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For Better Or For Worse

We all know that marriage is not 100% bliss, or a life without struggles. There are highs and lows over the years, and part of these highs and lows come from the constant curveballs that life seems to throw our way. Looking back over the years, A LOT has happened in our 12 years. We have experienced times where money was great, and some lean times. We have 4 amazing kids, but spent a whirlwind year with two premature babies and the struggles that can come with that. We have moved from Texas to Oklahoma, experienced layoffs and hundreds of constant variables that occur over the years.

Wedding Rings

Life has not always been fair and there have been times where we have had to work to not let the outside stresses affect our marriage. At times, we succeed greatly at this, and other times not so much. What we have discovered is that it is those times of stress and pressure that really show what kind of marriage we have.

This is where the phrase “Marriage is Work” comes into play. A healthy, thriving marriage is not for the lazy. Each spouse must be willing to pull more than their fair share of the load when struggles, or a difficult season, arrive. To be honest, this is what family is suppose to be all about. We encourage each other, lift each other up and at times even carry each other on our backs for a season.

The beauty of marriage is that we see each other for who we really are. We understand our spouse’s flaws as well all the amazing things they can do. The love that we have for each other is based upon the reality of life and daily choice we must make to choose love over all the negative emotions that become available. We choose love in times of excess and we choose love in times in lack. We choose love in the passionate times, and love when we honestly don’t feel like loving each other.

When we got married, we made a decision to love each other in the good times and the bad times. We promised our devotion for better or for worse. This means we cannot go running for the hills when the worse times happen. No, that is when we discover what true, unconditional love is all about.

Anyone can get married, but as we have seen in Hollywood, some marriages can’t even make it past a few months. What we want is a marriage that is going to last a lifetime. That means we must guard and protect our marriage. No obstacle we face is important enough to jeopardize our marriage.

For us to achieve that goal of growing old together, we must constantly work at our relationship to ensure it thrives through the better and the worst! I encourage you to think long-term for your marriage. Work with your spouse to have the type of marriage you would wish for your children.

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Forgetting And Forgiving The Past

Forgetting and Forgiving the Past

We have all heard the phrase, “The people closest to you are the ones that hurt you the most.” This could not be more true to when applied to marriages. For many of us, our spouses are more than just our marriage partners, but they are also the ones we call our best friend. They know us better than anyone, and they are the ones that we are the most vulnerable to.

Forgetting and Forgiving The Past

I think that is why the hurt stings so much when we feel let down, disappointing, or betrayed. Hurt in a marriage is an inevitability. Spouses get upset and lash out in anger, a misunderstanding turns into someone feeling neglected… the list goes on. We deal with a multitude of craziness that can make a marriage interesting.

The Apostle Paul wrote a power scripture in Philippeans 3:13 “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.” This is coming from the man who wrote over half of the New Testament and he said that the only thing that he had managed to grasp was forgetting the past.

This is something that we should apply to our marriages. We have to learn to forgive our spouses, and not hold the hurt against them. I know of too many marriages where bitterness has set in because of hurts that happened years ago. We can learn from past mistakes without holding onto the hurt. Not forgetting and forgiving those hurts will allow offenses that happened years ago to chip away at our marriages.

Something to remember is that forgiveness is not a passive force. We have to make the conscious decision to forgive someone and many times that first step is a leap of faith. In fact, there are many times when we flat out don’t want to forgive. It is during those times that we have an opportunity to show our spouses how much we love them, despite their obvious imperfections.

Let’s face it, our spouses do have their imperfections. We had been married for less than 24 hours when we had our first disagreement. It didn’t last long, and looking back it was silly what we disagreed over. That said, it still showed us how easy it can be for a couple to upset, hurt, or offend each other.


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Fixing What Never Should Have Been Broken!

I recently shared the beginning of our story. You can read my thoughts about what happens when others get a say instead of God. I talked about how we got things “fixed”. When the truth is we really broke something they God never intended for my husband and I to break. After we left the office is when things needed fixed.

Fixing Something That Never Should Have Been Broken ~ TheJoyfulFamily.com

If you have ever priced having things reversed it isn’t cheap. When the twins were around 2 I started really researching it. However, at the time the price seemed too much for us to handle. Over time that dream got put on the shelf. That is where it sat for the last 3 years. Just within the last 6 months have a seriously been looking into it again.

I knew that if this is what we were supposed to do God would provide the finances, and the healing that we needed. To secure your appointment you have to put down a nice size deposit. The money came through and we took that first step. They scheduled us for the end of April. Then, me and all my impatience stalked the appointments, just praying for a cancellation.  It wasn’t 2 days and an appointment opened up for February…I snagged it. This also meant that  I…no God had just a couple weeks to pull together the remaining funds needed the day of the surgery. We received word of a check coming that would cover everything we need plus some. I was beyond thrilled. God not only set our appointment up in record time, but provided the money to pay cash for the procedure.

The day came, and off we went. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. My hubs on the other hand would get excited once it was all over. We were finally getting the restoration our hearts had longed for the past 6 years! We received one of the best reports that a couple could ask for. Our chances of finally getting to add to our family were 99%. One doctor had told us that things were only working at 50% before the original surgery, yet now after this my husband was in better shape than before. Isn’t that just like God?! Not only to show up but to show off just how amazingly awesome He is!

God has a plan for our family, and it is bigger than my mind could ever ask or think. He is in the business of miracles. If you have faith and believe, He can do so much more than we ever thought possible. Part 3 of our story is coming soon!

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