When The Giving Keys asked us to share about our love during the Valentines Day season we were excited to share. We have recently celebrated 15 years of marriage and over the years we have learned and experienced many things together. The Giving Keys asked us what word we wanted on our key to describe our journey. Jessica and I sat down to think about what word would best sum up our 15 years of marriage and the thread of our relationship. After much conservation, we landed on the word, Devoted.
When I think of devotion I think of unwavering commitment. I think of being intentional about your choices and actions. I think about being in it for the long haul and willing to work through whatever comes your way. Devoted people are not easily swayed or deterred.
Being married is one of the most incredible and rewarding things ever. To have a life partner to share everything with that can provide support and love is one of the greatest things you have to experience. But marriage isn't always easy. It can come with challenges and difficulties. You place two people together and there are bound to be moments when you don’t see eye-to-eye. Frustrations will come and tensions will arise. We are all growing as individuals everyday and the person we married 15 years ago is not the exact same person now. We are all shaped and developed by the experience we go through and the lessons they teach us. However, love grows over time and is displayed in so many various ways.
This Valentines Day I wanted to share some things I have learned over the years when it comes to keeping our relationships alive and strong and staying and how you can stay Devoted to the one you love!
1. Be Devoted to each others Dreams and Purpose
Every individual has a passion and dream in their heart, This shouldn’t die or fade away when you get married. In fact, it should be realized and achieved within marriage. We have the opportunity to help each other step into their purpose. Remember there are two people in the relationship, not just one. You can't be self centered in love, but have to offer yourself wholeheartedly to each other, to their dreams and purpose.
2. Don’t let fights divide you
If you are normal you probably have had fights. When I look back over the years and the fights we have had, they have always been connected to either tiredness or miscommunication. We have never fought over anything major. Some times people walk away from perfect relationships because of little fights and tensions. It is easy to make mountains out of mole hills. We think the grass will be greener on the other side, but it's greener where you water it. Fighting is normal and totally resolvable. You just have to step back, take a break and see the bigger picture.
3. Make Decisions Together
Always agree on major life choices. Over the years, Jessica and I have not seen eye to eye on everything but we always agree on major life choices. When it comes to big decisions like buying a house, moving cities or making major purchases you need to be on the same page. Make decision together and listen to each other to fulfill the needs of both people. You can't force someone into a choice hoping they will change their mind later. This will lead to resent and regret.
4. Recognize Intentions
You have to ask yourself when something goes south, 'did they intentionally mean to hurt me'? If you conclude the answer is no, then forgive and move on. We can easily get hurt or offended and our actual instinct is to blame. Sometimes people do this even to push other away for fear of letting another be close. Look at the intentions of your partner…99% of the time it's just the imperfection of people. Be gracious and generous in forgiveness.
5. Stay Devoted
I think about the moment when I saw my wife walk down the aisle. They opened the doors and my breath was taken away. It was like everything around me disappeared and all I could see was my future standing before me. We said our vows before God, friends and family. Then life happens presenting us with ups and downs. But we need to remember the vows we made and that our love should never be based on our feelings or circumstance but the true sincere desire to love and cherish one another. I think about how my wife has supported my dreams and been an incredible mother to our children. Love is not about fulfilling selfish desires but rather giving yourself wholly to another. Stay devoted to each other. Stay devoted to your faith and to your family. There is nothing better than sharing your journey with another and doing life together. In the end, love is all we have.
You can purchase our key Devoted by clicking here or choose your own word that shares your love story. Sales of all keys support transitioning people out of homelessness and into employment and sustainability. These make a great gift at Valentines and any day of the year.
An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.