My husband and I recently embarked on a little weekend getaway to relax and unwind. I was super excited and ready to go, as was he. Of course, not everything went according to plan!

We left late, nearly missing the most beautiful, breathtaking sunset I have ever seen.

Upon arriving at our cabin in the woods, we unpacked, then started a campfire outside. It felt like it was just us and the woods, peaceful … until we heard the not-so-peaceful music coming from the cabin above ours. We couldn’t help but laugh about it, knowing that those campers were enjoying their time just as we were trying to enjoy ours.

The next day we headed out for a hike to explore the beautiful surroundings. Of course it started to rain. Luckily, we were dressed well enough, so we made the best of things and tried to enjoy the hike for a short time. And we did! The scenery was gorgeous, seemingly extending for miles. There were no emails to check, no messages to read, and no phone calls to be made. It was just the two of us walking together through winding trails, holding hands as we climbed difficult terrains.

Marriagegetaway Alabama News
(Credit: Ashley Carter)

We’ve been doing this throughout our marriage, it just looked and felt a little different at this moment. Maybe because it was so quiet and there was nothing else to focus on but us. I began thinking of all the things we overcame together, with God’s wonderful grace and mercy, of course!

That grace extended to us even more that evening upon returning from dinner at a quaint little restaurant in town. My husband knew that we could encounter fog on the way back up the mountain, and we certainly did, for we could hardly see two to three feet in front of the car! I was internally panicking, but my husband was completely calm as we talked our way up that mountain, hugging the left side of the road to avoid driving off the edge. I completely trusted him with my life, and he calmed all my fears. We finally made it back to the cabin and I think that was the happiest moment!

God was protecting us throughout our trip, just as he has our entire marriage.

I am not one to give marriage advice, for I have made every mistake in the book. But because of God, our marriage is a miracle and a wonderful testimony and blessing. God belongs at the center of your marriage, your family, and all that you do in life. If you get that right, you're a lot further along than most people.

In addition to placing God at the center of your marriage, it also helps to communicate openly and honestly with your spouse. Effective communication done respectfully and constructively is the foundation of any healthy relationship.

Spending quality time together, without distractions, is also crucial for strengthening the bond between partners. Couples should plan regular date nights or weekends away to reconnect and rejuvenate their relationship.

It’s easy to take each other for granted in a long-term relationship, so remember to also show appreciation and gratitude toward your spouse.

Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship. But listening to each other's perspectives, finding common ground, and working towards a solution that works for you both are a few ways to resolve conflicts constructively.

Finally, practice forgiveness—daily! No one is perfect, and mistakes are bound to happen in any relationship. Practicing forgiveness and letting go of past hurts helps any couple move forward in their relationship. Forgiveness does not mean forgetting the past, but rather acknowledging the hurt, learning from it, and moving on.

Overall, the key to a healthy and fulfilling marriage is to cultivate a strong foundation of faith, trust, respect, and love. My husband and I took our trip to do just that.

Imagine if every couple took the time to stop and see all the wonderful things and focus on those rather than the few bad things! How many homes would be unbroken and how many kids would understand better what true marriage looks like? It’s not a fairy tale, my friends, it’s the journey of a lifetime!

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