Happy Hour

It’s time to share with you posts that stood out to us this week. We pray you’ll find the time to browse the list and read the posts that will help your marriage improve. God bless you and have a blessed weekend!

Gary Thomas

  • He Ate My Chocolate – Gary shares an excerpt from a new book by Debra Fileta entitled Choosing Marriage: The hardest and greatest thing you’ll ever do. 

Heaven Made Marriage

Marriage Missions International

Uncovering Intimacy


Posted in Blog Love, Happy Hour | Tagged , | 1 Comment


Being a native Floridian, I have always loved watching storms roll in from a distance. Our skies are big making it easy to see when a storm is brewing.

Hurricanes are the most powerful storms I’ve witnessed, and Irma is the strongest to come across the Atlantic basin. To say I was nervous about what would happen to Florida is an understatement. I know the media can hype things up, but this was real. Irma had her gaze fixed on us and she was heading our way for what seemed like forever. I’m thankful we had lots of time to prepare.

Once Irma blew into town I found my favorite place to be was on our front porch watching her roar. We have a part of our porch that protects from the wind and provides a perfect place to watch the trees and rain blow without getting wet.

It was there that I encountered God. While the storm was raging around me, I sensed God’s power in a tangible way. He is all-powerful. He is in control. He still commands the wind and the waves. Yet, I was reminded that He takes thought of me, of you. Yes, He is fierce, yet approachable. All-consuming, yet comforting. He is my God and He is safe. I found myself quietly singing,

Indescribable, uncontainable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God (song and lyrics by Chris Tomlin)

What storms are you facing in your marriage? Did it come on you suddenly, or have you seen it brewing from a distance? Did you make the necessary precautions, or have you found yourself in a flood of trouble with no power to bail yourself out?

There is good news. God is the God of the storm. He alone knows what you need to bring your marriage safely through it. Run to Him and allow Him to be your shelter and your guide. He will protect you and help you as no one else can.

When we walked out of our home on Monday morning to assess the damage done in our neighborhood, we offered a silent prayer of thanksgiving to God. Not only had the storm passed, but we were safe.

We pray this will be true of all marriages facing trouble today. Lean into the storm holding hands, and watch what God can do.

It’s Indescribable!




Posted in Christian Marriage, Conflict, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages, Troubled Marriage | Tagged , ,

Five Things A Hurricane Is Teaching Me About Marriage

From The Weather Channel

If you didn’t know, we live in Orlando, FL. For days all eyes have been on the forecast track  of what has been declared the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever produced.

Meet Irma! 

She is strong. She is determined. She is moving forward without hesitation, and she doesn’t care what or who she destroys along the way. She is formidable in every sense of the word.

Weather mirrors our emotions. When we feel good we may say the sun is shining. When we feel sick we often say we’re under the weather. When angry, a storm is brewing and you had better take cover.

Following are five things Irma is teaching me about marriage:

  1. Take seriously when a storm is imminent. Ignoring the warnings doesn’t make the threat go away. It’s like hunkering down in a house built on sand.
  2. Store up good before the storm arrives. We may not be able to avoid storms in our marriage, but if we do our part to make sure our marriage is strong we will be more capable of enduring the worst of times together.
  3. Its best to not be alone during a storm. How true in marriage as well. We need each other the most when things are difficult. Sadly, many pull away from each other which only increases the possible damage suffered.
  4. Wait. Sometimes all you can do when facing a storm is to wait for it to pass. Once over, you can assess the damage incurred together.
  5. Realize you’re not the only one going through it. Be aware of those around you who may need a word of encouragement or a helping hand. We have found that not being so self-focused on our own situation, lifts our eyes from our trouble making it not seem as bad.


Wouldn’t it be great to hear said about you and your marriage as was said about Irma above…

Meet Mr. and Mrs. _________. They are strong. They are determined. They are moving forward without hesitation. And they don’t allow any obstacles to stop them. Their love is formidable!

Last week we began praying for Texas as they suffered horrific floods wrought by Harvey. This week it’s Florida.

Tom has been busy prepping the outside of our home. I have been busy prepping inside. This is all we can do at this point. We are concerned and prepared, but not afraid. We know that God is in control of all of creation, including powerful hurricanes! We covet your prayers and promise to keep you informed through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as we are able.

Grateful to God for His power on display through His creation and even more so for His sovereignty.

Posted in Christian Marriage, Conflict, Difficulty, Growing Strong Marriages | Tagged , | 7 Comments

Happy False Labor Day NOT!

It was February of 1984. I was 24, Tom was 29. We were expecting our second baby any day.

I was 10 days past my due date, when the familiar labor pains began. I was ready to meet my baby. Tom drove me to my OB for a final exam, but I wasn’t expecting to hear the doctor’s conclusion; I was having “false labor.”

Warning: Don’t ever tell an overdue mama that her baby isn’t coming…

I did what any of you would have done–I cried, and then I ate! I had been fasting all day since that’s what you do when in labor. Tom bought me a huge sub sandwich and a large Diet Coke. I ate every bit with almost a “How dare you” attitude.

The pain did not subside as false labor is known to do. It kept intensifying, until I couldn’t stand it anymore. Tom drove me straight to the hospital this time since my pains were only minutes apart.

When we arrived a nurse examined me and said she thought she felt a bottom, not a head. She ordered an x-ray which confirmed what she suspected–my baby was breach and required an emergency C-section. After twelve hours of hard labor, I was finally going to meet my baby.

Since I wanted to be awake, a spinal tap was ordered. I wanted to find out if we had a boy or a girl. After all this waiting, I didn’t want to be unconscious for “the big reveal”.

The anesthetist attempted the first spinal but failed since I was having a sharp contraction. He tried again and yet another contraction halted his efforts. He kept telling me to relax, but what he should have known is that’s impossible when in labor. After 10 tries he finally succeeded. My body, from the rib cage down, not only went numb but I couldn’t move at all. I was paralyzed.

Within what seemed a few minutes I was my newborn baby in my arms, and I was elated she was a girl. Our firstborn son was 21 months, and a girl would be a new experience for us. We were excited!

I thought the difficulty would be over. Life was good. Pictures were taken and I was relieved it was over. But my darkest night was yet to come.

Because the anesthetist took so many tries for the spinal to take, the effects lasted for 12 hours. I was placed in a dark hospital room with two other women, one of whom didn’t speak English and was in severe pain. She screamed most of the night, and I couldn’t sleep because I was still paralyzed from the waist down. I don’t know how to describe it other than, tormenting.

By the time Tom arrived the next morning I was a mess. He went to the nurses station to request a private room for me. After much arguing he finally succeeded and I was moved. The numbness began to wear off, and I was elated. Finally, I could enjoy our newborn baby.

Yet another obstacle was about to hit.

I had never had a C-section and the pain was not only unfamiliar, but frightening. When I stood it felt as if my insides would come out. I asked the nurse if she could come get our baby, so I could rest.

Honey, you’re going to have to learn to rest at home with your baby, so you might as well start now!

Tom had left for work, and I was dumbfounded at what to say or do. So I cried.

Once Tom returned after work and I was able to talk to him about what happened, I felt better. Finally someone cared enough to offer me the help and compassion I needed.

The next day our pediatrician came in to examine our daughter before being discharged. I was thrilled to be going home, and I guess my joy showed. He commented that he was amazed I was able to be so joyful after all I had been through. He even used the cliche’, “You’ve made lemonade out of lemons.”

Imagine my surprise wen week later that same doctor had someone call us to invite us over to his house for dinner.

We were excited to have the opportunity to share with him and his wife the source of our joy. It was February and our daughter was only two weeks old, but we couldn’t miss this chance to share the hope we had been given in Christ. We loaded up and drove to their home.

Our hosts greeted us at the door, and invited us into their living room, where a group of other couples had already gathered. A white board was set in the middle of the room, which seemed odd to us. We waited.

And then we realized this was no informal dinner. It was an Amway presentation! We couldn’t believe what we were hearing/seeing! After all I had been through physically, this doctor used his patient list to solicit new recruits for his pyramid sales team.

We left his home that night, as well as his practice.

I wrote him a letter sharing how unethical we felt it was to solicit our business, especially when our daughter was so young.

There are always opportunists looking to benefit from the difficulty of others. Watching the news unfold in Houston reminds me to pray for those who may fall prey to similar schemes. I learned through this experience, not to be so quick to make assumptions about the motives of a stranger. What we thought was positive, ended up being quite the negative in our story.

How have you been taken advantage of by someone you though you could trust? What did you learn from it?

(Memes Credit: https://me.me/t/memes)

Posted in Christian Marriage, Diapers, Toddlers & Romance, Oh My, Difficulty, Keeping It Real, Parenting | Tagged , , ,

Pierced & Embraced – A Review

I was recently provided a copy of Kelli Worrall’s new book titled, Pierced & Embraced. It is an excellent book examining the encounters Christ had with seven women as recorded in the Gospels.

I was riveted from the outset.

You will see more clearly how Jesus cares for you as He interacted with the following women:

  • Mary, His Mother
  • Woman at the well
  • Woman with the hemorrhage
  • Woman caught in adultery
  • Mary and Martha
  • Woman with the alabaster jar
  • Mary Magdalene

Kelli shares candidly about her own struggles with the road before her, but she doesn’t leave us there. Through her story we learn how to relate to the way Jesus relates to all of us from time to time.

Maybe you are facing your own piercing season where there is no comfort to be found. Maybe it’s time to allow the Savior to embrace you in the pain and disappointment. Maybe you will find solace in how Christ comforted Mary and Martha in the loss of their brother. Maybe you will find healing in how Christ’s power touched the woman who had a hemorrhage for 12+ years. Or maybe you’ll relate to the woman caught in sin and how Christ didn’t condemn her but loved her then encouraged her to go and sin no more.


Whatever you are facing, this book will capture your heart, challenge your thinking and inspire you to draw nearer to Him. He was pierced for our transgressions, and His love is fierce.

If you order the book before 9/30/17, you can get a 40% discount. Just follow this link and use the code: EMBRACED40

Posted in Christian Marriage, The Gospel & Marriage, Wives | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Happy Hour

happy hour

It’s time to share some of our favorites from this week. Take some time this weekend and check these posts out. It’s worth your time…

The Forgiven Wife

Heaven Made Marriage

Intimacy In Marriage

Posted in Blog Love, Christian Marriage, Happy Hour | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

16 Tips on Marriage from the Longest Married Couple in America

The year was 1932. The Great Depression was in full swing, but a celebration of love was taking place in November of that year.

John and Ann Betar eloped after fleeing Connecticut because Ann's father had arranged her to marry to a man 20 years her senior. She had already fallen in love with John who drove the local produce truck in her neighborhood. He would often give her and her friends a ride to high school, which is how their friendship began.

Her aunt told her father not to worry. "It won't last," she said. That was nearly 85 years ago and at ages 105 and 101, John and Ann are still proving her wrong.

They are officially the longest married couple in America and have been for several years. On Valentine's Day of 2016, Twitter followers were encouraged to submit questions to the couple about marriage using the hashtag #longestlove. They have a wealth of wisdom and wit to share with all who will listen.

In order to condense what they shared, we have made a list of their quips and quotes for your encouragement.

1. You have to like a person before you love them. We were good friends. – Ann Betar
2. "It's a lifelong thing. How do you define love? Through actions, understanding, little things … He loves the whole world. He doesn't think about disliking anybody. I don't either." – Ann Betar
3. "Let each other be, if it's not drastic. We wish everyone a blissful life like ours. We're just lucky." -John Betar
4. "Marriage isn't a lovey-dovey thing, y'know, for 80 years. You learn to accept one another's way of life." – Ann Betar
5. "Devote your time to understand one another." – Ann
6. "We always hold hands." – John
7. "We just take things as they come, and we're contented, and we have lovely family to support us." – John
8. "Listen to an older person when raising respectful children, whether you want to or not." They learned that from their parents. The Betar's also suggested to teach your children to never talk back to an older person.
9. "We never hold grudges. Most arguments are about food … Forgive each other." – John
10. "We hang on to one another. Just a few little hugs and we're fine." – Ann
11. "Live day-to-day within your means." – John
12. "Be content with what you have." – John
13. "Don't spend more than you have." – John
14. "Respect each other." – John
15. "We are very fortunate. It is unconditional love and understanding. We have had that. We consider it a blessing." – Ann
16. "We have watched the world change together. The key is to always agree with your wife." – John 🙂

Photos and quotes from FamilyShare.com. Click over to read more about their life and love.

Posted in Christian Marriage

Old Age Fresh Love


Meme by photo party favors

“Come grow old with me. The best is yet to be” is a quote lovers use often to express their devotion. However, when old age is knocking on the door it doesn’t seem to have the same romantic appeal. It is a much more sobering statement that requires a deep examination of the heart. I think it would help us to hear the entire quote by Robert Browning…

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

I have observed several dear friends who have had to watch their spouse die a slow death. It wasn’t easy, but it was love demonstrated in its purist form. My respect for their commitment to the covenant they made on their wedding day couldn’t be any higher. They made their marriage vows stand the test, and I believe they will hear the words, “Well Done!”

Every season brings with it an opportunity to learn to love and appreciate our spouse in a way we didn’t have to in the previous season.

  • When you have your first child and you see your spouse in this new role, it can be attractive or not. It depends on how well you are both geared to this change.
  • When your children grow up and leave the home it provides another opportunity to adjust and grow, or stagnate and drift apart. The choice is always there, but sometimes we don’t see it clearly.
  • When you retire and both of you are now together 24/7, this demands another adjustment in your relationship. It can either be for the good or bad depending on your willingness to adjust and grow.

There is key that helps unlock the beauty of the new season–Communication!

We shouldn’t be surprised by the changes. They are inevitable. But we must be able to talk about them and how they are affecting us. Hiding the struggle only prolongs the uncomfortableness of it all. Talking about it, though hard to begin, brings the needed adjustment so you can move forward allowing you to enjoy the “last of life” more than the first.

May we all have marriages that last according to God’s plan. “Trust Him“, as Mr. Browning penned, so we can “see all, nor be afraid.” 

Posted in Aging, Christian Marriage, communication, Death and Grieving, Seasons of Life

“You Are So Beautiful To Me”

Wives, how many of you have heard your husband say this to you? I would imagine most of us would say we have, but do you believe him? Or do you find yourself arguing or rejecting his compliments?

You may not realize how detrimental this is to your marriage.

Today we want to share with you a podcast by several women who host marriage blogs on sexual intimacy. In this particular episode Chris Taylor, of The Forgiven Wife, interviews five Christian Marriage Blogger husbands who gathered together at our CMBA Core Team Retreat in May. This is Part Two of a three-part series.

I encourage you to take twenty minutes and listen in to a husband's perspective on how he sees his wife as beautiful…

Sex Chat – A Wife's Beauty

Posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Encouraging Your Spouse, Intimacy, The Gospel & Marriage | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Magnifying Respect In Marriage

When asked, “Do you respect your spouse?” Most of us would answer a quick YES! It’s necessary to examine respect to see if we know what we’re talking about.

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it this way:

RESPECT’, verb transitive – To view or consider with some degree of reverence; to esteem as possessed of real worth.

This definition in its use as a verb transitive considers what someone does to gain our respect.

In the busyness of married life we get caught up in all the things we must do to stay afloat. High regard and respect for our spouse will follow if our spouse is carrying their weight. But if injury or sickness comes your way, making it impossible for your spouse to do what they’ve always done, respect may be found wanting.

Respect is fickle when we see it as a verb only. It is dependent on fluctuating circumstances. This is why we must also respect our spouse’s character not only their actions.

Webster goes on to define respect when used as a noun…

RESPECT’, noun – regards the qualities of the mind, or the actions which characterize those qualities.

This causes us to look deeper into the heart of our spouse; to consider what motivates their actions and/or their convictions. These are qualities that don’t fluctuate with the changing seasons of life.

Tweet this:

Respect your spouse’s character and you will discover a deeper and more sincere love. 

Consider who your spouse is rather than what they do, the next time someone asks if your respect them. This is how we magnify respect in marriage and glorify God in the process.


Posted in Biblical Encouragement, Christian Marriage, Encouraging Your Spouse, Growing Strong Marriages, Perspective in Marriage | Tagged , ,

Two Ways To Improve Your Communication In Marriage

Meme credit: Victory_Dominion_Power

Sometimes we hear advice that is familiar so we ignore it even if we aren’t practicing it; It’s called a well-worn path. The Bible calls it not having ears to hear. Ouch!

Communication, like baseball, is learned over time with lots of practice and mistakes. Since marriage is a life-long commitment, we can’t just check out of the game. We must look for ways to increase our batting average, in season and out, for the sake of our marriage.

Check out 7 more ways marriage is like baseball

We’ve heard it said that the best way to improve in an area of physical training is to confuse your muscles. Do something different each time you practice so your muscles can’t  predict what’s coming. It requires your entire body to be engaged in the training, not just auto-piloting through the workout.

So it is with communication. Try something different and see if your listening doesn’t improve. 

  1. Listen with your eyes. Many times our spouse is speaking to us about something important to them, but because it isn’t important to us we respond with a half-interested, “Uh-huh.” We may be on our smart phone, looking at the computer, playing a video game or reading a book, when our spouse walks into the room and begins talking. Stop what you’re doing and look in their eyes. Don’t allow distractions to intercept this bid of attention your spouse is throwing your way. Of course, there are times when what you are doing is important and an interruption isn’t helpful. In those moments I encourage you to stop, look your spouse in the eyes and ask them if they could wait until you are finished. Then, make sure you take the time to pursue them afterward. Our eyes are easily distracted, so fixing them on our spouse when they are communicating to us will keep distractions to a minimum.
  2. Talk with your ears. This goes with what I said in #1. If you have something you would like to talk with your spouse about, don’t assume that they are ready to give you their full attention. Walk into the room with your “ears open and your mouth shut,” as my 9th grace Science teacher used to tell her loud, immature students. Our spouse deserves our courtesy. 

Practicing these two communication skills will go a long way in helping you both grow in the way you speak and listen to each other. Who knows? You might just discover a deeper level of intimacy in the process. Now that’s a home run!


Posted in Christian Marriage, communication, Conflict, Growing Strong Marriages, Wisdom in Marriage | Tagged , , , ,

Happy Hour

It’s been awhile since I’ve had the time to highlight some of my favorite posts for the week, and this week is no exception. But I have a friend who is just starting her blog (first post today) and I wanted to share it with you. I also want to feature three other blogs by my friends, two of whom are in my writing group. They aren’t focused on marriage, but they’re really funny and will make you think, laugh and sometimes cry–not necessarily in that order. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

Not That Big A Deal

Life On The Lighter Side

Swan Stuff

Feel Free To Laugh


Posted in Blog Love, Happy Hour, humor | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Two Weddings and an Engagement


Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 7.26.29 PM

Meme by Marriage Today website

I have two nephews who are getting married within six weeks of each other this Summer. I am coordinating one and helping with the rehearsal dinner for the other, and I am loving every minute of it!

Right in the middle of this busy season our youngest daughter got engaged!

We’ve known it was coming since April when her boyfriend met with us to discuss his plans and ask our blessing. Of course we said yes! He is exactly the man our daughter has been praying for, and he reminds me a lot of Tom in how he loves her. She will be blessed by his love as I have been by Tom. But with their marriage comes more change. <sigh> An opportunity for me to let go and let them live the life God has ordained for them in another state! This will mean all three of our married children will live in three different states spread across the South–something I never saw coming.

But it is good!

Her fiancé was recently promoted to a dream job, but it required him moving to Arkansas. This means until they are married they are dating via Facebook phone calls. I must say they have become creative in how they spend their evenings. One of their favorites is to rent the same movie on Red Box, video call and start it at the exact same time so they can enjoy it together. I love it.

When Tom and I were engaged across the miles, all we had was the telephone and snail mail! 

We’re sorry for the lack of posts lately, but we are soaking in all the joy that new love inspires, as well as figuring out all the details of the wedding. If you’d like, check out our Facebook page where you can see the creative way our soon-to-be “Son-in-Love” proposed. He hit this one out of the park, and we are so happy to welcome him into our family.

Screen Shot 2017-07-12 at 7.45.48 PM


Posted in Christian Marriage, Growing Strong Marriages, Love Stories | Tagged ,

Monday Date Night Prompts – Game Night

Game nights are usually reserved for Family Nights, not date nights. However, I think we are missing out by making such a judgment. 

You may have seen some of our most popular romantic game ideas like:

Last year our daughter and son-in-love made us a giant Jenga set, and it’s so much fun! We thought you might like to make one to enjoy on your next Game Night Date Night. 😊

How to Make Giant Jenga

We pray your 4th of July is full of fun, family, friends, food and fireworks.

Happy Dating…

Posted in Christian Marriage | 2 Comments

Keeping It Real–Worth The Effort

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I love parties. I love holidays. I love surprises. I love celebrations. Since Tom has retired it makes it very difficult to surprise him. He is almost always home when I’m home. Except for yesterday! 🙂

He had to run errands that were going to take most of the day, and I was elated! Not because he would be gone mind you, but because I could surprise him!

Our bedroom has been a mess since early spring when I decided to go through our library and get rid of the books we no longer wanted. I also intended to move the bookshelf from our bedroom into Tom’s office, but it was too big. I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing…for months! <sigh>

Tom is a very patient man. He never complains about unfinished projects, but he will give me (what Gary Thomas calls)  a “bid” every now and then. A few days ago he mentioned that he’d love to get our bedroom back sometime, and yesterday was the day I was able to catch his bid.

I spent a few hours going through the books we wanted to donate and organizing the ones we would keep. I made the bed, cleaned, vacuumed (one of Tom’s favorite things), turned on the lamps as well as smooth jazz for added effect. His surprise was ready and waiting for him to come home; I was so excited!

When he walked in the door he did what I hoped; he went to our room to change. I said nothing but let him see for himself. He was blown away! Makes me wonder how many times I miss what’s important to him because I’m not listening.

Let’s purpose to pay attention to the ways in which we can bless our spouse. It may not mean much to us, but if it’s important to them it’s absolutely worth it! 


Posted in Christian Marriage, Encouraging Your Spouse, Growing Strong Marriages, Hindrances to Romance, Keeping It Real, romanticizing your master bedroom | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Monday Date Night Prompts – On The Water

Photo Credit: orizielle

Summer is in full-swing and it’s finally warm enough to enjoy time on the water, which brings us to our date night prompt for this week!

We live in Florida where water is a part of our lives all year long. We especially enjoy:

But this past weekend we brought our water themed date home. We bought new loungers to relax in our pool, which allowed us to slow down and talk. It was exactly what we needed after the busy season we’ve had, which is the point of date nights, right?

Leena Arif has said, “In every drop of water there is a story of life.” And so on dates with our spouse, water can provide a chance to write more of our story.

What water options are near you? Try discovering something new and see if it doesn’t become your new go-to place for the summer.

Happy dating…


Posted in Christian Marriage, Date Night Ideas, Summer Date Ideas | Tagged , ,

5 Marriage Blogger Husband’s Answer This Question…

Why is Sex Important? Part One

Listen in on this podcast as my husband, Tom, and the following men discuss this vital aspect of Sex in a healthy Marriage:

Paul Byerly, The Generous Husband and The XY Code

Scott Means, Heaven Made Marriage

Brad Aldrich, One Flesh Marriage

Doug Taylor, Big Guy from The Forgiven Wife



Posted in Christian Marriage, Growing Strong Marriages, Intimacy, Keeping It Real, Sexual Intimacy | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Lesson Learned

There was a time in our marriage when Tom said something that hurt me deeply. It wasn’t the intent of his heart to hurt me, but because of the verse above I insisted that something was in his heart that he insisted wasn’t. We had stalemate for the first time in our marriage and it was stifling. 

This cloud of suspicion and angst followed me everywhere I went. I had opened the door to a very ugly side of me and I didn’t know how to close it. 

Thankfully, the Lord in His faithfulness led us through that very difficult year. And the best of news–He changed me!

A few mornings ago I awoke with this revelation about that season of our life. 

God revealed to me how I had used this verse wrongly and because I did, it led us down a very dark road. He reminded me of this parable Jesus shared during His Sermon on the Mount…

“”Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:1-5‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It is dangerous to think we know what is in our spouse’s heart by the words they say. How often have I said something and regretted it the moment it left my lips? What if a guard was standing there not ready to help me, but to judge me and slap a sentence with no mercy? 

God doesn’t treat us that way. In fact, through Christ He did the opposite.

“He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭103:10-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

It is my responsibility to guard my own heart and what I speak. I realize now that if I had used the verse in Luke to judge my own heart I would have discovered the lesson God was teaching me right away without having to drag Tom through the mud with me to get there.

I am grateful for that year and what God showed us, but I am even more grateful for how God allowed me to reflect back on what happened to show me there was a better way. 

The moral of this story is: Don’t assume that the verse that comes to your mind during a conflict is for your spouse. It may be the Holy Spirit trying to get your attention before you say something you’ll regret.

Lesson Learned ✔️

Posted in Christian Marriage | 1 Comment

Loving v. Virginia – 50 Years of Interracial Marriage

John Piper has written an outstanding tribute to the pivotal anniversary celebrated today. It was on June 12, 1967 when the United States Supreme Court declared unconstitutional all state laws that prohibited interracial marriage. But it didn’t change in America instantly. In fact, the last state to finally adopt this new law was Alabama in the year 2000!

We won’t take the time to rewrite what Mr. Piper has already written so well. But we will highlight his 5 Points of the Beauty of Interracial Marriage.

  1. The biblical description of how so-called racial differences emerged from one pair of human beings, Adam and Eve, shows that interracial marriage does not contradict God’s purpose for diversity in this world and the next.

  2. The Bible forbids intermarriage between believer and unbeliever — not between races or ethnic groups.

  3. In Christ, our oneness is profound and transforms racial and social differences from barriers to blessings.

  4. God severely disciplined the critics of one interracial marriage. (Read Numbers 12)

  5. In Christ, the good effects of interracial marriage are worth the challenges it can bring.

I’m happy to say that our church has always celebrated the union of interracial couples.

This past week at my Barefoot Ladies Retreat I was able to spend time with one wife who is in an interracial marriage and has been for over 20 years. I had never heard their story. It was hard to hear the heartache and the trouble they have endured, but even more amazing is how God has brought them to where they are today. We cried as she shared how her dad declared her dead and would not acknowledge her existence anymore. Then when their first child was born how God used this baby girl to restore what the enemy had tried to steal.

“Christians of every race should search their hearts and search the Scriptures, and bring their hearts, by the power of God’s Spirit into line with God’s word.” – John Piper

Take some time and read John Piper’s article. We pray it will be helpful to you as you consider what the Bible has to say about interracial marriages. 


Posted in Biblical Encouragement, Christian Marriage, Growing Strong Marriages | Tagged , ,

Monday Date Night Prompts – Date With A View

Today Tom and I will venture to one of our favorite places in the High Country–5506′ SkyBar. It sits on top of Beech Mountain Ski Resort and you can only get there by taking the ski lift to the top.

Summertime is when the snow skis are traded in for mountain bikes making the mountain just as popular of a place to gather and enjoy the view. What I love about 5506′ is that we can enjoy the view without having to risk hurting ourselves on the slopes or hike a long path to get there. With a little investment ($10 a lift) we can climb the heights and enjoy the long-range view.

Photo Credit: Skybar website

Our date night prompt this week encourages you to find a place nearby with a fantastic view. It may be a mountain top, on the beach front, overlooking a tranquil lake, or a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city. Wherever you go, pause to take in the big picture view and realize how small we are compared to God’s creation. Remember He cares for you; He cares for your spouse; and He certainly cares for your marriage. This is why date nights are important.

Please share with us your date with a view in the comments. We can’t wait to see the big picture from your eyes.

Happy Dating!


Posted in Date Night Ideas, Summer Date Ideas | Tagged , ,