Updated: Nov 28, 2019
A thought came across my mind today, “How do I celebrate my marriage?” As I thought about the question I asked my wife and some others and the overwhelming response always seemed to primarily relate back to the wedding anniversary, which in my mind has nothing to do with celebrating the marriage or very little in the greater context.
I once had a woman say to me, many years ago, that she had a wedding on a certain date…the date of her wedding…and hasn’t been married a day since then.
I found this statement interesting because it was the first time I heard someone make the clear distinction between wedding and marriage. I wonder how many couples feel this way? My guess is more than a few.
I believe, in honest, few have been shown how to celebrate marriage and even worse fewer know what it actually means…but that’s ok as long as we are willing to learn.
So before we answer the question of how to celebrate marriage, lets properly define the distinct difference between the wedding and the marriage according to the dictionary.
Wedding: a marriage ceremony, especially considered as including the associated celebrations.
Marriage: the legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman as partners in a relationship…a combination or mixture of two or more elements.
To state it simply, wedding is about ceremony and celebration of vows, while marriage is the carrying out what was celebrated. To state it another way, biblically, the wedding is the witnessing of two becoming one and the marriage is the process.
The word ‘Celebrate’ is defined as, to publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity; honor or praise publicly.
So let me used this definition collectively, to celebrate your marriage is to honor or praise publicly and privately the process of becoming one regularly, on an ongoing basis.
To ask the question another way, does your spouse know and believe that you are honored to have them as your spouse and believe in the purpose, love, joy and connection that you share? Do they believe that they are one of the reasons you smile? How do you demonstrate this to the world?
In this age of social media it is easy to publicly display the celebration of your love, but don’t let social media be your only outlet. do, but don’t do it just for show. Take the time to express “PG” PDA…hold a hand, walk arm and arm, spend time gazing into their eyes, sneak in a meaningful, intentional kiss, sneak in a quick, hopefully secret, pat on the backside in the store…all in the public…in front of the kids.
Try this, especially if you have children…put on your favorite set of slow songs and slow drag in front of the kids, in the kitchen, dining room or wherever else you can be on display.
I asked this question of several couples and one spouse really put some thought into it, hitting the nail on the head stating that “celebrating” to her provoked the thought of “honor”, but I do her response no justice, here is what she had to say.
“For Me………When I think on the question the word celebration provokes me to ask myself how do I honor my marriage? I celebrate/honor my marriage by not taking it lightly. It’s dangerous for me to view my marriage from a stance of I married a man that I love and that loves me back, or my marriage provide a bed that is undefiled, or to take for granted the years of history that Anthony and I share. Celebrating/Honoring my marriage is an action I demonstrate in my approach to the marriage, my view of the marriage, and how I handle the marriage. It’s reckless for me to accept anything short of the Purpose and Destiny preordained for my marriage. I celebrate/honor my marriage when I refuse to look upon it as a piece of paper and a ring. I am only able to celebrate/honor my marriage when I can “see” through the eyes of God what he intended for my marriage to produce in the earth. My marriage has purpose and as long as my approach and state of mind remains focus on this truth celebration/honor will abide and increase the more.”
Another husband who responded had this to say.
“For anniversaries we’ve always gone out of town and visited a location we’ve never been to before…from a day to day….during the “better days “…We tried to be advocates for other marriages and made it a point to show PG rated affection in front of our daughter.”
Notice that this writer points to not only the “special” day, but also day to day. Also, he points out the “better days”. That’s right you will not feel like celebrating everyday but on the best of your days you should celebrate every day and one of the best ways you can celebrate is to pour into other marriages your moments of celebration by sharing them and your children by letting them witness them.
A friend of mine once told me that one of the highlights of his childhood was watching his father come into the house every night, set his lunchbox down and go kiss his wife…my friends mother. The memories of this shaped his marriage and still has a significant impact on his marriage. These are the type of memories that push us through the days we don’t feel like celebrating.
Could it be that we fail to celebrate marriage because we are looking to celebrate moments, instead of union? Are we looking to celebrate activities instead of affections?
The bottom line is this, if you are only celebrating your marriage once a year and even then doing it privately, you are doing it wrong. If you are only celebrating moments, instead of journey, you’re doing it wrong.
Everyday should be a day where we celebrate the victory of marriage and the power of love!
Now go do it!