Over the past year, God has been making some pretty amazing connections in my life and the life of my husband, Steven. It has been so awesome to watch the way that God connects the dots. I have met people that will forever change my life. One of those connections is with Clarence and Alicia Hill. They are pastors of Church Ablaze. Clarence is also the Director of Eye to Eye Marriage Community. They both have been like meeting our long, lost family. I’m pretty sure this 6’8″ African American man is my brother from another mother. It has been such a tremendous blessing work along side of them to help bring the conversation of Marriage and Family to the forefront in Oklahoma City. Yesterday we had the opportunity to speak at a Celebrate Marriage Oklahoma rally. For Steven and I sharing our testimony of how God has restored our family is something that we love to do. The rally was to help gain support of the Covenant Walk that we will be doing on October 13, 2014. This walk will be an event to raise awareness of the need for support in our community for Families and Marriage. I would like to take this opportunity to personally invite you to join Steven and I and Bridge Builder Marriage Ministry as well as many other organizations as we march from the Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City to the State Capital. Marriage and family are so important that spending this holiday bringing the conversation to the attention of the city is more than worth the time you will spend. So please join us. You can find out more information here.
A man that has friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24 (KJV)
When you’re married, your spouse should be your best friend. You spend more of your time with them than anyone else, you share a home, meals, activities, children and intimacy with them. I have, however, heard many wives talk about their best friend only to find out that it is NOT their husband. As I thought about the reasons why they would give that coveted spot to someone other than their husband, I realized one such reason might be laid out for us in this passage of scripture. How do those wives treat their husbands, do they show themselves friendly to him? Friendships take work, they rarely just happen. You might meet someone that you are instantly connected to, but to maintain a good friendship you have responsibility in the relationship. Taking time to talk, engaging in activities together, celebrating wins and even walking through the losses together are vital parts of any healthy friendship. Also, knowing their likes and dislikes, their values and encouraging their dreams are also important. Do you do those things with your husband? If you don’t, I encourage you to start today. Show yourself friendly, take responsibility and give your husband this place in your life. the rewards will be great for both of you.
Often in our Marriage and Relationship Life Coaching sessions we meet with couples who have been married only a few years. However, from time to time we have couples who have been together for many years. For these couples, they often report they feel like they are living with their sibling. It isn’t usually anything huge that derailed their marriage rather a lack of demonstrations of love each day. As you know I often say, “If the grass looks greener in your neighbors yard, water your own grass.” Often times after years of living with someone you get so accustomed to their ways and thoughts that life can become routine. This is often the downfall of many marriages.
What to do???? The best answer truly comes from the past. When you first met your husband, what did you do? When you first started pursuing him, my guess is you left no stone unturned in your effort to get his attention and demonstrate your love for him. Well, sometimes going back to the basics is the best idea. To revive the romance in your marriage, why not try some of the wonderful things you did in the early days. Here are few suggestions that might be helpful in jogging your memory.
- Leave sweet notes of love for him to find in his car in the morning.
- Send him off in the morning with a PASSIONATE kiss. (This is two-fold, it starts his day of right and reminds him why he wants to come home at night)
- Meet him for a surprise lunch.
- Send him sexy text messages during the work day.
- Make sure your hair and clothes look as good today as they did when you were dating him.
- Put chocolates on his pillow in the evening with a love note.
- Flirt with him from across the room.
- Surprise him by greeting him while wearing his favorite color of lipstick and perfume.
- Plan a date to somewhere you went when you were dating.
- Recreate your favorite things to do when you were dating.
- If he played sports take him to the ball field or court where he played and remind him how much you loved watching him play. Talk about that big play or shot he made. Let him know you still remember.
Be creative, you will find wonderful ways to spice up the romance in your marriage, no matter how many years it’s been since you first met.
For those of you who are newly married, never stop doing the things that won his heart to start with. Years from now you will be so glad you did.
Here is a wonderful blog by one of my co-workers at Victory Church in Oklahoma City. Really sometimes we like to make sure that we sound super important by sharing wisdom and making it difficult to understand. Bo is truly a funny man and he has a great way of communicating. I love reading his blog and know you will too. In his current post he does a great job of being honest, wise and simple. After reading Confessions of a Married Man – My Top 5 Ways to a Happy Marriage I guarantee if you simply apply his advice you will have a better marriage.
I was on Facebook recently and I saw a sign that said “As two families are becoming one, we ask that you choose a seat not a side.” I’m would love to give credit to the person who made that statement originally but in my research I was unable to figure that out so if you know please share it with me.
As I thought about this statement, I thought about the magnitude of the truth it conveyed. Being a wife, mother, and a mother-in-law, I have found myself on both sides of the coin.
When two people get married it often brings with it two very different families and therefore two very different family cultures. While in most cases, the guys are less likely to bring their family into the marriage, girls are highly likely to. I remember my mom would always say “You have a son until he takes a wife, you have a daughter all your life.” This is true a lot of the time. This is not necessarily bad or good but can many times be one or the other.
Before you get married is the best time to take a good look at what each family can bring to the marriage. It is important to discuss such things as family culture, family holiday traditions, and religious beliefs and practices. By doing this you can save yourselves a lot of unnecessary problems.
If you are the parent or parent-in-law/family member or family-in-law member I encourage you to do your best to not choose sides but choose the side of promoting a healthy, loving, God-centered marriage. Making this choice, you will not only help the marriage but you will help impact future generations. Your support can and will make a difference.
Most women when asked, would respond that the most important need of a man is sex. While respect/honor is actually the primary need of man, sex is a very close second. Yet sex is one of the biggest areas in many marriages that cause a lot of conflict. For many women I work with, this very conflict causes a great deal of pain. Finding ways to navigate the balance of desire for sex between husbands and wives can be very complex. However, by have some very open conversations with your spouse about where they are both coming from can help this area of your life come into balance. Beginning that conversation often means wading through unmet expectations, hurts, feelings of failure on both sides, and even the releasing of using sex as a punishment or reward. While this is can be a path least taken, it is a path that can lead to a more satisfying marriage then you have ever dreamed of. I encourage all couples to have open, honest, and loving conversations about where there marriage stands in relationship to their sexual intimacy.
I recently read a blog Holy Hot and Humorous which addresses one of the big issues in marital sex. Just Because He Stopped Asking Doesn’t Mean He’s Stopped Wanting. This blog poses some great ideas. These ideas could be used to initiate a conversation that would help wives begin to discover exactly where their husband is in relationship to sex in their marriage. I encourage you to do a check up on your intimate relationship with your husband. It will be one of the most life giving things you will ever do.
As a wife you have many options on how to act, how to treat your husband and whether to honor God in your marriage. These choices have great impact on the kind of marriage you will have. While every girl dreams of the fairy tale romance where the bride and groom live happily ever after, many girls struggle to see this come to pass. With over half of all marriages ending in divorce and many other reporting they do not have the marriage they dreamed of, marriage is losing some of its shine in the world today. Why is that? Can this be changed? My response to this is a resounding yes. You can have the fulfilling, life-giving, loving marriage you have always wanted. If you are willing to do some pretty basic things.
Getting married is often like having children, everyone does it but few get any good teaching on how to do it. Society teaches us that we should just be born with this knowledge. We should automatically know everything there is to know about how to raise children and everything there is to know about how to be married. Few seek out instruction and for those who do the instruction options are incredibly vast and varied. So how do you know which instruction plan to follow? Why not choose a plan that has been tried and tested for thousands of years had when applied has really high success rates?
The Bible is very clear about how to be married. It is very clear also about how to be a parent but that is for another blog. Today I would like to share a few ideas that if you truly embrace them and follow them daily, will set you on the path to a happily ever after. Ephesians is a great book that give wonderful direction about how to live life, how to raise children, and how to be married. Paul in his letter to Ephesus gives some pretty specific direction about some activities that wives can do that will help ensure a great marriage. While there are many other instructions throughout the Bible, and it can be overwhelming to begin to do them all, let’s start with a few from Ephesians 5:33.
“let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband (that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him and loves and admires him exceedingly) AMP
This is a pretty long list of some of the ways we should treat our husbands. So for the next few days we will look at these activities individually and begin to discuss examples of ways to implement each of them into our lives as wives so that we can begin to have the marriage we have always wanted.