Sharing hope and strength for marriages with the power of God's redeeming love.

When I Said I Do, I meant ….

“What right do you have to destroy my dreams?” I asked my wife. It was a question I felt very strongly about many years ago when she wanted to end our marriage. And it is a question I still feel very strongly about today.

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I take the marriage vows very serious. I believe the vows are promises of commitment to see the marriage through even the toughest of times. Vows like “for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer,” are meant to foretell our commitment to the marriage and our spouse with the presumption that there is a good chance we will face any number of trials that will test our resolve to stay committed to the marriage.

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Is Your Heart Broken For The Right Reason

Is the marriage crisis you’re dealing with breaking your heart? Do you feel like your world is shattered and crumbling all around you? And does it make you question how much you can stand or how long can you endure? If your answers are yes, I know how you feel.

 

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Because fighting to save a marriage is one of the toughest ordeals a person can ever experience. The heartache and pain can be so tormenting that it makes it hard to function in any other area of life. And there are times when the pain is so hard to bear, all a person can do is shut it off by staying busy with other areas of life. Either way it seems like life is just a blur and all you can do is trying to survive it.

 

But I have another question for you, a question I believe that can make a huge difference in how you get through this experience.

 

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Where Marriage Healing Begins

The desperation I felt to save our marriage was tremendous. I had waiting for so long for signs of hope and yet so many times it seemed my hopes were dashed. I had no problem accepting I had hurt our marriage, and so all I could think of was trying to fix the problems I helped create.

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After a good while into our last separation my wife finally decided to go see a counselor. There were a lot of issues she had been dealing with from her childhood and she finally reached a point where she said enough is enough. She wanted the stuff that had tormented her all of her life to be gone once and for all.

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Do You Get Tired of Holding On?

Do you ever feel like giving up because you just don’t know if you can take anymore? I know how you feel. You wrestle with the desire to quit, but your belief in staying committed to your marriage keeps you holding on. The heartache, the tears, the weariness, sometimes feels like more than you can bear. And there are times when you don’t see any hope of things getting better and all you can think of is running away. I get it, I have been there too.

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I think if I were going through now what I went through before, one of my favorite songs would probably be, “Say Something (I’m Giving Up On You).” It’s one of those sad songs that captures the kind of heartache I used to feel. With tears blinding my eyes I would have been singing along with lyrics like, “You’re the one that I love and I’m saying goodbye.”

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What Does a Good Marriage Look Like?

The desire for a good marriage is a strong desire for most people. I don’t know of anyone that is married, or hopes to be married one day that doesn’t desire for their marriage to be good. But how do you know if you have a good marriage if you’re not sure what a good marriage looks like?

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Sure, it’s easy to look around and compare your marriage with some other couple who appear to have a good marriage to see if you have what they seem to have. READ MORE »

Two Steps of Grace for Reacting to Criticism

This is part three of a three-part series on constructive criticism. On part one, “How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism?” I talked about how valuable constructive criticism can be in a marriage if it is handled properly. I shared an eye-opening experience I had in my own marriage. And I shared from our experience of ministering to other couples how valuable it is to properly handle constructive criticism.

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Then on part two, “Confront Your Spouse with Love” I went into more depth on how to give constructive criticism without doing damage to your spouse and your marriage. I talked about some very important guidelines of what to do, and what not to do when presenting your grievance to your spouse.

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Confront Your Spouse With Love

Confronting your spouse about an important issue that must be addressed is a very difficult thing to do. And if it is not done properly and with love the results can take your marriage in the wrong direction. But when it is done right it will add a greater dimension of intimacy in your marriage.

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On our post, How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism? I talked about the importance of handling constructive criticism well and the value it can add to your marriage. On this post I want to be very specific about how to confront your spouse without causing more damage to your relationship.

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How Do You Handle Constructive Criticism?

It is not easy to receive criticism even when it is constructive, especially when it comes from your spouse, the one you want nothing less than absolute acceptance and approval from. And it is not easy to give constructive criticism to your spouse without hurting your spouse’s feelings and coming across as disapproving and rejecting. But knowing how to give and receive constructive criticism is desperately needed for a marriage to grow in oneness as God has intended.

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The struggle with feeling critical toward one another is very real in marriage, I don’t think anyone is immune from it. So the challenge we all face is knowing how to guard against allowing criticism to be used in a negative way that is hurtful and harmful to our marriage. While at the same time allowing constructive criticism to be used in a way that promotes growth and encouragement.

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Can Your Brightest Moments Come During Your Darkest Days

It is so tough to see anything good happening during the darkest hours of your life. But it is possible to have the best moments in your relationship with God even while you’re going through the worst battles life can throw at you.

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As with most things I write here on this blog, I can make my point best with an example from my own life.

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When You’re the Only One Trying to Improve Your Marriage

Can one person make a difference in their marriage even when their spouse is not trying? My answer to that is a resounding, YES they absolutely can!

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There is no question in my mind that even if only one spouse is trying, they alone can make a huge impact on their marriage and if only one person is trying there is still tremendous hope for the marriage.

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5 Reasons Why Dating is So Important

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33 Years and Still Dating. This Valentine’s Day, Janet and I plan to go on a date for the evening. This will be our 33rd Valentine’s date and for us it is always a little extra special because it is also the anniversary of our first date. Although we do not plan to go to the drive-in movies like we did that night way back then, we do plan to do something that is just for the two of us.

But the truth is, we don’t just date on Valentine’s Day, our birthdays, or our wedding anniversary. No, we try to make dating a regular part of our life. We don’t get to go out to dinner once a week like some of our friends do, but we do go as often as we can.

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How S-N-O-W Can Spell Love

I know snow can mean a lot of things to different people. Some people just don’t like the snow at all and some experience so much snow that it makes life miserable and even life threatening.

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But my wife can’t get enough snow. To her it just doesn’t get any better than to have a few inches of snow on the ground and snow hanging from the trees like a winter wonderland. READ MORE »

Identity Issues Can Wreak Havoc on a Marriage

In the past, if you ask me, “what do you do for a living?” as most men will ask one another, you would have heard me say “I work as an auto mechanic.” But you would have never heard me say, “I am an auto mechanic.” Because what I do to make a living is not the sum total of who I am.

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I am many things, I am complex.

First and most important, I am a child of God. Second, I am Janet’s husband. After that, I am Dad, father to my three children.

But I also see myself as READ MORE »

Resurrected Marriage

Today’s guest post for “Stories of Redeemed Marriages” is from Ian & Megan from Manchester – England

Ian and MeganWe learnt the hard way that adultery doesn’t only happen in ‘bad’ marriages. We had what I, and everyone else believed to be a really good marriage: we were the lovey-dovey couple, we went to Church, and we even liked each other! We foolishly thought we didn’t need to set up boundaries because we believed that would never happen to us.

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Let His Kingdom Come

Today’s Word for Marriage

Matthew 6:10 “Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.”

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One of the hardest things to do in a marriage is to keep doing the right thing even when you feel it is getting you nowhere. But here in this verse which is at the beginning of the Lord’s prayer there is a nugget of truth that I believe can help anyone who needs encouragement to keep pressing on.

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Is It Possible For Marriage To BE Perfect

This post is on “why I still believe in marriage” and is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which we are delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  


 

I have come to believe that I can truthfully say my marriage is perfect. Now I know that sounds like a very bold statement. And I know some may think that is a very naive statement. But please hear me out on this.1422245_37709115

There is one single reason I believe my marriage is perfect and I will give you that reason. But first let me tell you what I’m not saying.

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Secrets For a Great Marriage From a Former Unhappy Wife

This post is part of the Happy Wives Club Blog Tour which we are delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  

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One of the hardest things I have had to come to terms with in my life is the fact that I spent nineteen years of my marriage being an unhappy wife when all along I could have been a very happy wife. I’ve had to mourn those wasted years. There gone now and there is nothing I can do to get them back. That’s why I am so thankful the Lord is redeeming that time for us.

Though if I could, I would go back and talk with my former self. Because there are some things I would like for her to know. There are some things I would like to say to her to encourage her and reassure her. So I would say…. READ MORE »

Good Decisions are Often Made in Advance

It’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about the new year and what we hope the future will hold. For some this time represents a time to start over brand new with visions, plans, and goals. For others it is a time to make resolutions to change something, either to stop doing something old, or to start doing something new. However we choose to approach the new year; with resolutions, vision, plans, or goal setting, there is always one thing in common. One thing that must take place is decisions have to be made.

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The Best Christmas Gift We Ever Gave Each Other

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I love this time of year. Christmas is my favorite holiday and I know a lot of people feel the same. But for me there will always be one special Christmas that stands out above all the others in our life, one that has meant everything to our marriage.

If you have read Our Story then maybe you remember that our testimony is that we came near divorce 4 times in our first 19 years of marriage. What we haven’t said before, was that fourth time of near divorce started this time of year. Well actually it started way before then because Janet had already reached her end with us. But as far as I was concerned it all started that holiday season thirteen years ago.

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A Glimmer of Hope

Today’s guest post from Melissa Titus is for our Stories of Redeemed Marriages

20130907_205047On our wedding day, I truly believed I was Cinderella. I was marrying my Prince Charming and all my dreams had (or soon would) come true. As Chris and I walked down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time to Etta James “At Last”, I was filled with the greatest joy I had ever known. At last I had someone to fulfill all my hopes and dreams, to meet all my needs, to fill the void. We grew up without many of our needs met. We learned to either take what we needed from others, to give up, or we just needed to wait for the “right” person to come along. We headed into happily ever after repeating these bad habits from childhood.

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