Archives For Marriage

May 25, 1974 I married the most wonderful guy!!

May 25, 1974 I married the most wonderful guy!!

The following post came up in my Facebook newsfeed today, so I revamped it a little and have re-posted it.

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The day Don and I were married no one could have convinced us we could be any more in love than we were that day! However, after 41+ years of marriage we both know love can deepen or it can fade. We have experienced both, and we have chosen the path of deepening our love.

It didn’t happen overnight, and at times it took hard work!

One of those times, was six months into our marriage. It was a lonely and scary season, and it felt as if we were adrift at sea with no compass to guide us. Thankfully, at that time we were scheduled to take a group of college kids to a campus ministry retreat, where (unknown to us) the speaker’s topic for the weekend was “Relationships”. Not only did his presentation include humorous anecdotes regarding the difficulty of communication in marriage, but it also brought much-needed answers!

One resource mentioned by the speaker was a book titled “To Understand Each Other” by Paul Tournier. This concise book opened our eyes and our hearts to the amazing dynamics of communication. Tournier’s challenge was to be courageous enough to share our true selves with one another, and as a result come to a deeper understanding of the person God brought to us in marriage.

As we worked to apply the concepts in the book we began to move past our fears and share our deepest thoughts. The author was right —it definitely took courage to remove our self-protective shields and care more about understanding each other than being understood. It was a process that took time and caring. But it also brought incredible transformation! Our communication deepened, our acceptance of one another flowed more easily and our enjoyment of each other became a delight! We fell more deeply in love!

Today, as I look back at that season, here are a few helpful “take-aways” from what we went through:

  1.  Listen and apply the counsel from someone who has walked the path ahead of you.
  2. Ask this question of each other — “What do you hear me saying?” Their answer will let you know if they are still not understanding what you are saying. Try again to explain. And then ask the question again. Keep at it until understanding comes.
  3. Handle your spouses heart as carefully as you want yours handled.
  4. Work hard to understand your spouse, rather than working to be understood.

God Took My Debris

February 9, 2015 — Leave a comment

Walls.

In my younger years I lived behind invisible but real walls. Somewhere in my youth I noticed how girls talked about other girls and used any vulnerability against them. As a result I made an inward decision not to open my heart to others because, I believed what I shared, could and would be used against me.

At the age of 18, when my older brother died, and my world as I knew it, came shattering down; I added another layer to my already thick wall. The lie “no one understands what I’m going through”, became the separating point between me and everyone else.

After Don and I were married the walls I had created became glaringly apparent. When I was hurt, I retreated behind my wall of “he doesn’t understand anyway” so why talk about it. But, I married a relentless and loving man, whose consistent, verbal affirmation, helped me remove sections of my wall a little at a time. He continually exemplified God’s unconditional love to me, and consequently I gradually began to move out from behind my self-imposed prison.

I remember clearly, the day God’s Spirit prompted me to verbally affirm Don. It was one aspect of my wall I had not yet stepped beyond. My previous experiences clearly warned against this kind of vulnerability. But God, was asking me to lay down the bricks of self-protection, open my heart, and speak my love and affirmation directly to him. When at last I obeyed and complimented Don, an enormous sense of love and admiration exploded inside. Like the heart of The Grinch, my heart finally expanded and I felt a deeper love than ever before!

Our marriage took on a whole new level of love and respect. Our communication deepened when I began to verbalize to him my admiration for his talents, his loving acts of kindness and service, his faithfulness at his work, his outgoing nature, his strength to stand in the face of trials, and so much more.

Once I stepped beyond my comfort zone, the walls crumbled, as God took the debris and built instead, a firm foundation upon which our marriage stands today.

I Peter 3:2    Amplified Bible

“When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence (for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him – to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband.”