According to our Walkmeter App, during our recent hikes in the Alps we hiked over 70 miles and climbed over 16,000 feet! Not bad for a couple in the second half. While we can’t keep up this pace throughout the year, we try to hike a few miles each week. It’s good for our health and also great for our relationship. Plus hiking has taught us some neat things about life.
1. You’ve got to take the first step, but if you take one step at a time, it’s amazing how far and how high up you can go.
2. Get in sync with each other. I (Dave) have to admit, I’m the foot-dragger but once Claudia get’s me started I’m off to the races. I (Claudia) am the slow starter. Initially Dave has to slow down so I can keep up, but when we start downhill, it’s another story. I’m the speedy one. In our marriage, we also need to stay in sync with each other and with the Lord – not always easy in our fast-paced, crazy world.
3. Stay on the path. It’s wise to stay on the marked path. We could write several blogs about when we ignored this valuable lesson. Have you mapped out goals for your marriage?
4. Be willing to try new paths. The same old same old can be boring both in hiking and in marriage. What are some new paths that you could explore together? Maybe you want to develop the habit of couple prayer.
5. Watch for dangers along the way. Just how close is that lightening and thunder? How close are we getting to cliffs and drop offs? What danger signs might you be ignoring in your relationship? Can’t remember your last date? Then it’s time to set some time apart for just the two of you.
6. You can go downhill without realizing it and it’s work to regain the proper elevation. So our advice is to keep your relationship on the front burner. Marriage maintenance is just as important as keeping your body in shape for long hikes. Work at connecting your love and your faith.
7. The greatest rewards are often up high. In the Alps the most lovely and vivid wild flowers grow at the highest elevations. Also the higher you climb, the more beautiful the view. Pause from time to time to enjoy the scenery. Life is too precious to hurry through it. Enjoy your marriage today.
In a few weeks we head back to Europe to lead seminars and hopefully experience more hikes in the Alps. For sure we’ll come home with new experiences and new lessons we can apply to our relationship. Marriage is a journey not a destination. We’ll never arrive and can always discover new life lessons to apply.
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Which of these lessons can you apply to your relationship? Have a date and talk about it!
By David & Claudia Arp
Parents of 3
Grandparents of 10
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Members
Founders of Marriage Alive and 10 Great Dates