Marriage or being in a committed relationship with someone takes work. Even after almost 9 years together, Daniel and I are learning new things about each other and working towards loving and respecting one another more. So I’d like to think of us as growing together as a couple. Unfortunately, the contrary (which I’ve seen and heard) is growing a part when one or both partners become complacent or negligent of the relationship. In an effort to not go down that road, Daniel and I seek ways to grow together. When we first got married, we committed to going to a Young Married Cafe (YMC) gathering that took place every Friday night at our then church. Being young (I was 23 and he was 26), we could have spent our Friday evenings in the nightclub scene, but instead, we spent it surrounded by other believers who encouraged us in our faith and marriage. This built a strong foundation for our marriage because it was focused on God, and not ourselves. (I’d say this is the strength and success of our marriage). After we felt we “graduated” from attending YMC for a year, we wanted something more intimate, so we joined a life/ bible group and grew together in God’s Word. Our faith grew together, and we committed to praying together at night. What a difference that commitment made! To close the night off in prayer together brings us together after a long day and although we ask a lot from God, we also share our gratitude. After “graduating” from a handful of life/ bible groups, we have served together in other ways (ie. building a home in Mexico, serving food to the homeless, etc.). Through these opportunities, we have grown together by not focusing on ourselves, but rather on others. Now we are more focused on growing together by challenging each other to live out our faith and dreams. We want each other to carry out what we feel our purpose is in life. It is through these discussions that we determine as a couple how we can support and encourage one another. And in taking the steps towards our dreams, we are growing as a couple because it is a joint endeavor.
How do you ensure you and your partner are growing together, and not a part?