This year America is celebrating 238 years of existence. It looks good on America, but there are some tough lessons that we have learned along the way. Some of my favorite lessons are ones that are applicable to marriages, and it would do all of us some good to remember the past as we look forward.
Freedom has never been free. I know it is a cliché that we all use around this time of year, but successful marriage has been (and will always be) built on sacrifice. Sacrifice on the belief that there is something bigger than your own agenda. It is as true in America as it is in your marriage: if you want to be a hero, give up your own stuff and serve something bigger --namely, the vows you committed to when you said “I do.”
Common ground in values creates direction, dissent in values creates turmoil. Some of the greatest achievements in our nation’s history have happened because great people got on the same page in terms of values and priorities. The same thing is true for marriages. If you as a couple want to accomplish something great, then decide what is important and what you value – as a couple. The failure to compromise is what frustrates so many Americans, and destroys marriage. Find the common ground on what is important and build from there.
Celebration, parties, and relaxation are important. America loves a good party and we live for it. In the Midwest when summer hits, it becomes all about the party. This holiday is about grilling out and enjoying the beautiful world God has created. Most of us could use more of this in our marriages too. Take a minute and pause to thank God that there is someone special in your life. Celebrate the good times and be intentional about creating margin for that special relationship.
The 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. Something about this summer classic creates a feeling of pride and gratitude. My hope is that when your anniversary roles around you celebrate the same way we do on the 4th of July. Lots of fun, food, and fireworks!