14 Reasons Why (I Think) We’ve Made It 14 Years.

I’m sure Heather’s list would be different but here is my take:

1. Faith.
Front and center and period. Heather and I share the same devotion for Jesus Christ and know that we are who we are because of what Jesus Christ has done in our lives. We differ in some of our beliefs and convictions but we’re also two very different people.

2. Myers-Briggs and Personality Inventories.
Laugh it off if you want but all those inventories helped me learn about myself first. I didn’t plan it that way, it just happened that along the way, I came to know myself enough to realize, all change starts within me and I can live with that.

3. Prepare-Enrich.
One of the best inventories for two people to get all their stuff on the table. It can be done before or after marriage at anytime and is worth every dime and all the time you put into it.

4. Wait.
Call me old fashion – don’t care. No living together and no premarital sex made certain we knew each other first before we knew other in the Biblical sense.

5. Don’t Wait.
I know my wife disagrees on this one but figure out when the earliest time is that you can get married and plan for that day. Dude, we got married in January…in an ice storm.

6. Read The Right Books.

First, His Needs, Her Needs by William Harley. Second, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Those two books, read through and talked about as a couple will go a looooooong way to building a solid relationship.

7. Turn Off The Screen.
I got in a habit early on and have stuck to it. When your spouse wants to talk, turn off the TV or monitor. Take your hands off the keyboard, remote or control pad.

8. Use the Phone.
Okay, I had to learn this the hard way but once I did I’ve never forgotten. I’ve got a 10pm curfew. At 10pm, Heather is worrying why I’m not home. Don’t let your spouse wonder. If I know I’m going to be running late, I call at 9:30pm.

9. Keep the Sink In the Kitchen.
Deal with the issue in front of you. End of story.

10. Bounce Your Eyes. (h/t to Everyman’s Battle)
Guys, sorry but only one woman gets your attention now. Ladies, same thing. Whether it is internet or coffee shop or gym, don’t undermine the trust and foundation you’ve built. If you want to make it to 14 and beyond you’ll have to fight for it.

11. Keep Dating.
We started out in grad school with no money. Fourteen years later we still have no money. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop dating. Cards, notes, gifts, acts of service, whatever got your spouses’ attention, keep doing it and more.

12. Lose the Me-ness.
It ain’t about you anymore. It is us. It is we. Before there are kids, you gave birth to a relationship.

13. The Bling.
Get it under control. Got Debt? Get a plan. No Budget? Make one. I’m not a money manager but outside of mortgage, we’ve been debt free for most of our marriage. Crossroads UMC is sponsoring ReThink Money next month and it will get you started on the way.

14. Love Is A Verb NOT A Fuzzy.
I have never fallen out of love with Heather, period. I’ve never woken up in the morning and not been in love with Heather, period. I made a decision based on my feelings, my experience and a hunch, that if I didn’t screw this up, our marriage would last a lifetime. Fourteen years and I’m still madly in love and choosing to love.

Heather, thank you for your willingness to get a cup of coffee and go see “Cool Runnings” with me on that cold January night. And thanks for being just crazy enough to say “yes” when I asked you to be my wife. I LOVE YOU!


Sue said...

yer awesome, Ken. love you guys - can't believe it's been 14 years since that ice storm, either! ;)

Robert Garrett said...

Wow that's awsome words to live by - Michelle and I will be 14 in August. I could only leave one more that's worked for us "never go to bed angry". Thank you for all the words of wisdom.

JediPastorKen said...

Sue: thanks, it was crazy wasn't it?

Robert: I've got to save some to add to next year's list don't I! ;) Seriously, that is a great piece to add. Thanks.

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