Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category

Refresh Your Marriage: Go Back to Your First Love

Monday, February 8th, 2021

refresh-your-marriage

To breathe new life into a marriage that is going through hard times, go back to where you first fell in love. This will refresh your marriage by re-igniting what you had at the beginning of your relationship.

You can do this in many ways, but one tangible way is to go to the places and do the things you did at first. Remember the excitement of when you were dating, how you studied the face of this person and found him so dear. All those feelings are more easily accessed when you return to the original place where you first kissed, or where you got married, or where he first proposed to you, or where you went on your first date.

This is way easier if you live in the same city where you dated, where you got proposed to, where you kissed, etc. For me, I met my husband in California, he proposed in England, we married in Texas, and we are now living in Washington state. So how do we re-create those early memories?

Refresh Your Marriage: Go Back to Your First Love

First of all, we first met in California on a college church retreat that was on an ocean beach. We used to go to the same college Bible study, so we would walk around campus and talk. Secondly, we dated and first kissed in England, and he proposed to me at Planet Hollywood in London. Third, we got married in a small college chapel with stained glass windows in Texas.

So here in Washington state, we found a college campus. We parked nearby, walked to the school, and walked around, exploring the campus. Yes, the feeling I had more than 20 years ago came back, and we felt like college-aged kids again. We kissed in the stairwell of one of the buildings with classrooms, we saw a recreation building with students pre-occupied with their books and relationships, and we explored the small chapel that reminded us of where we got married, since it had stained glass windows. The feeling of how it was back then rushed back like a breath of fresh air, like a breeze lifting me to a better place.

It took merely half an hour, and it was free. It was one of my favorite date nights with my husband, because we had been going through a difficult time full of grief and sorrow, and going to a college campus was like a time machine, transporting us back to the beginning of our relationship. It was so beautiful, I wanted to cry for joy.

Ever since, I have been wanting to write about this fun and unique date, one that you can re-create yourself. For example, if your first kiss was on a bridge, go to that original bridge (or a similar one in the city where you now live), and go through the same situation that brought you together. Reminisce about how things were, and how you felt. Re-enter that moment through the re-entry point of that physical space, and go back to your first love like a time capsule.

Last March, my husband and I returned to the very campus in California where we first went to Bible study together, and where we spent so much time. While driving around the campus, I wanted to roll down the windows and blast 1980’s music, laugh, and be carefree. What a freeing feeling!

Date Night: Paint a Canvas

Monday, February 3rd, 2020

Last weekend my husband and I went on a date night to paint a canvas. It was so much fun! My sister gave us a gift card for Painting with a Twist for Christmas. I had been wanting to go on this creative date for several years now, so we finally did it. I chose a mountain scene with a lake and forest.

Both Alan and I have always liked the idea of painting on canvas, ever since watching Bob Ross as children. There is something relaxing about watching someone paint. And Bob Ross always made it look so easy. This painting class was the same way. The instructor took us step-by-step through the painting: first the sky, then the lake, the forest, and the mountain last.

painting-a-canvas

The sky was interesting. We painted a white line for the horizon. Then we created a sunset, using reds, pinks, yellows, and blues. We added “fluffy little clouds.”

Next we painted the lake, along with its multi-colored ripples. Around the lake were the silhouettes of trees. Alan knew how to paint awesome trees, so he showed me how to zig-zag down the trunks of my trees.

painting-on-a-date

Finally we painted the mountain. We used white paint to go from the peak downwards on the mountain, looking like layering of snow. We created purple and pink shadows along the length of it, always moving the brush downwards.

painting-date

It was a really unique experience, as far as date nights go. I love how our paintings turned out!

I’m looking for more ideas for fun nights out as a couple (besides dinner), so in the comments, let me know: What are some unique date nights you’ve had with your spouse?

Don’t Attribute Wrong Motives to Your Husband

Friday, February 28th, 2014

wrong-motives-to-your-husband

Don’t attribute wrong motives to your husband. In the same way that you are a new creation at salvation, your husband is also a new creation. Deep down he desires to please God. Even if he is trapped in his flesh and sins out of habit–usually through some form of selfishness–so do you. None of us who are true believers wants to do the wrong thing. Our conscience makes us feel bad, and we ask God to help us overcome sin.

I used to attribute wrong motives to my husband without even realizing it. My husband would make a statement, and I would twist his statement to make him seem like he was attacking me when he wasn’t. “Susan , you’re just hurting yourself by making up something that I didn’t say,” he told me one day. I stopped in my tracks and realized that he was right. He had made a statement that was not positive or negative, and I had extrapolated a negative motivation behind it. And there he was, refusing to defend himself because I was the one causing the problem.

“I don’t know how to stop doing it,” I said to my husband, referring to the fact that I would subconsciously attribute the worst motive to him instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt and expecting that we were on the same side. “What should I do? My brain automatically makes you out to be the bad guy, and I don’t want to do that any more. Help me figure out what to do.”

We sat down, and he prayed with me. We asked God to break this pattern of negative interaction. Do you know what? From that day forward, I stopped doing it!

Most areas of sin in my life take years for me to overcome, but this one was resolved in an instant. I’m not sure if God just fixed the negative pattern in my brain through a miracle, or if realizing that I was twisting my husband’s words and hurting my marriage caused me to be aware of what I was doing. In any case, I praise God that this destructive pattern is gone from my marriage!

I talk about this a lot more in my free audio about how powerful praying with your spouse can be: How to Get Your Husband to Pray with You

How Does Your Identity Affect Marriage?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

identity-affect-marriageHow does your identity affect marriage? If you are a believer, you are a new creation in Christ. The core of your being desires to please God. First I’m going to address how understanding your identity in Christ causes you to derive your worth from Christ so that you’re not so needy with your husband.

In another article, I will show you how to not attribute wrong motives to your husband, because if he is a believer, his identity is to please God. This affects everything in your marriage. You will begin to see each other in a more positive light.

You must understand who you are in Christ so that you don’t think of yourself as inadequate. Most women view themselves this way. They compare their outer bodies to supermodels who have been airbrushed, and they resent that their own bodies don’t respond when they put in tons of workouts. I myself have given birth 4 times, and my stomach is not the same as it used to be. Just try to take care of your body as best you can, and your positive attitude can take care of the rest.

When you come to Christ, you are forgiven from all sin. You are clean, and God has taken your old nature and replaced it with a new nature. You are now a saint. God is transforming you into His image. You are becoming more and more beautiful inside.

Christ gives you worth. You were created for a purpose, and you can ask God how to fulfill your life purpose so that you can have more joy in your life. If you feel fulfilled in your life, even if you have a flabby stomach, you will still feel good about yourself because of the inward joy of living out what you are supposed to be doing with your life.

Don’t rely on your husband to build you up. If you hang your worth on what your husband says, you are setting yourself up for unnecessary pain. Men say things casually without realizing the emotional implication of their words. Like when I said, “Does this shirt make me look fat?” and my husband said that I’ve had four kids. Wrong answer. Bzzz… You struck out, mister. I could wallow in the pain of that statement, or I can derive my worth from the Lord, knowing that beauty comes from the inside, and that I’m exercising to stay in shape. My husband meant to say that he didn’t expect me to look the same as when I married him, and that of course I was beautiful to him. But he didn’t say it at the time because he felt trapped by the situation. Men don’t want to feel forced to say a certain thing. It feels disingenuous to them. Their minds move on to something else, and they have no idea that they’ve devastated their wives.

Don’t let that happen. Derive your complete worth from Christ. He loves you so much that He died for you. I have close friends that have been abused by their husbands physically, and they absolutely had to disconnect their worth from their husband’s mindless statements. This is not who you are. You are a daughter of the King.

Don’t allow your mind to dwell on negative things. Your mind has a doorway. Shut the door on anything that is not good, right, and true. (Philippians 4:8) Most of the time when we feel like a piece of dirt, it’s because we have allowed ourselves to wallow in our hormones, letting our minds drift into whatever. We spiral deeper and deeper into a negative state. You can stop that spiral at any time. Start breaking free from negative thought patterns and walk in the freedom of your identity in Christ! If you need help with controlling your mind, here is a free audio that will show you how to take every thought captive.