Five couples share the secret to a lasting relationship. Left, Bridget and David Narvaez and Patricia and Mike Evans
BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
ST. PETERSBURG — Love is displayed with expressive affections with emotional exchanges. Love is kind, shows patience, and does not keep account of injury. Life is made consistent and enjoyable when pride is suffocated and forgiveness is elevated.
I spoke with five couples that have found the secret recipe to a lasting relationship.
George and Janet Smith have been married for 29 years and declare that only by the grace of God have they gotten through it.
“We get together and pray with our daily devotion. Never forget to let each other know that we love each other just by saying I love you and just simply having a good day. We get together at least once a month, have a date night, and just spend time with each other,” stated Janet Smith.
The years of marriage and growth are likened to a roller coaster ride for David and Bridget Narvaez. The couple has been married 19 years and credits their trust in God as the sustaining factor for staying on track.
“We understand that a threefold cord is not easily broken. Constant communication and prayer have been the fortress for us as well as caring for each other’s needs,” expressed Bridget Narvaez.
For some couples, sharing unique gifts or talent and having similar interests serve as a catalyst for love. Curtis and Tracy McCue have been married for two and a half years. They met each other at church, and both enjoy music. Curtis plays the guitar, while Tracy is a gifted singer. Together they harmonize with a bond of worship as they share their love for God and each other.
“We have the music gift that God gave us,” said Tracy McCue. “We realize how important of a blessing it is to be married. We also do art together, which also keeps us happy. You have to be considerate to one another and realize how lucky you are to have that person.”
Worshipping with love may provoke couples to open their heart and homes to those in need. Jamelle and John Dennis have been married for 27 years. They have one daughter and four grandsons and have taken on raising their grandchildren. Their key to having a long-lasting marriage is putting God first and keeping Him at the center.
“For some time, we did it the reverse, but we learned to put God as the focal point. It is the reason that we can celebrate 27 years today. God will add all these things unto you. When disagreeing with your spouse, fight fair. Communicate and treat them in private with the same dignity and respect that you would show to others in public,” said Jamelle Dennis.
Another couple, Mike and Patricia Evans, discovered in their 20 years of marriage that they could not put their relationship on autopilot and expect it to flourish. Mike emphasized that marriage takes work. While they are both busy with their jobs, church, and other activities, they commit special time to each other. Be it a weekend getaway or weekly date night, there is no substitute for quality time and attention.
“It is also important to deal with issues or disagreements with your spouse in-house instead of venting to others,” said Mike Evans. “Many problems can be resolved with open communication, but bad counsel and speaking to people that don’t have your best intentions at heart can create bigger problems.”
The expression of love is indicative that the heart and mind are in-sync, signaling care and concern for another. Love is kind and does not deprive one person from being who they are creatively made to be. It embraces the differences and recognizes the strength. More often than not, those who partake in this worship of love have longevity in their relationships.