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Billy Holland | Maintaining a close relationship with God and our spouse

Last week, I was sitting in my office on a dreary afternoon, tapping on the keyboard and listening to the rain blowing against the window. The house is quiet during the day as my writing routine commonly includes both dogs sprawled out on the hardwood floor snoring contently around my desk. Then it suddenly dawned on me; this will be the 40th Valentine’s Day my wife and I have shared together. I sat back and pondered about our upcoming wedding anniversary and how very happy I am to share this milestone with the one I love. Through all the good times and the hard times, we are truly blessed.

Familiarity is a slow growing deception that causes us to take people for granted, and in the realm of marriage, this is one of the main reasons why couples become distant. Those of you that have been married for a while can relate when I say that holidays — especially Valentine’s Day — lose a little of their sparkle and excitement. I guess it’s partly from a combination of getting older and becoming more familiar with your mate. For example, when we were dating and newlyweds, the flowers, gifts, candy and going out to a restaurant seemed like a magical fairy tale. It was so exciting just to be together, gazing into each other’s eyes with hardly thinking of anything else. But as the years pass by, the newness seems to wear off and after a hard day’s work, it’s mutually agreed that a peanut butter sandwich, a candy bar and watching Wheel of Fortune is plenty of excitement to celebrate the occasion. Whatever happened to all the hugging, winking and holding hands? I heard a person comment the other day about how the first years of marriage are filled with a series of three little words like, “I love you” and “you are beautiful” and then after a few years they evolve into, “toilet seat down” and “need more Advil.” When we were younger, we didn’t know the meaning of tired, and now we become giddy about taking a Sunday afternoon nap. Nonetheless, it’s a comfort to know the one we share our couch with every night is there because they love us and enjoy being with us.

We do not need to be a marriage counselor to come up with a few ideas that can improve the relationship with our spouse. It’s not the price or value of what is given at this time of year, but rather the genuine sincerity of why we are giving it. I would prefer to have someone give me a Reese’s Cup while telling me how much they love me than to receive elaborate expensive gifts out of obligation. Let us remember that God is love and having constant communication with Him and our mate is not an option if we desire to maintain a close relationship with both of them.

Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky with his wife Cheryl, where he is a Christian author, outreach minister and community chaplain. To learn more visit: billyhollandministries.com