“Let them eat cake!” That’s what newly weds and their guests do at wedding receptions. At 9 ½ minutes after three o’clock on August 5, 1967, I fed my groom a huge mouthful of cake, and he returned the favor more gingerly ten seconds later, if the clock on the wall is any indication.
We are on the verge of celebrating our 49th anniversary. Like the seventh note in an octave, we are almost there, but have not yet reached the golden mark.
How have we gotten this far without hitting the skids? I could make a long list of suggestions, but right now I have only one:
Watch Your Words
Cake is sweet to the tongue just as our words should be to one another. Words have power. Let your spouse or partner hear “please” and ”thank you” every day. Sarcasm is out. Surely contempt must go. Public humiliation, a big NO!
- Say “Yes” as often as humanly possible.
- Wait for the best time to make a request, offer a suggestion. Everyone needs 5-10 minutes to decompress after walking through the door. Let your spouse have time to breathe before requiring a response.
- Once a day, notice the positive out loud: the way they look, something they’ve said, or done.
Michael Hyatt, author and speaker, affirms that “Marriage is a powerful visual of how you treat the people you value the most. (“Why Speaking Well of Your Spouse is So Important”)
Ever the tip and list maker, Hyatt in another post shares his recipe for how to become your spouse’s best friend. Many of items on the list regard minding our words, for example: “Extend grace to me when I am grumpy or having a bad day. Speak well of me when I am not present.”
“Listen without judging or trying to fix me.”
Humorist Ogden Nash adds a dash of rhyme and reason to the mix:
If you want your marriage to sizzle
With love in the loving cup.
Whenever you’re wrong, admit it.
Whenever you’re right, shut up!
And finally, “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”
~ Colossians 4:6, New Revised Standard Version
Light a Candle
This candle first flickered and then burned brightly on a pedestal at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. The candle came with instructions to burn for one hour on our anniversary date. Some years the candle probably has shone for more than an hour. But we may have even skipped a year or two. Nevertheless, the long, tapered candle is very short and stubby now. Yet the flame still burns brightly.
Whether you are married or not, on this day I light a candle for you and whatever family relationship is most important in your life.
Your thoughts, recollections, or advice are welcome here. Thank you!
Coming next: Drawing on Love: A Brief Retrospective