Does Marriage Bliss Exist? #LifeGivingLinkup

Does Marriage Bliss Exist?

Is it possible to enjoy a strong and healthy marriage –’till death do you part? Yes… with God! (No… if you walk in the flesh). Marriage can be a mixture of the highest highs and the lowest lows. My most difficult times have often centered on my own self-centeredness.

Life-Giving Marriage

Do You Ever Try to Remake Your Spouse?

I have tried to remake my spouse in my own image (believe me it wasn’t pretty).  I talk about this in my recent television interview on The Harvest House TV Show. You can watch my interview here (start at 17:17):

When we try to fix our spouse, we will find the Holy Spirit convicting us of our own need to be changed by God’s power. We like to be in control, but you and I have to face the fact that we can not control or change our spouse. We can, however surrender to the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our lives to be transformed.

God Speaks to our Hearts

When you feel like you are stuck in a crazy cycle with your spouse, take time to listen to God’s still small voice. With pen in hand write down the words He speaks to your heart. You will be amazed at when you really listen for God’s voice on your marriage, He will direct you and guide you in specific ways that you can make your marriage more life-giving.

When everything is going well in our marriage relationship, we don’t feel the need to change. It is when things are not going well, that we have the incredible opportunity to go deeper in our relationship to God and to our spouse. It’s at the point of conflict that you have 2 doors in front of you. You can open the door to the enemy to speak lies in your mind and heart about your husband or wife. Or you can open the door to greater intimacy in your marriage.

Take a moment right now to listen to God’s voice. What are ways, that you have tried to remake your spouse rather than accept how God has made them to be? As you listen to God, He will show you a picture of how God has made your spouse to be.

None of us will experience “marriage bliss” like a fairy tale ending of “happily-ever-after.” It is in the conflictual times that we have the opportunity to open the door to greater intimacy. I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below…

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I’m excited to share that I have completed the manuscript to 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which will be in bookstores beginning October 2. Click the button below and you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book for free.
Download Here 

Celebrating Marriage

Life-Giving Marriage

Celebrating Marriage

Do you remember the zing of attraction you felt when your relationship with your spouse was brand new? Being in the same room brought both comfort and butterflies. You felt empowered by the looks of admiration. Chills ran down your spine when your hands brushed together as you walked or reached for the popcorn.

I was at the wedding of my nephew Daniel and his new bride Taylor this weekend. Just watching this fully-in-love couple, I felt great joy as I saw Daniel passionately grab Taylor for the kiss of the wedding. With equal zeal Taylor raised her arms at the close of the wedding celebrating their oneness!


3 Ways to Celebrate Marriage

What is it about a young couple reciting marriage vows that is so inspiring? Part of it is the fresh journey they are taking together. Those of us who have been married a long time could spend time talking about the difficult parts of marriage, but today let’s celebrate the wonder of marriage. Here are 5 ways to celebrate marriage.

1. Celebrate Oneness

It is truly a miracle for a husband and a wife to be made ONE by the power of the Holy Spirit. As they say their vows, kiss and celebrate a far greater reality is taking place. The very first couple experienced this wonder of oneness.

“Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

The man said,

‘This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.’
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” (Genesis 2:22-25 NIV)

Becoming one-flesh is a miracle of God. To be naked and unashamed with your spouse is a miracle of God. To be ONE with someone is no small matter. In this world where marriages are pulled down, we need to celebrate being together.

2. Celebrate Uniqueness

It is differences that can often attract a man to a woman. It is also what can divide a couple. You won’t always think and feel the same way about issues. You will have a different way of of communication. Learn to celebrate the unique way that God has made your spouse rather than spending your time and energy into recreating them.

What are the quirks about your spouse that drive you crazy? Is there a way for you to turn around your thinking and see things from their perspective? You still may not agree on issues, but you can come to understand and respect them for who they are.

It is stifling to have someone try to control you. It is also impossible to change someone else. Celebrating your spouse’s uniqueness is accepting the way that God has created them to be.

3. Celebrate Partnership

A gift of marriage is coming together in partnership. You join your household and finances together and share in choices for your future. You are stronger together than apart as long as you are pulling in the same direction. If you are pulling in opposite directions you will be tired and frustrated all the time. Seeking God on clarity of vision will make all the difference in living your lives with purpose.

Husbands and wives who moved west and pioneered the United States during the westward expansion understood partnership. They had to be fully together as partners in order to survive in the hardships of settling a new land. Their partnership became stronger as they overcame hardship as a team.

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I’m excited to share that I have completed the manuscript to 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which will be in bookstores beginning October 2. Click the button below and you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book for free.

Download Here


How to Build a Marriage that Lasts

How to Build a Marriage that Lasts

A Marriage That Lasts

Have you every wondered what the secret was to be happily married?  Have you wanted to find out how you could have a marriage like that? Shaunti Fieldhahn has spent 15 years researching what we need to know about men, women and relationships. Listen to her short video:

5 Habits of “Highly Happy” Marriages

If you want to build a marriage that lasts, it’s helpful to study those who have exceptional marriages. Shaunti Feldhahn’s study led her to write Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Instead of focusing on our problems in marriages, she encourages that we look at things that the happy couples to do to make their marriage stronger.  What actually works to make marriages great.   The following 5 areas are summarized from her book.

1. Little Things are BIG in a Marriage.

A marriage is a daily endeavor to share love with our spouse. Wonderful Marriages have in common that both the husband and the wife put into practice little things in a marriage. The simple fact of a wife saying “thank you” and affirming the husband for work he has done goes a long way to show respect to him. When a husband reaches out to take his wife’s hand it shares the sweetness of love in a simple way. One way to begin to build a stronger marriage today is to start concentrating on the small things in your marriage that says “I Love You.” 

2. Believe the Best About Your Spouse.

Happily Married couples believe the best about their spouses intention. It’s amazing what a difference it makes on what you think the heart of someone you love. Couples with great marriages give each other the benefit of the doubt and think positively about their intentions. 

3. Take Charge of Your Feelings About Your Spouse.

All of us can have bad days and our feelings can snowball out of control. As happily married couples choose to think good thoughts about their spouse, they also choose to take charge of their feelings. Feelings can be inaccurate and can color how you respond to someone. Your response can be harsh or disrespectful and that will lead to a harsh and unloving response from your spouse. Before you know it you are on a crazy cycle. One way to break the cycle is to take charge of your feelings.

4. Temper Honesty with Wisdom.

. Your spouse will feel like you are dumping on them. In your heart to be honest with them, you have exaggerated the situation and blown it out of proportion. True honesty is tempered in wisdom.

5. Take a Risk and Share Your Heart.

It can be tempting to pull back and not share your full heart with your spouse. It feels risky to be open and vulnerable with your heart. However if you risk it all, you have the opportunity to hit the jackpot with your spouse. Totally surrendering and letting yourself be vulnerable will help open emotional intimacy which often leads to physical and spiritual intimacy as well.


How to Build a Marriage That Lasts

9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage I’m excited to share that I have completed the manuscript to 9 Traits of a Life-Giving Marriage which will be in bookstores beginning October 2. Click here and you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book for free.

Download Here 





Messy Marriage – Sue Detweiler #LifeGivingLinkup

Messy Marriage

Messy Marriage

We live in an instragram world that wants to portray us as living lives of flawless perfection.

I was touched by the honest reflection of Darlene Schacht as she shares her heart and brokenness in this video:

Painful Places

I don’t know the types of painful places that you have walked through, but I do know that you weren’t alone.

Darlene in her video mentioned key words from this Scripture

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly

above all that we ask or think,

according to the power that works in us…” Ephesians 3:20

In the midst of your biggest trial, if you surrender all to God He will do exceedingly abundantly more than you can imagine. That does not mean that you will get everything you want. It means that God is bigger than the situation you are in.
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Jesus Steps Into Messy Marriages

When Jesus was faced with the woman who was caught in the very act of adultery, He was both just and grace-giving. In His love for her, He didn’t condone her sin. However, His grace-filled-way made it possible for her to stand up with all of her accusers fleeing. Neither did Jesus condemn her. His grace made it possible for her to gain a fresh start.

Marriages are messy because the two people involved in the marriage are both imperfect sinners.

Does that mean that every marriage is repaired? No. The miracle of God’s grace is bigger. He goes deeper. He goes to the heart. He repairs the heart of every sinner that comes to Him. He doesn’t dish out cheap grace, but he sacrificially gives costly grace.

When Life Is Messy…

How is Jesus leading you to respond? Is he calling you to humble yourself and ask for forgiveness? Is He calling you to give mercy, grace, and truth to someone who has fallen? Whatever He is calling you to, His grace is sufficient. In fact, His power is perfected in weakness.

And He said to me,

“My grace is sufficient for you,

for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Today, be willing to wade into the mess of life. It’s out of our messes that He brings His message.

 Click Here for Download

Watch Your Words – Sue Detweiler #LifeGivingLinkup

Life-Giving Linkup

Watch Your Words

Do you find yourself having trouble blurting things out of your mouth?

Here are a Few Tweets about Watching Your Words

Tend Your Garden

The way to watch our words, is to renew the thoughts of our minds. When we spend time meditating on God’s word, our thoughts line up with what God says. It is like tending a garden…

Plant a thought and reap a word;
plant a word and reap an action;
plant an action and reap a habit;
plant a habit and reap a character;
plant a character and reap a destiny.

(Bishop Beckwaith, 1885)

As we intentionally renew our minds with God’s Word, the words of our mouths reflect God’s Wisdom. It’s little by little that the garden of our heart will grow.. a thought, a word, an action, a habit all builds your character. Your character is the foundation of your destiny.

Water the Good Seeds of your Garden with God’s Word

When toxic words flow out of our mouths, often it’s because we are discouraged. The enemy is whispering lies to our minds and we have taken the time to listen. If you are feeling down or discouraged it’s probably not the time to become deeply introspective. Sometimes it is just determining what foul water source we have been watering our garden with and to shut off the flow of toxicity.

Rinse Daily with God’s Word

On a daily basis you and I need to be cleansed by God’s Word. Jesus is your bridegroom and this is what He will do for you:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word… Ephesians 5:26 NIV

Jesus is the perfect bridegroom. He gave himself up for the bride of Christ. In order to make you and I holy He washes us with His water through His word.

I don’t know about you, but there are situations where I come away and feel like I have been slimed. I may not even know how it happened, but the garden of my heart is heavy and I feel discouraged. All of us at those moments are tempted to find an escape to just stop thinking about the situation. You might turn to food, books, movies, shopping… or whatever to just try to get away from the way you are feeling.

Next Time, Take a Shower

Have you ever noticed that your tendency to escape just lead you to vice. Those that are struggling with substance abuse are likely trying to medicate themselves from the pain that they feel. They are trying to escape. But any vice you turn to is going to cause your heart and soul to become toxic.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45 NLT

So since you know escaping your situation doesn’t help, what if you try taking a shower. What do I mean? Well, simply put let God’s word rinse you off. His word will water the garden of your heart. Click here for a few practical ways to rinse yourself off with God’s Word.Get List of Healthy Habits

When I was a young mom with so many children (I am a mom of 6), I turned the times that I felt down into a game with my homeschooled children. I brought our an old tambourine and a box of streamers. We turned on the music loud and I shouted dance break! My daughters loved it, we would all dance around the house and before you knew it we were all laughing at each other. We had encouraged each other.

Who Can You Encourage Today

Encouragement is contagious. When you are encouraged, you can’t help but smile at others. Out of your mouth flows encouragement. You are affirming of others. You celebrate their giftedness. So today make it a point to encourage others.

Tweet Encouragement:


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