Went out to Red Robin with Patty tonight. She is leaving tomorrow with all 6 of our girls plus our daughter in law to the coast where they have rented a house for three days to all hang out together celebrating Sarah’s (our oldest) 40th birthday. I have a goal to take Patty on a date at least twice each month and on the date to have significant conversation about our marriage, about our ministry, our kids and grandkids, and sometimes about future plans and finances. It was a nice date tonight. Over the last 46 years of raising 8 kids, pastoring a church, and doing all that we have done a major strength of ours has been our unity. Our unity has been the reason our marriage is such a source of strength and encouragement for both of us during all the ups and downs of life. The strength and encouragement that we receive from each other is a major reason that we both don’t grumble much and run with endurance the race God has set before us. Unity in a marriage is a result of commitment not to ever get angry, about learning how to solve problems together, learning how to really listen to the other person, a strong resolve to never hurt with our words, and proactively esteeming and honoring each other all the time. Our praying together for and about everything is the glue of our unity. Patty seems to understand this intuitively much more than I do. I pray to get things done. Patty believes in prayer but what is most important to her is that she prays with me. A truly blessed life has a unified marriage as the foundation.