Friday, June 27, 2014

Mark Twain on Marriage

Who knew writer Mark Twain was such a romantic? Here's his take on marriage:

A marriage makes of two fractional lives a whole; it gives two purposeless lives a work, and doubles the strength of each to perform it; it gives to questioning natures a reason for living and something to live for; it will give new gladness to the sunshine, a new fragrance to the flowers, a new beauty to the earth and a new mystery to life.

And here's a modern translation of a message to wives from the Bible:

"Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God will be captivated by your life... 
What matters is not your outer appearance, but your inner disposition. Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead bless - that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also receive a blessing." (IPeter 3: 1-9. The Message)

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Thursday, June 19, 2014


My husband and I pray together most mornings. It has always been a great time to ask God about things that concern us both.

Here are some helpful reminders: 

Care deeply for one another. And learn to see things from the other's point of view.
Remember that marriage isn’t a competition! When you disagree, collaborate to find a solution that is the best for both of you.

Have fun! Don’t let your relationship become stale. 
Forgive one another, because we aren’t perfect. 
PRAY with and for one another. (And don’t pray that God will change your spouse, but that God will bless your spouse!) Prayer smooths out life’s bumps, turns conflict into resolution, and brings back that “loving feeling!”
When you pray for your spouse: You think about him/her more throughout your day.
If as a couple you are struggling, your heart will soften towards your spouse.
(James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.)

When you pray together:
  • You’re on the same level before a Holy God.
  • Prayer unlocks communication between the two of you. If you can unlock the deepest parts of your heart to God, you’re free to do the same with your spouse.
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Friday, June 13, 2014


What do we expect from our spouse?

Men desire respect and women want to feel loved. Unfortunately, the expectations of what that looks like often become skewed and we find ourselves saying, “well, that’s great, but now I just want a little more.” We put conditions around our love based on what we receive.

What is conditional love? These are just a few examples of the “just a little more” we put on our spouses.• I will love you if you…• If you really loved me, you would…• Why can’t you be more like…

Jesus never talked about love being what you do for me, but what I can do for you. It’s about sacrifice, putting the needs of your spouse ahead of your own. It’s a love without condition. One of our “go to” passages of Scripture when counseling couples is I Corinthians 13:4-7. Yes, the “wedding passage!” Unfortunately, the instruction in that passage is often viewed as nice words without much thought to the meaning behind them. Read each attribute of love and think about how you express it to your spouse:

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and keeps no record of being wrongedLove does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Are you patient and kind? Are you jealous of your spouse? Do you always look at what your spouse can do for you, demanding your own way? Do you bring up the past and the “wrongs” your spouse has been guilty of? Do you give up hope and threaten divorce?

Everyone can have not just a good marriage, but a great one if we’re willing to put in the effort. That’s the premise

Friday, June 6, 2014


Dear God,

The rehearsal's over, the church is quiet and dim and now our wedding, the day that we've looked forward to, dreamed about, saved for, and planned in every detail is almost here.

Although most marriages begin with so much love and such high expectations, they often seem to dwindle into boredom, or worse still, downright dislike. For there is no denying, God, that though we'd like to feel we know each other inside out, our marriage cannot help but be a journey of discovery.

We want to make our marriage work, but in the light of cold reality perhaps we'll need some help in order to live happily ever after.

So please be with us, God? Not simply in the church tomorrow but will you travel with us day by day and year by year, giving us all that we will need if we're to weather the sunshine and the storms we'll surely face.

Excerpt from: Dear God, It's Me and It's Urgent
Prayers for every season of a woman's life  by Marion Stroud