Remember

When it comes to marriage, after recently celebrating our one-year anniversary, my husband and I are babies. In fact, because we met only two years and four months ago, we haven’t even known each other very long. When people ask about our anniversary, I keep exclaiming with a fist-pump and a smile on my face, “We made it!”

Most days, we feel pretty new at everything in our lives. For me it’s a new state, new region, new climate, new job… For both of us it’s a new church, new role as homeowners, new family, new friends, new joys, and new challenges.

That’s a lot of NEW.

Our anniversary weekend was much busier than we might have otherwise chosen, as many events and opportunities piled up into a two-day period. All within about 48 hours, we had to choose between things like a wedding and reception, a free multi-day Christian music festival, visiting with family who had come from out of town, watching the opening day of college football season, going with family to the state fair, AND celebrating our anniversary. It’s like we had too many blessings to try to receive and enjoy in such a short period of time.

And let’s just say I don’t always handle stress, pressure, and over-loaded schedules with a calm sense of grace.

However, my favorite moment of the entire weekend came unexpectedly on Sunday – our anniversary. On a random trip to Walmart that was not originally scheduled in our plan for the weekend, my husband surprised me by pulling off at a state park where we had gone on one of our first dates. We’ve been there a few times together over the last couple of years, hiking to the top of a large hill to look out over the landscape. Bringing our Bibles to share a devotion together. Taking our dog for a little adventure and exercise. This beautiful site holds special meaning for me in particular because it was on our first visit there, holding his hand and walking back down the path to return to the car, that I felt the Lord show His love for and intimate knowledge and understanding of me in His detailed design and plan for bringing us together.

This time on our anniversary, we didn’t climb to the top. Instead, we remained in the car, looking at this place from a distance. I don’t know if he planned it ahead of time or felt inspired in the moment, but my husband used that place to challenge me to remember our year together.

Remember

Some days it’s hard.

We get so busy and caught up in the daily tasks of life: long hours at our jobs that sometimes feel like they dominate our time and energy; responsibilities at home such as cooking, cleaning, and renovation projects; the desire for entertainment, relaxation, and time with friends… (We don’t even have kids yet… I know that’s a whole different league of busy!)

It can be hard to remember.

Even on a more moment-by-moment basis. One of us says or does something hurtful or possibly even thoughtless. The other becomes defensive, and the entire mood of the conversation, day, or relationship feels like it begins to harden or dry up.

It can be hard to remember.

In Joshua 3, the Israelites carried the Ark of the Covenant and miraculously crossed the Jordan River on dry ground to enter into the Promised Land for the very first time. Then in chapter 4, God commanded Joshua to call one man from each of the twelve tribes to carry a stone from the midst of the Jordan to build a monument on the other side.

He wanted them to remember.

20 And those twelve stones, which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up at Gilgal. 21 And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22 then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ 23 For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, 24 so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever. Joshua 4:20-24

Here’s a part that I’ve often overlooked: even though this was the fulfillment of God’s promise to lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey, they were actually entering into war.

13 About 40,000 ready for war passed over before the Lord for battle, to the plains of Jericho. Joshua 4:13

God knew they were walking into challenges and trials, both literally and figuratively. They would need to remember where they had come from and what God had done. They would need a visual reminder and conversation starter to pass along the heritage of God’s faithfulness to their children.

In the church world, these are sometimes called “stones of remembrance.”

Perhaps we need them in our homes as well, whether they be real stones or another significant object or picture. Our home is decorated with pictures from our engagement and wedding and a framed copy of our vows. Even my bridal bouquet (one of the benefits of using fake flowers!) sits in a vase on the dresser in our bedroom. We have stones of remembrance all around us, so now we just need to slow down and pay attention to them so they can help us to remember.

Remember how God brought us together.

Remember how He confirmed His plans for us.

Remember the mission that the Lord has called us to pursue and accomplish together.

Then we will be filled with the faith and love we need for today, tomorrow, and the next fifty+ years.

Remember in marriage

About Jamey Strom

I am a girl from Alabama who met her husband online and moved to South Dakota. Now I am learning everyday about love, life, marriage, faith, and teaching.  You can find me at TheMiddleofLife.com.

Comments

  1. Remember is a powerful word, isn’t it? One of the most powerful in marriage. Remember to always be faithful, caring, compassionate. Remembering the other’s feelings, remembering to think of others before yourself.. I like the idea of “stones of remembrance.”

  2. That’s a beautiful thing to sit and reflect on where you’ve been and where you are now. I can imagine how that would center and ground you again and bring you to a beautiful place in your heart.

  3. My parents have been married for 51 years, and “remember” has been important for the longevity of their relationship. However, I’m sure they’d both say be willing to forget is another explanation for their success.

    • I love it! I was thinking about remembering the good – the foundation where our love began in The Lord. However, the grace to forgive the imperfections is essential as well.

  4. I feel like we’ve been taking too much for granted and not enough time to remember. We have been working on making time for each other, but with jobs, a home, and two kids, it can be very difficult!

    • I can only imagine, and I’m feeling a bit intimidated to add kids into our world soon… I hope we do our best to take the time to model great marriage for them. When we fall short, I’m thankful for grace.

  5. we’re a little more experienced but there’s always room for growth. looking back is the best way to do that

  6. I find that sometimes reflection is the only way I can see what I have and not take it for granted. It sounds like you had a wonderful anniversary.

    • Thank you! We really did, even though it didn’t necessary look the way I thought a first anniversary would. It’s been so helpful to let go of my expectations and just enjoy.

  7. You’re right this is a powerful word. I’m glad you had a good anniversary.

  8. Thanks for the reminder. Remember is a key ingredients to marriage, especially remembering why you fell in love. Great write up thanks for sharing.

    • Exactly! It really is amazing how different marriage feels from dating, even though it’s with the same person. I don’t want to stray too far away from our romance and “newness” together.

  9. What a great post for anyone in a relationship, not just married. Matt and I aren’t married, but we have been together for 10 years.

    • I guess that’s true, and I didn’t even think about it! It applies to so many things – friendship, faith, etc… Remember where we’ve come from and where we are going.

  10. I’m with my husband since 86. It’s not always easy but then what worthwhile is. Remembering is not the only thing, but it is an important thing.

  11. I’m 33 years old and Hubby & I have been together for 20 years this fall. I strongly believe that it’s about support, trust, and honesty. With those you can’t go wrong. We’ve been through everything from a teen pregnancy, infertility issues, losing everything in a fire and so much more. When things get hard I lean on him and he leans on me.

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Wow! I feel like “remember” applies in all that as well! Remember all we’ve made it through together so far… We can know God can sustain us in the future because He hasn’t let us down before. 🙂

  12. Congratulations on celebrating your anniversary. It always seems like the first year is a lot of work, but well worth it.

    • Thank you! We fought the expectations and disappointment that it would be one long honeymoon period, but we earned strength and unity that I know was well worth the adjustment!

  13. Congrats on your anniversary. Marriage is work..for everyone! Even if you have the most perfect couple there will be times when things will get rocky. Remembering why you got married in the first place is a reminder of getting through the tough ones.

    • I agree! So far we have already had a few disappointments and days when one or both of us was just plain difficult to get along with. I have noticed that remembering helps me to stay open to trust him with my heart instead of becoming guarded or defensive.

  14. Wow, we share the same anniversary and thanks for this little remembrance. Mine wasn’t quite so sweet as yours (seven years), however, it is always nice to remember our love. 🙂

    • Awesome! I know some will be sweet, and some will not necessarily feel that way. My grandmother always says, “As long as the good outweighs the bad, you’ll be okay.” I pray that Christ will draw us together during all of our seasons of love, disagreement, and apathy to be a light!

  15. This is really beautiful and powerful . . . remembrance is such a powerful word, capable of so much, especially when done in love and devotion. Happy Anniversary!

    • Thank you! I love that part about love and devotion… I want to model the forgiveness of Christ to remember the love and forgive/forget the disappointment. I pray that will keep our marriage in a healthy state.

  16. This is such a great reminder. It’s easy to get lost in the every day shuffle of life and let your relationship go to the wayside… Taking time to remember the good times is so important!

    • It’s only been a year, and I’ve noticed that already! I’m trying to learn to simplify and keep Christ and my husband in the right perspectives on my priority list. 🙂

  17. This is an awesome post. I will be so happy when I finally get married…. and have some babies.

    • I tell all my single friends, “Marriage is too hard to try to do it with the wrong person!” Seek the Lord and be faithful to Him. He knows your heart, longings, and gifts, and He is more than capable to create a beautiful family that is just what you need! I remember my singleness vividly because it wasn’t all that long ago. Some days I even miss it a little bit, but I’m thankful I had time for both! He’s preparing you! Don’t give up! 🙂

  18. What a beautiful was to remember and reflect. Everyday is so busy that even just a few quiet moments together can be special.

  19. The more we remember to look on our partner with kindness rather than expectation the happier everyone will be.

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