Run. Speak. Pray. Sit.

Sean and I are closing in on 20 years together and our marriage is stronger than ever.. today. Though if you asked me last week if we were “feeling” strong in our union I would have said, no, not particularly.

Sean and I were not set up for success. Both his parents and mine are divorced – and each of us has struggled through the loss of our own first marriages.

So we certainly are not quick to offer up marriage advice and certainly do not feel like experts. But while we were having a dinner date night last night we pushed ourselves to come up with four things that help us bring ourselves back to center in our marriage. Not an exhaustive list. Just the one we could agree on while we split an entree on a Friday night.

RUN TOGETHER – Sean and I have run a few marathons together, and enjoy training together. He wants to run a 50-miler in 2016 and so he’s been running several days each week. I love running, too – and now that a spider bite on the bottom of my foot is healed up I’m back out on the trails as often as possible. Running together gives us time to talk, connect, and dream. And since one of his love languages is quality time, this time together is key to keeping us connected.

SPEAK KIND WORDS – The power of life and death is in our tongues. I’ve really had to learn to tame mine and use my words to build him up rather than constantly reminding him how I’d rather see things done this way or that way. And since he’s more of a pictures guy than a words guy – this one pushes and helps both of us. Words of affirmation are my top love language so when he can remember to say something nice to me it fills me up like nothing else.

PRAY TOGETHER – They say couples who pray together stay together. However, I can’t actually find any reliable statistics on this issue. I can say that when Sean and keep our eyes focused on God together in prayer regularly, we are far less likely to get caught up in our little issues and irritations. He leads prayer at night. I lead in the morning. And nobody gets mad if we skip a day of prayer together, we just try to do better next time.

SIT ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE BOOTH – This works for us. You may enjoy gazing into one another’s eyes and having long conversations about your day (do people really do that?) But if you see us out on a date we’ll be on the same side of the booth. His top love language is physical touch and if we are close enough to touch during dinner, it softens his heart and makes him more likely to try to answer all my questions about life and work and raising kids.

7 Comments on “Run. Speak. Pray. Sit.

  1. thank you for being raw honest and willing to share! Having just got married myself, I appreciate your words. “RUN TOGETHER” i love that. and Steve and I are people you’d also find sitting on the same side of the booth! Great post Tonia

  2. Thanks Tonia………really enjoyed reading this post ( I usually try to read all of them…..it’s just somehow this really grabbed my attention. My husband & I will have our 8th Anniversary this Dec. 30th………he was an answer to prayer. He says I am as well………after our first marriages we knew we didn’t want another round of dealing with abusive spouses…..and though my first husband died in May 1993…….I had already left SC and moved to NC on the advice of my attorney in 1991…………my husbands 1st spouse died Jan. 3, 2013. My parents will soon have their 63rd anniversary in Jan. and his parents had their 55th anniversary before his dad died in Sept. 2006. So glad God brought us together…………we just did a lot of praying and waiting on Gods’ best for us.

    • Wow Barbara – I’m so glad God brought you together, too. I’ll bet you’ve got some great advice to share. Glad for the opportunity to pray for you in your marriage. Jesus, thank you for Barbara and her husband – that you brought them together so that you could heal the pain they’ve experienced. I pray that as they continue to seek you and place you at the center of their marriage that you will make them stronger each day. Thank you, Jesus for the story you’re writing through their lives, and thank you that as they can embrace their broken places you will bring beauty to their brokenness and draw people to yourself through them – Amen.

  3. Tonia, I really enjoyed reading your post, whenn sommeone truly opens up their heart it is always worth listening too! My wife and I have been married for forty years this December 6th; and they weren’t all good years but we knew that we loved each other and were determined to make it work.. I am an old gospel preacher and met her in the church so we knew God had put us together, forty years later I am more certain than ever, really love that lady.

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