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Marriage

💍 Ballet, Happiness, and Marriage

💍 Ballet, Happiness, and Marriage

If you want a great relationship, learn to showcase your spouse.
Famed Russian-born ballet choreographer George Balanchine once said, “Ballet is woman.” The best male dancers recognize that their role is all about showcasing the female dancer’s beauty, particularly during pas de deux—couples’ dancing.
People generally go to the ballet to see the beautiful form, grace, balance, coordination, and strength of the female lead, but all of those qualities are even better showcased when the ballerina has a male dancer who can set her up, …

💍 How to Become One Heart 💞

💍 How to Become One Heart 💞

Karen and I don’t have a perfect marriage. We’ve been through a lot of trials together. But a long time ago—when God healed us as individuals and then began to heal the fractures in our relationship—we decided our marriage would be centered on God. He became our purpose.
More than anything else, that purpose is what has kept us together. We do the right thing because of our commitment to Jesus Christ. That means we bring the problems of our marriage to Him. …

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

⚠️ Two Traps to Avoid: “If Only” and “What If?”

When these issues dominate my thoughts, I succumb to selfishness and fear.
In each season of my life, I’ve found myself falling into two mental traps which are not helpful. One is the “If only” syndrome, and the other is the “What if?” syndrome.
Here’s how “If only” might express itself:

“If only I had a husband.”
“If only I had more money.”
“If only my husband would act like…”
“If only my husband (or I) had a good job.”
“If only we had a different house.”
“If only my parents (or his) understood.”
“If only my child would sleep through the night.”
“If only I had a really close friend.”
“If only I didn’t come from such a wounded past.”
“If only I wasn’t stuck in this place.”
“If only I was free of this disease.”
“If only I knew how to handle my teen.”
“If only I didn’t have to do this.”
“If only I didn’t struggle with this.”

Can you identify? …

🍎 ⚠️ The Enemy of Your Marriage

🍎 ⚠️ The Enemy of Your Marriage

It doesn’t take long for fear to replace trust, for intimacy to be broken. Just look at what happened in the first marriage.
Last week, while beginning yet another journey through the Scripture, as a recent bride I found myself reading the account of Adam’s and Eve’s nuptials with fresh eyes.
I’ve read it perhaps hundreds of times before—God fashions a woman from and for the man, then personally officiates at their wedding, thus instituting the first marriage. …

💍 11 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband

💍 11 Ways to Show Respect to Your Husband

Some wives don’t understand how important respect is to a man.
After being married for about 30 years, I asked my husband, Jim, what might seem to be a simple question: “What would you want more—love or respect?”
While both are important, his answer surprised me: “Respect.”
I couldn’t understand why anyone would choose respect over love.
My question to Jim was prompted by a FamilyLife Today® broadcast with Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of the book Love and Respect.  …

💍 Is Restoration Possible After an Affair?

💍 Is Restoration Possible After an Affair?

Many people define infidelity in a marriage as the unforgivable sin. But, can’t God redeem the impact of affairs? I have a story that proves He can.
After five grueling years of marriage, Nicole and Earl had contacted a divorce lawyer. They were done. Having gone months without intimacy, communication, or connection — and with infidelity on both sides — they were too ashamed to ask for help. Divorce seemed to be their only option.
This was a far cry from where their marriage had started. …

⚠️ The Struggle With Temptations and Fantasies

⚠️ The Struggle With Temptations and Fantasies

Loving God with all your mind helps guard against falling to temptation.
In the movie What Women Want, Nick Marshall (played by Mel Gibson) develops a telepathic ability to hear each thought, opinion, and desire that goes through every woman’s head.
Imagine this: Tomorrow morning you wake up and every man on the planet has developed the ability to read your mind just by being in your presence. Does the thought make you nervous? You bet it does! …

💍 Marriage Without the Baggage

💍 Marriage Without the Baggage

All of us have elements of our past that we bring into marriage. We get married with baggage. Karen and I both brought huge amounts of baggage into our relationship, and it nearly ruined our marriage. We had problems from the beginning.
One of the biggest types of baggage you can bring into a marriage are iniquities. In describing these, Exodus says the Lord punishes children for the iniquities of their parents “to the third and the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:7). …

💍 🏝️ Marriage Is Not an Island

💍 🏝️ Marriage Is Not an Island

At the Weekend to Remember marriage retreat I found a profound sense of community. It reminded me of one simple fact: We are not alone.
My husband and I had a particularly difficult start to our marriage. There were no affairs, family deaths, or miscarriages—all things that might bring strife into a relationship. We simply found marriage to be far more complex and challenging than we anticipated.
And something made it even worse. We were all alone.
After moving to a new city immediately after our wedding, …

💍 What Are the Real Needs of a Woman?

💍 What Are the Real Needs of a Woman?

In Ephesians 5:25, Paul gives men a challenging but important instruction: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Jesus loved the church with a sacrificial love. His love was selfless. He loved the Church more than He loved Himself.
That’s how men should love their wives—by sacrificing to meet their needs. What are those needs?
First, her greatest need is for security. A woman feels most secure when she is married to a man who is sensitive. …

💍 How to Become One Soul

💍 How to Become One Soul

You can become soul mates with your spouse. You can have the marriage of your dreams. I know it’s true because it has happened with Karen and me.
Karen and I dated for four years before we got married, but our relationship barely survived to our wedding day. And we almost divorced within a few years after that. Our marriage was unhealthy for several painful years.
But today, Karen is the love of my life and my best friend. …

💍 Five Standards of Successful Communication

💍 Five Standards of Successful Communication

In modern warfare, one of the first things a military tries to do is cut the enemy’s lines of communication. That’s because communication is so central to strategy. Without the ability to communicate, a military force becomes weakened and confused. A lack of communication results in defeat.
This happens in marriage as well. Communication is central to a healthy, successful relationship—which is why the Enemy works hard to violate and cut the communication lines within our marriages.
God created men and women to have distinct differences, …

💡 💍 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Marriage

💡 💍 5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Marriage

The best marriage advice I never received.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what couples should know before they get married. For one thing, I’ve been making some updates and revisions on FamilyLife’s Preparing for Marriage workbook, which is used by thousands of pastors and counselors around the country each year for premarriage counseling. In addition, my younger daughter, Missy, was married recently. As a parent you think of all the things you should tell a child before marriage, …

💍 Having the Power of Vision for Your Marriage

💍 Having the Power of Vision for Your Marriage

I tell couples all the time that they have to have a vision for their marriage. If God has a purpose for your marriage—and I believe He does—then vision is letting God reveal to you what that purpose is. It’s asking, “God, why did you put us together?” and listening for the answer.
Why is vision so important? Here are five reasons.
The first is clarity. It’s understanding why God put you together. It’s impossible to know if you’re successful if you don’t know what it is you’re trying to accomplish. …

💍 Freedom From Our Pasts

💍 Freedom From Our Pasts

Karen and I have wonderful parents and in-laws, but let’s face it: No parent is perfect. The imperfect parenting individuals experience while growing up leads to baggage that can harm our marriages.
The two most prominent types of baggage are iniquities and inner vows.
Iniquities. Exodus 34:7 tells of how God inflicts “the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.” Though God proclaims His mercy earlier in these verses, …

💍 ⚠️ Unrealistic Expectations Almost Destroyed My Marriage

💍 ⚠️ Unrealistic Expectations Almost Destroyed My Marriage

In the midst of my pain and self-centered complaining, I exhausted my husband and saddened God.
I had a plethora of marriage expectations that were formed as far back as early childhood. Many of those expectations were veiled, hidden in the deep places of my heart. For years I justified my notions of life and marriage, unaware of the devastating effects of those expectations if left unmet.
Entering marriage with such high expectations set my husband and me up for ruin. …

💍 How to Make Your Marriage First

💍 How to Make Your Marriage First

Everyone has the exact same number of hours in their day. Rich people. Poor people. Men, women, and children. Time is a non-renewable resource that evaporates quickly.
We all have the same amount of time, but not all of us make the same decisions about how to use it. Those choices reveal our priorities far more than our words do. Our priorities are indicated not by what we say, but by how we live.
Genesis 2:24 is about making sure marriage remains a priority: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, …

💡 💍 Can ‘The Bachelorette’ Teach Us Anything About Marriage?

💡 💍 Can ‘The Bachelorette’ Teach Us Anything About Marriage?

Another season of The Bachelorette just wrapped up, and it’s been my guilty pleasure for the past few months. I know it’s not the most wholesome of content, but it gives this momma brain a break and a chance to dive into a type of crazy that is not my home.
Becca has ridden off with her Prince Charming, and I really wish them a happily ever after for as long as the relationship lasts—hopefully forever.
Of course, …

💍 How We Choose Our Marriage Partner

💍 How We Choose Our Marriage Partner

Most people think marriage is about the future. For some, marriage is a way to escape their past. They think, “I want to find a person who will take me as far from my past as I can possibly get.” That’s what I thought when I married Karen.
But subconsciously, God has wired us the opposite of that kind of thinking. We naturally seek a person who will walk us back to our past so we can be healed. …

💍 The Battle for Control and Dominance

💍 The Battle for Control and Dominance

In 1998, the famed psychology professor John Gottman released a fascinating study. For six years, he interviewed 130 newly married couples in a project about listening in relationships. He compared them to another group he had been monitoring for 13 years.
The purpose of the study was to gauge the effectiveness of a certain kind of communication, but in the process of researching so many couples he came to an unrelated conclusion: The common element among the most successful couples was shared control of the relationship. …

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