Family life · home · Marriage

Monday Marriage Matters November Recap

Another month of Marriage pictures and posts are now behind us.  This is my weekly attempt to intentionally pour into my marriage, because my marriage matters to God, and it must matter to me, too.

I’ll describe the pictures from left to right.

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  1.  It is essential for every couple in every stage of their marriage to take time to take inventory of their relationship. We attended a couple’s conference last week to do just that even though we were busy and maybe didn’t really have the time to do it. We needed it and it was a blessing!
  2. Dale captured this picture when we were home visiting my parents for Thanksgiving. After 62 years of marriage, they are still tender and affectionate with one another. I see my husband watching. and observing their relationship and emulating what he sees. I am thankful for the example and the challenge to make our marriage even better in the second half.
  3.  I’ve heard people say that a happy marriage is made up of two forgivers. Humbling myself to say, “I’m sorry for being selfish” is a difficult position, but a necessary one. I’m Thankful for a forgiving God and a gracious husband. My marriage is more important than my pride.
  4. This picture just makes me laugh!! When people see how crazy this guy is, they assume that our lives are constantly filled with nothing but laughter and knee-slapping moments. That’s very far from the truth, of course, and life is filled with all the trials and struggles that everyone else faces. But I am thankful that there are times of laughter that make the hard times easier to face and that we get to share those moments together.
  5. Holding hands and praying is one of the BIG reasons we have a happy marriage. We both know how desperate we are for the Lord’s help. We cannot be what we ought to be unless we cry out for God’s intervention. I’m so thankful for a husband who takes me to the Throne of Grace over and over again!

Even if you’re not posting pictures of what you do to pour into your marriage, I trust that you’re making  intentional efforts to make your marriage better every day.  If you put it on auto pilot, you will end up in a place you don’t ever want to be!

What have you done today to show your mate that your marriage matters?

Denise Signature 150 px

Husband · Marriage

Keeping Your Marriage From Being a Statistic

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Connecting with friends from long ago happens frequently, thanks to Facebook.  Sometimes the re-connection brings pieces of good news – of family blessings or a life making a difference for Christ.

Recently someone very dear to us reached out to my husband.  The messages went back and forth filling in the empty pieces of all the years that have spanned our last visit.  It was with great sadness that we learned of their recent divorce after more than 30 years.  It was like a low blow – we didn’t see it coming and it hurt!  We hurt for all the pain it has brought.  We hurt for the child involved in the separation.  We hurt for the picture of oneness that has been broken. We hurt for the tears and sleepless nights that this family has endured.

We also hurt for marriages in general.  Why?  Because marriage is under attack.  Satan loves to get a foothold in the hearts and lives of one or both partners.  He hates marriage because it is one of God’s plans that pictures the Gospel – oneness, forgiveness and grace.  Here are some of his tactics he may throw at a married couple:

  1. A rift that makes the relationship become distant.
  2. Then there seems to the couple they have nothing in common anymore.
  3. They begin to live as roommates, or maybe even two strangers in same house.
  4. It progresses to then seeing the spouse as an enemy, out to hurt and destroy.
  5. The “logical” option is to end the marriage.

I’ve posted here about my recent Instagram pictures on Mondays, entitled, “Marriage Matters.”  I’ve challenged myself to post a picture of something each Monday that shows  an effort to enhance my marriage because Marriage Matters!  I’ve invited you to join me, and several have! Thank you!

I personally need the weekly reminder that unless we are proactive in keeping the fires in our marriages burning significantly, rather than just a little smoldering puff of smoke ready to go out, we are allowing our marriage to become another statistic. Worse than that, the testimony of Christ will have gotten another blot.

What can you do today to keep your marriage from being another statistic?

  1. Pray for your marriage.
    1. Ask God to give you a heart for your husband.
    2. Ask God to give your husband a love for you.
    3. Ask God to protect your home against all evil.
    4. Ask the Lord for wisdom about what you could do today to show that your marriage matters.  There are some days that I feel like I’m at a total loss about how I could serve my husband or do something loving for him – my mind is just blank!  That’s when I pray and ask the Lord what I could do.  He made that guy!  He knows his needs and He will reveal to me what I can do for him today!
  2. Stop and plan something you and your husband could do together as a date within this next week.  Make the plans, then tell him you have something fun scheduled just for the two of you!  Here are some lists  or ideas I found.  Some might be silly, but don’t be a stick in the mud!  Keep looking until you find an idea suitable for you both.
  3. Be the most pleasant person your husband has seen or talked to all day.
    1. Look at him when he talks.
    2. Speak sweetly.
    3. Don’t be his mom, be his wife! That means don’t criticize or belittle him.
    4. Smile at him.
    5. Smile with your voice when you speak on the phone.
    6. Dress for him.  Look sharp for him and wear what he likes to see you wear.
  4. Provide for his needs – physically, spiritually, and practically.
    1. Don’t let him leave home “thirsty.”
    2. Make home his haven.
    3. Provide good meals that will make him anticipate suppertime!

I realize that not every marriage will be “fixed” by these simple four additives, but if your marriage is just stale and lacking, these simple ideas can revitalize your relationship and add the spark to get it back on track!

Keep your marriage refreshed,

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Marriage

Little Gestures Make for Many Years of Marriage

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There is always a reason to celebrate marriage, but I’ve had 35 reasons to celebrate my marriage this month, seeing that we celebrated our 35th anniversary on the 20th!

How does a person get to their 15th or their 25th or their 50th? It’s by making your marriage each and every day.

So here are the little things I did this month to show my husband that he matters; that our marriage matters.

While traveling through Kentucky alone recently, I stopped at a Cracker Barrel for a break and saw these rocking chairs. We own black ones just like them, but I had to send a picture to my husband just to say,

“I know you’d love these blue KY rockers!” But it was also a reminder that I was thinking about him, what he loves and what matters in his world. It’s easy to get too busy or too cumbered about with all our other cares to stop and let a smile creep across our face because we know our husband would laugh at that scene we’re watching, or would enjoy the treat we were just served… or would love that team rocking chair!

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Every month when I repost these entries I almost laugh at how small each gesture was, but that’s really the whole point!  It’s the little things that make the big difference!  This bag of peanute clusters were purchased when I ran into Walgreens for some other item.  When  walked past them, I thought of Dale – a lover of all things that include any kind of nut = peanuts, almonds, pecans – it doesn’t matter.  Cover it with chocolate and it’s even better!  I purchased these, wrote the little note on the bag and hid it in his desk drawer while he was away.  Why?  Because I think he’s nice! He’s real nice!  (Any Andy Griffith fans out there remember that episode?)

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This picture was posted on the day of our anniversary – a reminder that it’s the fun times + the hard times that make up 35 years marriage.  Each day is a treasure to be enjoyed!

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The phrase on the vase, “I love Us” is a phrase we’ve used for years.  Having a quote that is “yours” is a way to mke your relationship deeper and stronger.  It reminds you of where you’re headed and how you want to get there.

For us, the fact that “we love us” reminded us that whether we had our family close by, if children were home or gone, if ministry was hard or wonderful, if we had “us” we would be okay, with the Lord’s help!

I especially loved that when our girls threw our anniversary party on the 10th of this month, this phrase was the theme.  I pray that they will always see and know that that their parents love being together, living together, and staying together!  Why?  Because Marriage matters!

Do you and your spouse have a phrase that is “yours?”   I’d love to hear it!

With love,

Denise