A Marriage Thanksgiving Prayer – I’m Thanking The Lord He Made You


We’ve come to the time in the season
When family and friends gather near
To offer a prayer of Thanksgiving
For blessings we’ve known through the year
To join hands and thank the Creator
And now when Thanksgiving is due
This year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you
This year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you 

I’m grateful for the laughter of children
The sun and the wind and the rain
The color of blue in your sweet eyes
The sight of a high ball and train
The moon rise over a prairie
Old love that you’ve made new
This year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you
This year when I count my blessings
I’m thanking the Lord He made you 

And when the time comes to be going
It won’t be in sorrow and tear
I’ll kiss you goodbye and I’ll go on my way
Grateful for all of the years
I thank for all that you gave me
For teaching me what love can do
Thanksgiving day for the rest of my life
I’m thanking the Lord He made you
Thanksgiving day for the rest of my life
I’m thanking the Lord He made you

Posted in Holidays, Prayer | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Trials In Marriage – Loving The Addict


Last week we talked to those who are caught in the web of addictions. This week we want to talk about the spouse married to the addict.

This is a tough one because the trial you find yourself in often comes when you least expected it. What seemed a normal marriage suddenly seems wrought with hypocrisy. It can be a dark and lonely place where the only person who knows is the one who has caused the pain. If your spouse is unwilling to seek help you can feel trapped and without hope.

How do you navigate such a trial?

First, I want to begin by virtually putting my arms around your shoulders, looking you directly in the eyes and say I care. Loving someone who is addicted in any way shape or form, is hard, and the struggle is very real. This is why the Lord is having me focus on your situation today. I believe it’s the Holy Spirit who has led you to read this post as well. He is caring for you by reminding you that He will never leave or forsake you. You can run to Him and be safe.

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” 

Proverbs 18:10 ESV

Second, if you haven’t already, it requires you to let your spouse know that you’re committed to the marriage, and you want to do all you can to help them seek and find freedom. Many times the offender, especially if a Christian, feels shame and condemnation already. Having a spouse who adds to this only complicates what the Holy Spirit wants to do.

Remember Grace is undeserved favor. It is what Christ gave to us while we were still dead in our sin. We had no ability on our own to find freedom–yet He gave it to us without hesitation. And He is the only One who can help you love your spouse in the same way. Extending grace for judgment, love for hatred, and acceptance over rejection.

Third, when your spouse begins the confession process–filling you in on all they have done to deceive and sin against you–you may find it easy to listen and love. But as time passes it is most likely that you will battle with anger, even disgust, at what they have done to you. Take those emotions to the Lord, not your spouse. The goal in marriage is to seek peace and unity. Lashing out to your spouse in anger will only complicate an emotionally charged difficulty. What have we been given that we didn’t receive. The fact that you haven’t struggled in this area is nothing but God’s grace extended to you towards that temptation. Our strength comes from Him, not from our ability to say NO. Ask God to give you compassion for your spouse.

Fourth, if your spouse is willing, seek outside help. Someone who is familiar with addictions as well as Biblical counsel. Your pastor would be a good choice because they have invested in your growth in godliness. If your pastor isn’t an option, seek a Biblical Counselor–one who will point you to the Gospel. We know that this is the only place where lasting change occurs. It took Christ’s death on the cross to secure our freedom from bondage to sin.

Finally, repenting from addictions and submitting to change doesn’t usually happen overnight. Although we have heard of miraculous changes, it most often involves triumphs as well as set backs. Don’t be surprised if your spouse has to confess failure to you. Assure your spouse that this is a battle you’re both fighting, not theirs alone. There is safety in numbers, and making sure your spouse knows that you’re on their team to fight this addiction will go a long way in helping them resist temptation.

I realize that there are many marriages where the addict continually denies or justifies their behavior and leaves the hurting spouse to suffer alone. This is a sad state and one that requires outside counsel, not something that could be addressed on a single blog post. Seek help for your specific needs. You don’t have to face this alone. Most importantly, don’t allow yourself to be an enabler to the addiction. Loving your spouse for better and for worse, often includes helping them face their own addictions.

We pray for God’s help in knowing how best to love your spouse to complete freedom.

Additional Resources:

Addiction: What Is The Cure? – Marriage Missions International<<Excellent points made and well worth reading. Please do!! Cindy Wright is a personal friend whom I respect, and I value her advice.

Godly Intoxication: The Church Can Minister To Addicts

12 Ways To Love Your Wayward Child – Desiring God Ministries <<Many of these points can apply to marriage.

Posted in Christian Marriage, Conflict, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, The Gospel & Marriage, Troubled Marriage | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Trials In Marriage – Addictions


“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1 ESV

My purpose in highlighting this particular trial is not to bring condemnation to those caught in this vicious cycle. Addictions are powerful taskmasters and can hold us hostage for years. One may want to quit, but lack the ability to do so. I get that. So please, don’t check out if this post finds you in need.

Addiction is defined as the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance, thing, or activity.

What started as one act of submission to a particular thing, whether good or evil, turned into a sinful craving that won your affections. It became ruler over you. An addiction is a wicked tyrant wanting nothing more than to destroy your family, your marriage and even your life.

Addictions come in many forms…

  • Substance addictions: alcohol, drugs (illegal or prescription drug abuse), smoking, eating disorders, etc. These all are things one puts into the body that can take a chemical hold on your body and how it functions. You literally become dependent on the substance to make it through the day.
  • Sexual addictions: pornography, adultery. This kind of addiction tends to escalate over time, making what once quenched your desire no longer effective.
  • Entertainment addictions: movies, video games, poker, sports, internet use, even shopping.
  • Behavioral addictions: Anger, control, cutting, and hoarding.

The only way to beat an addiction is to face it head on and humble yourself by surrendering your will, your desires to God. This is the starting place.

Some addictions, especially substance addictions, may require outside help. However, in order to receive help one must be willing to be known, to be transparent, and to be completely honest with those who love you. This is humility. It’s coming to a place of complete honesty as to the true condition of your heart…

Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. – James 4 ESV

The battle requires more than simply saying NO. It requires all out war in the spiritual realm.

The Bible explains it in 2 Corinthians 10…

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

This is good news! It is God alone who is able to set the captive soul free, and if you are in Christ, you are a new creation–He will walk with you through this trial to the other side where grace and freedom reign.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 5:6-11 ESV

C.S. Lewis depicts this well in his Chronicles of Narnia series, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. Edmond had anger issues with his family, which isolated him relationally from his brother and sisters. They were the people who loved him most.

Note that this is a tactic Satan has used since the beginning of time–to isolate us from the safety net of relationships. 

Once Edmund was alone, the White Witch made her move. She spoke kindly to him and offered him a taste of Turkish Delight. He trusted her to be harmless, but he couldn’t have been in more danger. He was befriending the enemy unaware. And he became addicted to it. He was willing to get more at any cost, even putting his family and friends in danger.

If you’ve battled addiction of any kind, I’m sure it started as what seemed an innocent choice. Had you known the true nature of the beast enticing you, you would have surely run, like Joseph who fled the sexual advances of Potiphar’s wife. But if you didn’t run, and you find yourself in a prison of your own making, it is never too late! Seek the Lord with all your heart and He will lead you to freedom…

“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,

“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

Ephesians 5:6-21 ESV (emphasis added)

What addictions have you escaped? We would love to hear your story of freedom. And if you’re still facing the beast, we would love to pray with and for you. God is an ever present help in our time of need. Never forget it!

Additional Resources:

Posted in Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, The Gospel & Marriage, Troubled Marriage | Tagged | 2 Comments

We Have A Winner!


Congratulations to Jonathan and Medana Cox–our winners in our Love Song Dedication Contest, who will celebrate their 19th wedding anniversary on March 15th. 

Thanks to everyone who entered and voted. We count it a privilege to hear your stories of love, endurance and faithfulness.

God is Good!

Posted in Contests, Love Song Dedication To My Spouse

Trials In Marriage–Caring For Elderly Parents


My Mom has been gone for nearly three years, and it seems I’m missing her more now than I have in a while. I’m not sure why that is, but I’m grateful I have no regrets that haunt me about our relationship. She was 37 when I was born, so I hit this stage of life earlier than many do.

My Dad died 9 years prior, and I’m grateful that neither of them suffered with a long bout of debilitating illness. My Dad died 8 weeks after his diagnosis of brain cancer, and my Mom died 3 weeks after her diagnosis of abdominal cancer. I hardly had a chance to process what was happening until it was over.

Through it all Tom released me to care for my parents as much as I felt was needed. Many times I spent the night at their house to support my Mom when it was my Dad’s illness, and to support my sister (who is an RN) when my Mom became ill.

Tom usually didn’t know what to say to comfort me, so he would often hold me in silence. He prayed for me, he listened when I was reminiscing, and all the while he was hurting too. He loved my parents. It was a one of the most heart wrenching experiences of my life, and in our marriage. I wasn’t ready to let my parents go and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

I realize my story may seem easy to one who is going through years of watching their parent decline from the effects of Alzheimer’s or any other long-lasting disease. As a caregiver your needs are usually last on the list due to urgency and necessity. Or if your spouse is the caregiver, it’s easy for you to feel neglected through the crisis.

How do you navigate such long-standing hardship and have your marriage remain strong?

First of all, it’s important to realize the weight your spouse is carrying and to do everything you can to ease the burden. Each couple will handle this differently, so it’s of primary importance to communicate clearly and often. Plan some time daily to connect with each other.

Second, be releasing to your spouse when they’re facing a crisis in the care of their parent. It may be an episode needing immediate medical attention. It could be a financial decision that requires a gathering of all the siblings to discuss what to do. Or it might involve a necessary move for the parent to receive the quality of care needed. These times often come as an interruption to your normal routine, and getting upset by it only complicates the matter.

Third, avoid making life-changing decisions while your spouse is going through such a difficult and emotional time. I realize this one can’t always be avoided, but when it can hold off on your plans until your spouse is available 100% to make the decision together.

Fourth, help your spouse think through major decisions concerning their parent. You might even offer to do the research for them when deciding on the next step in their care. Tom was always aware that the decisions were always up to my brother, sister and me, but he didn’t disengage in the conversation. He stayed involved in order to help us think clearly when the stress and emotions the three of us were experiencing made wise decisions difficult.

Fifth, be willing to extend grace to your spouse when they are short with you or insensitive. This is a time like no other in your marriage. It’s best to not take things personally when your spouse forgets to do something they promised, or if they snap back at you unexpectedly. Put yourself in their place to try and understand.

Finally, set aside some time for the two of you. This one may be hard to justify considering the crisis, but it’s so important. You have to reconnect on a regular basis, even if it’s only for an hour a day. But more than this, I would encourage you to keep a regular date night for the sake of your spouse’s mental state and the health of your marriage. Try to find someone who can take over the care of their parent so your spouse isn’t tempted to worry about them while you’re out together.

Above all else, pray together. It may be that you do all of the praying, but still make time to take your burden together to the Throne of Grace. It is there that you’ll both find mercy and grace to help you in your time of need. And He is always available to listen, lead, and uphold you as a caregiver.

It may not seem like it, but this season will pass. Making sure you care for each other through it all will insure you make it out on the other side better, wiser and more in love than ever.

Additional Resources:

Alzheimer’s, The Brain, And The Soul

11 Ways To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

My Marriage Or My Mom

Your Parents Have NO Retirement Savings – Your Responsibility?

Posted in Caring for Parents, Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, In-Laws, Seasons of Life, Showing Honor | Tagged ,

Love Song Dedication Finalists

Screen Shot 2015-11-07 at 3.30.06 PMThis week we are so excited to reveal the Top 5 Finalists in our Love Song Dedication Contest. Special thanks to Mike Gilland, who provided his expertise and radio voice to make the finalists entries sound awesome! We were going to include the actual song at the end of each dedication, but due to copyright restrictions we had to go with Plan B, that is the You Tube video version of the song instead. We hope you’ll take the time to listen to each entry, as we have some really special ones. :-) Additional thanks to all who participated in our contest. We’re grateful for each of you who took the time to express your love and dedication to your spouse–that’s the reason we blog. And what a blessing to us as we celebrate our 7th anniversary this Thursday. We thank God for you!

Now it’s your turn to cast your vote. Here’s all you have to do…

  • First, click the red button in the top left corner to hear what the finalist had to say to their spouse.
  • Second, scroll down to listen to the song. Do this for all five entries.
  • Finally, cast your vote. That’s it!
  • We’ll announce the winners on Saturday November 14th

Entry #1

Our Love Is Here To Stay

Entry #2

Time In A Bottle

Entry #3

You Light Up My Life

Entry #4

Bless The Broken Road

Entry #5

The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get


Don’t forget to cast your vote – Thanks! Winner will be announced on Saturday.

Posted in Christian Marriage, Contests, Love Song Dedication To My Spouse | Tagged , , , ,

Trials In Marriage – In-Law Relationships Part 2


Today we want to talk about being a son-in-law or daughter-in-law. 

When Tom and I got married we couldn’t wait for our new life to begin. He lived in another city, so I not only changed my last name, I changed my city and my job. Add to the fact that I had never lived apart from my parents, I was in for a huge adjustment.

Tom, on the other hand, had lived on his own for quite a few years. And both sets of his parents lived across the country in CA. He was used to life on his own and was more than ready to share his address with  me.

A few months after our wedding I became quite ill and needed surgery. It wasn’t major, but since I had never been in the hospital before, my Mom was worried. Unbeknownst to me she offered to come stay with us . Tom wanted to reassure her that he was capable of caring for me, so he told her that her coming wasn’t necessary. He thought this would bring her peace, but instead she felt pushed away–unneeded. It took a long time for us to convince her that Tom didn’t mean to hurt her or exclude her.

This is the type of relational conflict that can occur when least expected.

We can talk and think we’ve communicated, but may be completely unaware that miscommunication has taken place. Tom and I have found that the best way to prevent this, even in our own relationship, is to repeat back to each other what we heard the other say. So many times conflict could be avoided by asking this simple question. We make assumptions, and they’re too often wrong.

Another good idea is to allow your spouse to communicate with their parents when it comes to difficult situations where emotions are high. For example, making plans for the holidays–who is going where, what to bring, how to exchange gifts, what time to arrive, etc. All topics such these are easier to discuss and find resolve when the parents are able to talk with their own son/daughter about it.

As Christians it is also a privilege to pray for our MIL and FIL.

Until our own children grow up and move away, we have no idea what it feels like to be in this season. Extending grace for words spoken abruptly comes easier when you’ve been praying for someone. Try to put yourself in their position, and maybe it will help ease the tension when you find it hard to relate.

We’ve heard so many varieties of ways couples have compromised in order to make both sides of the family happy. Some alternate between families for the holidays–one year at the husband’s side, the next year at the wife’s. Other’s celebrate Christmas a day early to allow the young family extended time with each side of the family.

But the holidays aren’t the only times when communication is needed.

If you live close it’s important to keep the lines of separation clear. The in-laws shouldn’t stop by anytime without asking, and this goes both ways. Showing common courtesy and respect will go a long way in keeping your relationships healthy.

But what about when your MIL or FIL chooses to cross the lines even after talking to them about it? This is an issue that your spouse needs to address, and I would suggest without you present. It’s easy for the MIL or FIL to blame the spouse for the problems, since none of this happened until they were involved. But this isn’t necessarily the case. A new marriage requires changes and the one who feels the changes in large part are the parents left behind. Don’t get angry when they do things you don’t like. This only complicates a difficult situation. Talk, talk and then talk some more. Be willing to ask the hard questions to come to complete understanding of where the other is coming from.

Ephesians 6:2-3 says,  “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (English Standard Version)

What a privilege it is to help our spouse honor their parents by the way we love, pray and care for them.

In what ways has it been challenging for you to do this?

Recommended Resource:

The Mother-In-Law Dance, by Annie Chapman

Posted in Caring for Parents, Christian Marriage, Difficulty | Tagged , , , , ,

Trials In Marriage – In-Law Relationships


If you have difficulty with your in-laws I’m sure this post caught your attention. It doesn’t get discussed much on marriage blogs; not because it isn’t an issue, but because it is a huge issue to those who are struggling. Sometimes the things that are the most painful are the hardest to discuss.

Most often you hear of Mother-in-law against Daughter-in-law or vice versa. It has never been more accurately displayed than on the sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. It’s obvious that Ray is his mother’s favorite, and when Ray’s wife, Debra comes into the family, she doesn’t hold back her disdain. Nothing Debra does is good enough, and Marie doesn’t hold back in sharing her opinions either.


It’s sad, but true–we tend to joke about the things that are the most heart-breaking in our lives. This is a coping mechanism we use to help us deal with the pain. And the pain can be palpable.

When our children grow up our sons choose a woman who will become the leading female influence in his life. Up until this point his Mom had that role. There is a replacement that happens and many mothers aren’t ready to give up their influence. The same is true for Dads. When their daughters grow up and get married, her Dad is no longer the primary influence in her life. The Bible calls it “leaving and cleaving.” It sounds very poetic, but how it works out in each family is nothing at all like reading words that rhyme. If anything, it’s more like what is described in 1 Corinthians as a clanging gong or crashing cymbals–love is no where to be found, only discord.

As Christians we must choose to love our in-laws in a way that glorifies God, both our spouse’s parents and our children’s spouse.

Advice For The Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law

Deterrents to Peace in the Relationship:

Expectations – What are you expecting your relationship to look like with your son or daughter’s spouse? If your in-laws don’t meet your expectations there is sure to follow disappointment on many levels.

  • Did you son/daughter do things according to your preferences in choosing a spouse?
  • Do you approve of their choice, or had you hoped they would marry someone more compatible to your way of doing things?
  • Are you hoping you’ll share all holidays together with both sides of the family? Or are you hoping to have your kids to yourself on alternate holidays?
  • What about when the grandkids arrive? Will you be the favorite grandparent? Or will you find yourself second fiddle to the cooler, more relevant grandparent?
  • Will you be included as much as you hoped in their lives?

These are all important questions to consider, because if you don’t, they will come rolling in like a steamroller on your emotions.

Peace is possible, but it comes at a cost. We must be willing to die to ourselves and consider other’s more important than ourselves.

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3-4 ESV

Relationships are hard work and this couldn’t be more true than when your family begins expanding through marriage. Different cultures and traditions often collide and compromises must be made. We must learn to hold our expectations loosely and allow our children to make their own decisions based on what’s best for their family, and that may or may not line up with our hopes or dreams. We must keep our opinions to ourselves unless asked. We must bridle our tongue to keep from interfering in a realm that’s not ours. And we must love our children enough to let them go and create a family of their own–independent from us.

Competition – Not only are we the in-laws to our child’s spouse, but their spouse’s parents are in-law’s to our child. This relationship between both sets of parents can also cause tension, especially when the way both families do things are in opposition to each other. This is seen most clearly when two different cultures marry. There may be a complete break down of understanding as to the meaning of long-standing family traditions.

When we allow ourselves to compare ourselves to others, especially with in-law relationships, it’s never good. This is a feast for our sinful pride–either we compare ourselves favorably and think we’re better, or we compare ourselves and fall short thinking we’re not good enough. Both thoughts are to be avoided.

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. – James 3:16-18 ESV

Communication, communication, communication is KEY. In order to come to a place of understanding it requires a willingness on both sides to listen and to be heard. Both are crucial to finding a resolve. There is a natural awkwardness when a new marriage takes place. It makes things that were once no brainers, like how holidays are celebrated,  a huge crisis!

Our advice is to let your children make the decision based on what’s best for them.

It may not be the answer you were hoping to hear. You may be tempted to grumble and complain–but don’t! For the sake of your kids and the peace in your family keep your disappointments to yourself. Oh, you will fail at this from time to time, voicing your disappointment, but we must resist the temptation to pressure our kids into doing things our way. When we say more than we should, we must be quick to apologize and communicate our desire to let them make their own decisions.

No one ever said being an in-law would be easy. But it doesn’t have to be hugely difficult either, that is if we’re willing to let go of our preferences. Let’s be the kind of parents that our children’s spouse’s enjoy being around by being willing to take the hits of disappointments for the sake of peace.

In our next post we’ll address the relationships between son-in-law and daughter-in-laws to the spouse’s parents.

Posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Conflict, In-Laws | 6 Comments

Trials In Marriage – Chronic Illness


Chronic Pain Or Illness.

When sickness hits your home it requires your complete attention until the crisis passes. But when the sickness goes on and on it can take a toll on your marriage. There are so many unknowns you have to deal with, e.g. Will my spouse recover? Does our child have a terminal condition? Not to mention the daily regimen of doctor appointments, administering medicine and scheduling for tests. It can be overwhelming to make it through one day. And when those days turn into weeks, which turn into months, your marriage can suffer.

We have experienced our share of health crisis in our marriage. One I’ll never forget is when Tom experienced debilitating back pain. He tried everything from cortisone shots to physical therapy. Nothing brought relief. It got so bad that he needed my help to get out of bed. When it was at it’s worse, he couldn’t sit at all! I had to drive him to work so he could lay down in the back seat. While at work he had to stand at his desk or kneel on his chair leaning over his desk. He even interviewed a new employee in this position. We laugh about it now, but at the time it was devastating.

Pain, chronic pain, makes you feel older than you are.

It makes you forget what it was like to feel good. It tempts you to believe you’ll never recover. And the spouse who must provide care during this season can grow weary, even unsympathetic.

It pains me to admit that there were many days when I didn’t want to hear Tom groan one more time. I just wanted life to be normal again. And then I felt guilty for having such an attitude, when Tom was the one suffering. I knew he didn’t ask for this. He didn’t want to be in pain, yet I was impatient, moody and (although I would have never admitted this at the time) angry.

I saw other couples enjoying date nights, planning family gatherings, and celebrating birthdays and it only elevated my discontent. Why did I having to go through this? Why couldn’t we be normal? When would this end?

Of course, Tom didn’t hear me complain.

I did what I knew was the right thing to do. I served him, I cared for him, I loved him, I listened to him and I prayed for him. Yet my heart was struggling. It’s in these moments when you realize how much you need God’s grace and mercy to endure suffering. And He always provides exactly what we need.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:15-16 ESV

God used Tom’s sickness to deal with an area of my heart that needed attention. It’s easy to serve God and love your spouse when things are going well. But when sickness comes knocking on the door of your wedded bliss, it’s easy to want to run the other way. It reveals what’s hiding in your heart.

Some questions to ask when facing similar circumstances:

  • Do I truly love my spouse, or do I love the way they make my life better?
  • Do I count it a privilege to serve them in sickness, or do I wish they would just get over it?
  • Do I regard their needs as much as I regard my own?
  • Am I loving my spouse as Christ has loved me and laid down His life for me?
  • Or have I bought into the idea of loving only when it’s feels good.

Face it. Love isn’t a bed of roses. There are hard times, difficult times and many trials we must endure. But for those who push through they discover a rich treasure of intimacy they didn’t have before the trouble.


If you, your spouse or a one of your children are in a season of chronic illness, we pray that you will discover the help and hope you need.

Suggested Resources:

Trusting God When Life Hurts, by Jerry Bridges

When God Weeps, by Joni Eareckson Tada


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Posted in Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages

Trials In Marriage – Homesickness And Letting Go


When Tom and I got married I was only 19. I had never lived outside of my parent’s home much less my hometown of Orlando. I loved Central Florida, even with all the changes that had taken place with the arrival of the Mouse a few years earlier. But when I said yes to Tom’s proposal, I also said yes to living with him in Bradenton, FL., a small town on the west coast of Florida, which is south of Tampa. I was in love. I was excited for the adventure, but I had no concept of what these changes would look like in reality.

I can sum it up with one word–lonely.

I was lonely for the familiar because I didn’t know how to get anywhere. I didn’t know anyone except for Tom, and he worked 60+ hours at Gordon’s Jewelers as a General Manager. I didn’t have a job yet, and I didn’t have any friends. Oh, there were people who reached out to me, like Mrs. Layzell, an older woman who lived in our condo complex who took me under her wing and taught me how to bake pies and bread, something for which my family is grateful to this day. Pies became my signature dish, and my expertise in baking them was born during this lonely season of my life.

I remember telling Tom how I wished we could move. I wanted to feel at home in my marriage and Bradenton didn’t feel like home. We had passed through Miami on our honeymoon, and I didn’t care for the big city life idea at all. I told him I’d follow him anywhere, except Miami!

I quickly learned to be careful of what you say, for it may be the next trial. Sure enough, within 5 months of marriage Tom got a promotion, which included a transfer to Miami. He had to be there the next day, which happened to be my birthday. We called the moving company, and before I could say no, we were there.

Talk about living in an unfamiliar city–Miami felt like another country!

It wasn’t long before I got a job working for the parent company of the job I had in Orlando, which was a bit of familiar that helped me adjust. Each morning when I drove to work I had to get on the Florida Turnpike and pass the sign that said, “South-Miami, North-Orlando.” I can’t tell you how hard it was to go South each day, but I did, and we made some great memories in South Florida.

Homesickness has a way of eating away the joy in your soul.

If it isn’t dealt with you’ll soon have none. I know because this is what happened to me. What I didn’t know was God was teaching me a lesson I would relearn over and over in the years to come. It was the trial of letting go.

No matter what happens in all marriages one thing is certain–change is constant. Whether it’s changing jobs, changing locations, changing neighborhoods, friends moving away, children moving away, it happens and only those who embrace it with complete trust in God will find joy in the midst of the changes.

I’m sitting in a small cottage in TN awaiting the birth of our 8th grandchild. She is three days late, and a big change is about to take place in 2 year old Vito’s life. Right now he’s the baby of the family, but soon that will no longer be the case. He’ll have a little sister for the rest of his life, and it’s a good change. But it won’t be easy for him until he adjusts to the new norm.

Outside my window is a tree that is obviously not healthy. I know because one side of it has completely rotted away.

The other side is held up by a chain wrapped around the old dying part. I don’t know when the chain was added, but by the way it has cut into the bark of the tree, I would say it was put there when the other part of the tree was still in place. Maybe the owners were hoping to save the dying tree, maybe they didn’t want to let go of the inevitable. Whatever the reason the chain didn’t help, it only made things worse, leaving a permanent dent on the tree’s exterior.

  • What changes have you been forced to face in your marriage?
  • Have you embraced them whole-heartedly? Or…
  • Have you chained yourself to the old way hoping to keep things as they were?

I can tell you from experience–let go! Holding on to what was is no guarantee that the changes won’t happen anyway. Change will come and those who let go to embrace a new normal most often find a joy they didn’t know was possible.

The toll my resistance to change has put on our marriage has been palpable. I’m grateful for a husband who is used to change–he moved away from his hometown when he was in 10th grade to a new state. He willingly changed jobs to find better opportunities. His parents divorced when he was 18 which completely rocked his world. (Certainly this change wasn’t a positive in his life, but he became a Christian shortly after this trial.) He learned that change may seem bad when it happens but it can turn out better than you ever hoped. And this knowledge has helped me grow through many more changes–and there have been many.

Whether it’s homesickness you’re dealing with, or the changes wrought by the need to let go, be aware of how this can impact your marriage. Work together and help each other adjust to the changes. This is a huge part of growing and changing together as the years pass.


Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist


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Trials In Marriage – Confession of Sin


I can think of no more difficult season in our marriage than when we both had to confess sins.

Some were against each other. Some were committed without the other knowing anything at all. Some happened before we were married. Yet God compelled us to come clean by confessing our sins, so that we might be restored.

On our wedding day we weren’t thinking about the reality that our “Prince Charming” or our “Beauty Queen” was actually a sinner saved by grace. When we said “I do” we were committing to being loving and faithful to each other even when sin sought to separate us.

“Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And that luggage always contains sin.”
― Dave HarveyWhen Sinners Say “I Do”: Discovering the Power of the Gospel for Marriage

The best way to combat sin is by exposing it; It likes to hide in the dark; It likes to keep secrets; It likes to divide.

But God has called us to be united in love. He did a miracle on our wedding day by taking two and making us one flesh. We believe this isn’t just a sweet metaphor, but an actual bonding that takes place in the spiritual realm that is consummated in the physical realm when we make love for the first time on our wedding night.

When we sin against our spouse in various ways, it requires complete honesty with the other to make things right.

This is never easy because the confession will bring with it pain and hurt to the unsuspecting spouse. You know things will get worse before they get better, but this is true with so many other areas of life–i.e. surgery, dental procedures, etc. The pain is part of the cure.

I remember when Tom and I went through this for the first time. It was during our third year of marriage and I was pregnant with our first child. We were at a place in our relationship where we were either going to grow more intimate by being gut-level honest or grow more distant by hiding from being truly known. Intimacy is born through honest communication. I’m grateful that God led us to be honest. He ordered our steps–the hard ones that we thought were out of control at the time–so that we would come to a place of deeper intimacy.

When there is unconfessed sin in a relationship, it usually begins with conflict that is unexplainable.

You get into an argument over something that seems like nothing and you’re left shaking your head saying, “What just happened?”

“Blame-shifting is what I do when I basically know I’m guilty and am just trying to convince myself or someone else that maybe I’m not.”  – Dave Harvey

This is often an indicator of a guilty conscience. Sin likes to build smoke screens to distract the other spouse from discovering it. Our encouragement to any marriage going through similar circumstances is to pray. God is our Good Shepherd, and He knows all the hidden things. Ask Him to help you love your spouse when things don’t seem to be going well. Ask Him to reveal any hidden sin, and ask your spouse the hard questions too.

It’s important to know that your spouse is committed to the marriage no matter how difficult the trial. When Tom and I married we both said that divorce would never be an option. When we faced trouble we knew we had to work it through or be miserable. It is this conviction that helped us stay the course when many others would have chosen to quit.

And you know what? We discovered that on the other side of confessed and repented sin is a deeper intimacy.

Our love grew and matured. It was no longer us grasping for a happy ending fairy tale, but we were experiencing real love worked out through real pain.

Have you experienced a similar time in your marriage? If so, you know what we’re talking about. Maybe you’re in the midst of the pain and trying to figure out what is happening. Don’t let yourself buy into the lie that you’re the only one who has ever gone through this. Any Christian couple who has been married for decades most likely has stories of seasons where they had to confess sins to their spouse. The enemy would love you to believe you’re the only one. He would love for you to question why you should stay in such a relationship. But please, lean into your spouse! The intimacy that follows confession is worth the pain it takes to get there.

(NOTE: If you’re in an abusive relationship, please get outside help. No one should ever endure such treatment.)


When Sinners Say I Do, by Dave Harvey

What Should I Tell My Spouse About My Sexual Sin?, CCEF


  • When there is unconfessed sin in a relationship, it usually begins with conflict that is unexplainable. http://wp.me/ptlJr-31v
  • “Marriage is the union of two people who arrive toting the luggage of life. And it always contains sin.” Dave Harvey http://wp.me/ptlJr-31v
  • It’s important to know that your spouse is committed to the marriage no matter how difficult the trial. http://wp.me/ptlJr-31v
  • Don’t let yourself buy into the lie that you’re the only one who has ever gone through this. 
  • When we sin against our spouse in various ways, it requires complete honesty with the other to make things right. http://wp.me/ptlJr-31v
  • Our love was no longer a happy ending fairy tale, but we were experiencing real love worked out through real pain. 


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Trials In Marriage – Job Loss


This is an area we had never experienced, until five years ago.

It was my birthday. Tom had left for work like all the other days of his career. When he called me at 9:30a it was no surprise, since he calls me often when he has a break. But this time was different.

“Hey. I’m calling to tell you I’m on my way home.”

“Really? How come?”

“They let me go.”


What ensued was a roller coaster of emotions that neither of us expected. 

We had owned our own business for twelve years, and Tom had worked at the same company for sixteen years before that. When we sold our business to a large international corporation we knew his time with the company would be for a season. It had been 2 and a half years, and neither of us expected the news on this day and in this way.

He still had 2 and a half years to go on his non-compete clause, which meant he couldn’t work in the same industry until then. What was he to do?

We didn’t know the answer to that question, so we planned a trip away to the mountains to pray and seek the Lord’s direction. It was a difficult time for us and one we had never experienced. But God was faithful to lead us and direct us as His Word promises.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

Thankfully, we didn’t have small children at home to feed. We didn’t have debt making the situation more stressful, but we did have questions–lots of questions.

The most difficult part for Tom was no longer working at the job he had loved for the past 30+ years. He didn’t realize how much he identified himself by his work until it no longer applied. He was challenged to change how he thought about himself, and it was good for him–for us, but it was so.very.hard!

Job loss has a way of punching you in the gut while you’re looking the other way. It takes your breath away and it’s hard to recover. We have a strong marriage, but this challenged us on a level we had never experienced. Neither of us knew what to say or how to fix the unknowns. But thankfully we both knew the One who did.

God always answers our prayers with one of three answers:

  1. Yes.
  2. No.
  3. Wait!

We were experiencing the waiting, and it wasn’t an easy time for us. There was nothing Tom could do to fix it. There was nothing I could say to help. All we could do was…wait.

It’s often in the waiting when flaws are discovered in our character, in our faith and in our hope. But God doesn’t leave us to wait alone. He comes along side us like a faithful Shepherd and shows us what He wants us to see. It’s never wasted. If we’re knocking and seeking we will find HIM.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” – Matthew 7:7-11 ESV

Charles Spurgeon has said:

“Stand still” – keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, “Go forward.” 

If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people- Charles Spurgeon

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/25-great-waiting-quotes/#ixzz3p283gRwM

Tom is no longer unemployed. His non-compete was up last December, and he is back in the industry he loves. But he isn’t the same. God used his job loss to help him grow in his dependence on God. And today we thank God for this trial we’ve experienced together.

How has job loss impacted your marriage? 

Helpful Resources:


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Posted in Christian Marriage, Difficulty, Encouraging Your Spouse, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Trials In Marriage – Miscarriage: A Hope Deferred

After 2 years of marriage we decided we were ready to start a family. When my pregnancy test came back positive we couldn’t have been more excited. So much so that we announced it to the world!! And this, before social media, was quite the fete!

A week later Tom had to go on a business trip to Tampa and asked me to go along with him. I was looking forward to the time away to relax and soak in God’s blessing on our lives.

The hotel where Tom’s meetings were being held didn’t have any rooms available, so we ended up at another hotel a few miles away. I had no idea how this one detail would impact me the next morning. I’m thankful Tom happened to mention the name of the place where he would be.

The next morning Tom left quietly so as not to wake me up. When I finally got out of bed I realized something was terribly wrong with my pregnancy. I panicked and called Tom who immediately came and took me to the hospital.

We ended up losing our first baby to miscarriage, and we were heart broken.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12 ESV

 I didn’t realize the waves of emotion that were about to sweep over me–but come they did and I wasn’t prepared for the questions:

  • Would I ever be able to have children?
  • What if something is terribly wrong with me?
  • How do I face all the people we’ve told?

It was a dark night of my soul and I didn’t think anyone could understand what I was facing.

Grief is like that. It tries to isolate you and tell you you’re the only one who has ever faced such a trial. I knew that wasn’t true, but my emotions didn’t stop trying to convince me otherwise. I didn’t know anyone who had experienced a miscarriage–at least I didn’t know I did.

One by one friends began sharing with me their stories. Women whom I had no idea had gone through the same loss. Their stories helped me realize I wasn’t the only one, and this one miscarriage certainly didn’t guarantee my infertility. They had children. Life had continued on for them, so I started hoping it would be the same for us.

I’m not sure why God has brought this all back to my memory 34 years later. Maybe it’s because I know of two young couples facing similar losses. One, it’s their first baby. The other it’s their third, but no less difficult to face. Maybe it’s because we’re awaiting the birth of our eighth grandchild who is the fourth baby of my son and daughter-in-love.

God is the Giver of life and He’s also the Taker of life. He has already chosen the days marked out for us even before one of them has begun. And I have learned that He can be trusted, even when I don’t understand.

Pain is difficult. 

When both of you are grieving at the same time it’s important to have friends who can help you and be there with you as you grasp for hope in God.

But know this…God will supply for every need in every season of your marriage. Encourage others when they are in need so you too will find the comfort you need when faced with trials on every side.

If you have a story you would like to share of how God helped your marriage through a dark season, please email us at theromanticvineyard (at) gmail (dot) com. We will keep your names confidential, but let’s make much of what God has done for the encouragement of others. Thanks!


Walking Through The Dark Valley Of Miscarriage

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Looking Back Helps Us Look Forward


I love going to weddings. As I witness the wedding vows I pray for the bride and groom that God will help them through all the days to come–days that will be “worse” and “poorer”; days when they’ll face times of “sickness”. They have no idea what is waiting for them at the end of the aisle as they leave the church. But God, who is rich in mercy knows what is to come. He is what allows us to walk confidently into the unknown future full of faith that He will help us through each and every challenge.

I like to reflect back on what I was thinking and feeling on my own wedding day so long ago. I had an idealistic view, for sure. I was only 19 years old for goodness sake, but I had faith that God had led Tom and me together and He would see us through whatever circumstances came our way.

And He has.

This is my confidence as I pray for the newlywed couple. He is faithful to complete the work He’s begun in both of them, as He has been faithful with us.

I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today.


Maybe it’s because my daughter and her husband have been here for the past 8 days along with their four children. I’m amazed at how God has blessed them and cared for them these past 10 years. They had no idea where God would lead them, but He has used all of the changes they’ve faced to make their marriage stronger.

In two days we’ll head to Tennessee to spend the rest of October with our son and his wife as they await the arrival of their newest baby–a girl. That’ll make four for them in their first 10 years of marriage as well. God has been good to them in so many tangible ways. And what I love most about watching our children grow their families for God’s glory, is how they are growing more in love with each other. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s all been good.

You have no idea of how the choices you are making today in your marriage will impact the choices your children will make in the future. They are learning from your example, and we pray it’s one they will want to emulate.

You may think you have lots of time before you have to think about such weighty matters, but time goes quicker than you know.


  • You have no idea how the choices you’re making today in your marriage will impact the choices your children will make in the future.
  • Because of God we can walk confidently into the unknown future full of faith that He will help us through each and every challenge.
  • God is faithful to complete the work He’s begun in you as He has been faithful with us.


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When Communication Breaks Down In Marriage

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I have a feeling that if you’ve been married for any length of time that you know exactly what I’m talking about with this title –>When Communication Breaks Down.

It happens. And how you handle it reveals whether you’re on the road to Maturity or flying down the road marked Selfishness in the wrong direction. A crash is sure to occur unless you do something drastic to change your course.

Communication is an area of marriage in which one never arrives completely.

You may think you’re doing well, and then one misunderstanding happens and it seems you’re back to square one, shaking your head and tempted to be upset. The situation can escalate when you think you should be better than this.

How do you navigate such a difficult, bumpy road?

  1. Watch your tone of voice. (I’m more prone to this than Tom is.) Whenever Tom and I are in a communication breakdown, it’s easy to get frustrated that we don’t understand each other.  If he doesn’t get what I’m trying to explain, I tend to say ‘forget it’, rather than press through the situation. And if I do press through I will most likely let my tone show my frustration.
  2. Be patient. When I see something clearly, and I can’t seem to get Tom to see it as I do, I’m immediately tempted to get mad at him. This is real life, folks. Just because we’ve been married 36 years it doesn’t mean we’ve arrived at a level of communication where there are no more bumps on this road called marriage.
  3. Don’t give up. Sometimes it feels easier to walk away with a “just forget it” attitude than to do the hard work necessary to understand each other. But this isn’t a good choice. It sets you up to hold a grudge–one you may not realize you have until the next time there’s a miscommunication.
  4. Choose the humble road. God has promised to always give us a way of escape when it comes to temptation. Conflict in marriage is no exception. The sad thing is it’s not an easy choice to make; when the temperature is rising it’s much easier to allow yourself to explode than to step back and cool your jets, so to speak.

The inspiration for this post sadly came from an incident that just happened.

I was trying to log into Tom’s laptop and couldn’t get it to work the way I wanted it to. When I tried to explain my dilemma to Tom, he didn’t get why I was struggling. Rather than explain it to him, I chose to say, “never mind” in frustration. When I started to write this post, I knew exactly what I needed to share.

Marriage is a never-ending road to growing in maturity. We will stumble. We will say things we regret. We will apologize and ask forgiveness and try again. Know that on the other side of such conflicts we learn how to do it better next time. We grow in our understanding of each other and hopefully choose to take the above steps the next time it happens.

If you’re in the midst of a communication break down, please don’t let it fester. Go after it together and don’t stop until you reach a place of understanding and resolve. Your marriage is worth it!


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Posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Conflict | Tagged | 10 Comments

A Fall Bucket List For Two – Engaged Marriage

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Engaged Marriage – Dustin has been hosting this marriage blog for years, and he has quite the tools to help your marriage grow stronger. I am grateful for the opportunity he’s given me to be a regular guest blogger on his site–posting the 2nd Monday of each month on the topic of Romance In Marriage.

My latest post deals with my favorite season for romance–Fall. 

We’ve all heard of and may even have a bucket list. The idea stems from the movie of the same name and provides encouragement to be intentional in making the things you hope will happen in your lifetime a reality.

It’s no surprise that we need to be intentional in romancing our spouse as well. This is by far my favorite topic when it comes to writing about marriage.

Living in Florida we look forward to Fall more than any other season of the year. I think it’s because we get so tired of the heat and humidity that we’re ready for a change.

Maybe your marriage has been enduring some heat and humidity of its own. Maybe you need to look forward to some fresh Fall romance amid the cool Autumn breezes? Well, look no further…(continue reading…Make Your Own Fall Bucket List For Two)

And following are some of my other posts on the Engaged Marriage site. 


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Posted in Blog Love, Christian Marriage, Date Night Ideas, Dating Your Spouse, Fun Dates, I.Heart.List, Romance, Romance in Marriage, Romantic Ideas | Tagged , ,

Is Your Husband A Liar? – Hot, Holy and Humorous

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Hot, Holy and Humorous – J Parker asked if I would share a post in her series for the month of September about what it means to be Beautiful. She gave several marriage bloggers a wide open topic for us to zoom in on from our perspective. I immediately thought of how many wives disregard their husband’s opinion of how they see them because in their eyes they don’t look beautiful. I pray this post will encourage you to believe your husband when he tells you you’re beautiful…

Is your husband a liar?

I’m sure most of us would answer this question with an emphatic, NO! However, many of us treat them as if they are. It’s true that most husbands see their wives as beautiful, yet we roll our eyes when they compliment us, or say, “Yeah, but…” pointing out the flaws we see staring back at us in the mirror.

I was thinking about this attitude recently and wondering why it is so common for wives to think their husbands aren’t telling the truth when it comes to how they see them. It has to be discouraging to our man to hear his compliments so quickly disregarded on a regular basis. It’s a wonder he doesn’t stop all together!

It’s led me to ask God why we do this? Why are we so quick to dispute with our husband on something they see as good?

I believe there are three reasons: Continue reading…Is Your Husband A Liar?

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Posted in Blog Love, Christian Marriage, Encouraging Your Spouse, Growing Strong Marriages, Perspective in Marriage, Wives | Tagged , , ,

Happy Hour


This week we’re featuring one blog for our Happy Hour Special. If you live in Orlando, you will love this resource. If you’re visiting Central Florida, this will help you enjoy more of The City Beautiful than Disney can provide. Happy Dating…

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Orlando Date Night Guide>>A great resource for our local readers. Below are a few of their more recent posts. Orlando is a great place for romance–check it out!


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Posted in Blog Love, Cheap Dates, Date Night Ideas, Fall Date Ideas, Free Dates, Happy Hour | Tagged

Is Menopause Destroying Sex In Your Marriage? – Intimacy In Marriage

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Intimacy In Marriage – My dear friend, Julie, is running a series on Thursdays about the difficulties marriages face that can have an adverse effect on our sexual intimacy. Here are some of the titles to other posts in this series:

  • Are Skewed Beliefs Destroying Sex In Your Marriage?
  • Is Porn Destroying Sex In Your Marriage?
  • Is Unforgiveness Destroying Sex In Your Marriage?
  • Are Financial Struggles Destroying Sex In Your Marriage?

She asked if I would post about the effect of menopause on sex, which I was happy to do. It’s a door all women will walk through at some point in their marriage, and it’s good to be prepared. Thank you, Julie, for the opportunity to sound such a needed alarm.

Before I begin, may I encourage all of you who are in your 20s and 30s to not check out of reading this because you think it doesn’t apply to you.

menopause effect on sexI’ve researched and written this post primarily with you in mind. Promise to read it? Ok, good. Thank you!

When Julie asked us to contribute to her guest blog series on things that take a toll on sex in marriage, I knew I had to approach the topic of Sex and Menopause and Perimenopause (PM).

Having gone through this myself (I’m 56), I only had my limited experience and a few friends I’ve talk to from which to glean. This is why I decided to ask readers through a 10-question survey about this apparently much-needed topic.

I also solicited the help from the CMBA marriage bloggers I know and asked them to alert their readers of the survey as well. I am pleased with the response. If you participated, thank you!

First, let me say, menopause is a mystery to most couples, even when you’re going through it.

Desires that once were a given, may no longer be on the radar screen. For those who have yet to experience it, you most likely don’t care to think about “that stage” of life. You’re too busy raising a family for goodness sakes.

I get that.

Second, everyone is different when it comes to how they’ll go through the “change of life,” as my parent’s generation called it.

After reading nearly 200 respondents answers to my survey, I understand why they gave it that name; It can change your life in ways you never thought would happen- – not to you anyway.

Finally, whatever difficulty you’ve had with your sexual intimacy and in your marriage for that matter, will be magnified during this season. This is why if you’re young and reading this, please, please work hard to keep the lines of communication open through all that you face together.

Holding back out of fear, shame or pride will only make things worse as the years pass. The pain you experience now in facing it won’t compare to the pain many of the couples shared who are facing menopause and unable to connect with their spouse in an understanding way…(continue reading: Is Menopause Destroying Sex In Your Marriage?)


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Posted in Aging, Christian Marriage, communication, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, Seasons of Life, Sexual Intimacy | Tagged ,

Beware Of Critical Judgments – Delight Your Marriage

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It’s an honor when given a voice on someone else’s website, and I don’t take such opportunities lightly. In fact, I think I spend more time preparing for those posts than I do posting here. I suppose it’s a lot like having guests in your home compared to a family dinner. We tend to go above and beyond when we’re having company, but are more relaxed when it comes to being with family.

The past few weeks have been full of guest post opportunities, and we wanted to make sure you didn’t miss them. Consequently, over the next few days we’re going to link up with each one and introduce you to their website, in case you haven’t had a chance to check them out yourself.

Today meet Belah Rose (not her real name), with the Delight Your Marriage Podcast.

Belah interviews women to glean insight into the lessons learned when facing difficulties in their marriage. It can be on a wide variety of topics, but she spends a lot of time encouraging wives to enjoy their sexual intimacy with their spouse. I’m grateful for the opportunity she provided me to share with her listeners about some things I’ve learned in the past 36 years of marriage. She split the interview into two separate podcasts. We encourage you to have a listen when you have some spare time. She does a great job with the questions. And while you’re there, sign up to receive notification when a new podcast is available. Thanks!

critical judgment


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Posted in Blog Love, Christian Marriage, Conflict, Growing Strong Marriages | Tagged , ,