This August Patty and I are celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary. It is hard to remember every year, but I can confidently declare that the intimacy, the love, and the unity in our marriage has grown steadily every year. Our marriage has gotten better and better the older we get. It takes a lot of conscientious work to grow a marriage, it doesn’t just happen because you live together in the same house and sleep together in the same bed. It seems logical that it would get easier and easier as you get more experience to have a growing marriage, but that isn’t true, it gets harder and harder. It is like climbing a mountain, the higher you get the harder the climb becomes. A principle of intimacy is that if a marriage stops growing and plateaus, after being plateaued for awhile it will go backwards. Therefore it is essential that a couple works very hard to keep their marriage growing in the quality of their relationship or it will plateau and it will go backwards. A lot of married couples who have been married for many years are just going through the motions. There are a number of great tools to help jump start our marriages into a new season of growth. Reading a good book on marriage together and discussing what you read is a great way to foster communication especially if efforts to talk candidly about your relationship tends to create conflict. If you are going on a long driving trip you can get an audio version of the book, or you could purchase a marriage seminar on CD’s and listen to it together as you drive. Another awesome tool that very few people take advantage of is Marriage Counseling for the purpose of fine tuning a good marriage so that it keeps growing. Good marriages become stale marriages if you keep doing what you have always done even if it has worked. In order for growth to continue and even accelerate it is important for new things, new methods, new experiences, new challenges, new learning to happen. Boring marriages aren’t necessarily bad, but boring isn’t fun even when you are old. Another powerful tool is to go on a marriage retreat with other couples where there is good teaching on marriage and a good time is experienced because of the surroundings, the environment, the fellowship and the food. The accelerated growth that often takes place as a result of the retreat makes the cost of going a bargain. Jefferson Baptist Church is having a Marriage Retreat at Odell Lake Lodge On three separate weekends, April 5 – 7, 12 – 14, and 26 – 28. Patty and I will be the speakers during the 3 sessions. If you would like to go or get information go to our church website at http://www.jbc.church and you will see the retreat logo which you can click on or touch and register on line or get information. Don’t settle for mediocrity or boring, and certainly not plateaued.