Three Tips for a Stronger Marriage

stronger marriage

Three Tips for Stronger Marriage:
1. Forgive– the fire goes out when you water it with forgiveness.
“Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.”
Eph. 4:32 The Message
2. Communicate– your spouse is not a mind reader, tell him/her how you feel and use phrases like “I feel…..” not “You always……”
3. Play– Do something fun together. Set aside life’s worries for a time of connection and laughs.


“It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth. And if one falls down, the other helps, But if there’s no one to help, tough!” Eccl. 4:9-10 MSG


Edited to add:
My friend Darlene Schacht has put a 365 day marriage prayer devotional online, I think you might love it!
Todays Marriage Prayer

What Husbands Want


I want to tell you about an awesome site that has been doing a thought provoking series on “What Husband’s Want.”
The website is: The Generous Wife

The website is a wealth of information on marriage and has a companion site called The Generous Husband. The current article is titled, “The Other Intercourse”

You can also sign up to get encouraging emails for wives everyday.
Check them out today!

Also…a note that I will not be posting EVERY week on marriage but will still continue to post about it periodically.

If You Like Pina~ Coladas…


I heard the “Pina~ Colada” song the other day.

I know you all know it.

I’m not looking for some huge spiritual message here…but I think sometimes if we think about the things that attracted us to our spouses, we might find that much of the “good stuff” we loved about each other has gotten buried in the busy-ness of kids, lunches, soccer games, church activities and WORK.

It just might be time to get “caught in the rain” again.

Just sayin…

Are You Beautiful?


I’ve always loved this verse. I think I see something new in it everytime I read it.

1 Peter 3:1-4
The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands,responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated by your life of holy beauty. What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.

How can we cultivate inner beauty?

I know the obvious answers are…read our Bible and pray. Of course, very good things!!

Let’s look at it though in light of our current world.

Are we not daily screamed at as women to be outwardly beautiful?
To matter, you must be THIS size and THAT height with your hair and makeup on just so.

If God delights in gentle, gracious beauty, I think we should too.

I don’t think it’s UN-important to look good, but I think that (outwardly) beautiful-but mean and angry women are not beautiful at all.

Adding the word “grace” or “gracious” to beauty really ramps it up.

A beautiful woman is gracious. She shows grace to others AND especially to herself.

Are you gracious with yourself?

Are you gracious with your family?

Here are some other words for “gracious”:

Obviously absent are things like: complains, resentful, angry…

Of course… and this could turn into a whole book…if we don’t feel this (grace) for ourself, it will be very difficult to give it to others.

I think this verse is a powerful key to us walking in God’s grace towards us and living loved:

Ephesians 3:16-19
I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will
empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.
18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.
19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. NLT

Receive His love and grace for yourself and out of that freedom, your life will show inner beauty!

There will be no pressure to “have your own way” and “right every wrong.”

Forgiveness flows freely when we live forgiven.

God loves you. Cultivate inner beauty by living loved.

Your marriage will be stronger for it.
Praying for our marriages,

Regaining Sight of His Character by Darlene Schacht


I’m so excited to have Darlene Schacht as a guest post today!

Bio from her site:
I’m a forty-something-year-old Christian mother of four whose children range in ages from eight to eighteen. My husband, Michael, and I l live in Manitoba, Canada, where we run a company that empowers writers to self-publish.

I’m currently wrapping up a book project with actress Candace Cameron Bure, which inspires women to reshape their body and soul. Published with B & H Publishing Group, Reshaping It All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness is available for pre-order at

Darlene also has a new blog called Time Warp Wife:

I asked Darlene to write a blog post for Two shall become One and she sweetly agreed!
Thanks so much Darlene!

Ladies please leave her some love in the comments and make sure to visit her new website and Facebook page for Time Warp Wife.

Regaining Sight of His Character
By: Darlene Schacht

Countless experts on marriage have come out and said, “Men desire respect.” “Men want respect.” “Men need respect.” So what is this buzz word all about? When defining the word, we have to remember that respect is both a noun and a verb. Feeling respect for someone who’s admirable can be a lot easier than showing respect to someone who’s not. And let’s face it, girls, there are times when we all lose sight of the once admirable characters our husbands once had.

Let’s look at ways to put respect in action and start regaining the sight we have lost:

Let him take the lead.
Make your wishes known, but let him, as the head of your house make the final decisions. Joyfully accept the choices he makes. Grumbling, arguing, complaining or pouting are not becoming of a woman, and will turn your husband off.

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. – Proverbs 21:9

Have a good opinion of him.
Husbands have x-ray vision when it comes to our brains. They know when we truly value them, and when we’re putting it on. If we’re accustomed to judging every move they make, it’s time to bridle our tongue, and grab hold of the reins on our thoughts. Focus on the good, let go of the petty judgment.

Notice him.
As women, there are times when we like to be noticed for the way that we look, while men prefer to be noticed for the things that they do. Start noting the things that he does, whether big or small, and let him know that you appreciate the effort he’s made. For example, if you have a disagreement, and he apologizes to you, make sure that you mention his kindness later.

“Honey, I really appreciate your humble spirit. It meant a lot to me that you apologized,” goes a lot farther than saying, “I’m sorry too.” Kiss…kiss…kiss…

Don’t get me wrong, the kissing part is great, but take time to notice his effort.

Show consideration.
I’ve met a lot of mothers who show little consideration to their husbands when it comes to disciplining their children. Unfortunately I’ve seen a lot of naughty children as a result. When Dad makes a rule like “No eating in the van,” stick to that rule.

Your actions toward your husband are a living gauge to growing souls. They watch how we comply, and live accordingly. My husband has said things from time to time that I haven’t completely agreed with when it came to raising our children. One instance in particular was when I arrived home from a writing conference to find out that: “Dad told us we don’t have to do chores anymore!!” Apparently, he was having such a great time keeping house while I was gone that he decided to take over for the kids. Monday morning came, Dad was off to work, and the kids had stopped picking up after themselves.

Times like these call for a private meeting of the parents who work as a team. I make my request known to my husband, and together we weigh the pros and cons before going back to the kids with plan B.

Think highly of him.
It can be difficult at times to think highly of a man who’s stretched out on the couch with a bowl of chips on his chest, a remote in hand and little to no contact with you. Understood. We all have times when we’re frustrated that our man isn’t quite the prince charming we met years back in Wonderland. Bottom line is that in most cases, he hasn’t changed–our perception of him has.


Flowers, dates, kissing in the back-seat of a car, and wearing designer jeans, does not a Prince Charming make. But being there through the birth of your child, working hard to take home a paycheck, bringing his family to church, and taking care of you when you’re hurling over the throne, are noble features to be desired in a man. If he has done any or all of those things, he’s worth a second thought. Start to view your husband with high regard, and you’ll find much to be thankful for.

Wednesday is the New Tuesday


And brown is the new black…but that’s for another day.

Did the holiday mess anyone else up?
I knew yesterday was Tuesday…all day…but I stayed in a Monday mood and couldn’t shake it. That’s not all…I completely forgot about Two shall become One ~ Tuesday!

I was laying in bed this morning at 4~something or as my friend and Praise and Coffee hostess Mary Hess says “dark-thirty” when I realized that I completely forgot to post a guest post from Denise yesterday!

So I grabbed my iphone, sent Dee a message apologizing and rolled over only to fall asleep 5 minutes before I had to get up.

Today is Lauren’s first FULL day of school, Daddy took her. LOVETHATMAN!

Was that random and off the subject? Yes. Sorry, I am tired people.


Here is Denise’s post…

Well hello everyone! Happy to see you here at Praise and Coffee and hopefully I can keep in touch with you a lot more as summer comes to an end…as sad as that makes me.

Sue asked me to write about my birthday that Jason and I celebrated last month. I have hemmed and hawed so long on this post that my husband is wondering if I did have a good time after all.

Which I did.

My birthday fell on a Saturday and we had not one thing planned. Jason had worked a third shift and was sleeping but he had mentioned maybe we should go out for my birthday. Um, YES! My parents happily offered to take the boys and my husband went to sleep and I had no idea where to go, what to do…

So a friend researched places to go and found a wonderful sounding place on Lake Michigan. It seemed perfect…except that Jason was so tired he slept until around six that night.

I didn’t know if we would have a night out or not.

But here is the thing…I had an opportunity to get mad. And I was disappointed, but I chose to think about all the hard work he had done to support us that caused him to sleep. Whether we made it out or not didn’t make him a better or worse husband, my attitude would make it a good or bad night even if we just stayed home and cuddled on the couch and ate hotdogs and mac and cheese. But, when he did wake up, he hurriedly got around and we headed out…

On a date.

With my husband.

For my birthday.

For one whole night we were not Moma and Daddy, we weren’t the couple with four boys in tow, we weren’t rushing around our little hobby farm to fall exhausted into bed. No, we were just a couple having a fun night out, eating food we never eat; at a restaurant (that we never go to) that was also hosting a wedding that we happened to be sitting next to and jamming along to the fun DJ.

It was a beautiful night.

It was filled with us laughing, walking a pier at sunset, and completely accidentally bumping into old friends we hadn’t seen in a year.

Days later we were still talking about the good time we had.

Who am I kidding? WEEKS later we are talking about the fun we had!

There were two things I learned from this rare date night with my husband…

1. My personal pity party I could have chosen for myself would have ruined the day. If I’d chosen to claim, “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” I would have ruined one of the funnest nights Jason and I have had in, well, we can’t recall.

2. There is nothing more fun and romantic and invigorating to your marriage then spending a whole night and day away from your kids not once referring to the other as Dad and Mom. You get to spend a day as a couple, not just spouses, and that, my friends, is a good time.

And I could have missed it all if my attitude had stunk. How sad would that be?

What if You Have Spinach in Your teeth?!

This Two shall become One ~ Tuesday, I have a question for you.

What do other people think about your marriage?

Not just acquaintances from church, but those who know you best.

Sometimes we have no idea the impression we are giving others.

Kind of like when we have a piece of spinach in our teeth.
We just keep on talking and laughing while making those around us very uncomfortable…until a REAL friend stops and tells us what they see! Thankyouverymuch!

I’m not asking you to call your friends and get their opinions of your marriage but maybe you need to think about what impressions you are giving them about your marriage.

Sometimes we need to pull back from our own situations and think about what things are looking like from the outside because that can be a huge indicator of what’s actually going on-on the inside.

I challenge you to take a look at your marriage from other’s points of view and see what you think about it.

If your closest friends were to rate your marriage from 1-10, what would they say?

If the number is low, how could you raise it?
Not just for people’s perception… I’m not talking about putting on an act for others…but really make some changes.

What other people think is not that important unless it is an indicator of something that truly needs to change in our hearts.

Work on the heart of the matter and the outside appearance will take care of itself.

I’m praying for our marriages,

You Know This One ~ Marriage Post


Ok, we know this one girls:

Ephesians 4:31-32

31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.

We think of it when we are angry after waiting 30 minutes in a grocery line or when someone has lied about us to all of our friends…but I want to specifically think about this in our marriage today.

Sometimes I forget to be tenderhearted to the very one who I should be MOST tenderhearted to!

And forgive…it’s much easier said than done.

But God never asks us to do anything that He won’t equip us to do.

If you’re struggling with this today, I encourage you to ask the Father for help. He will. He is faithful, and He loves your marriage.

I’m praying for our marriages,

Keep On Loving You


For this “Two shall become One ~ Tuesday” I want to wish my dear friends Jason and Denise Dykstra a Happy Anniversary and use her blog post and this song as a reminder to all of us that we need to “Keep On Loving You”!

Read Denise’s post here:
Happy Anniversary to My Wonderful Husband

and check out this sweet song…oh how I love Reba!

I’m praying for our marriages,

All Because Two People Fell In Love


This collage is in my hallway…

My favorite one is on the top left and says,
“Family, all because two people fell in love.”

Why is it so easy to forget that?

We get so busy and sidetracked with the bills and the babies, the laundry and the lasagna.

Days turn into years and we grow apathetic, forgetting the crazy wild passion that brought the two of us together.

We take each other for granted.

Long conversations sitting in the driveway when we were dating turn into short snotty comments we quip to one another as we pass in the kitchen.

Life catches us off guard. Flanks us when we’re least expecting it.

But then, a picture, a memory, sneaks its way into our view and we think about that young couple that fell in love so many years ago.

Remember that couple.

Get in touch with that couple.

Take them out to dinner, do something spontaneous with them and remind them of days long ago when they couldn’t wait to see each other.

Remind them of the long conversations on the phone.

The anticipation and thrill of the sound when their car turned into your driveway.

The day they got engaged.

Help that couple remember that the home, the family and the memories are all because two people fell in love.

And encourage them to do it all over again.

I’m praying for our marriages,

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