The Strength of Commitment

20130312-131405.jpg

When Glenn Cunningham was 8 years old, both of his legs were badly burned in a schoolhouse explosion which also killed his older brother. His injuries were so extensive that he lost all the toes on his left foot, and sustained a lot of other deep tissue damage. The doctors wanted to amputate, but his parents decided that they would do what they could to save Glenn’s legs.

It was a huge uphill climb for Glenn and his family. His physical therapy sessions were quite demanding, often leaving him bathed in sweat. He was told he would never walk, but he determined that, not only would he walk, but he would run! So he pushed himself harder, doubling up on his physical therapy and finally, painfully, began to walk and eventually to run.

Because of his total commitment to improving himself, Glenn went on to break the world record for the mile, and to win the silver medal at the 1936 Olympics. Only the advent of WW2 ended his running career.

Now, your marriage may not be “missing all the toes on your left foot,” but you may be having some sort of marital difficulty. Perhaps it’s just a bump in the road, or maybe it’s a large pothole! It may even be a serious crisis, like we spoke about last week.

None of us come to marriage as a perfect human being. We all have some baggage, so we can’t expect smooth sailing all the time. Unfortunately, sometimes the only thing we have left is our commitment, but let’s not think that’s a small thing – commitment is the solid rocket booster that gets our marriage off the ground, and launches it into orbit.

When I said my vows to my husband, I committed to him for life. And since I enjoy being happy and not sour, I want to do things to make for a happy marriage.

What are the first steps to overcoming marital disabilities?

1. Be willing to do whatever it takes to preserve your marriage. Statistics tell us that married people live longer, are happier, and have higher incomes than their single counterparts. Staying married is worth it!

2. Nurture your marriage. Regularly water it with kindness, weed out bitterness, and be watchful for outside threats. Take some time to creatively invest time and effort into your marriage, and the dry wilted parts will begin to fill out and become beautiful once again.

3. Understand that it will be extremely difficult sometimes, but the rewards are incredible! Just like the children of Israel had to cross the muddy Jordan river and defeat many giants before they could enjoy the fruit of Caanan, so we must endure hardness and defeat “giants” of false philosophies to enjoy the fruits of a happy marriage.

Most of us will never run in the Olympics, even though we have perfectly good feet. But we can rack up a whole bunch of points with our spouse by being willing to commit to our marriage and work on it.

Your Assignment:

1. Dig out something from your wedding, perhaps even something that has your vows on it. Put it in a conspicuous place to remind you of your vows.

If you’re like me, living in an extremely small space, you may not have access to your wedding things. I’m going to be writing down my vows as well as I remember them (they WERE 29 years ago!) and post them up. Maybe I’ll even post them on Facebook!

2. Pray through your vows, asking God to help you keep the vows you’ve already made.

3. Memorize Matthew 19:6 – “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

How are you doing? Let us know!

Linking up with: The Alabaster jar, The Better Mom, Raising Arrows, What Joy Is Mine, Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, Time Warp Wife, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum

7 Ideas to Build Your Marriage

This week, I have a popular older post on marriage. Satan is seeking to destroy good homes, so it’s important that we continue to strengthen them.

“Every wise woman buildeth her house, but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.”

20130114-092250.jpg

This week, like a knife in the gut, I learned that a friend had gotten a divorce.

The strangest thing about it is that the husband is a fine Christian man, and they had a desire to serve the Lord.

How can two people who love the Lord get along so badly that they get a divorce??

20130114-092503.jpg

My husband and I have been talking at length lately, discussing the road so many people travel which leads to divorce. It appears as though a pattern ultimately lead to the demise of the family.

For now, however, let’s talk about:

{How a wise woman can build her house}

Imagine a man building a wall. Brick by brick, piece by piece, he lays down first the foundation, and then the first layer, and the second, and so on. He works with a smile, knowing this is for his family, whom he loves dearly. It may not be perfect, because he’s only young and has never done this before, but his heart is in it, and it is his own personal labor of love.

Soon his wife appears. He looks at her with a grin but stops when he notices her frown. Striding to the wall, she points at it and sneers, “What’s this? A mess?? What are you thinking?!? I can’t believe you would try to build a wall using those bricks!” She begins pulling at the blocks, berating him at the same time. He drops his head and slowly walks away, shoulders drooping.

That woman is fast on her way to tearing down her house, and living in low-income housing with no protection whatsoever.

How can this marriage be saved? What can be done to help this situation?

Here are some ideas my husband and I thought of for building a strong marriage:

1. Don’t tear down the wall your husband is trying to build. Simply have a little self-control and keep your mouth shut.

This is where a direct line to God is really wonderful! You may not be able to say anything to anybody, but does that mean you have to leave it festering inside? Of course not! Does that mean that nothing will ever be done about the situation?? Of course not! Why not take your frustrations too the Lord, who can turn the rivers! (see Proverbs 21:1)

2. Decorate the wall! Make the most out of a less-than-perfect situation! So your man wants to start up a new business, and you have to sacrifice to help come up with the needed money. You may even think he will fail! The wall seems crooked and out of fashion. That’s ok; make the most of it! Support your husband, be his cheerleader! Determine that you will be happy, no matter what, because happiness is not in happenings, it is in the Lord. Decorate that wall, crooked though it may be, and your good taste and cheer will be the driving force behind his success.

3. Admire the good that he does – out loud! (And don’t forget to feel his strong muscles every once in a while!) 😉 It sure does add some honey to the romance.

4. Praise for effort, not performance. Thank him for his hard work on a job or around the house.

5. Support him by making good meals and greeting him nicely dressed. No hair-rollers when hubby comes to the door!

6. Visit him while he’s involved in his projects; sometimes you can even co-labor with him. For example, you could bring him iced tea while he’s mowing the grass.

7. Ask the Lord to help you build up your marriage and not tear it down. Marriages do not fall apart in a night, and they do not get built in a night. Be willing to take some time to work on it and wait patiently for the rewards.

20130114-092648.jpg

The rewards may be long in coming, but they will come! After all, where will you be in ten years? Determine that you will be happily married (to the same man, of course!).

Let’s do what we can to build up our marriages.

Linking up with To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog and The Alabaster Jar.

Celebrating 29 Years Together!

I fully intended on writing a post titled “29 Things I’ve Learned in 29 Years of Marriage” but my heart is too full of gratefulness for My Beloved to wax eloquent about my own knowledge! 😉 Sometimes knowledge takes a back seat to emotion, and after 29 years, that’s still a good thing. Thank you, My Love, for 29 wonderful years. I’m so glad to be married to you!

20130107-094617.jpg

Thank you for praying with me every night.

Thank you for saving yourself for me.

Thank you for providing for me these many years.

Thank you for loving me when I was completely unlovable.

20130107-094741.jpg

Thank you for listening to my wild ideas and my stupid dreams.

Thank you for warming me up when I’m cold.

Thank you for saying I’m pretty even when I know better.

Thank you for being willing to provide for and train our children.

Thank you for protecting me from bad situations.

Thank you for panicking when I get hurt. 😉

Thank you for taking the responsibility for our family.

20130107-095003.jpg

Thank you for being a man who reads his Bible every single day, not just because you are a preacher, but because you love God.

Thank you for having that really odd, kinda warped sense of humor.

Thank you for growing old..er with me!

Happy Anniversary, My Love!

Linking up at The Alabaster Jar,Titus Two Tuesday, and Mercy Ink Blog