Your Spouse. A Gift from God.

Your Spouse. A Gift from God.

Your Spouse is a gift. How will you encourage your spouse today? 

Yes. I know. He/She isn’t perfect. But your spouse is immensely valuable. Here are ways to encourage your spouse is a gift.

You could talk about the future with a hopeful attitude…

Anticipation is a good gift to give your spouse. What can you plan for the future that the two of you can anticipate?

Sometimes a physical representation is good when you’re planning and anticipating – This Adventure Journal is a fun way to encourage each other to dream and plan for what could be… What a cool idea - a place to put all your "bucket list" ideas and then journal about them as they happen.

The Adventure Journal is one product from Commit30 that has caught our attention – they have a planner that’s focused on reaching your goals. It’s useful too. The products from Commit30 are affiliate links where if you click to purchase Robert and I receive a small commission at no charge to you. We appreciate your support very much. Thank you!.

Hope is about what will be – what’s coming. We all have hope if we’re rooted in Christ.

You could share your faith in the goodness of God…

I’ve been listening to a song by Audrey Assad – “Good to Me.”

There are some useful reminders of God’s goodness ~ (click here if you can’t see the video)

When you’re bowed down with sorrow – do you still lift up God’s name?
Because He is good to you.
Do you let the foxes in the vineyard steal your joy?
Or do you focus on God’s good promises?

His goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life…

Faith starts with you. Then you can share.

You could love without condition…

Unconditional love.

It’s loving the way Christ loves us. It’s adding grace into your marriage. Unconditional love decides to forgive – regardless of who is right or wrong, first or last, better or worse. Love is kindness in action.

You could pray for your spouse…

  • you could pray morning, noon and night
  • you could pray out loud and in silence
  • you could start small – just clasp hands and give thanks for your spouse
  • you could pray for your spouse’s physical health, career, role as a parent and/or grandparent, your shared intimate life, relationship with friends, attitude, mental health, fears, reputation, temptations, purpose, choices, priorities, self-image, integrity, trials…

Pray. Without ceasing. 

You could take action to bless your spouse…
You know what I’m talking about…

What have you been avoiding doing that you know your spouse would appreciate?
It might not be a big thing. (or it could be)

What can you do –

where can you make a difference by taking action –

how can you support your spouse?

How will you encourage your spouse today- Use hope for the future - your faith in God - and more! Your spouse is a gift.


Thankful to link with:

Hope in Every Season  |  Essential Fridays

 The photo is by Daniel Davis Photography – I found it on  Wonderful, huh?

Adventures in Marriage {5 benefits when you get out of your comfort zone}

Adventures in Marriage {5 benefits when you get out of your comfort zone}

These days we’re babysitting.



puppy not conducive to working

Our son and daughter-in-love have adopted a puppy. And by default, so have Robert and I.

Our son has a business, and this dog is going to be his business’ mascot. (Once it learns to do its business outside!) Until that point, the puppy visits us in our home when Alex needs to be in the studio.

Rob and I work from home.

We’re kinda comfortable in our routine – he’s in his office at one end of our little cottage in the woods, and I work in the sunroom at the other end of the house. Now and again we pass in the hallway,

cuppa tea

and share a cuppa tea and a bite between meals.

Comfortable, right?
Get Cozy this Fall at Stash Tea
This puppy has provided everything except comfort!

But it has been an adventure around the Ferguson house lately. Have you ever gone to a dog park? Yah – that was an adventure… this puppy can hold her own with a full-grown pit bull. (sigh)

So – this juxtaposition between comfort and adventure has made me realize…

Comfort is not Conducive to Adventure

Having the puppy in our daytime lives has made it clear that comfort and adventure cannot be put in the same sentence. And as wonderful as comfort in marriage can be – it’s not as fun as an adventure. Every couple’s definition of adventure is going to be different.

  • Some couples are nomads – living out of suitcases and touring the world. (I wrote a post about 3 couples who live this way – click HERE to read it! And there’s a family of 6 who have been doing this for years.)
  • Some couples start a family business.
  • Other couples adopt children.
  • Some couples take care of a new puppy and all the adventures that entails.
  • There are couples who go on mission trips for weeks and years at a time.
  • Some couples go on safari – or get lost while hiking their neighborhood trails.
  • A few couples emigrate to other countries. (and others move from one city to another on the spur of the moment)
  • Many couples build new homes. (or oversee the construction of their home)
  • Some families educate their children at home. (BTW – I’m a ‘graduated’ homeschooling mom!)
  • Other families open their homes to couch-surfers – or go couch-surfing themselves!
  • Most couples encounter the adventure of an empty nest at some time.
  • Some couples pursue a degree to change professions.
  • A few couples take on the challenge of living fully in the face of an illness, or advancing age.
  • And for some, driving a different direction to go to the grocery store can be an adventure… 😉

What’s your definition of “adventure”?





No matter what you consider an adventure, there are at least 5 benefits for your marriage:

5 Benefits of Adventure in Marriage

1.  Planning for and before an adventure can fill you with hope for the future.

2.  Adventures build your faith in God and His goodness, because sometimes all your own efforts won’t make stuff work, but adding God into the equation can allow everything to add up.

3.  Experiencing an adventure together cements your bond – your love can grow strong(er).

4.  Praying together before, during and after an adventure develops your connection with each other and God. In prayer, you can really hear your spouse’s heart.

5.  Adventures grow your ability to take action together. Supporting your spouse while in the adventure builds a team-work marriage. You know what they say, right? Teamwork makes the dream work!

Leave your comfort zone!

An immense adventure – or a small adventure – maybe multiple adventures… give it a try. An adventure is not as scary as you’d think.

What’s your next adventure with your spouse going to be?

Adventures in Marriage 5 benefits

Faith: Act – React – Interact

Faith: Act – React – Interact




How do you believe without these testifiers? 

Societies built around 1st-world mindsets function on proven theories, evidence of past performance, and collection of data-points which lead to a conclusion.

There’s every chance that anyone reading this post will belong to this kind of society.

How often do we function on faith alone?

As Christians, I’d suggest we believe we do – behave and react in faith.  But do we really?

How often do we search through the Word – with the excuse that we’re trying to understand – but really we’re gathering data to support a hypothesis? How often do we review past experiences of Biblical heroes,  historical men and women who followed God, and even those surrounding us who we perceive live in alignment with a faith-filled perspective, all with the desire to prove and test our own actions?

Is it possible to live by faith alone?

Is it possible to live by faith alone, with no comparisons, with no data, no external proof or evidence?

I don’t know.

What do you think?

Even in the scripture passage above – Hebrews 11 – the writer details the behavior of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Sarah, Rahab, and others. He used the historical figures as an example of  living by faith. He used those examples as evidence for those to whom he was writing. (which includes us, I guess)

The last lines of Hebrews 11 provides a clue:

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

~Hebrews 11:39,40

Have you received what you were promised? 

We have received eternal life through the sacrifice of Christ Jesus. That’s a promise fulfilled.

However we still need to have faith without seeing. No one has gone into eternity and come back to prove that Christ’s sacrifice is valid. (except Christ)  Yet we believe. We are assured even though we don’t see – and we have confidence in Christ’s sacrifice because we have the hope to be with God.

Hope is about tomorrow. It’s the beginning before there’s a plan to act upon.

Faith is about today.

Faith is about how we behave today. Act. React. Interact.

Are we acting/reacting/interacting in a way which demonstrates we believe God?

… believing without seeing.

… believing without experiencing – personally – the tangible effect of a promise fulfilled.

Because – 

With God all things are possible.

Do you gather and demonstrate strength  – acting on your belief – that with God all things are possible?

That’s faith. In action.

What happens when you have faith? You can:

  • conquer kingdoms (even your own households)
  • administer justice (apply Godly wisdom)
  • shut the mouths of lions (or lion-like attitudes)
  • quench the fury of flames (things that seek to destroy)
  • escape the edge of the sword (when it looks like you’re going to be cut down)
  • have weakness turned to strength (even when you are nothing)
  • become powerful in battle (because it’s not you who fights)
  • route foreign armies (attacking in the unseen spiritual world )
  • receive back your dead – raised to life again

The examples are all there in Hebrews 11.

Of course there are examples of those who were also physically and mentally persecuted because of their faith – their behavior of believing without seeing…

Encourage your husband or wife.

with your faith.

Encourage your spouse with your ability to act/react/interact with the confidence in what you hope for, and the assurance of what you can’t see.


Because God has something planned that’s better.

How’s your faith?

Maybe you need to gather strength from reading the Word. Or contemplating the lives of those who have lived what we perceive as faith-filled lives.

Or maybe your faith can be strengthened merely through acting/reacting/interacting through a pure, unfiltered belief without seeing.


Through your faith in God, you will encourage your spouse.


Because strength – fortification – happens when we live with someone who act/reacts/interacts with a confidence in what they hope for, and an assurance in what is not seen – just believed.

Have courage. Fortify with Faith.



Thankful to link with:

Titus 2sDay

What does “meaningful” mean, anyway?

What does “meaningful” mean, anyway?

As part of the tagline on Encourage Your Spouse, the word “meaningful” is used.

Husbands & Wives Leading Meaningful Lives

What does “meaningful” mean, anyway?

Sometimes I mess around with the word – and translate it as filled with meaning… meaning filled… but I know what it’s NOT:

  • Meaning filled is not pessimistic
  • Meaning filledl is not hum-drum
  • Meaning filled is not day-by-day

Meaning Filled is…


Forward Focused


How do you define “meaningful”?

Yesterday I was with a group of ladies at a coffee shop.  These ladies were women from every walk of life.

  • some were cancer survivors,
  • some were professionals,
  • some had left corporate life,
  • there were writers,
  • others were in family businesses,
  • and one was pursuing a new time in her life called “retirement”.

We were a room filled with multi-ethnicity,  ages, different Christian denominations, and diverse focuses.

What brought us together?*

A meaning filled purpose.

Living a ho-hum-hum-drum existence isn’t enough for this diverse group of ladies.

Each of us found our strength in God, and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. We all expressed (in larger and smaller ways) our trust in the Lord’s direction for our lives, and the calling He had placed on our hearts.

For one lady, “meaningful” shows up in her desire to mentor teens, in another lady “meaningful” is translated to the daily challenge of living and demonstrating a Christ-like life out of the spot-light. Yet others have artistic and business ventures God has put into their hearts which embody “meaningful”.

Some of the ladies have a very clear plan on how to pursue their God-gifted task. Others are seeking God’s input into their vision. At whatever stage each one found themselves, we all were privileged to hear the stories of their journey… and to pray for God’s hand to guide each one.

So – what’s your “meaning filled” purpose?

How would you define the word: meaningful?

Do you have a plan? Are you and your spouse pursuing something together? Are you encouraging your spouse, if the plan is theirs? How?

Having a meaning filled life doesn’t need to be grandious or pretentious… I’m guessing it’ll serve something greater than yourself, and have something to do with relationships. 

Don’t procrastinate in pursuing your life filled with meaning – it’s so easy to get caught up and miss out on using your time well!

Where Are Your Eyes?

“… we do not know what to do,

but our eyes are on You.”

~ 2Chronicles 20:12


Do you and your spouse have plans?

Perhaps this is a time of waiting…

Perhaps this is a time of battling…

Perhaps this is a time of regrouping…

Perhaps this is a time of arming…

Perhaps this is a time of healing…

Whatever time you’re in – be sure your eyes are on HIM!


Thanks to Ashley at A Grateful Heart who introduced me to this song.

It made me think of that scripture verse from a recent sermon – one that filled me with strength.

It fortified my faith.

Come on – Say it with me:

 “… we do not know what to do – but our eyes are on YOU!” 

Do you have a song which fills you with strength?

Does your spouse know why you listen to it?  Have you shared the reason it fills you and strengthens your faith? Sharing something as small as a song could make all the difference for a spouse.

Encouragement isn’t always grand gestures – most times it’s just the small stuff.

Share the title, or a link of a song that fills you with strength in the comments!

Encourage us all!


Thankful to link with

Great Peace Academy  |  Wifey Wednesday  |  Simply Helping Him