25 Years – The List

25 Keys to a Joyful and Lasting Marriage
(in no particular order)

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One of the keys to our marriage has always been to realize that we’re not experts and that our way may not be best for others. In fact, over the years, we’ve been asked to do “Marriage Retreats” and other types of events and we’ve replied (with a smirk), “One of the secrets to our marriage is not doing marriage retreats!” So, this list is not comprehensive or authoritative. But, rather just a quick, random, spontaneous list from Chilly and me as we sit together in Florida celebrating our FIRST 25 years of marriage… Enjoy!

1. Smile every day — often!
2. Talk (and listen) to God before you talk to each other.
3. Buy good toilet paper and roll it over-the-top.
4. Fight for your ‘sabbath day’ — and make it count.
5. Last one out of bed makes the bed.
6. Say I love you as often as you can! Also, compliment each other. Lots of eye-contact.
7. Don’t discuss important things when you’re overly emotional (angry, sad, depressed, etc).
8. Laugh… A LOT!
9. Don’t compare or compete with each other — revel in uniqueness!
10. Honor one another. Never tease or embarrass the other beyond what’s kind.
11. Live translucent not transparent. Yes, allow others to see inside but not every detail.
12. Live Amenable (even better than accountable).
13. Follow God’s dreams rather than expect Him to follow ours.
14. Make love not war (and everyone just went, “Oooooo!”)
15. Discipline in unity — be on the same team.
16. Be present (alert & responsive) not just around.
17. Take time away from ‘everything’ together and at times, alone.
18. Make sure God remains head of the home & marriage.
19. Don’t make your spouse your only friend — do different things with different people.
20. Live above reproach (opposite sex, computers, free time, interests, etc).
21. In disagreements or decisions, avoid words like: Always and Never.
22. Communicate LOVE the way your spouse needs it not the way you want it.
23. Raise your children as individuals — no two are the same. Enjoy their uniqueness!
24. Seek wisdom from those who have lived it — not just from peers, blogs & books.
25. Don’t think you’re an expert… EVER. Avoid writing lists for the first 25 years!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this little random list. I’m confident that we left out some essential things that may have made you think, “what about this?” — we’re just happy that it’s got you thinking, laughing and reading. We’re SO THANKFUL for our marriage! We’re also thankful for all of you who know us and still love us! Thanks for praying for our marriage and family, for reading our blogs, for sharing in our crazy little world and for living such extraordinary lives. You inspire us and encourage us to FEARLESSLY go for God’s best!

Life, marriage and family are all wonderful ADVENTURES not tedious chores or mindless routines! Your path is planned by God and is filled with unexpected blessings and opportunities. IF you avoid the ordinary, you’ll live the extraordinary! This is our prayer for our lives and YOURS!

Well, it’s back to the beach for us!

CHECK BACK in 25 years for our next list!

More IN Love than EVER,
Chilly and Netta

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