From this day forward

The pages are frayed and the cover is ripped, but the words in the tattered notebook have shaped our lives. We had been married several years when we were given a challenge that marked a turning point for our family. The challenge was to write down our common goals and dreams. So we grabbed a notebook and asked, “What do we want our relationship to look like in 20 years?” It took some thought and effort, but we came up with a set of core values and defined our family mission. From that point forward, we were more focused and prayerful about living out our intentions.

On this very day in 1980, we stood in a church and made promises to love, honor and cherish one another. Writing down our dream brought those words to life and painted a vivid picture of what our life together could become. “Playing the movie forward” and glimpsing what we wanted the future to look became:

  • an anchor for our relationship
  • a yardstick to measure our mutual commitment to “us”
  • a lifeline when things were tough
  • a compass to keep us pointed in the right direction
  • a playbook to reference when making important decisions

So today, after 35 years of pursuing God and each other, we take the opportunity to look back and pinpoint God’s faithfulness. We share our list in celebration of a glorious marriage: the miracle of two becoming one, the marvel of “me” becoming “we,” the beauty of two souls intertwined by everyday faith and ordinary family.

  1. We will be best friends and our friendship will grow
  2. Our home will always be a safe haven
  3. We will pray for each other and our children
  4. We will not be critical, disrespectful, or unforgiving
  5. We will overlook faults and weaknesses
  6. We will encourage each other to find peace, joy, and fulfillment in God
  7. We will communicate unconditional love
  8. We will be a team — supportive, not independent
  9. We will cultivate mutual friendships with couples
  10. We will enjoy activities together
  11. We will seek God’s direction and be listening
  12. We will be dedicated to Christ-like character
  13. We will put each other’s needs before our children, work, family, friends, activities
  14. We will value our relationship more than being right
  15. We will give financially to our church and missions
  16. We will make major decisions together
  17. We will share our deepest feelings with each other
  18. We will touch, kiss, hug and show affection

This common dream has guided us as a married couple. It’s still who we want to be for each other and for our children. Take time to Identify your dreams and desires—not just where you want to go in life but who you want to be when you get there. What’s your dream?

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8 Responses

  1. Delores Scott

    Paul and Kay, I admire you both so much. You have found out the true way to happiness. Congratulations for your next years. I know GOD will bless you abundantly as you serve him and always seek his ways.

  2. Bonnie M. Cecil

    Congratulations Paul and Kay! Soon Rick and I celebrate 40 years together.We are blessed family. Thanks for sharing this and I plan to share it with many others.

  3. Brother JohnJ

    Sounds a lot like the home that I grew up in..
    We will honor and reflect on the example set by our parents and share the joy with family and friends each day of oour ives.

  4. Diane Allnutt

    Kay and Paul,
    One year ago, today, Rick’s father died, and his mother passed away on May 31st. They left us with memories of a “stick together for good” marriage! I am so touched by their love for ” family”, God, and other people. This blog that you have created is such a positive move to support marriage. Thank you.
    What you have shared is refreshing and gift to those who read. Rick and I have been married now for 38 years and we are thankful to God for His protection over our marriage. The enemy looks around to see who he can destroy. My prayer for our adult children and their spouses is that Our God will prevail and hold their marriages and ours tightly in His arms. Praise The Lord!

    1. Paul and Kay Clark

      Thanks for sharing your heart with us and reminding us that a godly marriage can create a touching legacy. We are grateful for your encouragement. Our God is faithful through generations!

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