Today, Jeff and I celebrate 27 years of marriage, and I couldn’t be happier about it. You see, I picked him out when I was in eighth grade. I was at my best friend’s house practicing for our upcoming cheer tryouts, when I saw him. He was shooting hoops with my best friend’s older brother.

“Who is that with Ryan?” I asked.

“Oh that’s Jeff Adams,” Angie answered.

I stared in his direction for a few minutes longer, trying not to be too obvious, and then I said, “When I am allowed to date, he’s the one I want.”

Thankfully, my wish came true. Jeff became my high school and college sweetheart and eventually my husband—not that we didn’t break up several times during those years—but somehow we always found our way back to each other. In fact, when the song “After All” by Cher and Peter Cetera came out in 1989, I was positive it had been written for Jeff and me. Remember the chorus?

“After all the stops and starts, we keep coming back to these two hearts.

Two angels who’ve been rescued from the fall.

After all that we’ve been through, it all comes down to me and you.

I guess it’s meant to be.

Forever you and me, after all.”

I even used that song as a Casey Kasem long distance dedication, and he played it, sharing our love story with all of his listeners!

Pretty cool.

But you know, our relationship hasn’t been without its challenges. Like any great love story, we’ve faced obstacles, weathered storms, and gone through the good, the bad, and the ugly together.

I’m certainly no marriage expert, though I’ve spoken at a few marriage retreats. But over the years, I’ve learned a few things about having a happy marriage (mostly by trial and error), and I endeavor to continue learning in this area until the good Lord calls me home.

So here are my top three keys to a happy marriage:

1- Laugh together, and laugh often!—Laughter is therapeutic, so the experts say. But you know what else? It’s also very bonding. Jeff and I share so many “inside jokes” that we can simply give each other a certain look and totally crack up. I love laughing through life with him.

2 – See the best in each other—If you read First Corinthians 13 (the Love Chapter), in the Amplified version, you’ll notice that verse 7 says, “Love is ever ready to believe the best of every person…” If you’re constantly believing the best in one another, you’ll be each other’s biggest cheerleader, best friend, and favorite date.

3 – Always keep Jesus at the center of your marriage—When you can’t find any common ground after a period of fighting or during a stage in your relationship where one (or both of you) is going through something, it’s crucial and comforting that Jesus remains your common denominator. With Him, all things are possible, and that includes repairing a broken marriage or continuing to build a solid one.

And if I were going to throw in one for a bonus, I’d say, keep dating your spouse. Remember all the reasons you fell in love, and look at your spouse through those lovesick eyes.

Even if it’s not your anniversary today, like it is ours, I hope you’ll take time to celebrate your love and the life you share with that special someone today and every day.

(You know you want to hear it now….)