God doesn’t give up on us. We are given grace over and over and over and over… He loves us and we love Him. He has called us. We seek His purpose for our lives.
God brought the two of you together.
Oh, we know that it’s not all good stuff in your life. We know you’re struggling. Rob and I are too! Some parts of our lives have a lot of room for improvement. A lot!
But, we can’t give up.
We need to make it all work.
Husbands and wives need to work together to make it all work.
Write the stories of God’s goodness on your hearts.
Remind each other of all the times God has been gracious to you. Tell the stories so your children and friends know how God has shown up in your lives. Write those stories down.
The post, “Encouraging Your Spouse in a Time of Disappointment” is part of our story as husband and wife. I wrote it at an intense moment in our life, then, two years later I went back and added what happened after those intense three days. Someday I will be completely candid and write the whole story to show God’s goodness. He’s still working out the final chapters, so I have to wait to tell you. But Rob and I aren’t giving up. I’m here for Rob. Here’s here for me. We are together. And through God’s grace, we are able to find a way to make it all work – together. We’re not giving up.
What about you?
Don’t give up!
Make a pledge to your spouse that you won’t give up. With God’s grace and love, He will provide what’s necessary to make it all work so you can say,
“Our marriage is great because we care enough to find a way to make it all work – together!“
We make it all work – together – is the 4th in 10 posts!
These are a series of posts for your anniversary, or anytime! Rob and I seek to encourage husbands and wives to lead meaningful lives. Celebrating milestones along the way is one part of a meaningful life. Here are the other posts (Just click on the pictures).
Happy Anniversary – You come first! Could you say your spouse gets your best without her or him snorting or guffawing with derision?
Does your spouse have the best of you – before any other human being? Before the children? Just consider – children grow up and go to live their own lives. You and your spouse started together and before you know it, it’ll be just the two of you again. And that’s a good thing. Really!
What about grandchildren? Could your spouse say that he or she comes before the grandchildren in your heart? That’s a hard question in our life right now. 😉 That grandboy has us wrapped around his little finger!
Is your spouse more important than work commitments? Yes, I know we all need to earn enough for the necessities of life, however, work can become an addiction. An obsessed spouse can’t give their best.
“Just let me…” At times the work which can take preference has nothing to do with earning money. Work could be cleaning, or crafting, or computer time. It’s all justifiable. But does work (in whatever form) take precedence over time with your spouse? Just asking…
Leftover or the Best?
What happens when you give your time to other things before your spouse? The leftovers aren’t worth much. Your spouse gets much less than your best.
Although it isn’t always practical for your spouse to have your first attention – it is good to give your spouse your best!
You Come First
How do you show your spouse that he or she comes first before any other human? Maybe it can’t be with your time if this is an overwhelming season. But let’s do some brainstorming here…
“the best” could be a dedicated few hours every week to do something together – just the two of you – with no interruptions. Maybe you could explore a new hobby? Or try one of these date ideas or one of these or even a simple, comfortable Chai Tea get-together?
It took years for me to understand I have a Christian obligation to continually move toward my wife. I thought that as long as I didn’t attack my wife or say cruel things to her, I was a “nice” husband, but the opposite of biblical love isn’t hate, it’s apathy. To stop moving toward our spouse is to stop loving him or her. It’s holding back from the very purpose of marriage.
Just so we understand each other, Rob and I feel that God as the center of your life is key to a successful marriage, and for every other part of life. When we talk about putting your spouse before any other human being, we also want to encourage you to center all your life around God. Let Him and His Son be your focus like the sun is the center of the universe. Worship God together. After all, He gave you your spouse to love!
This is the third of ten ideas on what to say – and do – to make your anniversary special.
When you two met each other, only God knew what your spouse would mean to you. Take a moment to focus on how thankful you are for each other!
Married life is hard. Not every year of our married life is champagne and roses. Am I right? Only God knew what would happen in your life when you first met your spouse. Didn’t He build in many, many blessings, despite all the difficulties? Those difficulties caused you to grow together.
Your first blessing was a relationship with Him – and then with your spouse – and then…
How many years have you been married?
For however many years you’ve been married, make a list with as many items you’re thankful for. Married 10 years? Name 10 things you’re thankful for… married 18 years, then 18 items… you get the idea, right? And if you’ve been married one or two or three years… well, then be creative!
As an example, our “Thankful List” would have 33 items on it! Our adult children would be on that list and our grandboy. Those we pray for every day would be on our list. We are rich in relationships and we’re so thankful for all those who God has put into our lives.
What would your list look like?
God brought the two of you together – count your blessings!
Tell your spouse how thankful you are for her or him. Make that list of what you’re thankful for, and then share it. This is good for an anniversary or for anytime. Being thankful is another way you and your spouse can honor God.
always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the second of ten posts about encouraging your spouse on your anniversary. Or anytime!
Sometimes it’s easy to find the words you need to express how happy you are together and that’s great! But for others, at other times, it’s not easy to find those anniversary words to encourage. This is what these ten posts are meant to provide. Words and ideas that’ll spark something special to encourage each other.
We’ve recommended three ideas from this very old book by Dale Carnegie – “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” to begin to worry no more… There’s nothing particularly new in here – but it’s a classic and he hits on so many good ideas to stop worrying. The stories are fun to read because they’re from the 1920’s to 1940’s. (FYI -Robert isn’t a fan of Dale Carnegie – but I (Lori) enjoyed it!)
In the middle of marriage you might be feeling a bit worn down, a bit overwhelmed, and thinking, “Is this all there is?” We want you to know that life in the middle of marriage can have an even better flow of love and loyalty than when your marriage began. It just takes a little work. (Sorry – is that a 4-letter word: work?)
Again – the work is what it takes to get your worry under wraps: Prayer for the future together. Focus on today; do the best you can with what you have today. Stop replaying what you can’t change from yesterday.
How do you deal with worry?
Have you and your spouse found ways to worry no more? Any books you’d recommend on this topic, or posts you’ve read?
Investing time with the important people in your life builds them up – and you too! People are more important than anything else, right? In this 16th mid-marriage encouragement video we talk about people who make a difference in our life. Do we see them enough – spend time with them?
How do you make time for the important people in your life?
Sometimes those people who are most important aren’t the “squeaky wheels”, or the loudest in our life – perhaps they hesitate to make a fuss. And yet – they remain the vital relationships which make the most difference in our quality of life.
Make a Plan
Whether you visit, use a video chat service, or even the telephone, remaining connected to the important people in your life improves the quality of all your lives. Make a plan and reach out to those in your life you miss. Write those dates on a calendar, and follow through.
It’s not those things we actually do that we regret… too often it’s those actions we never get around to doing that cause the deepest regret.
Get off the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” merry-go-round and make a difference in everyone’s world!
Make a Plan for “Show and Tell” with Important People
Robert and I have been deliberate this year about making memories with our adult children and grandboy.
We meet once a week for an hour or so and have a “show and tell“. This is our way to remain connected. We each share one item (show or tell) from our life that week. And then we go on our way…. It’s too easy for the weeks to go by, and we’ve not spent any quality time with each other.
Do you have a plan for regular quality time with children to build memories? This may take some work as your children enter their teen years, and then move on as adults into their own lives. Leave a comment if you have a plan – I’d love to know what you do!
Make a Plan to Visit Important People
Do you have family and friends that live far away? We do too.
This year our son created a plan for us to travel to a church convention, and then swing by our parents (his grandparents) in Canada. This allowed us time to visit with our adult children while living together in an AirB&B house and also to meet up with friends we haven’t seen in a while at the Sunday event. After that, we spent two days with our parents. It took someone to make a plan. This year it was our son and daughter-in-love who made the plan, and I’m so thankful. (We have photos of our travels on our Instagram page.)
Who makes the plan in your family to travel to visit important people? How often do you make the time to visit those who are important, but who don’t make a lot of “noise” even though they’d love to see you?
Who prays with you?
An active prayer life is important. Making time to pray alone is imperative. Praying together as husband and wife is a powerful experience. (If you’ve not tried praying together, then just start simple – read this post to learn how.)
Who else do you pray together with? Do you have a praying church family or small group? Do you pray with them? What about a trusted minister?
Don’t let time or distance stop you from praying with people who have a strong prayer life. Reach out. Make a plan to pray with people on a regular basis. These important people who pray will make the difference in your “up” moments and in your crisis moments. (Don’t just wait till it’s a crisis!) Start now.
Plan to pray with others – it’s a wonderful defense.
Who are the important people in your life?
Do you have a plan to invest time with them… soon? Stop procrastinating!
(PS- we have found that the video service Zoom.us is the easiest venue to make a digital visit with far-away people!)
Making a commitment to spend time with important people…
Use a calendar – a planner – set goals… If the “event” of a phone call or video chat is on the calendar, it’ll happen! Here’s a resource called the “Commit30 Planner” we think is wonderful! If you scroll down after you click you’ll see an option to view all the pages in the planner. It includes a 30-day challenge for each month, motivational sayings and more… I’m in love with this product because it’s both attractive and useful! (This is an affiliate link, which means that if you click to purchase Robert and I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. We really appreciate your support.)