Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands, San Francisco, California
Emily has been wanting to see San Francisco for a while. I've
heard really good things about it as well from those I know that either live in
the area, or have "touristed" there. So, we went for a few days at the end of last week.

I learned some time ago that one of the greatest blessings I can provide my
children is to be in a thriving marriage to their mother. In the same vein, one of the
greatest services I can provide a church as their minister is to role-model
healthy family life…not just talk about what it ought to look like. Our family
has it's issues sometimes like all families do, but I decided some time ago that if our family ever went through challenging stretches, I'd rather it be for a
reason besides that I didn't give enough of myself to Emily and the girls.

decided some time ago that I will give everything I can to the church. That's
just in my bloodstream. At the same time, I've been given the great gift of an amazing wife
and two beautiful girls that I have been called to love and serve as well. It's something I'm eternally thankful to God for, and will handle with the greatest joy and care.

One of the ways Emily and I try to keep our marriage strong and thriving is by rather rigidly spending regular alone time together. We generally go out or stay in at least once a week, and try to get out of town once a quarter or so…more if the opportunity presents itself. It's always just the two of us. Dinner out with friends isn't the same. Taking the kids with you isn't the same. Both of those things are good…they just aren't the same.

So, we went to San Francisco. We saw Fisherman's Wharf, stayed in Union Square, rode the cable cars, etc. But, the highlight of our trip was walking across the Golden Gate Bridge…the whole thing.

We didn't start out to do that. We were only going to go half-way. The view from the middle was breath-taking. So was spitting off the bridge….priceless 🙂

Walking and talking with coffee in hand across the 1.7 mile-long bridge was absolutely priceless. It was about 4 in the afternoon…and the sun was hitting the bay in just the right way. It was windy and cold, but was just one of those marital moments that you tuck away in your marital memory bank and throw away the key.

I'd really like to hear from you all. What do you do to keep your marriage strong and thriving? What advice have you heard from other couples that has helped you?