Praying for Your Spouse

Today, I was in a stressful situation at work that sent me into panic mode (which rarely happens at this job, thank God!). I sent a quick text to Lenny and told him how I was feeling. He sent me a text back that he was praying for me. Just knowing that he was on my side and that he cared enough to lift me up in prayer made my anxiety seem less intimidating.

Every night, before we kiss each other goodnight, my husband and I ask each other, “How can I pray for you?” Making that intentional time to pray for my spouse has helped us stay close by reminding me what is going on in his life. It also continually brings our relationship to God, who ultimately gives us success in our marriage.

In the beginning of this blog series, I told you that it’s tempting to pray for God to change our spouses. That’s why we have to remember to pray for ourselves first. Jesus says that we must examine the plank in our own eyes before trying to remove the speck from someone else’s (Matthew 7:5). When we pray for our spouses, an attitude change needs to take place; we need to develop an attitude of humility. If you come to God as if you’re perfect, you will try to manipulate God into fixing your spouse. However, if you remember that you are just as in need of grace as your spouse is, you can approach prayer for your spouse in a way that actually helps him to change.

A couple of years ago, I shared about how much I wanted to control my husband, but how controlling him doesn’t work. If I tell him what I want him to do, eventually, he does it. I’ve learned over the years that Lenny is more laid back than I am, so while I want things done now as if the world is going to end tomorrow, Lenny knows that they don’t have to get done right now. I wanted to change this about my spouse, but I realized that he has been teaching me how to rest. Instead of having a neat house and being a nervous wreck, I’ve found comfort in having a little mess if that means I’m less anxious.

In this moment, there’s a pile of clean clothes on our couch that need to be hung up and put in our closet (and while I always joke about my husband leaving his socks on the floor, this is a real story!). Although it’s bothering me that there’s a mess within a fifteen-foot radius of me, I’ve learned, through my husband, that typing this blog post for you and doing what I love (writing!) is more important than having a clean house. I’m not going to be a slob and leave my stuff everywhere, but I am going to recognize that sometimes, there are more important things in life than being tidy.

I share that story with you because, if I had nagged my husband and prayed to God for him to want to do the chores more often, I would have never learned how to rest. That’s why searching our heart is so essential for praying for our spouses. We don’t want to pray for God to fix our spouses, but for God to bring out the best in our spouses.

In this case, when I would pray for Lenny, instead of praying for him to help me around the house every once in a while, I could thank God that he feels safe in the home that we’ve created, and that he would continue to carry God’s peace everywhere He goes. My perspective has changed. I’ve noticed that he likes to work when he can, but he knows when to rest. I need to continue to learn that as well.

So, in praying for your spouse, I would encourage you to think about what draws out the best in your spouse. Pray for a new perspective for your spouse, and maybe what is bothering you about your spouse is actually a good quality. God can use what is different about your spouse to change you as well.

Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash


Prayers for the Impossible

Three years ago, I wrote a post on Facebook:

“Sometimes we go through impossible situations so that we could truly know and believe that nothing is impossible with God.”

How appropriate for the conversation I want to have with you today about impossible prayers!

Think of the impossible situations in your life. I want you to really think: If God could answer any prayer in my life, what would I pray for? What fears would He remove? Which ways would He provide? Which miracles would He perform in your midst? Which blessings would He pour out on you?

Maybe you’re saving for a house, and your budget is tight. Maybe you’re pregnant, and you don’t know how you and your spouse are going to do this whole parenting thing. Maybe you have a house full of kids and you are still overwhelmed. Maybe God is calling you to start a ministry or serve in your local church, but you feel totally under qualified. Maybe you just aren’t on the same page as your spouse, and the happily ever after you expected is never going to come true for you.

Whatever impossible situation you’re facing, God can make a way. God is healer. God is provider. God is our wonderful counselor.

It’s not a prosperity gospel thing to say that nothing is impossible with God. He can and will answer the impossible prayers that we pray. He wants us to trust Him with the obstacles in our lives, especially if He is calling us to go through them.

Steven Furtick said in his book Sun Stand Still, “…if the size of your vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, there’s a good chance it’s insulting to God.” God wants us to come to Him boldly, fully believing and expecting Him to do the impossible in our lives. If you are a follower of Christ, you are living by faith daily. And when you follow God and learn to listen for His leading, He will not lead you astray.

The same God who fed five thousand with five loaves and two fish can provide for you and your family.

The same God who multiplied the oil in the empty jars of the widow can give you everything you need to take on this next step of your life.

The same God who made the Sun stand still (a scientifically impossible task) can still the storm raging in your heart right now.

The same God who sacrificed His Son for us, and raised Him to life, will resurrect and restore your broken relationship.

When praying for the impossible, I must warn you that it will be uncomfortable. You might feel spoiled at first, or even unworthy. But remember that in Christ, who is our Great High Priest, we can have boldness and confidence to approach the throne of grace, to find mercy and help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).

With that in mind, begin to pray for the impossible task that God has called you to accomplish:

Name the impossible. Put a name to what you want God to do. Really, think about the most impossible situation that comes to mind, something that aligns with what God is currently working on in your life. I gave you some suggestions above. For us, it’s having direction, provision, and unity of heart for our next living situation. Be specific, not because God needs to know the desires of your heart, but because you do.

Ask God. It’s that simple. Truthfully, if God has put this desire in your heart, it is part of His will for you to have it. It may not be exactly what you expect, but it will be exactly what God intended for you. Simply ask God for whatever you listed above.

Do I have a part to play? We need to take responsibility for the impossible situations that God has called us to overcome. Using our example of saving for a house, we’re not just sitting around waiting for a check to come in the mail. Lenny and I are both working and tightening our budget so we’re saving as much as we can each month. It’s not that God can’t give us a check in the mail, but He wants us to be invested in the life that He has given us.

Find accountability. I find it powerful to speak the impossible prayer to a friend. That way, you’re not just asking for it from God; you’re believing for it by declaring it to someone else. Over the weekend, I told a couple of my friends about our exact plan for saving for a house, and how we wanted God to provide. My friends each stated their agreement with our prayer, and now I know they are all praying for us as we take on this task.

Photo by Giorgio Parravicini on Unsplash


Prayers for Eyes to See

Marriage is hard. It’s not impossible, and it’s definitely worthy of fighting for, but marriage really is a fight. It’s a fight against our own will, against our spouse’s idiosyncrasies, and against what society expects of us.

The hardest part of marriage is that you realize that your Prince Charming, or your Queen, is a human. A human who burps, says the wrong thing sometimes, and leaves his socks on the floor (in all seriousness, left my socks on the floor yesterday!). A human who talks too much, nags sometimes, and leaves her hair ties everywhere.

We need to pray for eyes to see our spouses the way that God sees them.

God made man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:27). When God created us and put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He called His creation “very good” (v. 31). In light of that knowledge, doesn’t that make our spouse a little more valuable in our eyes? But instead of focusing on that, we tend to focus on their flaws, slip-ups, and imperfections.

Since the Fall of man, it is true that we are not perfect. We have been stained by sin, and the image of God has been distorted in us. But by the grace of Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross 2,000 years ago, we now wear the righteousness of Christ when we accept Jesus as our Master. Now, when God looks at us, He looks at us with grace. We are no longer marred with sin in His eyes; instead, we are His precious, beloved children.

Are you viewing your spouse with grace, or with judgment? Are you nitpicking his every mistake, or are you choosing to look past his imperfections? Choose today to pray for eyes to see your spouse the way that God sees him.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some Biblical tips to help you pray:

Search your own heart. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus tells us to remove the plank in our own eyes before we judge the speck in our brother’s eye. Before you say a word about the faults in your spouse, think about your own faults. As I mentioned before, God looks at you with grace. Forgive your spouse as the Lord has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). When you realize how much God loves you and how much He has forgiven you, it makes it easier to overlook your spouse’s shortcomings.

Make a list of what you love about your spouse. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perspective. Your spouse may seem like a loser, but that’s only because you’re focusing on his flaws. Focus on what makes him a winner. Write down a list of things you love about your spouse. Think especially back to why you first married him. Thank God for this person that He has given you, the one who will be doing life with you from now until the day you die.

Surrender your idiosyncrasies to God. Admittedly, I’m a control freak, and I often want to fix everything about my spouse (truthfully, there isn’t much to fix!). But I’ve realized in the twenty-six months we’ve been married that I can’t fix him, nor can I control him. What I can control is how I respond to his shortcomings. If I find some flaws more difficult to overlook than others, I need to let them go and surrender them to God. You can tell God how you feel about your spouse, but ultimately, you need to get to a place where you put the issue in God’s hands.

Choose grace for your spouse. Grace is a choice, and it’s a choice more easily made when the God of grace is with you. In light of all that we have discussed, choose to have grace-colored glasses when you look at your spouse. You’ll find that whatever bothered you about him is no longer as apparent.

Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash


Prayers for Unity in Your Marriage

Relationships are essential for our well-being. Studies show that people who have healthy relationships live longer and have an overall higher enjoyment of life. There’s no better relationship (besides God) to invest in than the relationship we have with our spouse.

I believe that there is an enemy of our souls that wants to keep us isolated. Jesus says that this enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Based on the fact that relationships help us live longer, he literally is killing us by destroying our relationships and stealing our joy.

When I fight with my husband, it’s usually about selfish stuff. When I get mad at my husband, I’m not thinking of him. I’m only thinking of myself. While it’s important to have needs and to express those needs, we also need to be aware that ultimately, we are a team.

When you pray for your marriage, after praying for yourself, it is imperative that we pray for our unity. That is what the enemy of our souls attacks the most. That is what society thinks is the most archaic part of our relationships. But it is also what we need in order to have a thriving marriage.

Obviously, you should pray this prayer with your spouse, but you can also pray it individually on behalf of your relationship.

Thank God for your marriage. Your marriage is a gift from God. Start your prayer by thanking God for the unity you have with your spouse. By thanking God, you not only acknowledge marriage as a gift from God, but you’re also declaring that there is unity in your marriage. Decide to put God first in your marriage, starting today (if you haven’t done so in the past).

Acknowledge the areas in your marriage where it is hard to have unity. Last week, we prayed for ourselves. Specifically, we discussed praying for what is hindering us from being the best husband/wife we can be to our spouse. Today, we can apply the same prayer to our unity as a couple. Where do you struggle with being a team? Do you try to take control of the finances? Do you parent your spouse when it’s time to do chores? Do you make decisions before consulting your spouse? Ask God to show you where you need improvement in your unity.

Surrender those areas to God. When you acknowledge these areas where you need improvement, give them over to God. Allow Him to help you grow in these areas. If it’s an area you can’t control (like outside relationships such as how your in-laws treat you or how loud your neighbors are), surrender that fully to God. You can’t control other people, but you can control how you respond.

Ask for protection. The enemy of our souls will try to attack your marriage when you least expect it, or when you’re most vulnerable. For me, I’m exhausted by ten o’clock at night, so of course, most of our fights happen at ten or eleven o’clock. Pray that God would protect you during those times, and be on your guard. Now, when we get snippy with each other, I check the time. Okay, it’s ten-thirty. Whatever our issue is, clearly has to do with the fact that we’re both tired.

Make goals together. Aside from putting God first, nothing brings you closer to your spouse than creating common goals. When you’re working toward the same goals, you tend to work together rather than competing.

If you comment below, I will pray for unity in your marriage as well! God bless 🙂

Photo by Jenna Jacobs on Unsplash


Start with Me

A few weeks ago, I shared how we should start our years off on the same page as our spouse. We don’t have to be the same person, but we do have to make an effort to compromise and share goals with each other.

The best way to get on the same page as your spouse is through prayer. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share how to pray for your marriage in specific circumstances. Before praying to change my spouse, I always want to examine my own heart for anything that needs to change in me.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells us to look at our own lives before we judge others:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5).

This is not to say that we should not judge others, but that we should do so only after making sure our conscious is clear. Applying this to marriage, if I judge Lenny for leaving his dirty socks on the floor, and yet I leave my dirty socks on the floor, I need to get my priorities in order. If you don’t leave your dirty socks on the floor, but it bothers you when your husband does, there is a way to bring it up to him. We will talk about that in the coming weeks.

This week, we want our prayer to be three simple words: Start with me. The temptation is to try controlling our spouses, but in reality, we simply cannot control anyone but ourselves. No matter how much you nag or complain or even pray, you cannot change your spouse’s behavior or attitude. But you can bring your concerns to God.

I personally like to journal, so if you’re looking for a nice format to bring your concerns before God in a written prayer, here are some tips:

Be honest with God about how you feel. It may actually bother you if your spouse leaves his dirty socks on the floor, to the point where you can’t even sleep at night. If so, take it to God first! Your husband may not understand why it bothers you, but God does. Write down exactly how that action your husband does makes you feel. You’ll be surprised about what comes up.

Ask God to bring up any past hurts that could contribute to why something bothers you about your spouse. Looking back at the feelings you wrote down, think about why your husband’s actions invoke these emotions in you. Maybe your little brother used to leave his socks on the floor and it would stink up the whole house. Maybe you have an obsession with keeping your house clean. Maybe you want to control your spouse because you’ve put him on a pedestal and you don’t want him to disappoint you. Whether or not you know the reason why his actions bother you, ask God to reveal the meaning behind your feelings to you. If needed, ask God to bring healing into these hurts so that you can see past the faults of your spouse.

Confess your sins to God. This really should be before the other points discussed, but usually when we pray about our marriage, we pray to try to change our spouses or our situations. Now that your guard is down, and you’ve realized that whatever problems you have in your marriage are also your responsibility, you can deal with your own sins.

Ask for (and received) forgiveness. God wants a relationship with us. We can check off the list of sins we’ve committed, but unless we know that God forgives us, and we accept His forgiveness, we can’t fully, intimately connect with God. Don’t rush through this. Take time to receive the grace and forgiveness of God in your life.

If your marriage has problems, you are not the problem, but neither is your spouse. Before you blame your spouse for the chaos in your life, make your prayer, “Start with me.” Whatever you want to see changed in your spouse, ask it for yourself as well.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash


Start this Year on the Same Page

I have plans. Lenny has plans. We have plans together. But which ones are we going to focus on in 2019?

really like to plan. It’s how I handle waiting for God to move in our lives. One day last year, I was planning in my head, and I realized that my plans did not line up with our plans. I was setting my heart on what would have destroyed the plans that we created together.

Now, I can’t read Lenny’s thoughts, but he also plans so that he could feel a sense of control over the future. If he came to me and had an entire 30-year plan for the rest of our lives, without consulting me, I would be pretty upset. So, why do I do that with him?

Even if our plans never come to fruition, we shouldn’t set our hearts on things that conflict with our marriage. Hope deferred makes the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12). If we keep hoping for what will never happen, our hope will always be deferred, and our hearts will be sick.

The best part, and the hardest part, of marriage is bringing two totally different beings together and having them survive under one roof. We each have grown up differently, so we don’t have the same worldviews and beliefs about certain aspects of life. However, just like every little boy and little girl, we have had dreams about each other and for each other since the day we knew we wanted to be married and have kids someday.

Although we surrendered our single lives at the altar, in a lot of ways, our past desires still come and threaten to tear us apart. We make New Year’s Resolutions that don’t even correlate with the resolutions we’ve made as a couple.

More than anything, we need to be on the same page as our spouses. We don’t have to completely surrender our dreams, but we need to compromise when our dreams are not the dreams of our spouse.

Lenny and I have charts on our refrigerator to remind ourselves of our goals. Our biggest goal right now is buying a house. We have a picture of a house on our refrigerator, and every time we put another $2K in savings, we color in another line of the house. It is so fun dreaming about what kind of house we’d like to have, and our non-negotiable necessities for our ideal living space. We also have a list of goals we’d like to accomplish in the next couple of years, things that we’ve decided we want to do as a couple.

To get on the same page as your spouse, start with prayer. Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to share about ways you can pray for your spouse, and for your marriage in general. For now, pray that you and your spouse would have one mind. Thank God for each other and for the plans that He has for you. Ask for help to see His plan clearly.

Talk with your spouse about your own personal goals, and listen to him talk about his. As you talk together, you will begin to see how God has shaped both of you to work as a team. After that, make a list of goals that you’d like to accomplish, both individually and as a couple. Whether you are a visual person or not, it is necessary to make your goals known to each other. You can make a list, or a chart, or even record a song! I know several families that make mission statements and hang them up in their living rooms. Do whatever you have to do to make your goals visible and attainable.

Start 2019 on the same page as your spouse. If you’ve let yourself drift apart from your spouse, use this new year as an opportunity to forgive, ask for forgiveness, or resolve a silent conflict that has put a wedge between the two of you. Let’s see how God works in your marriage this year!

Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash


How to Help Your Spouse Overcome the Holiday Blues

I had the privilege of guest blogging for Crystal Twaddell’s blog Made for Brave. I discussed the reality of the holiday blues and how we can focus on the true meaning of Christmas to combat these unmet expectations. Check it out this link when you have the chance!

A grieving process happens during the holidays, where traditions you had even last year don’t happen anymore. Loved ones pass away. Divorce separates us from those who are still alive but have chosen not to be part of the family. It is normal to have feelings of disappointment during the holidays.

In light of this topic, I wanted to discuss the value of communication. Lenny and I have carried traditions from both of our sides of the family that have clashed. We’ve been able to work through them every year because we’ve been able to communicate. Now that we are one, we have the opportunity to create new memories and new traditions with our new family (meaning the two of us). The question is: Which traditions from our childhood do we carry with us to our future traditions? Communication will help us find out answer.

However, as I mention in my guest post, there’s an expectation for everyone to be perfect and for there to be no negativity and no conflict. If anyone speaks his/her mind, Christmas is ruined! To be honest, I’ve probably “ruined” a couple of Christmases over the years. When you get married, you definitely step on the toes of your in-laws when it comes to the holidays. Both your side of the family and your spouse’s side of the family are trying to squeeze in time to see you, when you honestly just want to sit on your comfy couch, drink hot cocoa, and watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Talking to your spouse about your expectations can help you communicate your expectations to each side of the family. They won’t understand if you won’t teach them, and you can’t understand unless you process how you feel yourself.

The reality is, if you’re married, you and your spouse are a team. If you’re dreading the holidays, you are not alone. First of all, a lot of people experience stress, anxiety, and depression during this time of the year. In addition to that, your spouse can be a source of comfort for you.

Focusing on the true meaning of Christmas helps put things in perspective. We celebrate the fact that God is literally with us. He’s not in some distant land, wishing us the best. He’s right there in the trenches, fighting for us and giving us the strength to overcome. When we have that lens, everything else falls into place. New traditions are made. Family drama suddenly doesn’t matter anymore. And the depression is slowly, but surely, replaced by the good news of great joy that was proclaimed on that first Christmas day.

Photo by


Preparing for Marriage

Preparing for your marriage is vital for success. During engagement, you and your betrothed are laying the foundation for the rest of your marriage. If you get off on the wrong foot, of course, God is still able to help you and heal you. But while you have the tools now, why wait until things get worse to make them better? If you don’t want the house of your marriage to crumble, make sure you have a strong foundation, one that is built on Christ and His teachings.

Here are the ways that we prepared for marriage, and specifically, how they have helped us thus far:

Deciding you are a team. Lenny and I are a team, as we have been since we made our relationship official. Knowing we were a team made it easier to make decisions, and to show respect to one another. Your finances are connected, your boundaries are connected, and you are connected. Marriage connects you to your spouse on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level. Get accustomed to practice being a team, even as an engaged couple.

Pre-marital counseling. I struggled with pride big time in the beginning of my relationship with Lenny, so getting a diagnostic test of how well they thought we would do as a couple was both intimidating and eye-opening. It is a counselor’s job to be neutral, but reflective. If you get your pre-marital counseling from a pastor, you will get counsel from a person who loves you and cares about you, but will know how to keep it biblical rather than personal. We also had our pre-marital counseling at an office about forty minutes from where we lived, so we had the opportunity to catch up before our session, and then process on the way home. Most churches require you to have pre-marital counseling in order for you to get married there, but even if you aren’t required, I encourage you to find a local Christian counselor who can start you and your betrothed off on the right foot.

Other married couples. From the moment we got engaged, we were blessed with so much encouragement from more mature couples. A week after our engagement, one of our small group leaders saw me from across the atrium at church and invited us to their group specifically for newlywed and engaged couples. Since that invitation, we have connected with our small group, as well as other young married couples in the church who are just a little bit more mature in their marriage than us. It has been great simply to have people who understand what we’ve gone through, especially in a world that says that marriage is when your life ends. You would not believe how many people told us that we’d have a couple of good years, and then it would get very difficult and we wouldn’t be as close as we are now. Two years later, I’m not saying that marriage is perfect, but it has not been as bad as people had warned. I’m thankful for the people who have spoken life into our marriage rather than declaring our marriage a curse from the beginning. For those who are married, speak life into these newlywed and engaged couples, instead of setting them up for failure. For those who are engaged, find couples who will speak life into you and your betrothed.

Marriage devotionals. Lenny and I both like to read. In our small group, we’ve done several marriage Bible studies, that have each spoken to us in different ways and have helped us in each season so far. We also do marriage Bible plans on the YouVersion app and pray together as a couple. But we started that when we were engaged, seeking God’s will and blessing for our future marriage. You can search for marriage plans on the YouVersion app, or you can study a topic together from the Bible to increase your faith and grow in God together.

The heart behind Marriage Monday is to show you how to have hope and love in your marriage through the power of God. Lenny and I thank God that we have seen God’s power and blessing in our marriage, because we have chosen to honor Him from the very beginning. We challenge you to make the same decision. Put God first in your marriage, and everything else will fall into place. It may not be perfect, but it will be much easier and more fun with God on your side. I pray that the posts that follow and that I have written about marriage will encourage you in this next step toward your marriage. In this next season, have fun preparing for marriage!

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash


Be a Team Player

You may be wondering how Lenny feels about me writing about our marriage. Do you really think that I’m venting about my husband without his permission?

On this blog, I really don’t talk about deep issues in our marriage. I don’t believe an online platform is the place to do that. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe I should be complaining to my husband or my marriage about anyone. For those who like to vent about their significant others to your parents or your siblings or your best friend or even his parents (seriously?), read this clearly: STOP! Fighting in marriage should be like sex in marriage. Everyone knows you do it, but no one is involved in the details. When I share something about Lenny, I always ask his permission first, or I use an insignificant detail, like him leaving his socks on the floor (which he never does!).

You know why? Because we’re a team.

When we first got engaged, we spent a LOT of time preparing for marriage. We joined a Bible study for newlywed and engaged couples. We went through eight sessions of premarital counseling. We read whatever we could. And we prayed. A lot.

By doing this, we not only learned the value of teamwork, but we learned how to be a team. Now, in everything I do, from how I spend my money to how I conduct myself on Facebook, I have my husband in mind. I know he does the same for me.

While reflecting on what makes a good team, here are some attributes I’ve considered. I pray that you also think about making your marriage into a team effort, and that you and your spouse can both be team players.

Collaboration. In a team, each player has different strengths to contribute to the overall well-being of the group. We’ve discovered recently that we have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as different priorities. Not that we don’t care about each other, but that we are so focused on other things that we don’t think about everything. In our fight for control, we’ve learned how to let it go and let our spouse take control in the areas that matter to them. We’ve also learned not to compete in the midst of our different strengths and weaknesses. Instead of working against each other, we work with each other in order to achieve our goals together.

Respect. In a team, each player shares equal value. While my priorities may be different from Lenny’s, I respect his opinion and his feelings, as he does for me. I show respect to Lenny by listening to him, making eye contact with him when he wants my attention, and using an encouraging tone while speaking to him. He doesn’t want me to be his parent, so I shouldn’t talk to him like I’m above him.

Communication (and Prayer). I’ve always believed that communication is key in any relationship. Prayer is communication with God, and constant communication with our Heavenly Father is vital for us to have healthy relationships. Lenny and I pray on a daily basis and seek God’s will for our lives. We also talk consistently about our goals for the future and about our progress toward those goals. We discuss when incidences happen and how to avoid conflicts in the future. But even questions such as, “The dishwasher’s dirty. Can you put that dish in the dishwasher?” or “Next time you go to the store, can you pick up some more chicken?” are vital toward our marriage team. How is Lenny supposed to know I want that dish in the dishwasher if I don’t tell him? How am I supposed to know Lenny’s hungry for chicken if he doesn’t tell me? We’re not in the business of reading each other’s minds. We have to remain in constant communication, so that we can know what we’re thinking and make a game plan for the future.

Celebration. My favorite part of being on this marriage team is celebrating when we’ve done something right. We celebrate everything, from keeping our cool in front of difficult people to paying off debt. Life is so much more fun when we look back and see how far we’ve come, and how much God has done in our lives.

If you want to turn your marriage into a team effort, go for it. There is nothing stopping you from beginning this journey now. All it takes is a humble attitude, respect, communication, and celebration. Practice at least one of these attributes today, and let me know how it goes!

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


Encouragement for Those Who Are Sick of “The Question”

We newlyweds get this question all the time, especially at holidays: “When are you going to have kids?” This question is particularly challenging because, I’ve noticed, there isn’t a lot of Christian material out there for just Christian wives. I’m reading a book now that talks about being a confident woman, but the author dedicates several chapters to how she feels about being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love free parenting advice, but it’s almost like someone sent me a text message that was meant for someone else.

As a disclaimer for some of the readers in my family who think that this is a direct attack on them, I did get asked this question a lot over the weekend, and your questions did inspire this post. I’m more comfortable with this conversation now than I was, you know, during my wedding reception. However, while talking with my family, I gleaned some encouragement that I wanted to share with the couples out there who are still rolling their eyes when people see a baby and ask when they’re going to have one. So, thanks to my family for asking the difficult questions.

Some people are selfish, but most people mean well. Most people are also genuinely interested about your plans for your life. The people in your family or at church are simply enjoying watching you grow and taking the next step of your life.

I first noticed people asking me about the next step of my life when I was trying to pick a college. During my senior year, I didn’t know where I was going to go yet, but I remember getting asked about it five times in only one day. But the questions didn’t stop there. When I decided on a college, I didn’t have a major. When I decided on a major, I didn’t have a car. When I got a car, I didn’t have a degree. When I got a degree, I didn’t have a job. When I got a job, I didn’t have a boyfriend. When I got a boyfriend, I didn’t have an engagement ring. When I got an engagement ring, I didn’t have a wedding ring. When I got a wedding ring, I didn’t have a baby. Or a house. Or another baby. And then my kids will get asked the questions.

Some of my family members are in high school now, and I ask them almost every time I see them where they’re going to college and what they want to do as a career. It may not be what they end up doing for college (they still have a couple of years), but it’s nice to see that them grown up and making big-kid decisions. So, when I get asked the question, “When are you having kids?” it’s really just the next step of life, and I’m sure the person asking me is just really happy to see me grown up and making big-kid decisions.

If you get asked this question a lot, think of it as a compliment. It means that you’re ready in the world’s eyes. It means that the person asking you sees you as a mature adult now, able to parent your own children and make big-kid decisions. Please, do not see it as an insult. You and your husband are complete without children. You and your husband are not lazy for choosing to wait. You and your husband have your priorities in order if your priorities include focusing on your marriage or saving money.

For those of you who are sensitive about this topic, try not to answer their prying questions with too much detail. My husband and I already have a rough draft idea for our children, from when we want to start trying to get pregnant, to actually raising our kids. Hormones and circumstances could change things, but no one knows that plan but us and God. Why? Because no one will be happy (I mean 100% happy) with our plans, because they’re not their plans.

Being vague with our plans also gives God space to work. God is ultimately the giver of life. I know people who were on birth control and got pregnant anyway. I know people who used every form of fertility method and still couldn’t get pregnant. Our answer, over all, should be that we’ll have children in God’s timing. Until then, we’re serving Him as best as we can as husband and wife by loving each other and growing where we are planted.

Photo by Andrew Itaga on Unsplash