Rick & Coleen Talk About What It's Like Getting Married at 14... JK! - Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage!
This is one of my favorite movie quotes from John Wayne as he’s talking with his daughter in the movie Mclintock… “I want you and some young man to have what I had, because all the gold in the United States Treasury and all the harp music in heaven can't equal what happens between a man and a woman with all that growin' together. I can't explain it any better than that.” - McClintock (John Wayne)
Coleen and I often receive the compliment that we’re too young to be married for so long… I wittingly reply well, “That's because we were 14 when we were married…” followed by, “That’s legal in Alabama.” In all seriousness we were pretty young, I was 18 and Coleen was 17, we were childhood sweethearts.
This week we celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary (silver anniversary). Coleen is the love of my life, best friend, treasure of my heart, there is no earthly companion I desire more than her and no advice I hold higher than hers… and with that I want to offer some marital advice from our last 25 years…
1. Take advice from those who’ve gone before you. We were offered this golden nugget on our wedding day from a wise old man and his wife, “Never Go To Bed Angry…work it out before you go to sleep” There is something that happens to your heart when you sleep on anger and it isn’t good.
2. Keep A Weekly Date Night. This isn’t always easy in our busy culture but it’s a necessity. You don’t have to have a lot of money, keep it simple and keep the lines of communication open. LISTEN to HER!… (this is for me)
***Bonus: Coleen and I not only keep a weekly date night but a consistent nightly bath… This is our time to discuss our marriage, family, kids, business, dreams, and struggles. This line of communication has often helped in staying intimate and refocusing our priorities on more pressing matters.
3. Think of your Spouse greater than yourself… The Golden rule… maybe you master this by your golden anniversary…but, I doubt it. However, striving to put the desires, thoughts, and wants of your spouse above your own is not easy but it builds bridges and heals hearts.
4. Say you're sorry and give mercy! Boy, I’m not good at saying I’m sorry but when I do and I back it with actions the world changes instantly… But that is because Coleen is very merciful and doesn’t hold on to my stupidity…
5. Turn off the stream! I would rate this as probably the biggest destroyer of marriages! The steam is what takes your attention away from each other and it’s everywhere. It is the direct enemy of intimacy, family, faith, marriage, and ultimately love. You know you're in the stream when there is a blue glow cascading upon your face, you find your fingers ever swiping to see more or you find yourself running in a hamster wheel of death…
Coleen and I recently went to a restaurant where seated around were 4 or 5 families. The restaurant was eerily quiet, too quiet… I wanted to yell “FIRE!”. Every single person from the oldest to the youngest was on some form of electronic device. I felt like we were in another realm… My heart was truly saddened by the power of the stream stealing the family meal.
I don’t give this advice as an expert… In fact I constantly need work in all these areas but my heart is set on working, fighting, and defending my marriage and family.