Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3 NIV).
Before retiring, my husband Tony spent almost twenty-four years in the military. As a civilian, he still deploys frequently. It’s been one of the most challenging issues affecting our marriage and children. We’re in a consistent “fight” for the relationship to stay close. Though difficult, it’s achievable.
Staying close to people by sharing our journeys and time is crucial for growing closer to God. For me, those people are my immediate family members. If given a choice between fellowshipping with them virtually or physically, I’ll choose the latter—every time. Sadly, that’s almost impossible when your spouse travels four-six months out of the year.
Usually, we send pictures of what we’re doing when we’re separated. Sometimes, I’ll snap a selfie at my computer writing. Other times, I’ll send a quick hello with a picture in my counseling office waiting for a client. My husband does the same. His practice is to send a blessing and prayer over the family attached to a photo of himself. Behind him is the backdrop of his latest assignment.
The bottom line is we find ways to stay physically connected by using the visual aspects of technology. We do this through pictures, videos, and video calls. My husband carries our photographs with him and displays them on his night table and desk. These are helpful ways to intentionally keep the ties closely knit as we nurture familial relationships.
This Valentine’s Day will mark our 15th year of marriage. It’s hard to believe how fast the time has gone, and yet some days, it seems as if we’ve been together forever. I’m thankful for the valley and mountaintop experiences, but mostly I’m grateful that we keep falling in love again. It’s not that we’re a perfect couple, but we’re perfect together because we’ve written each other on the tablets of our hearts.
Dear Lord, please continue to work on my heart to reflect your love to others. Show me how to Let love and faithfulness never leave me; to bind them around your neck and write them on the tablet of my heart (Proverbs 3:3 NIV).
Your turn: do you have a love story or friendship story you’d like to share from your life or someone you know? Any tips on keeping marriage or relationships strong? Please talk to us; we’d love to hear from you.