time. There are the big, obvious ones: trusting God together, selflessness, shared goals. But I also started thinking about something that I might have missed when we were planning our wedding.
The people around you- family and close friends- can have the power to influence your marriage for good! Many of the people witnessing our wedding have come along and been such an encouragement to our new marriage.
When I spend time with someone who is complaining or down in the dumps, it's easy to start feeling that way too. And if I am constantly spending time with optimistic people, it's easier to take that outlook on life. I think the same principles for forming good friendships applies to forming good friendships of our marriage. It's so inspiring to be around a wife who is constantly building up and affirming her husband. I want to surround myself with people like that, who are so excited for us, just like we did on our wedding day.
Can you tell Isaac was excited for us? This little brother is a great reminder to me to be a cheerleader for other people's new marriages too.
I'm so thankful for all the people God has placed in our life that our cheering us on in our relationship with God and with each other.
(This picture also reminds me that I wouldn't have walked down that isle looking like I am now, and it would be nice if I wasn't wearing my PJs when Nathan gets home from working this Saturday morning!)
And then there's our parents...how lucky are we to not only have four grandparents with inspiring marriages, but parents on each side of us with great marriages- 31 years for my parents and 29 years for Nathan's- wow. We've had a front seat view to these marriages and we know things don't always go perfectly, and we've observed them go through stressful seasons. But we've also known the security of parents who undoubtably are going to stay together forever, and that's one of the best things in the world.