Sunday, February 7, 2010

Celebrating National Marriage Week USA

February 7-14 has been designated as National Marriage Week USA. Kind of a nice reminder around Valentine's Day that there is still something very special about two people who are completely committed to each other. (Cue string music and pictures of roses, a sunset and a couple gazing lovingly into each other's eyes.)

Marriage is more than the emotions, whether they be positive or negative. Marriage is also something we DO together. If done with a healthy relationship in mind, the efforts usually deepen and strengthen the bond.

Ronda and I have made some commitments to each other in order to ensure a healthy marriage. After all, we need to be practicing what we're preaching as we lead Marriage Resource Center!
  • Daily: Coffee, RINGS chat and prayer together to start our day. The RINGS chat is an acrostic for Real (what we're really feeling physically, spiritually, emotionally), Intentions (plans for the day), Needs (what we need from each other), Grateful (what we appreciate about the other) and Someday (what we're looking forward to).
  • Weekly: A special date, usually Friday evenings. A "stuff huddle" on Sunday morning where we review three items: 10 questions we've composed to keep us accountable to New Year's resolutions, our calendar/schedule for the next 2 weeks, and a household financial update. Our weekly QCQ (Questions, Calandar, Quicken) keeps us on track for the commitments we've made to and on behalf of each other.
  • Quarterly: A 2-3 day getaway or retreat. All work and family stuff left behind. We've enjoyed renting a cabin at Buck Creek State Park, bicycling from a bed and breakfast in Xenia, staying in a friend's wooded cabin in Hocking Hills. Nature and quietness are the themes that most help us refresh together.
  • Annually: A retreat in November to review the past year and plan for the upcoming year has become a valuable ritual for us. Also, on our anniversary in late December we spend the day together at Barnes and Noble, pick a good movie to watch in a theatre followed by dinner at a good restaurant.
No doubt you as a couple have a number of things you DO together to maintain your sense of commitment and connection. If so, please leave some comments here so that others might benefit. If not, feel free to borrow some ideas from our playbook or ones that show up in comments.

Take some time during this week to build or reinforce some healthy marriage rituals. It's never a bad idea to try some good ideas -- if you both agree.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Read 2/2/10 News-Sun article on dipping marriage rates in Clark, Champaign counties, Ohio.