This will RUIN your wedding…if you let it

So much planning, so many details, all go into that one special day. The first day of the rest of your life. Oh, so much can go wrong. But will you let it?

The truth is, anything can ruin your wedding. We live in a fallen world, and we interact with imperfect people. Think about all the people in your family (and in your future spouse’s family). Do you really think that, just for one day, they could be perfect? From experience, let me tell you: the answer is no. They are all still the same people, just wearing fancy clothes and welled up with emotion. So, there’s even more margin for error than usual, because everyone’s emotions are up in the air.

The key is not to let anything ruin your special day.

So, the photographer shows up late, the decorative flowers show up as the bride is walking in, Uncle So-and-So had too much to drink and is now making a fool of himself, and somebody will say something that will make you wonder why you married into this family. Or why you were born into it. Or why you hang out with the people you do.

My husband and I…well, we got married relatively quickly, so we didn’t really have expectations. Until other people did and we realized our expectations were not their expectations. Then chaos ensued. But instead of focusing on what went wrong, we focused on the beautiful day that God gave us.

First and foremost, Lenny and I were dedicating our marriage to God. The church ceremony was beautiful, and (from what I could see) there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as emotion welled up throughout the sanctuary. I was marrying the man of my dreams. My husband was marrying the woman better than his dreams (his words, not mine!). It was an abnormally warm day, at sixty-five degrees in the beginning of November. Our venue was right on the water, so the pictures were beautiful and our guests enjoyed walking around outside. The food was delicious (whatever I was able to eat in my dress!), and I was able to see friends and family that I hadn’t seen in years. And, of course, I felt incredibly beautiful in my dress, and everyone who met me on the receiving line was quick to remind me of how beautiful I looked.

When I focused on what went right instead of what went wrong, whatever petty drama happened in the background stayed there. In the background.

I don’t tell you this to rain on your parade. I tell you this to prepare yourself for what is to come. If you’re imagining a day where nothing goes wrong, you’re imagining a day that doesn’t exist on this side of Heaven. There is a perfect wedding coming, but it won’t be in this lifetime, and it will be between the perfect Bridegroom (Jesus Christ), and His sanctified Bride (the Church). Until then, embrace the day that God has given you and enjoy it. All of your planning was not in vain. Now that it’s all done, take this one day to rest, breathe, and celebrate your union with the man (or woman) of your dreams!

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash



I met Alicia Yost through a mutual friend from ReNEW (Retreat for New England Writers and Speakers). When Alicia came to ReNEW this year, we connected right away. I enjoyed hearing her stories and her heart behind her writing. As I learned during that weekend, people don’t care about what your book is about; they care about your heart.

Based on that alone, I believe Alicia’s new book is a must-read for all, since she is such a joy to know! The full title of her book is Onward: A Funny, Heartbreaking and Insightful Collection of Faith Lessons. The book definitely goes along with the title. In the introduction, she explains the meaning behind the title of her book. I love the analogies and word pictures that Alicia uses, especially the dinner party in chapter 1 and God molding us like clay through prayer in chapter 3. She’s honest, real, and vulnerable, and there are good transitions. Her stories are emotionally compelling. Plus, she’s not kidding; some of them are funny!

It reminded me of Blue Like Jazz or Love Does, where the stories sort of tie together but they don’t follow a linear pattern. But I believe that’s Alicia’s point. Life isn’t meant to be a straight path that we all follow, but a journey full of twists and turns. We don’t all go through the same life experiences, even if we are Christian. Our only starting point is that God saved us, and we came to know Christ. With that being said, Alicia starts with her testimony in the first chapter, and everything beyond that is in no particular order. I believe a passage from the final paragraph summarizes it perfectly: “Life isn’t really about getting anywhere; it’s about going somewhere. Life is about motion. We must keep moving. And while we are on our journey, perhaps we see someone walking along the same road and we wave” (96).

Although I haven’t shared the same life experiences as her, I feel like I’m right there with her, reading the letter about her sponsor child or getting frustrated when her husband doesn’t bring her home flowers. She struggles with faith, wrestles with temptation, and submits to God’s will even when it doesn’t make sense. Doesn’t that sound like the rest of us? She says the words that none of us are comfortable saying out loud, but we all feel. As she writes, we’re new creations, not improved creations, so we have to let God do the work in our lives (chapter six).

Quote for chapter 1: “It was like my whole life, God and I had been at a dinner party and I was nervous to meet Him so I mingled with other people and gave Him uneasy side glances. Then I ran to the bathroom to hide and after emerging found everyone gone. It was just me and God, and I couldn’t avoid Him any longer. He smiled and looked deep into my eyes. I felt fully seen and expected to feel the weight of my shame, to see Him furrow His brow in disappointment. But instead, I felt fully loved” (8).

One of my favorite stories is the story about her son. “It was then I realized that this joy would not have been possible without the struggles. It was the struggles themselves that magnified the joy in ways that “normalcy” never could.” (chapter four). This book came at an opportune time for me for me to check my heart about how I feel about the church, how I feel about waiting, and how I feel about serving.

Alicia writes with emotionally-compelling words and analogies. Serving is messy. Parenting is messy. Marriage is messy. But each time, Alicia talks about the mess, but then brings glory to God through it. Her chapters each end with the phrase “Onward I go,” as a reminder that we may not know where we’re going, but we know that God is calling us to move forward. Put one foot in front of the other and keep going. You’ll get where you need to go eventually.

This book is perfect for women who are struggling in their faith, just like the rest of us. Alicia does talk about being a wife and raising kids, but even if you’re not married or don’t have kids, you can relate to being a daughter or having a step parent or even simply understanding how to be a Christian. You can purchase this book on Amazon today.

Photo taken from Amazon website.


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


Choose Your Battles

Since I’ve had to go through some tough love recently, I have some tough love for you, friend:

If you can’t control your anxiety, your anxiety will control you.

In 2014, a dear friend of mine prayed for me and encouraged me with this word: You’re stronger than you think. I have never forgotten that, because it was something I didn’t believe. I think that I’m weak because I have anxiety. But that’s a lie. Anxiety does not have power over me. I am stronger than my fear by the grace of God.

When facing my fears, I choose my battles. There are some fights I’m not willing to engage in, where I let anxiety be my excuse, but there are some fights where I take out my biggest weapon and attack it head-on.

One of those fears is being on stage, being the center of attention. My best friend just got married this weekend. I was so incredibly happy for her, and I was blessed to be one of her bridesmaids. However, I couldn’t shake the fear of standing on the steps at the front of the church, where anyone could be looking at me. Leading up to the wedding, I realized that this fear was totally selfish. This was my friend’s day, not mine. Not a single eye was looking at me during the ceremony, and that’s the way it should be. Instead of letting the fear stop me from enjoying the ceremony, I filled my mind with the reminder that I was doing this for her, and for her and her husband’s commitment to God. By standing up there, I wasn’t just facing my fear; I was displaying to her and to everyone else that I supported her union to her husband and that I believed that God is at the center of their marriage. That is something worth fighting for.

Another one of those fears is flying. My fear if flying is debilitating. Most people get scared going through security, but I’m scared once the cabin door is shut and we have no way out until we land on the other side (even just writing that made it difficult to breathe!). On the flight, I shake uncontrollably, my muscles tense up, and I usually end up crying. Like, ugly crying. However, I love to travel. I want to see the world with my husband and my family. My husband’s family also lives in another state, and we have to fly to see them. When my grandfather was alive, he made a vow that he would never fly because it scared him too much. I cannot and will not do that. So I do whatever it takes to mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare myself for the flight. I remind myself that whatever is waiting on the other side of the plane is worth the panic attacks.

Some anxiety is not worth fighting. I don’t go on roller coasters because the five seconds of thrill I’d feel conquering my fear is not worth day-long stress I would feel leading up to the experience. I don’t go on high ropes courses or go bungee jumping or sky diving because I’m afraid of heights; I have given up on the desire to add those things to my bucket list.

When you’re panicking, ask yourself: If I fight my fear, will it be worth it? My criterion for choosing my battle is: Will conquering my fear help me and my loved ones? Choosing to fight against my fear of being on stage helped me to celebrate with my friend and to show my support for her. Choosing to fight against my fear of flying helps me to enjoy God’s creation and to spend time with my loved ones. Although it may take time to fully overcome my fear, chopping away at the wall of fear a little bit at a time will eventually make the wall crumble.

You are indeed stronger than you think. God has great plans for you, and He will give you strength to fight each battle that comes your way. Today, try to conquer fear a little bit at a time. If you need help, reach out to a friend. I’m always here if you need prayer or encouragement!

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Photo by Henry Hustava on Unsplash


Where is Hope Found?

In modern English, hope has become an empty word. For example, when one says, “I hope everything works out,” there is no substance behind those words. The hope is not based on facts, circumstances, or even prayers! Therefore, when Paul says Love always hopes, what does he mean?

I love learning other languages, so I’m thankful for the resources out there that can make Greek and Hebrew (the languages the Bible was originally written in) easy to understand! In Greek, the word hope is elpizó, which means “actively waiting for God’s fulfillment about the faith He has inbirted through the power of His love.” In this meaning, the hope has substance. Love always active waits for God to fulfill his promises.

We live in a culture that is generally negative. People always have a reason to complain, and they take every chance they can to voice their critical opinions to us. Hope is a rare commodity.

However, Biblical hope has even more substance than the positivity that we crave in our world. In Romans 8, Paul talks about Biblical hope. The same word elpizó is used in this text to describe our expectation of God fulfilling His promise to redeem the world:

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:22-24).

This entire chapter of Scripture has been viewed as a champion chapter for believers. We know through Romans 8 that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (v. 1). We know that God has adopted us as His children, removing our fear of man (v. 15). We know that God’s Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are children of God (v. 16). We know that we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us (v. 37). We know that nothing can separate us from God’s love (v. 38-39).

If this doesn’t instill hope in believers, I don’t know what does!

Although this was a fun Bible lesson, this post is on marriage. How can we hope in marriage? In my opinion, when we have a heavenly perspective, nothing else matters. When we know that we already have the best future waiting for us in the next life, when we know that we can live fulfilled lives by walking with God’s Spirit and obeying His Word, when we know that we will all be united as one body at the resurrection, suddenly my problems don’t seem so big anymore. Suddenly, I don’t care about how much money  we have in the bank or in our retirement. Suddenly, I don’t care that my husband leaves his dirty dishes in the sink. Suddenly, I don’t care that I’ve been having trouble losing weight. Because in the end, everything will work out, in the most beautiful and glorious way that any of us could ever hope.

I know a few of my readers have experiences way worse than the ones I’ve mentioned, like trying to conceive or facing bankruptcy or dealing with affairs. I don’t want you to think that I’m downplaying your trials. However, I do believe more than anything else that God is bigger than any trial you may be facing. At the end of the day, when you place your life in His tender loving care, He will see you through your storm. Right now, I know, the pain is unbearable and the storms make everything so unclear. Yet, when you look back on your life, those difficult trials that you face together (Paul describes them as momentary afflictions in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18) will be like a bad hair day.

The hope that Christ offers us is an anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19). Anchor your marriage in the hope of Jesus Christ, and He will see you through every storm.

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash


Self is Blinding

I was not fully aware of the fact that I was that bad until I got married.

Before I got married, I didn’t have anyone in my life to “tell it like it is,” to make me aware of things I needed to improve in my attitude, behavior, or way of thinking. Of course, people tried, but I would justify my actions and wave away their suggestions. When you’re married, however, you can’t justify your actions as easily.

The best cure for selfishness is to take advice from the only person who knows what your morning breath smells like.

Since being married, I’ve learned that I talk a lot about myself, I overfill the garbage can, and I don’t listen as well as I’d like. Sometimes I can be grumpy, and sometimes my words can offend people. When my normally-quiet husband talks to me in general, I treasure his few words like gold. But when he says things about me that rub me the wrong way and make me uncomfortable (but are true), I have to hold that with the same weight that I hold his compliments.

There’s this running joke among married people that the things that were cute little quirks about your boyfriend or girlfriend are the things that bother you the most when you’re married. We laugh about it, but I believe that there is a purpose for this. It reminds me of our relationship with God. When God draws us into a relationship with Him, He accepts us, flaws and all. But as we grow closer to Him, He begins to show us things in our lives that we need to change.

Whether your husband leaves his dirty socks all over the floor, talks with his mouth full, or always leaves late, you may think it’s a funny trait at first, a quirky part of him that you can deal with. In the beginning, you are infatuated with everything about that person, even habits that you never put on your “list” for a potential mate. However, over time, as you’re picking up his socks, becoming nauseated by the food hanging out of his mouth, and arriving to events late, you may discover that these “little” things that bother you are not so little anymore. These are things that may bother you because they need to change. You can find healthy and polite ways to share your frustrations with your spouse in love. Then, when you share the things that bother you to your spouse, it is up to your spouse to make the decision to change. You don’t have to parent him and make him follow your every command.

Admittedly, it’s more fun to be on the giving end of criticism than on the receiving end. However, both sides are important, and need to be dealt with in love. If I’m giving criticism to someone else, I need to make sure that my words are not condemning or insulting. There’s a difference between, “Why don’t you pick up your socks? You’re so lazy!” and “Honey, I notice that you leave your socks on the floor, and I would appreciate if you put them in the hamper.”

If I’m accepting criticism from my spouse, I cannot harden my heart. I have to trust that my husband loves me enough to tell me the truth. Although it feels like his criticism of me is an attack, his criticism is simply a way for me to grow. If I disagree, I don’t have to snap at him. If I want to explain myself, I should use my words wisely.

In both of these situations, we should be praying. We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). Therefore, God will show us how to love our spouses, no matter if we’re pointing out a flaw, or accepting criticism about one of our own flaws. Remember that the ultimate goal is to grow closer together so that you can serve God better together.

Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash


Showing Honor to Your Spouse

“I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants!” My aunt sang as I hid my three-year-old face into the couch after a temper tantrum. It seemed that the skirt of my dress had lifted up and my white underwear was exposed for all to see. I had brought dishonor on my parents, who had taken the time to dress me properly and who had taught me never to show my underpants to anyone in public.

The English word for “honor” connotes giving respect to those in authority over us. We honor our parents and grandparents. We honor our teachers. We honor our governing officials. We honor our bosses. However, how do we show honor to our spouses, who are supposed to be equal to us?

The Greek word that is used in 1 Corinthians 13:5 for “dishonor” (aschemonei) is translated as “acts unbecomingly.” Strong’s Greek Concordance uses the definition “to prepare disgrace for another,” while HELPS Word-Studies describes the Greek word for “dishonor” as “to lack proper form.” It turns out that my little reveal as a three-year-old was the perfect example of showing dishonor. I lacked the proper form of how a little girl should act. I was preparing disgrace for my parents as well as myself by exposing my little booty.

The only other time that this Greek word is used in Scripture is in 1 Corinthians 7, when Paul talks about an engagement relationship: “If anyone is worried that he might not be acting honorably toward the virgin he is engaged to, and if his passions are too strong and he feels he ought to marry, he should do as he wants. He is not sinning. They should get married” (v 36, NIV). The word has nothing to do with how the “other” is acting in this case; it only deals with the self. If you are not doing what you are supposed to do, you are showing dishonor. This thinking reveals that we should lay down our pride so that we can show honor to our spouses.

Practically, if you are not in a marriage relationship, but you are acting like you are (if you know what I mean), you are showing dishonor to your significant other. It is not a sin to get married, but it is a sin to act like you’re married when you aren’t. Everyone who has ever gotten married knows the pressure to have the biggest, most expensive wedding. However, there is no wedding more beautiful than a couple who puts all that glamour and glitz off the pedestal and focuses on showing honor to each other.

In February of 2016, my husband and I had to choose between waiting two years and waiting nine months to get married. We realized that if we kept waiting, we could have compromised, and we could have shown dishonor to one another by acting like we were married when we weren’t. We were married in November of 2016 with no regrets and with anticipation of starting our lives together.

If you are married, you can show honor to your spouse through the dictionary definition of showing honor, acting true to the form of a good spouse. Remember that the world is watching you, and they are looking for an example of what a God-centered marriage looks like. How are you going to show them that God is at the center of your marriage?

Honoring always involves looking up. Although our spouses are equal to us, we all have a standard to follow. God gives us a standard for how we should treat our spouses in Ephesians 5: women are to submit to their husbands, and men are to love their wives. That is how you show honor to your spouse.

Ultimately, when we honor others, we honor God. God will show us how to honor our spouses through His Word and through the work that He does in our hearts. If you have been acting dishonorably toward your spouse, the first step is to ask for forgiveness, both from your spouse and from God. If you trust God, He will show you how to bring honor to your spouse and how to be an example of a good marriage in a world that so desperately needs love.

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


What Triggers You?

My tree nut allergy has done me more harm than good. When I go to a restaurant, I have to tell the server that I have a nut allergy. I’ve been to some restaurants that won’t even serve me because their food has been “produced in a factory that may contain nuts.” The fact that I have to explain my allergy to everyone makes me roll my eyes in disgust.

Despite the inconvenience of people misunderstanding, I could die if I didn’t explain this to people and inadvertently ate nuts. My throat could close up and I could lose my ability to breathe.

Did you know that anxiety also has allergies? They’re called triggers.

Triggers are objects, actions, or behaviors that can stir up anxiety in an individual. Our triggers are unique to our different childhood experiences. What is anxiety inducing for me may be no sweat for you, and vice versa. According to Psych Central, triggers “set off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of his/her original trauma.”

The level of anxiety that each trigger brings also depends on the level of trauma an individual has faced in his/her lifetime. Victims of sexual/physical abuse or near death experiences may have triggers that cause them to pass out or break into a panic. Others may be easily angered by a specific topic or the way a person behaves. Regardless of what you faced as a child or young adult, you don’t need to have had a traumatic experience for you to have triggers.

Unlike allergies, triggers can be eliminated in your life. However, it requires a bit of self-analysis and patience. Journaling can help you identify your triggers. Take time to think about what makes you uncontrollably angry, sad, or anxious. Dr. Margaret Paul suggests considering when the triggers started. Thinking back to what started the trigger could cause you to have a panic attack, so remember to take deep breaths and stay grounded. Remember that what happened in the past isn’t happening in this moment. If this is too difficult for you to do on your own without having anxiety, ask a trusted friend or a counselor to help you calm down as you process.

When you’ve identified your triggers, consider how you typically respond. Do you tense up? Do you feel faint? Do you have explosive anger? Do you get really quiet? The next step is to decide how you’re going to handle it differently. The traumatic experience that happened to you is in the past, and your present does not need to be defined by your past. You will need to be patient with yourself as you learn how to act differently. Take some deep breaths and practice healthy coping mechanisms to get back on track. You can’t always control how you’re going to react, but focus on what you can control: your breathing, counting backwards from 10, or squeezing a stress ball.

As a Christian, I believe that God can heal your pain by filling that hole that the trauma left. If you were in a near death experience, maybe God wants to show you how He saved your life. If you were abused, maybe God wants to show you His perfect love. If you were abandoned, maybe God wants to show you how He will never leave you or forsake you. Since people have had different experiences, this may seem like a slap in the face that I’m simplifying these Biblical truths like a spiritual band-aid over your deep-rooted pain. However, I’ve seen God heal people from severe trauma, whether it took a few hours or a few decades.

I can’t speak for God and say how He was specifically with you in the midst of your trauma. However, I can say that Romans 8:28 says that God works all things for the good of those who love Him. That does not mean that we have a carefree life, but it means that God can even make a bad situation good. God can redeem your story so that you can help others and you can experience joy again.

God can meet you in your pain. Let Him redeem your story. Be patient with yourself as you heal from the triggers that your past experiences have caused you. It will take time, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Photo by Mitch Lensink on Unsplash


Pride: The Killer of Marriage

Pride is common, and is actually encouraged, in today’s society. Although the word “pride” has developed a connotation of its own, the pride that the Bible warns against involves making yourself look better than you actually are. Strong’s Greek Concordance translates the word for pride in 1 Corinthians 13:4 (physioutai) as “puffed up.” The phrase invokes the imagery of a balloon being inflated. On the outside, the balloon increases in size, pomp, and importance, but the inside is filled with nothing.

In marriage, pride can cause fights, arguments, and disagreement. Using the idea of pride that the Bible describes, spouses attempts to puff themselves up in competition against one another to prove why they are right. Since they are so busy pointing out their spouse’s big heads, they never see their own. Pride can never bring a couple together; it can only tear them further apart. That’s why pride is described as the marriage-killer.

This popular scenario that takes place in a marriage demonstrates how easy it is for pride to creep into your relationship. We all know that men do not listen. When women want to vent, men want to fix it. Men and women violently attack each other to prove that their side is the right side. They even call their friends together of the same gender and have an all-out battle of the sexes to defend their opinions. That in and of itself is pride, but there’s an even deeper root of pride that exists in this case.

Men have this innate desire to fix everything. Generally speaking, they have this tendency to think that they have the solution to every problem, and that if only women could see things like they do, the world would be a better place. When women are caught up in their feelings, men have to rescue them from their distorted thinking and help them see the right way (his way, of course!). Bad day at work? Husband knows how to fix it! Problems with your sister? Husband knows what to say! In every situation, the wife may say “It’s not as easy as you think,” but the husband will believe, “Of course it’s that easy! It works for me every time!”

On the other side, women have this innate desire to express their feelings. Generally speaking, they see their husbands after a long day of separation and feel the need to dump everything on them. It doesn’t matter if their husbands are tired, hungry, or need to poop. If the wife wants to talk, the husband needs to listen. Then, when the husband reacts according to his fatigue/hunger/needing to poop (AKA, says something stupid in response to this outpouring of the wife’s heart), the woman gets upset. “You didn’t talk to me like deserve,” the wife might say. “Why can’t you talk to me like that hot guy talks to his wife in that sappy romantic movie I always make you watch?”

In Matthew 7, Jesus illustrates what pride looks like through the imagery of a piece of wood: “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” (Matt. 7:3-5).

Like the person who Jesus describes in this parable, we tend to look at everyone else’s faults before dealing with our own. Wives, before you judge your husband for leaving his clothes on the floor, ask yourselves, “Do I put everything back in its place when I’m finished with it?” As you look around, you may find your make-up, books, or other items strewn around the house. Make sure you are clean before you criticize your husband for being dirty.

When we got married, my pastor gave my husband a wise bit of marriage advice: “These two phrases will save your marriage – ‘It’s my fault,’ and ‘I’m sorry.'” He specifically told that to my husband, but I’ve learned that I have to say it to my husband as well. When was the last time you took responsibility in your marriage? How often do you believe that it’s your spouse’s fault when something goes wrong? Make an effort to use these phrases more often. Ask God to help you see where you need work. If you cannot look past your own pride and only see the work your spouse needs, pray for your spouse. I know that, over time, God will open your eyes to see where you need work too!

Photo by Adam King on Unsplash

This article lists 10 ways that pride manifests in marriage. If you feel led, prayerfully read through this list and consider if these attributes are present in your marriage. Again, before you go complaining that your spouse is guilty of all these qualities, look in your own heart and pray about how you can change, too.


Do it Scared

I am excited to announce that I am now a freelance writer and editor! This dream was birthed in me at the young age of six, when I realized I could write books for kids who loved reading, just like me. Thank you to the people in college who told me I should major in English (I didn’t listen), and to my family and friends for supporting me in this transition. While I will be writing several books and waiting for them to be selected for publication, I will also be offering writing and editing services to those who want to make their writing dreams a reality.

Although this has been a dream of mine, I woke up this morning with a sense of fear. What if I put myself out there and nobody bites? What if people don’t like me? What if they find out that I’m not perfect? The good-girl Christian in me says, “God has a plan! It’ll all work out in the end! Don’t be afraid!” We tend to be scared of being scared, so we put a spiritual band-aid on our fear and call it a day. However, I’m still afraid! I’ve never done this before. Fear is a natural response to the unknown.

To help me launch my career, my husband bought me a copy of the book Business Boutique by Christy Wright, a professional who helps women start their own businesses doing what they love. In one of the beginning chapters of the book, she wrote about fear in starting your own business. Fear is normal, and everyone experiences fear at one point or another. Her solution? “We just do it scared” (15).

As I re-read through Chapter 2, “Fear is Normal,” Wright only mentions that phrase a few times. However, after reading all 19 chapters of her book, I can clearly remember that phrase as my takeaway. If we only did things when we weren’t afraid, we would miss out on a lot of life. I’m actually more afraid of settling than neglecting my dreams. What is more fearful to you, being stuck in a job that isn’t your passion for the rest of your life, or taking a leap of faith and risking it all to pursue your dreams? Doesn’t the latter option sound like a movie?

A few people in my audience struggle with anxiety like me. I used to get scared just going out to eat with friends. You may get scared going to parties or traveling or visiting certain places or even not having plans. Going on retreats as a teenager, the staff members would tell us to aim for our yellow zone. The green zone is our comfort zone, and the red zone is our debilitating fear. While high ropes courses might be easy as pie for you, they make me nauseous and dizzy; I literally can’t move when I get to a certain height. Doing something in your yellow zone is doing something that stretches you just enough not to break you.

If you feel God calling you to do something in your red zone, which is quite possible, have grace with yourself to take baby steps there. If you are scared of publishing a book about your traumatic past, start off small by sharing your story with a trusted friend or a small group of people. No matter what you do, don’t let fear keep you from doing what you love and what you feel God is calling you to do.

Here are some quotes that I found when searching the phrase “Do it scared.” May they inspire you to pursue your passion, even if you have to do it scared:

“If you’re afraid, don’t do it. If you’re doing it, don’t be afraid!”-Genghis Khan

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

“What you feel doesn’t matter in the end; it’s what you do that makes you brave.” – Andre Agassi

“Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the absence of self.” – Erwin McManus

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Marianne Williamson

Photo by Kristina Wagner on Unsplash