We don't usually think of memorials when it comes to our families, except after the fact when they have passed away. Some families spend many hours and dollars to find the perfect memorial stone to place at their loved one's grave. i actually enjoy walking through cemeteries because I like to look at the different stones that people use to commemorate their special one's life. Some of them are large and stately, made from shiny black or gray granite. Some of them are engraved with hearts or crosses, while others may have nothing but the facts. Still others, might be surrounded by colorful yarn or toys, showing the bright life that was cut off way too young.I would like to suggest that there are ways we can place memorials in our families, not after people have passed, but while people are still very much alive.
This week I would like to look at building a marriage memorial. It really is not that hard to make a memorial. It needs to be something that will cause you and your spouse to stop and think when you look at it. In a sense our wedding rings do that, at least for some of us. I no longer wear my original wedding band and engagement ring because the diamond fell out of it. I still have the diamond and the set in a plastic bag, waiting to be reunited, but in the mean time, the hubby bought me a diamond wedding band to wear in its place. My husband doesn't wear a ring. He does too many things with his hands and he is afraid he will lose it. That used to bother me, but I don't worry about it any more.
I think it would be neat to pick something out that you and your husband agree on. Again, let me preface this by saying, I know not everyone has a cooperative husband. Some men are not sentimental and some men are just not into this sort of thing. But for those that are, here are a few suggestions:
1. Something to hang. Pick out a piece of artwork; a clock with the hands pointing to the time you said "I do,"; a photograph either of the two of you or of a place you went on your honeymoon, or some other place you went together; a framed verse or saying having to do with marriage, loyalty, love or friendship; or something showing your love together and your love for God.
For example, if my husband and I picked out a painting we might agree on a painting of a tall ship weathering a raging storm. My spouse being of Viking descent would love the idea of a boat on a stormy sea and I love the idea of our marriage having weathered many storms. When I would look at that, it would remind me that we are in this vast ocean called marriage together and we can weather the raging sea. My husband would probably look at it and think, "Wow! That would be really cool!" Ha, ha.
2. Create a shadow box. I know ladies, I am moving outside a man's comfort zone, but that's okay. If this project at least reminds you of why you married the big lug in the first place and keeps you focused on praying for your spouse and working on your marriage, it will still be a memorial. I think a shadow box would be fun. You could put things in it from your wedding day, maybe a few of the flowers, or the knife you cut the cake with, be creative. You could also fill it with things that have become important to you along the way. Maybe you like to travel together and collect items from the places you've been. These would be perfect in your shadow box. If you don't have a shadow box, then just set aside a small shelf on a book case in your bedroom. But make it visible so you both can see and remember.
3. Put together a scrap book. Include things like photographs from your honeymoon, ticket stubs to movies you both enjoyed, sporting events or theatrical shows that you went to as a couple. Not everything has to be a "good" experience. Some of our greatest learning moments and memories were made when we were yelling at each other. You know the scenario...you have tickets to see Phantom of the Opera. You take longer than planned getting ready and he takes the wrong turn off to the venue and won't ask for directions! You could also include airline tickets and maps to some of the places you have discovered together. Be sure to leave some of the pages blank at the back of the book, as you will hopefully want to add more over the coming years.
4. Plan a memorial date. Pick a day of the year and go somewhere to commemorate your relationship as a couple. I know, I know. Most of you are thinking that's what an anniversary is. That's all well and good and if you can make it happen on your anniversary then by all means do! But most anniversaries keep marching through the weekdays and it is not always possible to get time off of work, or reschedule the family get togethers and so on. Real life happens. This should be a day that you will have every year. Maybe you choose the 3rd Saturday of October. Whether you go away for the whole weekend or just spend the whole day together, make it a day of reminiscing and rejoicing; purposefulness and prayer. Dwell on your marriage and what needs work and what to be thankful for.
These are just a few idea for setting up a marriage memorial. You might decide you want to take a day or a week each month or focus on your relationship. Placing a centerpiece in the middle of the dining table that has significance to your marriage would be an easy way to bring it to your attention more frequently. If you have some other suggestions leave me a comment below or on Facebook.