Secret Keeping

Secret Keeping
If you don’t have anything to hide, don’t hide anything.

It sounds simple, but this concept is so crucial in marriage. Marriage is about the two becoming one, and there is no room for secrets in marriage. If you are keeping secrets, no matter how small, Satan has a way into your marriage and will cause a wedge between you and your spouse.

If you don’t have anything to hide, DON’T hide anything! Don’t act sneaky if you’re not being sneaky. Don’t keep secrets. Period. There’s no place for that in marriage. I can’t stress this enough.

Show your spouse you are trustworthy in the little things. Sharing passwords, keeping little promises, and talking about even things that seem insignificant are all good ways to build trust.

Truth should be at the foundation of your marriage. No compromise. When you do that, you’re setting yourself up for a long and happy life with your spouse.

So simple—but it makes a world of difference.

Thankfulness and JOY

Thankfulness and JOY
If you have found yourself unhappy with your marriage, take a few minutes to think about your thoughts. What do you allow in your mental space daily. Are your thoughts constantly negative? Do you always have a criticism to give out to your spouse? Would you say you can easily be put in a bad mood?  

I feel like we can so easily and often forget that our thoughts have power. Where goes our thoughts so goes our actions. That’s why Paul exhorts us in scripture to “Take every thought captive.” If we are constantly dwelling on negative thoughts, or even just allowing them to make a home in our hearts, we are preparing the soil of our marriage for bitterness to take root. When bitterness takes root, it’s like a sickness and infects you to your core.

Thankfulness is the antidote. 

When we are thankful, we allow the Lord to fill our homes with JOY. What if we all remembered that joy is rooted in thankfulness? That we cannot have one without the other? I think our homes would be happier, marriages would be healthier, and livelihoods would flourish. 

Something that Troy and I have implemented is, every night before bed we talk through three things that we are thankful for. Some nights it’s serious and deep, other nights it’s silly and light, and others its a mix of both. However, no matter the night or the mood, we always go to bed with our hearts full. 

So my challenge to you is this: make thankfulness a priority in your home. Be intentionally with verbalizing what you are thankful for, especially to your spouse. If you do that, I know that you will feel a new level of peace enter your home and joy will flow abundantly.

Score Keeping??

Score Keeping??
Do you ever find yourself making imaginary tallies of how much you are doing vs how much your spouse is doing? 

Have you noticed how, when you do that, joy and fun are nowhere to be seen in your household?

The simple truth is: when we keep score, joy can’t thrive. That act of score keeping is both the precursor and the food of bitterness. It makes for hostile conditions where joy dies. And that’s not how God designed marriage to work!!

During times where I have felt “Oh! I am doing so much more than him!”, that’s the only thing that occupies my thoughts. It’s almost like there’s nothing he can do to catch up with how much I think I am doing. This is the breeding ground for discontentment. It’s a hole you start digging yourself into and before you know it, it’s become your grave! 

Instead, you should love your spouse and serve your spouse and let them fall in love with you. Marriage should never be 50/50 or any other kind of ratio. It should be 100/100 everyday for the rest of your lives. When you focus on loving and serving your spouse, that’s where joy flourishes in your marriage. When you are doing what God has called you to do, when you are walking in the spirit and letting it guide your marriage, joy is a natural by product.

So, please, I beg you, stop keeping score. Love with reckless abandon and let the fruits of joy and peace and kindness overflow in your marriage and in your home. You’re in for so much fun when you do!

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt

Love Like You've Never Been Hurt
Love keeps no record of wrongs. It’s simple and it’s scripture. 

Keeping score in marriage is the quickest way to ruin a good thing. When you do that, you hold yourself back from loving recklessly. You also are holding yourself back from the amount of love you are able to receive.

I get it. Your spouse is going to hurt you. That’s what happens when you put two imperfect people in close proximity to each other for forever. However, if you and your spouse are both believers, than you are both covered by the same blood and the same grace that gives you the power to forgive. 
Your job is not to be your spouse’s Holy Spirit. Your job is to love unconditionally, forgive quickly, and go before the thrown of the King for your spouse. Everything else you leave at the feet of your good, good Father. He will restore everything that was one broken.

So forgive quickly. Remember how much you have been forgiven of. Remember that it was your sins that nailed Jesus to the cross. Then, in grace, move forward in the freedom that can only come when you love like you’ve never been hurt before. 

It's Not a Big Deal

It's Not a Big Deal
It’s not a big deal. It’s not a big deal that your spouse loads the dishwasher a different way than you or folds the towels a different way than you. It’s not a big deal that he places the toilet paper a certain way that you wouldn’t normally place it. It really doesn’t matter.
I say this especially for those in the first couple years of marriage, but also for those veteran married couples who are still figuring things out. Each of us brings into marriage our own “stuff”. Some of that stuff looks as simple as how you do daily tasks. Maybe you were raised to wipe the counters a certain way, and that’s all you’ve ever known, but when you get married you see your spouse do it a different way and you’re just SURE this is a sin issue because the way you do things is the only right way. It’s not.
Dear friend, I don’t want you to waste time on petty fights. Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the best use of your time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, is that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” 

Making the best use of your time. 
Scripture actually says that to NOT be gracious is a WASTE OF TIME. Think about that. Think about all the time and heartache you could have saved yourself had you just said “It’s not a big deal” to those small annoyances and chosen to walk in grace.
AND THEN when you are able to respond with grace, sow into your marriage even more seeds of kindness by actually starting to do things the way your spouse does them! This act of love is a small step to a GREAT marriage. When we first got married, I didn’t know, or really care, about the way a dishwasher was loaded. I just rinsed the dishes and threw them in. I’m a firm believer in the fact that the dishwasher does the cleaning, not ME! My husband, on the other hand, feels differently. He believes that every dish needs to be washed and scrubbed with soap before it’s placed in the dishwasher. Again, I didn’t care, but in my flesh when he first pointed out to me that the way I loaded a dishwasher was wrong, I just wanted to prove how RIGHT I was. 
But God. But grace. 

Thankfully I got over that one quickly and now I just do the dishes the way he likes it because it shows him love. 

I’m not saying I’ve gotten this perfect 100% of the time, but I have been married a LONG time and I can say with certainty that marriage takes hard work and intentionality. So, sweet friend, be intentional and gracious with your words. Respond kindly, seasoning your words with salt. 

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