Category Archives: Ranch House

31 Days to a better Marriage: Teaching the kids respect.

31 days to a better marriage, teach the kids respect

One huge way to show your husband love – is to teach the kids to respect him. They pick up on your attitude and opinions, so if you are always respectful and loving – chances are they will be, too.

When they are small, make a big deal about Daddy coming home. Rush to the door with them to greet him. Let your husband know that you and the kids can’t wait till he gets home!


Give him special treatment sometimes. Or all the time! It is a sign of security – not submission – when a wife finds fulfillment in treating her man special because she loves him. Get the kids in on it by bring him hot drinks in the winter or cold ones in the summer. Make it an honor to do special things for him like cleaning out his truck or folding his clothes. Little kids enjoy doing special things for the people they love. This practice will help them see their dad as someone who needs to be respected. (for his position, if not his character)

As they get older, don’t ever talk disrespectfully about him whether he is present or absent. Kids naturally don’t like when someone speaks ill of their father – just like they naturally don’t like anyone to speak ill of their mother! Sometimes they will come to you with questions when you must tell the truth – don’t ever lie – but you can still be respectful.

“Yes, dad made that decision and we might not agree, but we still need to respect him. Sometimes we disagree, but God has placed Dad as the leader in this family, and we are going to honor him.”

Never fight in front of the kids. Always present a united front. If Dad tells them no, but they come to you – you say no too. It doesn’t matter if you disagree with your husband. You stand with him. You back him up. Let them know that you will enforce dad’s rules. You can discuss disagreements privately, later.

My kids know I am the pushover! (I’m not proud of that) So every once in a while they come to me. Sorry but no. If dad said no, then I say no too! It won’t hurt kids to be disappointed occasionally – but it may hurt them to have parents who are not united.

Respect your husband by teaching your kids to respect him. It may change your marriage!

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage, No disrespect.

I have covered this topic throughout the series, but today I wanted to point out several specific ways that we disrespect our husbands – sometimes without knowing it! I have been guilty of some of these, sadly. I ask God often to show me where I can grow in respecting my man.

31 days to a better marriage; no disrespect,

  • Correcting him in public. There is a time to speak, and there is a time to be silent. When your husband is telling a story or recounting an experience, it is a time for you to be silent. Does it really matter if he said it happened in January, when it really happened in February? Does it really matter if your uncle Fred is 76 years old instead of 74? I cringe when a man is trying to tell some story but he can’t get through 2 sentences without his wife correcting some minuscule detail. This is disrespect, ladies, and it needs to stop. Let him tell the story.
  • Telling him what to do. There is a fine line between asking for help and ordering him around. I am a firm believer in asking for help. But I am just as firm, that ordering your husband to do things is disrespectful. Let’s be careful of our tone of voice…

    “Her voice was ever gentle, low and soft, and excellent thing in woman.” Ma Ingalls, Little Town on the Prairie.

  • Never wanting intimacy.  I know — your hormones are all over the place, you are drunk-tired, you are tired of little people touching, hugging, pulling at you all day long. But If you never want to get sexy in the bedroom – he will feel disrepected. I love this article from Sheila Gregoire. (my favorite resource on intimacy)

    “You know the things that drain you: talking to certain people, housework, running around after kids, paid work, chauffeuring, scheduling, all the things that go into a normal life. These things aren’t necessarily bad, but you need to figure out what also charges you…” Sheila Wray Gregoire

  • Don’t correct his parenting. It’s ok if the baby doesn’t get his hair washed with a special soap, or the diaper gets on backwards, or he lets them eat more sugar than you would. If he is helping you – be thankful. There is no reason to disrespect him because you are Type A or whatever. It is 100x better to have a loving, involved dad who feeds his kids sugar, than to have a absent dad. (research the crime rates in homes with no father) Besides, it smacks of pride to think your way is best! Let him parent how he wants. If it is a big issue – talk to him privately about it.
  • Thank him for providing for your family. If he is working, thank him! If you are also working, you still need to thank him. Remember the Golden Rule. Men like to be providers – let him know you appreciate it.
  • Get excited about his dreams, and help him pursue them! You may not be interested in tagging sharks off the coast of California, but if he is – learn a little bit about it! Help him research  his dreams and encourage him. He will love you for it.
  • Take care of yourself, physically. Don’t ‘let yourself go’ because you have your man. Get dressed daily. Comb your hair. And by all means – take a shower daily!! (I won’t hear any excuses) I have raised 7 babies and moved 12 times and been sleep-deprived more than I would like to remember. But there are not many days when I didn’t get a shower. Please, for the love of your husband, take a shower! (3 kids under 3, anyone? been there)

This is not an exhaustive list, by any means. Feel free to comment with your ideas and tips on how we can show respect to our husbands.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 days to a better marriage, not allowing things to build up between you.

31 days to a better marriage; not allowing things to build up between you.

You know that you shouldn’t allow things to build up between you, but then you get in a fight disagreement, and you just want peace, or sleep, or your own way, or maybe life is so crazy-busy that you just don’t take time to talk things through.

First thing you know – a bit of coldness toward your husband is creeping into your heart. Not anger. Not bitterness. Just a general ‘meh’. Maybe the two of you disagreed about something that you can’t get past. If you disagree on principles and values, it is really hard to get past that.


Maybe you think: “It’s not a big deal, I should just get over it!” You stuff it, or you try to forget it. But once there is something you refuse to work through – soon there is more. I have found that talking about stuff is the key to keeping communication open. You may never agree on a certain issue. But you can have a peaceful, loving marriage despite that.

It’s like a brick wall – I am sure you’ve heard this comparison before – one brick is not a big deal, but soon it’s a wall a mile high. Then it is next to impossible to move! So don’t allow even one brick between you! You may have to compromise, you may have to die to self, you may need to explain yourself better. But keep working at communication.

My husband and I have worked through some pretty big disagreements. Do we see everything 100% the same way? Nope. We are human, with different backgrounds, different personalities, different stories. But we follow the same Jesus. We read the same Bible. And we both want a Godly friendship-love. So we talk. We hash things out. In the end, though, I believe the Scripture that says:

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22-25

So keep working at your communication, my friends. Keep things clear and open between you. Will this matter in 100 years? If the answer is no, then just let it go. :)

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage; Technology.

31 Days to a better marriage, Technology

Technology is one of those things with which I have a have a love/hate relationship. I mean, obviously technology makes my life so easy, and helps me so much! But then, it also can be distracting and frustrating(!!) and get in the way of real relationships.

You’ve heard the jokes about wives who run up credit debt online, or husbands who play video games all the time. Sadly, this is all too common. Now, we have the smartphones to add to the mix; we can buy and play with a swipe of our thumb.


It is easy – far too easy – to live virtual lives instead of real ones. To chat with a friend 1,000 miles away, instead of talking to the person we are sitting next to on the couch. To share our beliefs and the Gospel with someone in a different state instead of with our neighbor.  To invite friends to online ‘parties’ instead of inviting them over for coffee.

What does this mean in the context of marriage?

We need to remember that first; this is the world we live in. You ain’t gonna change it, friend. Nobody is going back to 1988. (except a few preppers, maybe) This is our new world. Don’t mourn and fuss and whine about the good old days. That’s what my grandpa said, too, and he farmed with horses till 1960! (or somewhere around there) I mean, there’s a place for old-fashioned things and simplicity, I agree. But there’s a point…

Second, technology can be a real blessing! You can read blogs on marriage 😉 , get financial tools,  find jobs, find date ideas and places to stay. You can learn a new skill. You can watch movies. You can listen to sermons and find Bible studies. So many good things to do with technology.

OK, but is it a blessing or a curse in marriage?

Satan wants to bring it between us. He wants to make it a curse. He is a cunning enemy who wants to make us fight and fuss. HE wants to tear us apart any way he can! Technology can certainly do that. But God wants to make it a blessing. We have the same Saviour in 2017 as we had in 1988. We can allow Satan to use technology to come between us, or we can allow God to make it a blessing.

This obviously takes two people to agree that you will not allow Satan to get a foothold. Two people who agree to put their relationship first, and technology second. Maybe you don’t actually ‘sit down and talk about it’, per se. We haven’t. But when technology (usually our phone usage) bothers one of us, we tell each other in a kind, respectful way. I’m not saying we are perfect in this area, but we are learning and growing.

We give each other our full attention when we talk to each other. We don’t interrupt each other when we are busy with something online. We give grace when one or the other spends extra time online or watching a riveting movie series. Again, we’re not yet perfect, but we try.

Remember the good old days where everyone ignored each other with books and newspapers? 😀 Yeah, that wasn’t much better. I know technology has overrun our lives, but we can control it, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us. Just like alcohol or food, it can become an addiction that needs broken. But in the right place, it can be a blessing!

31 days to a better marriage, technology

Texts to each other: flirty, encouraging, loving. Encouraging websites, sermons online, even games to play together. Music. Sending pictures of the kids. Skype. I’m sure you can think of more!

Remember; Satan wants to tear you apart in any way he can. Jesus wants to bring you together. Technology is just a tool. Don’t be a slave to it, don’t allow it to control you. Embrace the good in it, be thankful for the good points.

If your husband suggests that you are using it wrongly; listen to him. If he is using it too much, lovingly discuss it with him. Pray about it. But don’t allow Satan to use technology to tear you apart.

Read the rest of the series HERE. 

31 Days to a better marriage; Romance vs. Love.

31 days to a better marriage; romance vs love

When we think of romance, we might picture roses, candles, rooftop dates under the stars, walking hand-in-hand through falling leaves, cozy evenings by a crackling fire…

We forget, sometimes, that romance is wildly overrated. That love is what we need most in our days. Love that steps over the scattered toys without complaining, love that says: “stay in bed, I’ll eat cereal”, love that holds you when you are sad, love that eats leftovers for days, love that brings home chocolate for those hard days.

Romance is the feeling of excitement and mystery surrounding love. (Webster)


I love romance! It is fun, and keeps our marriage interesting. But dear sister, please don’t expect your married life to be full of mysterious excitement! Many days will come and go with no rooftop dinners, no relaxing walks in nature, no wine and chocolate. There may be no money for date night, and there will be kids who want to go on that walk with you.

But there will be love. And love wins over romance any day, in my book. Don’t take that love for granted. Don’t miss the romance of a husband who knows what kind of treat to bring you after a hard day. Don’t miss the magical moments of watching a sunrise from your kitchen window together, no words needed. (You haven’t tried that? You need to. 😉 )

Romance is beautiful and there is a place for it, definitely. But the longer we are married, the more I realize that love is pretty romantic, after all.

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 Days to a better marriage: You don’t have to like him.

31 days to a better marriage: You don't have to like him.

Today I have a short and perhaps odd point to make about your marriage. See, I hear this a lot, and in different forms: “I don’t like my husband. I don’t love him any more. There’s no spark anymore. We just grew apart. There’s no feelings any more.

These statements may be 100% true. But that doesn’t excuse you from the vows you made before God. Lack of feelings doesn’t give you an excuse to leave your man – it just means you need to  give more attention to your marriage. See, you don’t have to LIKE your husband. You just have to treat him with love.


Feelings are fickle. They come and go. We can’t make decisions based on how we feel. Maybe you need to start practicing love. Practice speaking in loving tones. Practice by doing acts of love for him. Practice thinking good thoughts about him.

Jesus commands us to love each other, and the amazing thing is; if you practice showing love to your husband, (or indeed, anyone!) you will probably start liking them, too! It may take a while, but consistent acts of love are the best way I know to bring those fickle feelings around.

Ask yourself: “How would I treat him if I was madly in love with him?”

Now do that.

“Fake it till you make it” is a terrible-sounding adage. But really, it is pretty close to the truth! Only, it’s not fake if you are sincere. Sincerely wanting to obey God by loving your husband. Sincerely wanting a deep, meaningful relationship with your husband. There’s nothing fake about that!

“Practice till you become” may be a better saying.

You want to know something else? There are very, very few women who are willing to humble themselves and obey God in this area. To say: “OK God, I will begin today to treat my husband with the love and respect You command, no matter if he loves me back, no matter if I feel like it or not.”

Do you realize how brave that is? That is pure faith. Faith in a God big enough to hold you. Faith that His promises are true, that He cares about you.

We hear the term ‘be brave’ bantered about a lot these days, but the real bravery? It’s not wearing a cute tee-shirt with fancy lettering – it is following God into scary waters like these.

Be brave, my friend. Love him like you mean it. Love him till you like him. Do it till you feel it.

Practice till you become.

Read the rest of the series HERE. 

31 Days to a better marriage, Disagreements

31 days to a better marriage: working through differences.

After nearly 17 years of marriage, we have had our share of disagreements! I would love to say we always agreed and never got upset with each other. :) But that’s just not realistic. I hate calling them ‘fights’, because it never really felt like a fight to me! Just a disagreement.

When you bring two people together, both of whom have different personalities, backgrounds, emotional baggage, and interests, you are bound to have a disagreement from time to time.


What I can tell you, by the grace of God we have never slammed a door and walked off, we have never yelled at each other or physically hurt each other. But we can only have this testimony by the power of Christ.

When we disagree, I tend to retreat in silence. Thankfully, my man persistently draws me out. He tries to get me to talk about it. He could just say “oh well, I tried.” But he doesn’t. Instead, he says: “Are we going to allow Satan to get between us?” 

Ouch.

That one phrase has been the saving grace for our marriage. It reminds me of the bigger picture, and how I should respond to temptation. It reminds me that Godly marriages will always be under attack from Satan, and I should not take things personal, but remember that it is Satan taking advantage of our human nature to try and separate us!

Over the years I have learned to not retreat – to talk instead. But it took me years to trust him enough – to trust our relationship enough – to talk my way through the problem, not just meekly agree OR silently retreat.

So, when we disagree, we talk. We keep our voices calm and respectful, and ask each other “is that what you meant?” and “this is how it sounds to me” and “Why do you feel that way?”

We do not allow something between us for long. We try to make peace as quickly as possible! We are not perfect, but we try every day to grow closer, more unified, more like Christ Jesus in our marriage.

If you humble yourself and admit when you are wrong, it will go far. When you have two such people, you can have a beautiful marriage! Humility is such a glorious thing. Pride is often – oh, so often! – the cause of our problems. It is what got Satan cast down from Heaven, and it will keep us from Heaven if we don’t deal mercilessly with it.

Read the rest of the series here (scroll to the bottom of the page)

31 days to a better marriage – Roles in the home.

marriage roles

You can do a quick google search and come up with a thousand differing pieces on roles in the home and what they should be. I am not going to quote research or the ‘experts’. There is only one expert in the field of family and home – and that is our Father God.

As a child of His, I am only interested in what He has to say, what He asks of me. I don’t care if it is unpopular, I only care what He says to me when I stand before Him and give account of how I spent my time.That day is coming, you know. “Let God be true, and every man a liar“, you know.


So what does God say about it? Let’s look at some verses in Titus:

“Encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:4-5

This is what the older, Godly women are supposed to be encouraging; a life working at home in love, respecting their husband, being kind and sensible. It really is so simple and plain, but Satan has used unGodly people to spread lies about God’s plan.

Instead of understanding our great calling as mothers and wives, we now have to explain and justify it, and fight the feeling of ‘I’m just a stay at home mom’. We try to look put together so no one guesses that we spend our days wrangling kids and wiping spills.

But consider Timothy’s mother & grandmother. If it weren’t for their sincere faith, we probably wouldn’t have the example and blessing of Timothy.

“For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well.”  2 Timothy 1:5

What an example! That because of the lives and teaching of two generations, we have a Timothy. It doesn’t mention the fathers, you notice. Probably, they had to work long hours and were just not home much to help with the training of the children.

You see, mothers can teach and train their children to Godliness with the help of God. Two are better than one, but if our man is working long hours or gone a lot – we can still teach our children! We spend the most time at home with our children, so we are responsible.

Oh, but what if you are working full time? Who shapes and trains these young minds then? The daycare? Babysitters? Let me assure you that no one cares about your children’s souls as much as you do. Apple and Hollywood are not good substitutes for a loving mother who aches for the souls of her children.

Paul tells Timothy that women are not allowed the ministry of teaching or being a pastor, but she can be a mother. In this way, Paul is raising motherhood to the same level of ministry as being a pastor! 1 Timothy 2:12-15

What a glorious calling! Think of Susannah Wesley – one of my heroes since my childhood – she was poor, very poor, and had so many children (!!) but she was diligent in training them to God’s Word, and think of the far-reaching influence of that teaching! John Wesley has blessed thousands, and it began with his Godly mother. What if she had taken a job to earn money to relieve their poverty? The children would have missed that daily teaching that she faithfully gave them.

Should our husband help us? Of course! In my last article, I wrote about asking for help versus using him as our personal servant. Men naturally excel at most professions. I know women don’t like to hear that, but it is true! We can do almost everything men can – but it takes more effort to become great at it. Men are stronger, bigger, and have more testosterone. These physiological differences give them an edge.

Only one place where women outdo men – childbearing. Our bodies are geared towards childbearing and motherhood. Incidentally, women also have a higher pain threshold than men, which I find humorous! 😀 (childbirth, anyone?!) The way our bodies are created should be a clue to how God wants a home to work.

There are circumstances where mothers have to work outside the home for survival – I get that. And I believe God gives grace for such situations. But when we have small children at home, our first responsibility is to nurture and train them.

Men are wired to be more aggressive, to fight for their families, to protect, and serve. This serves them well in the Provider role in the home.

Women are wired to be nurturing, gentle, relational, and intuitive. This serves us well in the Nurturing role in the hime; caring for our chldren.

I am not saying it is sin to work outside the home. What I am saying, is to be wise and understand what the will of God is for you. Don’t allow the world to shape your beliefs and actions. Open the Scripture and get on your knees. Ask God what He would have you do. He gave you to these children as their mother – are you being faithful to that trust?

Read the rest of the series HERE.

31 days to a better marriage – Asking for help.

31 days - asking for help

Have you ever been frustrated because your husband didn’t help you with some task? Maybe you were overwhelmed with caring for the baby, or getting a meal on, or homeschool, and he doesn’t offer help?

I remember a few times earlier in our marriage when this would happen to me. But when I took my frustration out on him, you know what he said?


“You didn’t ask.”

It wasn’t that he was forcing me to ask for help – what he meant was; he didn’t notice that I needed help, and I didn’t ask.

That was not his fault – that was mine! Why was I getting frustrated with him when I didn’t even ask for help? Maybe I thought: “if he really cared about me he would notice!” But that is just ridiculous. Your husband can’t read minds any more than you can! Don’t ask him to.

Ask for help when you need it. It is OK to ask for help. But ask in a gentle, kind manner. Don’t bark out commands like bossy mom. 😉 Remember to treat him as you like to be treated. He might not see what needs done – after all, you are (probably) the one who spends more time in the house.

Don’t use him. Yes, we all need help, and we are a team. That doesn’t give you license to kick back and take it easy the minute he walks in the door. He has been working too, you know. He is not your slave or personal assistant. Don’t throw everything under the guise of: “well, it’s his house too!” to excuse your laziness.

Maybe you work together all day. That is great! So continue working together at home. If you need help, ask. But don’t become his mother, and don’t turn him into your slave. Work in unity.

Be careful of your tone of voice. Are you asking or ordering? I am so used to telling my kids what to do, that sometimes I unintentionally just tell my husband what to do, too! That’s not cool. I try to work on that, to watch my tone and inflection. I want to be respectful of my husband in even the smallest areas of life.

Read the rest of this series here. (scroll to bottom of page)

31 Days to a better marriage – The rewards!

31 days to a better marriage, the rewards of a good marriage

Are you getting a little overwhelmed and bogged down with thinking about all the sacrifice and effort that a good marriage takes?

Me too.


So today, I wanted to remind us WHY we work on our marriages, why we sacrifice ourself, and put in the work. We do it because it is worth it, right? Maybe you are in a spot where it doesn’t feel like it IS worth it. If so, it could be that you need to put more work into your marriage before you start seeing the results.

A good, strong, loving marriage does not happen overnight. It is the result of intentionally loving one another, year after year. Intentionally sacrificing Self, intentionally building up a a deep reserve of good memories and intentionally forgetting the bad.

Here is a list of the benefits and rewards you can expect, if you both are seeking God first, and loving each other unselfishly:

Deep contentment. I don’t know why I never hear this, but it is one of my favorite parts. When I think of my husband, I get this feeling of contentment – like I have a hundred million dollars in the bank.

Security. We are secure in the love we hold for each other. We trust each other. I know I don’t have to worry about him cheating on me, or flirting with other women, and he has the same security in my love for him.

We enjoy being together. There isn’t much better than sitting next to him on the couch at the end of the day, sipping coffee. Sometimes we talk and sometimes we don’t. Either way is fine. Just being together is wonderful.

We have fun! Laughter, jokes, (he has a wonderful, dry sense of humor!) teasing…

He holds me when I cry. He doesn’t always understand my female feelings (shucks, even I don’t understand them!) But he always holds me and comforts me when I am feeling sad – even if I tell him “I don’t know why I am crying!!”

He encourages me in my dreams. No matter if it is raising chickens, (an exercise in futility, it seems) growing vegetables, (same!)  exercising, or writing a book. He is always encouraging and telling me to go for it!

We pray for each other. No one cares about me like my husband, and no one knows better how to pray for me than him. I value his prayers highly!

We balance each other out. His steadiness helps my impulsiveness. My touch of crazy brightens his quietness. 😀 My constant talking gives him someone to listen to, and his strength balances out my weakness.

We sharpen each other. Sometimes, we see something in the other one that they can’t see – so we (gently) call it out. This is something we do more as we grow in our love for each other. In other words, we didn’t do this much as young marrieds, and I think that was wise.

Too often young people get all self-righteous about something they see in their partner, and want to set them straight. Please be very, VERY careful about this. It is better to pray and let the Holy Spirit show them their faults, than to be harsh. Husband OR wife – be careful. Relationships can be ruined by too much ‘setting straight’.

But as we get stronger and wiser in our relationship, we can give and take gentle corrections. And it has been very helpful for me, when my man has shown me something in my attitude or actions that is unChristlike. I have blind spots where “I” am concerned, so it is a favor to me, if he tells me how I come across to others. Then, I can take that to God and let Him show me how to change.

We can be ourselves. In this politically-correct world, it is a rare place where one can say an opinion without someone mis-interpreting it. (thanks Facebook!)

Intimacy. Surely one of the best parts of marriage, but I will leave it at that! 😉

We are nearly at 17 years of marriage, and I feel more ‘in love’ every day! No, I am not stretching it. By the grace of God, our marriage has grown into a wonderful bond of love and care between us, and I pray it continues to grow. I am not saying this to brag, because I do have the benefit of a great husband. But I want you to be encouraged that you can get here too! Especially if you are in those first 10 years – don’t give up!! Keep working on it. Be careful that you hold God’s Word higher than any book, preacher, or counselor. (including this series)

The rewards can be better than you could imagine! Not that we don’t have troubles – finances, loss, disagreements, health, etc. Yes, we have had it all. But we keep coming back to God’s Word and each other, determined that Satan won’t separate us, by God’s grace!

Read the rest of the series HERE.