Tag Archives: love

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; 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 – What is Love?

31 days to a better marriage

Committing to our marriage may seem scary – if we do not feel in love, anymore! You see a lifetime of drudgery stretching out in front of us, and you can’t bear it.

But the thing is, you may not ‘feel’ in love, but that doesn’t mean you will never feel that again. Feelings are so fickle! My feelings can change with the weather, what I ate, whether I had enough sleep, or what day of the month it is. How can I go by my feelings?? How can I trust something so slippery as that?


I can’t.

Problem is, once I get something in my head, then it wants to start spiraling out of control. You know how it goes.. ‘He didn’t install that new light fixture, he knew I wanted it fixed! It has been a week and I am still stumbling around in the dark because he didn’t fix it! …he must not really care about me. If he really cared, he would remember and fix it!

Isn’t that about how it goes? We go from annoyance at his forgetfulness to thinking he doesn’t ‘actually‘ care about us, in about 2 minutes flat! Then we start remembering alllll the other times in our marriage when he forgot something that was important to us, or that time he didn’t help, or the little habit he has that bugs us. We build up his bad habits or his weaknesses in our mind, until we can’t see his good points. Soon, we feel like we don’t even love each other and the whole thing was a mistake.

Is it really that bad?

I have heard that you should ‘remember why you married him’, but my problem with that, is that he was – in many ways – a different person back then. Yes, he is still the same kind, loving, Godly man, but we have both changed and grown over the years. My own method is to stop and ask myself if I am blowing this issue up.

“Does he really love me?”
Is he really trying to hurt me, or did he just forget?”
“Am I judging him by his actions, but myself by my intentions?”-Stephen Covey
“Is he being manipulative, or just an unobservant male?” (no offense, guys!)

By far, most of the time I am blowing the whole issue up. If I assume the best of his intentions, it takes away 90% of the problem. Often we still need a good discussion, to  get everything cleared up, but once I get my head on straight, the problem diminishes greatly.

So, love is not a feeling. Feelings come and go. What is it then?

What is the answer?

I think you know!

Love is action. Love is a choice. Love is even different from ‘like’. I can choose to love and care for someone who has hurt me, even if I do not like them. If your husband is treating you badly, being unkind or irresponsible – you may not particularly like him. But you can still love him. You can treat him kindly, gently, respectfully.

Setting aside the truly abusive husbands for a minute, lets talk about unChristlike men. They are many. I know that. I have watched and listened to them many times. Jokes about their wives, lazy, sloppy, undisciplined, self-serving, unspiritual. What do you do?

Humble yourself.

Let me suggest that you be the example of Christ to your family. Not in a patronizing, proud manner, but in humility and kindness. Choose to love him – choose to act in love, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t feel condemned because you don’t ‘feel’ love. Continue acting in love, day after day being Jesus to your husband. He may change – he may not. But God will reward you for your acts of love to your family.

“Love is always bestowed as a gift—freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” -Leo Buscaglia

Maybe your husband is a good husband, but you just don’t feel the love anymore. No spark. No warm fuzzy feelings. No little heart-leap when he walks through the door. 

We have been married for nearly 17 years, and I still get the warm fuzzies! 😀 Yes, I do. Seeing him walk in the door is the best part of my day! (unless He is home for an early lunch and I haven’t started anything yet! LOL! Then I just feel foolish) Point is, if you are feeling like roommates instead of lovers, you need to change something. Maybe, just maybe, you can revive the romance. (more about that on days 18-19!)

What love is: 

Selfless. John 15:13
Focus on what he needs, instead of what you need. It is a circle, but someone has to start. Why not you?

It edifies. 1 Corinthians 8:1
Don’t tear him down with “You always forget!“, etc. Build him up. “Thank you for never yelling at me.”

Undeserved. Romans 5:8
No, he doesn’t deserve your love,  but then, you don’t deserve his. We are so quick to say that we deserve hell for our sins, but then we demand so much from our husband. You deserve nothing. Stop requiring it.

Shows preference. Romans 12:10
Do you show preference to your husband? Or do you want him to give you preference??

The mark of a true disciple of Jesus. John 13:35
If you are a true disciple of Jesus, you will show love to your husband. 

Treating someone as you treat yourself. Mark 12:31
Self-explanatory.

A debt we owe to each other. Romans 13:8
Did you know that you OWE love to your husband?

Serves the other person. Galatians 5:13
Ouch.

Considerate of others’ weaknesses. Romans 14:15
Oh, how we want our husbands to be considerate to us at that time of month! Or when we are tired. Or have a headache. Or getting up at night with a newborn. Blah blah blah. Let’s turn it around!

 

Tolerates each other’s personalities. Ephesians 4:2
Wow. I so often want to turn my husband into a touchy-feely girlfriend! Ugh! No way. Let him have a polar opposite personality! 😀

I’ll give you an example: I am a social media nut. I love it! I comment, share, and like stuff alll the time. And my husband? Well, he is the same online as he is offline… no comment. Seriously, no comment! No likes, no shares, no updating his profile, nuthin. It used to bug me. “Sweetheart, don’t you like my amazing stuff?” ( I mean, I didn’t actually use those words, but still…) Finally I saw that it wasn’t personal, it was just him. So now I just ask him if he saw such-and-such, and whether he likes it. Easy. He can tell me if he liked it or if I was being a jerk, and I can blush and say thank you. Because of course HIS opinion of me means more than everyone else’s put together. 😉

Ministers to the saints. Hebrews 6:10
Is your husband a saved, born-again believer? Then he is a saint, and you need to minister to him. He is a weak, failing saint, you say? So? Still a saint – still needs you to minister to him.

The perfect bond of unity. Colossians 3:14
Oh, this! This is the goal. To be bound together in perfect unity! I want to cry it from the housetops: “Humble yourself, get on your knees, get help – what ever it takes to be unified as a Christian couple!!” There is truly nothing as satisfying and holy, as two sinners who fall on the grace of God to redeem their stories and bring them together in Christ. Two people with different personalities, different ideas, different baggage – both giving up themselves and serving each other, loving each other.
This may take time. In fact, I can almost guarantee it will take time! But it is worth it! Godly marriage is worth every effort, every sacrifice, every dying to self.

Love is…
Patient,

Kind
Not jealous
Not arrogant
Does not brag
Does not act unbecomingly
Rejoices in truth
Does not take into account a wrong suffered
Bears all things
Believes all things
Hopes all things
Endures all things
Never fails.   1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Today’s challenge is two-part:
1.Tell your husband something you love about him, and
2. Start a list of things you like about him.
It can be private or public, but write them down. I think I will put my list on the fridge, so everyone can see how many wonderful qualities he has!

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31 days to a better marriage – The Foundation.

31 days to a better marriage

Today I begin a month-long series on marriage. I want to spend the next 31 days focusing on my marriage and I am challenging YOU to spend a little time on yours! :)  I am joining  Write 31 Days for a blogging challenge. I will be sharing little bits of our story and tips for growing closer as a couple.

The Foundation.
If you want a strong house that stands the storms of life, start with a solid foundation. Jesus Christ is that strong foundation in a marriage. All the answers you need for your marriage are found in God’s Word. What does the Bible say about marriage?

  1. Become one.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

Not two people co-existing, not roommates, but ONE. Two people, blended into one, yet still individuals. Doesn’t God think of the best things?! This means you don’t carry on with your plans for your life as if it only concerns you. You stop and discuss things with your husband. (I’m writing to wives, primarily, although much applies to both. :) ) Career, vacations, days out, evenings, weekends. You build a life together – not two separate lives that intersect over dinner.

2. Submit to your husband. 

Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-24

Oh boy. Here we go, right?! No one likes these verses. But there they are. We could try to explain  them or just avoid them altogether, but there they are. I believe that it is a clear as can be, that wives are to submit to their husbands. Oh yes, I know all the excuses and wild for-examples. For the record; no, I do not think you need to submit to your husband if he asks you to sin. But that is the rare exception, isn’t it? Mostly, we just want an excuse to live the way we want, not submitting to anyone.
And that’s all I have to say about that.

3. Respect our husband.

Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she [r]respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Respect is such a powerful thing. I mean, it can change a person’s behavior! If you don’t believe me, start to purposefully show respect to your husband. See what happens. If you haven’t respected him till now, you may be surprised at how he begins to love you. Respect begets love.
You respect him – he will love you. Shouldn’t he love you first? Shouldn’t he have to earn your respect? Yes, in a way. But even if you can’t respect him as a person, you can respect his position. God has placed him as the one responsible in your marriage, so respect that position.

4. Love each other.

 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; Romans 12:10

Love each other fervently. Love each other the way you desire to be loved. Be understanding. Be gentle. Overlook small things. Serve. Set your mind to love your husband well. Ask God for wisdom in this, too. Every day, get up and ask God “How can I show my husband genuine love today?”  Do this for 31 days, and I believe you will find a difference in your heart and attitude.

Won’t you join me for the next 31 days, as we look at some ways to deepen and strengthen our marriages?

Comment with one thing that you feel is essential to a strong, Godly marriage. I’d love to hear from you!

Today’s challenge: Look up and read 5 verses about marriage in the Bible. We must begin reading our Bibles again. No matter how much we respect Christian leaders, we must start listening to God. Spend a few minutes in prayer, asking God to show you what He thinks about marriage.

Day 2  -Committment                          Day 17– Romance vs. Love
Day 3  – What is Love                           Day 18 – Date Nights
Day 4 – he’s changed!                           Day 19 – Technology
Day 5  – Happiness                               Day 20 – Don’t allow things to build up
Day 6  – Finances                                  Day 21 – No Tattling
Day 7  – Kids                                          Day 22 – No Disrespect
Day 8  – in-laws                                     Day 23 – Teaching Kids Respect
Day 9 – Church disagreements          Day 24
Day 10 -Big stuff                                   Day 25 – Hormones and women. (2 tips!!)
Day 11 -Introvert vs. extrovert           Day 26
Day 12 -READ THIS!                               Day 27
Day 13 – Asking for help                       Day 28
Day 14 – roles                                        Day 29
Day 15 -Disagreements (fights)          Day 30
Day 16 – Liking him                               Day 31

That terrible parent was me.

sad mama

I can’t even read them. Those harsh, accusatory, squinty-eyed comments that people left everywhere when a baby boy was drug away and killed before his daddy’s eyes. When a little boy fell into a cage with a dangerous beast, or even when a boy accientally knocked over a Lego sculpture. (That last one is so pathetic, it’s not worth talking about.)

They say the parents weren’t watching, weren’t being responsible, hadn’t taught their kids a thing about obedience, not touching, not reading signs, and on and on. Seriously??


You know what? I was that terrible parent.
That was me.
I had a baby boy who drowned.
He was 2 years old.
I wasn’t watching him 100% of the time, and there you go – 5 minutes later he was being swept downstream in a current so strong an adult could barely stand up. I know because it was only the adrenalin  coursing through my body that gave me the strength to stand up, hanging onto a tree branch for support, feeling around the creek-bottom with my stocking feet, screaming and crying into the wind.

A huge burden of guilt came crashing down on my back the minute I realized it wasn’t going to end well. I couldn’t look my husband in the eyes for hours. I didn’t blame the Deputy who was over-zealous in examining me and my parenting. I heard the cold accusations through his standard questions: “Didn’t you know that creek was dangerous? Do you normally allow your kids to play outside unsupervised?”

I wearily answered him, just wanting him to leave so I could flop onto my bed and cry my heart out. (He later was reprimanded by his superiors for his uncaring method of questioning.) I didn’t care. I knew he was right; I had let my baby play outside alone. For 5 minutes while I started lunch. His lunch – hotdogs. There is something exquisitely painful about putting hotdogs into a pan to heat, and an hour later serving them to 2 children instead of 3.

Do you know what it feels like to be having a wonderful, happy day, then to be plunged into the worst living nightmare? And to know it is your fault? You can’t blame anyone else. And you feel like everyone is blaming you, even when they don’t say it?

I am so thankful I have loving, caring friends and family who never blamed or shamed me. They encouraged, prayed, cried, and hugged. But they never said the obvious: “Why DID you let him play outside when you knew that canal was a mere 100 feet from your door?”
My husband could’ve allowed it to make him bitter at me, but he didn’t. He worked through his own struggles without blaming me.

Jesus has healed me from the pain, set me free from the guilt, and is teaching me to shut my ears to the Devil’s accusations. He can heal you too, if you are struggling with something similar. Jesus is the Great Healer!

I wonder how many of the name-callers on social media these days have ever been responsible for a small child 24/7? Do they know how fast a toddler can scale a fence or run toward a croc-infested lake? Have they ever searched for a missing child with their heart in their throat, screaming wild-eyed, and cold with adrenaline?

If they have, how could they possibly be so cruel? As soon as I heard of the croc story, my heart went to those parents, especially the mother. She is the one who will live with the guilt long after the world has forgotten about them. She will go to bed with red eyes for weeks. She will find a random missed sock in the laundry and break down all over again. And the father… he will question every move and replay that scene over and over. He will wonder why he wasn’t just a bit faster, a bit stronger. He will cry in the shower and when he is driving alone to work.sad mama

I don’t know the details of the story. No one does, really, except the ones on the scene. I know that more signs or a gator round-up isn’t the answer. That may prevent some tragedies and that’s great. But the thing is; hard, painful, searing things happen. And when they do, we need to rally around each other with love and prayer and hugs and tears. We can grow that way. This condemning and criticizing is killing our souls and our country.

I have no words of judgment. How can I?

That terrible parent was me, once.

Can we learn, somehow, to love and support each other even when they make mistakes or – gasp – have an accident? We all, ALL do stupid things. Some of us get away with it and no one knows. Some of us pay dearly for our mistakes.

Walk a mile in their moccasins. Love like Jesus. Practice the Golden Rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated. And if that’s too hard to do, at least take your mother’s advice and ‘be quiet if you don’t have anything good to say’.

Read my story here: Andy