Bob and Geraldine have been married for over 53 years and have 5 children, 13 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. They are Dinner Party Leaders at Hope City Church in Leeds.

One of the things we’ve learnt to do over our many years of marriage is to celebrate! When you learn to celebrate things then you will always put the right things first. Here’s some of the things we have chose to always celebrate in our relationship:

1. Celebrate Short Accounts.

Practise resolving issues quickly and don’t let a different opinion ruin the bond of unity between you (never agree just to differ). You can’t recover the time wasted through disagreement and discord. Life is too short! “Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry…” —Ephesians 4:26

2. Celebrate Each Other Through Mutual Respect.

Always show respect to each other publicly and privately, particularly when speaking about each other to other people. If someone is disrespecting your partner, don’t agree or dismiss – always uphold the other person.

3. Celebrate Your ‘Oneness’ as A Couple.

Watch over and protect your relationship as a couple remembering that you start with ‘two’ and will finish with ‘two’.  Beware of becoming overly devoted to children, parents, careers and even church activities & people, thereby threatening the intimacy of the relationship.

4. Celebrate the Power of Encouragement.

Constantly look for opportunities to provide encouragement remembering that this can act as cement to the relationship. Especially when it comes to difficult or bad memories – don’t recall or remind each other of past offences. Always encourage and look forward. (see 1 Corinthians 13:5, Hebrews 3:13)

5. Celebrate with Memorable Moments & Surprise Gifts.

Beware of boredom! Create times of fun and enjoyment and seek every opportunity for surprises. (i.e., think of 7 small gifts that would please your partner, and present each one daily). the value of surprises should not be tied to only ‘special days’, they can be the perfect way to show someone you really love and value them.

6. Celebrate the Power of Prayer.

Join together when needs press in, but also when God provides a miracle. Pray when the need arises, and also pray regularly for each other together as this builds up mutual love and respect! “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” —Matthew 18:20

7. Celebrate Each Other’s Uniqueness.

Value each other’s differing personalities, character & opinions. Encourage their growth through risk taking, adventure and fun. Be a spring board for them, always believing beyond their vision and plans. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” —Proverbs 27:17