I’m going to be upfront with you: I may currently have a slightly skewed view on wedding anniversary celebrations. You see, we just returned from a ridiculously romantic vacation in gorgeous St. Lucia, but if one can’t celebrate THIRTY YEARS (T-H-I-R-T-Y!) of marriage in paradise, well— I don’t know when one can! Actually, I’m a firm believer that every wedding anniversary is a milestone worth celebrating, and while most of us don’t fly off to the Caribbean on the regular(!) another year of marriage is SO worth honouring in some special way, don’t you think?
I’m going to try not to be overly smooshy and sentimental, but at the end of the day, marriage is obviously all about LOVE. Lyndon and I have been together since I was14 years old, a mere child, and we were married the day after my 20th birthday. We looked like kids playing dress up in my frothy circa 1988 wedding dress and his top hat and tails with a debonair pink cravat. But we were serious about the vows we made and determined to build a “Household of Faith”. (Yes, we sang that oh-so-popular wedding hit with gusto as a duet at the ceremony.) Upon returning home from honeymooning in Cyprus, we were given a piece of stellar advice which has stuck with us these past 30 years.
“Never come off your honeymoon, kids.”
What the what? Keep the romance in your relationship. Treasure one another. Remember why you were so keen to charge down the aisle and spend the rest of your life together. Go on dates. Put your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. Make each other laugh. Watch sunsets and hold hands. Easier said than done? You bet. It takes work and energy and intentionality. You may not feel particularly romantic pulling weeds or changing diapers or cleaning the toilet. Making time for each other is tricky but essential. Like when the kids are (finally) in bed or when the in-laws offer to babysit or when the opportunity for a weekend away presents itself.
And that ONE DAY each year on your wedding anniversary—surely, it’s worth pulling out all the stops to make it memorable? It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive or involve gifts and trips. Our 30 celebrations have included sweet intimate dinners in Welsh restaurants (in pre-kid years), many cheap-and-cheerful candle-lit anniversary meals at home once the babies were tucked in bed (no money, no energy), a few times we have celebrated by timing it with a vacation, and mostly we’ve dressed up and gone to our favorite eating places in our B.C. hometown… hmm, I’m also noticing that it all revolves around food for us. But maybe movies or adventures or sports is your shared thing—it’s all good as long as you make the effort and do something together!
“An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” (Author Unknown)
I have no idea where the past 30 years have gone, but I know we’ve never missed an anniversary. (It may or may not have something to do with the fact that my birthday is the day before, like a “warm-up” period.) We all know communication is everything in a marriage and what better time to stop and sit and talk about the two of you than on your actual anniversary—whether you’ve been married for 7 years, 70 years or anything in-between:
- Reminisce on your wedding day! The hysterical, the cringeworthy, the beautiful, the way you both felt back then.
- Remember what you’ve been through together—the spectacular and the storms. It’s worth taking a step back to see God working in all the little details along the way.
- Give thanks for another year together, for your home, health, family, friends.
- Goals for the coming year. Things you need to work on together as well as individually. Spiritual, financial (although this might not be the evening to pull out the spreadsheets… just sayin’!), scheduling regular date nights, all the family stuff. Have some fun goals, too!
- Affirm one another. This is a perfect opportunity to build one another with your words. Give compliments and ACCEPT compliments. You are a team and you need to know you are valued and loved.
- Dream This is the best. Outlandish or sensible, think outside the box and get to the heart of where you both see your lives going. Jobs, kids, ministry, location, vacation, it’s all up for grabs when you’re dreaming.
When our daughter got married, I wrote this little book, Pearls for the Bride, especially for newlyweds. It was so fun to share our own experiences and to dig into the Word to glean wisdom for those starting out together, but it was also quite sobering. I realized how vital God was and is in our marriage. That “Household of Faith” we sang about on our wedding day was foundational for us, and I can’t begin to imagine how we would have survived without Jesus giving us grace for one another and being the center of our relationship. And it’s vital for us to keep it that way:
“When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.” C.S. Lewis
Starting with our own.
“… no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.… Love never gives up.… Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” 1 Corinthians 13: 3-4, 7
Amen! Here’s to celebrating love… especially on anniversaries!
P.S. Up for some Proverbs 31 wisdom? Subscribe to receive my FREE ebook devotional Diamond Devos 31 HERE!
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: