31 Days of Loving On Purpose

The Finish Line

“Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint!”

Finish Line - #staymarried recap of #31Days of Loving on PurposeEvery time I hear this metaphor, I so relate. I think about the marathons I run and how I never think I’m going to make it, but then I do. Oh, wait. That’s not true. I don’t run marathons. I don’t even run around the block.

One time I came really close to signing up for a non-competitive triathlon with my best friend, Natalie. We were excited to start training and do this together for the first time. Then, just about a month before the race I told her, “Yeah, I’m not doing that.” She had already signed up and paid and I fully chickened out. Don’t worry guys, I still went with her and cheered her on all day while she completed all three legs of her first triathlon by herself. It was awesome! She subsequently went into a mild coma in her bedroom. I think she forgave me when she came out of it.

I am now at the finish line of a sort of marathon of my own. This, today, is the 31st #staymarried post in as many days and I am thoroughly out of breath. I knew in my mind that it would be a challenge, but the actual feeling of really pushing myself, especially in these last few days, has been a lot harder than I could have imagined. I’m glad to be here and I am really glad to look back and feel proud of what we have walked through together in the last 31 days.

At the beginning, we shared our inspiration with you from Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. The first words in the first chapter say, “It’s not about you. The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness.” We took that word “life” and replaced it for our own purposes with the word “marriage” to work from this concept for the whole month…

It's not about you. The purpose of your marriage is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. - Finish Line - a recap of #31Days of Loving on Purpose by #staymarried

We then attempted, throughout the month, to show you different ways of practicing that kind of love. Whether it was writing a love note, making a meal, or sharing a six second kiss, we wanted to show you that being fulfilled in your marriage comes from giving to your marriage instead of trying to get the most out of it. We talked about the definition of love as a choice instead of a feeling. We learned about choosing our battles, how differently men and women think, and how just rolling your eyes can be detrimental to staying together. In all of these things, we never told you to wag your finger at your spouse and get your needs met. Instead, we encouraged you to take responsibility for the temperature of your marriage, to choose your words carefully, to work as a team, and to be inspired with us by other couples who have made it last.

I think what the marathon metaphor is trying to say is that we have to have long term vision for our marriage and we can’t allow any short term bumps in the road to derail us. One of the ways we can do that is by sticking together in this #staymarried community, to learn from each other and share in each other’s triumphs. Tony and I are grateful you’ve stuck with us throughout this month and encouraged us with your feedback.

Thank you all, again, for journeying with us from the beginning all the way to the finish line! We will now be slipping into our own writing coma. But don’t worry, we promise not to stay away too long. We’ll be back soon enough with more hope, stories, and resources for all of us who want to #staymarried.

P.S. Thank you to Todd and Jamie Smet for sharing this fun shot of them at their wedding for today’s post. Apparently they do run, and more than just around the block!

You are reading Day 31 in our 31 Days of Loving on Purpose series. New to #staymarried? Welcome! Check out why we started this blog and my first entry to get a little background.

Thanks for stopping by!

~ Michelle

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