How To Get Your Husband To Talk More -- A Husbands Perspective

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Hey there! I think it's safe to assume that if you are reading this you are a wife with a husband who doesn't like to talk much or has a difficult time opening up and communicating.  This being the case I want to tell you two things before we hop into these strategies. First and foremost, you are not the only wife to ever face this! Truth be told, this is one of the things we hear all the time from wives. So just know you aren't weird for going through this. Second, you need to know WHO is writing this to you. This is Cody, ya know, the husband part of On Purpose Marriage. I wanted to write this article for you because, well, I'M A MAN! Listen, I'm sure all your lady friends are really great and really smart and REALLY love you and want the absolute best for you BUT when it comes to issues like this it's a good thing to get a dude's perspective.

A quick word of caution before moving forward.

Do not. I repeat. DO. NOT. Take one of your dude friends out to coffee and start talking about your communication issues with your husband to him. I don't care if he is married or not or if he is a "longtime friend. That's how mental and emotional affairs start. Just don't go there.

Now that we established all that. Let's jump into how you can get your husband to talk and communicate more.

1. Don't forget that communication is a muscle that takes time to get stronger.

This is SUPER important to remember. Think of communication like fitness. You don't magically get super fit overnight, although, that would be really awesome, it's just not how it works. The same goes for communication in your marriage, it's like a muscle that needs to be worked out time and time again to get stronger and stronger. Keep this in mind because this whole thing takes time. You don't need to beat yourself up because you can't "change" your husband in the blink of an eye.

2. Choose your ‘when’ wisely.

Here's the deal ladies. Like it or not, there are good times and bad times to try and engage in some kind of meaningful conversation. Trying to strike up a conversation right after your husband gets home from a long hard day at work? Bad idea. Trying to spark some chit-chat first thing in the morning before your husband has had even a sip of coffee. Bad idea. I'm sure you are starting to see my point here. Take a few minutes today and think about when your husband feels most energized and most present, then plan on starting some conversation in those moments! Your chances for success are WAY better when you choose your when wisely.

3. Build ‘discussion momentum’ by warming him up.

Momentum is a really really big deal. Trying to jump straight into a deep conversation with a man doesn't work often, we need momentum to take us there. Think of it this way. Professional football players don't just put their uniform on, hop out onto the field and perform some incredible feats of athleticism. They warm up first! They start by doing seemingly insignificant drills to warm their bodies up and get moving, they are building momentum! So, how do you warm your husband up for conversation? Start by talking about things that you think don't matter! Yup. I said it. Talk about things that don't matter! That's how you warm us dude up, small talk. Whatever "small talk" is for your husband, get good at it. Over time you'll figure out what kinds of questions or topics start to warm him up and build conversation momentum.

4. Talk about things that matter to HIM.

Look, I know that you have things that are deep in your heart that you want to talk about with your husband, but the way you get him to talk about things that matter to YOU is to start talking about more things that matter to HIM. When you talk about things that matter to your husband you start building, yup, you guessed it, momentum. This momentum leads to you eventually being able to talk and communicate about what matters to you! But often times, this is where you have to start.

Like I mentioned earlier, this kind of stuff doesn't change overnight. It takes time. It takes work. It takes patience.  With that being said, we made something for you to that will help BOTH of you communicate better. It's called the Communication Starter Kit. If you don't even know where to start when it comes to communicating better as a couple, THIS is where you start. Did I mention it's FREE? Go ahead and put your name and email in below and we will send it to you right away!

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The 3 Zones Of Marriage Communication

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If we were to pile almost all marriage issues into three buckets, those buckets would be named Money, Sex/Intimacy, and Communication. If we had to choose one bucket that had the potential to fix the other two, we’d choose Communication. After all, that’s what we do here at On Purpose Marriage - we help married couples connect and communicate well! We believe that if a couple learns how to communicate well, they will be able to effectively solve any other issue in their marriage! Yes. That includes you and your marriage.

With that said, we wanted to teach you the 3 zones of marriage communication, the dangers of each zone, and how to move from one zone to the next! So here we go!

Zone #1 - Proactive Communication

This communication zone is exactly what it sounds like, proactive. This is when discussions about work, money, sex, spirituality, family schedule, etc. happen BEFORE there are any issues. This zone of communication foresees possible issues and discusses them before they happen so you are constantly ahead of any changes or curveballs. This is where most couples want to live, but few actually know how to get here. To live in the proactive communication zone, you must have a combination of good communication habits and consistency to your communication.

Danger: You become lazy and complacent and end up falling back into Zone #2

Because proactive communication requires a combo of habits and consistency, if those things slip, you can slip right back into Zone #2. If you find yourself in this zone, WELL DONE! It’s not easy to get or stay here, so way to go! Also, be aware of how easy it is to slip out of this zone. Stay consistent with what got you here.

Zone #2 - Reactive Communication

Lack of consistent communication and not having a good communication foundation will land a couple here in Zone #2. Not having a healthy rhythm of communication will cause important things and small things to go undiscussed, which will lead to expectations not being met, and details falling through the cracks. These things will force you into communicating now because you weren’t proactive. This zone always involves more emotions and frustration when communicating, which can very easily lead to Zone #3 communication.

Danger: You are always behind the 8-ball, never feel a sense of peace, AND reactive communication is always the breeding grounds for radioactive communication.

When living in Zone #2 you’ll always feel a sense of unspoken tension, and it really, really sucks. You’ll live knowing that you and your spouse need to talk about some things, but never do it and instead, you hop on Facebook or Instagram and spend time there instead of communicating with your spouse. This will always cause the emotional temperature of your marriage to rise and will eventually lead to a blow-up… also known as Zone #3.

Zone #3 - Radioactive Communication

Fights. Huge disagreements. Blowups. These are all indicators of Zone #3 communication. This is the zone of communication that is the result of living in Zone #2 for too long. Radioactive communication will typically land a couple going to bed angry, silent treatment, sleeping on the couch, or who knows what else! Bottom line is this: if you EVER GET HERE you need some guidance. Not because you are a bad person, but because landing here is a clear indicator that you don’t have a communication foundation. And guess what?!?! MOST PEOPLE DON’T! YOU AREN’T ALONE! So many marriages live here and have radioactive communication all the time, but they just sweep it under the rug and never ask for help.

Danger: All you do is freaking fight and you will start to feel like the only way to make this whole thing better is to get a divorce.

When you live in the area of radioactive communication it will feel like all you do is fight and that your marriage can’t seem to get positive traction anywhere! This will start to make you think that you married the wrong person, that divorce is what needs to happen, or that your marriage will just always be this way. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. You didn’t marry the wrong person and you don’t need a divorce. You need some help, you need a guide, you need someone who cares enough to help you and encourage you and show you a better way.

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We developed The Communication Starter Kit to give you and your spouse practical strategies that you can implement immediately so you can start communicating and connecting better right away! This starter kit isn't filled with fluff, because we know you don't have time for that! You want to see change now! So we left out all the "filler" and just gave you the good stuff!

Alright, enough talking already! Put your name and email in below so we can send you the communication starter kit to your email right now!

1 Powerful Thing To Do When Encouraging Your Husband Doesn't Work

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Has your husband ever been discouraged? Of course he has! Let’s be honest for a second. Few things leave us wives feeling more helpless than when we can’t find the words to encourage our husbands with when they are feeling discouraged. Or what about when you DO have the words, but the encouragement doesn’t work? Both parties are discouraged and nothing changes; attitudes and outlooks don’t get any better. What do we do then? How do we encourage our husbands when we can’t find the words or when our attempt at encouraging him doesn’t work?

Stop using your own words and use God’s Word!

Sounds so simple, right? How could reading little chunks of scripture to your husband possibly help? Let me tell you from experience, friend, it can encourage him, teach him, inspire him, and change him in ways our own words never can. Here’s why:

1. God’s Word is sharper than any two-edged sword.

Hebrews 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

When you encourage your husband with God’s Word it doesn’t just go into his head, it pierces down into his heart, soul, and spirit. We can’t forget that, often times, when we see discouragement on the outside, it can be a spiritual battle on the inside that neither of you may know is even taking place. This is one of the reasons encouraging with scripture is so powerful: it encourages your husband on multiple levels.

2. God’s Word will ALWAYS accomplish what it is supposed to.

Have you ever tried to encourage your husband and it feels like it goes in one ear and out the other? You try so hard to say something that will lift his spirit and encourage his heart, but it seems like it flies right over his head! This is absolutely impossible with God’s Word. Isaiah 55:11 says “...so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” When you encourage your husband using God’s Word, you can be sure that it WILL ACCOMPLISH something in his heart, mind, soul, and spirit. This is a promise!

3. You will always reap what you sow.

Every single time you encourage your husband, you are planting seeds. Seeds for a future harvest. In the moment, we want to see that seed immediately produce a harvest of encouragement in our husbands. Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” When you sow scripture into your husbands, it’s setting him up for a future harvest that has MUCH MORE than just temporary encouragement.

I want to encourage any of you ladies who have been doing this already and have yet to see a change in your man. Keep going. Don’t give up. Remember, God’s Word will not return void and will always accomplish what it is set out to do. Just because you haven’t seen it working yet doesn't mean it’s not doing something.

So what scriptures are you supposed to encourage your husband with in different situations? I’ve created a free download called “44 Encouraging Verses For Your Husband”. In this free download, I’ve separated verses out into different categories so you’ll have a scripture for just about any situation. I’ll be updating this list periodically, so when I add more verses or categories for encouragement in the future, I’ll be sure to let you know. To get the download, just put your info in below so I know where to send it!

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10 Dates Under $10 FREE e-book

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The #1 issue we have had in the past with keeping a consistent date night wasn't the desire to have a date but the moo'la to actually go on the date. Sound familiar? Problem solved. Here is a new e-book from us that we'd like to give you to solve that problem. These are ALL dates that we have done ourselves and we know you will love them! Go on a date AND save money? Yeah. It's totally possible. You can get your copy by putting your email in below so we know where to send it! 

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20 Encouraging Texts To Send Your Wife

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Guys. Let's get real for a second. We’ve all seen those days where our wives are overwhelmed and downright discouraged. For me, there’s nothing more discouraging than knowing my wife is discouraged! But what can we do? Sometimes I've felt helpless not knowing what to do. What is something practical we can do in moments like these to encourage our wives???

Send a text! It's simple. It's easy. It's free. And it works!!!

I’ve used almost all of these, over the years to encourage my wife either in a text, an email, over the phone or to her face. It’s crazy what a short text message can do!

Remember, you know your wife best! You can add to or change up these texts. The most important part is that your wife feels loved, believed in, and encouraged!

-Cody

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3 Proven Ways To Avoid Miscommunication When Life Gets Busy

Here’s a really bad idea: Kiss your wife goodbye and move to another state leaving her with your 3 boys, 5-day old baby girl, and with the responsibility of getting the house and ready to move to a new home. Oh, did I mention that I did this? Well, I did, and go figure, IT WENT GREAT! No, really, it did! Sure there were a few moments where the stress and emotions weighed on us, but our marriage and family thrived through the whole thing.

How we did this is no secret. Here are three super practical ways we avoid miscommunication when life is a tad busy.

1. We Set Our Vision

Heading into the time where we knew we would be apart, have a new baby, a new job, and be preparing to move, we had to set our big vision. In short, we had to remember our ‘why’. The truth is that when you have a big enough ‘why’ you can endure pretty much any ‘what’. Our ‘why’ was huge! We were moving not just into a new home in a new state, but into a new season of life! A season of life we were super excited about! Because we set our vision for this season, and remembered our ‘why’, little things that may have thrown others off track were merely blips on the radar for us because we had bigger fish to fry. When you go through life with no big vision, no purpose, and no compelling ‘why’, everything becomes a big deal. When life gets busy, have a compelling vision and hold onto your ‘why’ for that season.

2. We “Focused On The Few”

After we set our vision and chose to hold onto our ‘why’, we had to set a small list of non-negotiables that would help us get through this period of time. A list of just a few simple things that would help keep us emotionally intact while we navigate this time. Our list wasn’t anything crazy. We included things like nightly FaceTime calls as a family, morning picture text messages, messaging through the day, and daily time with friends to stay encouraged so we didn’t begin to feel alone or isolated. These few things, when put into practice every day, made a huge difference and can do the same for you! Make sure that the list is small and meets both you and your spouse's needs.

3. We Over-Communicated Like Crazy

We hashed over our plan multiple times, ran multiple scenarios, and at the end of it all we communicated it over and over again. Over-communicating is important because what is communicated isn’t always what’s heard. You say one thing and your spouse hears something completely different. This is common, so don’t feel like you are alone if this happens to you. This kind of communication breakdown happens because what’s being communicated isn’t communicated clearly enough and often enough. The fix? Talk more! Communicate more! Communicate your plan, and then do it again and again.

The Truth About Fighting With Your Spouse

*Disclaimer*

This article is a punch in the stomach. This article will likely not just touch a couple sore spots, it will dig into them making you feel uncomfortable. This article could cause you to not like us, and that’s ok. We aren’t called to be
liked, we are called to walk in love and speak truth. That’s what this article is. We love you too much to turn a blind eye to something that may be in your marriage that’s absolutely destroying you. What you are about to read may not feel loving, but it is. The good news is that if you currently struggle with this, there is a different way made available to you through Jesus, His Word, and the Holy Spirit.

After almost 8 years of marriage, we have never had a single fight. Ever.

Yeah. I know. Sounds like a huge lie, right? It’s not. Through 4 babies, starting businesses, closing businesses, buying a home, losing a home, buying cars, getting those cars repossessed, and having some incredibly low financial moments in our marriage, we have yet to ever have a fight.

Still sound weird? You aren’t alone. It’s weird to us, too.

As a matter of fact, we thought for awhile that maybe we were missing something because every marriage or couples’ conference, seminar, or retreat we go to people say fighting is normal. We’ve even heard that occasional fighting and conflict in a marriage is good and healthy. So what is our marriage? Unhealthy? Unreal? Are we missing something detrimental because we’ve never had a fight? Is our marriage doomed? These are actual things I thought early on until one day I realized something.

Fighting with your spouse may be common, but it is in no way normal.

Heated arguments. Discussions that use anything other than a gentle loving tone. Verbal quarrels. I just can’t find in scripture where it says this kind of behavior is ok. Being in constant conflict with your spouse may be common, but it is in no form or fashion biblical. Truth be told, fighting, although common is an indicator of deeper issues that are going on in your marriage.

Simply put, fighting is the fruit of deep dysfunction that shouldn’t be ignored.

How does scripture instruct a husband to interact with his wife? The bible tells husbands to live with their wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7) and to not be harsh with their wives (Colossians 3:19).

It’s time we expose something that is common in marriage, but not normal or how a healthy biblical marriage should operate. Here are a few things fighting reveals about you and your marriage.

1. It Shows a Selfish Heart

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”  James 4:1 ESV

“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.” James 3:16 ESV

We are naturally selfish. Just watch children, and it won't take long until you see them act incredibly selfish. The funny thing is that no parent ever has to teach their child how to be selfish, it comes naturally. A selfish heart says, “I want what I want, how I want it, and when I want it!” When something falls inside of those selfish parameters, that’s when fights, disagreements, debates, and bad attitudes happen.

Every fight, disagreement, heated debate, or “passionate discussion” finds it roots in some form of selfishness. Take a look back at the last few fights you’ve had with your spouse. If you trace it back far enough and are honest enough with yourself, you’ll find a root of selfishness somewhere in either you or your spouse.

2. It Shows Poor Communication Skills (You aren’t alone in this)

You know the feeling. You or your spouse are trying to communicate something or how you feel, and then you begin to feel tensions rise, attitudes flare, the tone of voice shift, and the conversation begin to go somewhere you don’t want it to go. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Here’s the simple answer. These things happen because you haven’t learned to communicate well. I know, that probably hurt a little, but it’s true so let’s turn the light on in the room and call it like it is. Millions of couples suffer from this lack of ability to communicate well about things that really matter to them. One of the biggest life skills that aren't taught in school is how to communicate well with other people. It’s a tragedy. Don’t worry though, you aren’t the only one!

This July at On Purpose Marriage we are launching our first On Purpose Marriage Immersion. It's a quarterly 4-week online class for married couples who want to learn how to have a better marriage by improving their foundation. Each Immersion includes weekly video lessons, weekly Q&A time, a workbook for you and your spouse, as well as recommended reading to take what you learn to the next level. You can find out more about this upcoming Immersion class by CLICKING HERE

The bottom line when it comes to communication is this: the better you get at communicating with your spouse, the more you'll experience fewer misunderstandings, not as many arguments, and fewer fights.

3. It Shows That You Are Walking In The Flesh

“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:19-23 ESV

Let me start by saying that you have the power to choose to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. I get it, at times you feel overwhelmed and like you don’t have the choice, but you do. You are not a victim, you have the Holy Spirit living in you and are empowered to walk in the Spirit and say no to walking in the flesh. You will reap the fruit of which one you choose to walk in, period. You want strife, anger, division, and enmity in your marriage? Just continue to choose to walk in the flesh. You want love, joy, and peace in your marriage? Choose to walk in the Spirit.

In closing, there is a better way. A better way to live with, communicate with and love your spouse. A way that doesn’t involve bickering, fighting, disagreeing, and jabbing at one another. This change can’t and won’t happen overnight, but change can and will occur one day at a time as you refuse to believe that you and your spouse have to live this way, as you walk in the Spirit, and as you are brutally honest with yourself. Your best days are still ahead of you, friend.

Strip Club Temptation: My Wife's Response

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I hadn’t had sex in three weeks. I was physically tired from a hard week of workouts, mentally exhausted from a week of orientation and training at a new job, and emotionally drained from moving to a new state and not seeing my family in a week. In short, I was primed and in the perfect condition for the enemy to attack me. As I was patiently driving to the local Five Guys to grab my cheat meal burger and fries, I looked to the side of the street and saw a sign for a strip club. I didn’t think anything of it at first, but that all changed quickly. As I sat down after ordering my meal, I felt tempted in a way that I’ve never experienced. Thoughts started racing through my mind like, “You deserve this!”, “You need this!”, “No one will ever know!”, “This can’t hurt anyone!”, and “Your wife doesn’t have to know”.

I knew this was the enemy trying to capitalize on my physical, mental, and emotional weakness so without hesitation I texted a couple of my friends for prayer because all things considered, I knew this was gonna be a fight that I couldn’t fight by myself. In that moment I knew I had the choice to indulge my flesh and sin, or walk in the spirit, honor my wife and family, and leave.

I left. As a matter of fact, I drove away from that place as fast as my ‘97 Chevy Metro could take me. In that moment of temptation, I won. I still had another choice to make, I still had another battle to win. Do I tell Stefani, my wife, what just happened? Do I tell her that I was just literally tempted to visit a strip club?

In that moment I felt something I’d never felt before, shame for being tempted. I had not sinned, as a matter of fact, I had fought in that moment and walked in the spirit in a very powerful way. However, I was still feeling a sense of shame for simply being tempted, not sinning, but just being tempted. I had a choice to make, allow the shame to turn into hiding or to walk in humble transparency and oneness with my wife. So, I told her.

As I text her what had just happened, there was no immediate response. I thought for sure she was upset, let down, and possibly hurt.

The text that came next was a game changer. Here is the actual text.

Wives, there is an incredible lesson to learn from my wife's response. How you choose to respond in the moment of your husband's weakness will either give him the fuel to be open and honest with you or the excuse to always run and hide. If you choose to shame your husband in moments of weakness he will turn to other things in the future.

In this moment I knew that my wife wouldn't just celebrate with me in my victories, but she would also stand with me in my struggles and in my moments of weakness and temptation. To say this was liberating would be an understatement.

I’ll end with a series of questions for but husbands and wives that you should answer for yourselves.

Husbands. Do you have men in your life that you can ask for prayer from in moments of temptation?

Wives. Does your husband feel like he can share his moments of weakness and temptation with you? If not, why?

Husbands. Would you have hidden this kind of thing from your wife? If so, why?

Wives. What can you do or say TODAY to help your husband know that sharing things like this with you is safe and will not result in shunning or shaming?


Husbands. Are you fighting a battle with porn, participating in a “flirtationship” with another woman, or living a secret life? It’s time to stop, confess, repent, and begin the process of healing and restoration.

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20 Encouraging Texts You Can Send Your Husband

We’ve all seen those days where our husbands are overwhelmed and down. To me, there’s nothing more discouraging than knowing my man is discouraged! But what do we do? What is something practical we can do, as wives, to encourage and build up our husbands?

Send him a text!

I’ve used almost all of these, over time, to encourage him either in a text, an email, over the phone, or to his face. It’s crazy what a short text message can do to his morale!

Remember, you know your husband best! You can add to or change up these texts. The most important part is that your husband feels loved, believed in, and encouraged!

-Stefani

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How To Create A Successful Marriage With A Minimalist Approach

Do you ever feel like there are more problems or issues to fix in your marriage than you have time to fix or focus on? You aren’t alone. Here’s a quick story to set the stage:

A few years ago we became accidental minimalists. And by that I mean we pretty much lost, or were forced to get rid of, almost everything we owned. Long story short, when we started our first business things didn’t go as planned. We lost our home, got our car repossessed (twice), had to sell our furniture, and got rid of pretty much everything that couldn’t fit into a 5 foot by 5 foot storage unit. At that time, our entire family of 5 moved into one bedroom, yes, one bedroom. Not a one bedroom apartment, just one bedroom. If our stuff didn’t fit in that tiny storage unit, our bedroom, our car, or our dresser, it had to go. The nice part about our “accidental downsizing” was that when it came time to move, it was no sweat!

Fast forward a couple of years when we had started to accumulate some “extra” things. One day, Stefani decided it was time to purge our home. She followed the expert guidance of our friend, Allie Casazza, the decluttering queen, to simplify things.

(Quick side note: If you feel overwhelmed with cleaning, constantly living in a mess, or always needing to organize clutter, YOU NEED to check out what Allie has to offer! You can visit her website by clicking here.)

Now… let’s get back to what we were discussing.

After Stefani decluttered our home, the difference was obvious! There was less time spent cleaning and organizing, and more time to spend on things that actually mattered to us. In short, minimalism helped us remove anything and everything that was not necessary so we could focus on what was. When we were able to only focus on what was necessary and what truly mattered to us, it brought great freedom and clarity.

Our marriages need decluttering.

Life gets so busy. We end up moving a million miles an hour, never feeling truly connected or like we are making any actual progress with fixing what needs to be fixed in our marriage. We have a solution for you! We want to give you three pillars to focus on. Could you do more than these three things to improve your marriage? You sure could. But you don’t need more to focus on, you need less. You don’t need a list of 5 or 10 things to remember to do to intentionally craft an amazing marriage. Focus on these three minimal things, and go from there. Here they are:

The 20 Minute Rule (Daily)

Spend 20 minutes a day talking. No phones. No computers. No TV. No distractions.

Just talk. This time doesn’t need to be about anything specific, just talk. Isn’t it amazing how when you were dating your spouse you could talk for hours, but now for some reason you can easily just look at each other with a blank stare wondering what to talk about? It’s because you stopped practicing the art of just talking. It’s time to begin again. On the couch, in bed, while driving, while cooking, it doesn’t matter. Talk about your day, your struggles, or what the Lord is teaching you. This time should also include praying together. Nothing fancy. Just talk together and then pray together.

Date Night (Weekly)

Connect with your spouse on a weekly basis with a date night. Look, we’ve heard every excuse in the book why this “isn’t practical” or why “you can’t do this” or “what about childcare”. We’ve also seen the incredible fruit in our marriage and in other marriages when people have a weekly date night. If you need cheap date night ideas you can download our free 10 Dates For Under $10 PDF right here. The bottom line is that dating your spouse keeps things fun, fresh, and exciting. Every single marriage will benefit from having a consistent date night.

The Big 2 (Twice a month)

The Big 2 are two questions we think every couple should be asking at least a couple times a month. We think these questions are so important that we included asking them as a challenge in our books, which, you can order by clicking here. So, what are the infamous big two questions? I’m glad you asked. First, ask your spouse, “How am I doing as your husband/wife?” Don’t get defensive, don’t start making excuses, just listen. Allow your spouse to be honest, and accept whatever they say. Second, ask your spouse, “What can I do better?” Again, just listen, and even take notes if you want to. This is difficult, no doubt about it, BUT if you listen and allow your spouse to be honest, you will receive much needed feedback about what you can practically do to love and serve your spouse better.

So there you go! The three minimal pillars that you can pursue to create an amazing marriage. Will these solve everything? Nope. Do they have the potential to create more intimacy, open communication, and set the stage for a better future? Yup. Now the ball is in your court. Time to DO IT! We believe in you.

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VLOG 001 - "The Adventure Wheel"

We LOVE going on adventures as a family. Last year we made something that made our adventures a whole lot more adventurous, we call it the Adventure Wheel. Watch the video below to see how we use it and what we did on our adventure.

We also wanted to make the Adventure Wheel available to you for FREE! Enter your email in below and we will send you the Adventure Wheel PDF so you can print it out and start having your own adventures with your spouse and/or your family! ENJOY!

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How To Instill More Confidence & Courage Into Your Husband

“Hearing that our wives believe in us, increases our self-belief and gives us more confidence to be the best man we can be.” -Craig Groeschel

As wives, you possess one of the the most powerful and potent tools for shaping your husband. This tool costs nothing to use, but can cost you everything if you steward it poorly. This tool I’m talking about is your words. I’ve watched timid men become confident because of how their wives spoke to and about them. Sadly, I’ve also watched men who were once confident become timid and downright cowardly after being repeatedly beaten by their wives hurtful words. The truth is that your words will either build him up or break him down. It’s not a matter of if your words are powerful, it’s a matter of how you will steward that power to instill confidence and courage into your husband.

“From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.” James 3:10

James captures, very simply, the truth of the matter when it comes to how we speak to our spouse. One moment we can be blessing them and speaking life into them, and just moments later we can find ourselves doing the complete opposite. Just as James says, this ought not to be so. So then, why does this happen? I’m convinced that most wives haven’t learned what to tell their man that will make him more confident, so they don’t. Then because he hasn’t had any life, courage, or confidence instilled in him, he lives in a way that is less courageous and confident than his wife would hope for, thus, leading to a vicious cycle. So here are some ways that you can instill more courage and confidence into your husband.

His ability to make decisions

A man who isn’t confident in his decision making will eventually fail as the leader of his home. As a wife, if you are constantly nit-picking or complaining about the decisions your husband is making for your family, he will inevitably relinquish all decision making responsibility to you and turn into an emotional couch potato. Tell your husband that you believe in him! Tell him that you believe that he possesses the capacity to make great decisions! When he asks you where you want to go for dinner, and you say you don’t care, then as soon as he recommends a place, don’t roll your eyes and second guess him. When he makes other decisions tell him, “ I think that’s a great decision!”.

What if he isn’t a good decision maker?

Ok ladies. A little football talk. Any great quarterback is known for his ability to read the field and make a good decision on what to do. Are all great quarterbacks great at this when they start? Absolutely not! They get better at it over time, they get better snap after snap, they get better by making decisions over and over again. Can you imagine if a quarterback makes a change to a play on the field (that’s called an audible) and then his team mates start yelling back at him, “No that’s stupid, it’s not gonna work!” That would be absolutely insane! He would stop making decisions because his team obviously doesn’t have his back.

Your husband is no different than a quarterback in this regard. The way he is going to get better at decision making is to keep making them. Yes, some of his choices might lead to dropped passes, fumbles, and interceptions, but let him learn! Be his supportive teammate who has his back when things go right and when things go wrong. Eventually, he will become a great quarterback for your team.

His ability and role as a provider

Finances are without a doubt the number one stressor in marital relationships. Additionally, most men take the role of providing for their family incredibly seriously. This is why when money gets tight, or bills go unpaid, or vacations have to be put off due to not having money, men take it personally. Let me give you a little inside information here ladies. Everything that you say you wish you had, every pinterest board that you have for your dream home, every trip that you wish you could take, every accessory or piece of clothing you with you could have in your wardrobe, your husband wishes he could give you. When he can’t, he begins to feel like a failure. Although this feeling starts small, overtime it can grow and grow. Everytime you talk together about finances, and discuss everything you DON’T have, he is secretly insulted.

Instead of flashing Pinterest boards in front of his eyes, talking about the home you wish you had, and talking about what you don’t have, choose instead to be vocal about everything you DO HAVE and how incredibly thankful you are for it. When you do this you are showing your husband how he has won as a provider, and this makes him confident, and ultimately makes him a better one.

His role as the spiritual leader of your home

If there is one area where every husband I’ve spoken with feels he is lacking, and needing to step his game up in, it’s being the spiritual leader of his home. Most men feel like they are constantly “behind the 8-ball” and ill-equipped as the spiritual leader, and with good reason. Pre-marital counseling rarely does a good job of teaching a man how to do this, there aren’t any college classes for this topic, and because most men don’t know how to do this well, it gives men few places to go to learn how. So how in the world can you instill confidence in your husband in this role? First and foremost, pray for him. Pray that he would be a man of the Word and of prayer. Pray that the Holy Spirit speaks to him. Pray. Pray. Pray.

Beyond prayer, positive reinforcement can bolster your husband's confidence in this area. When you see him reading his Bible, tell him that you love seeing him in the Word. When there is an opportunity to pray, after he has prayed, tell him that you love hearing him pray. You get the point on this one. Show your husband honor and admiration for what HE IS DOING, and it will inspire him onto new things as well.

I hope that this got your wheels turning. For men, winning is inspiring. When we feel like we are winning, we want to keep winning. When we feel like we are losing, we aren’t often inspired to get up and try again and again. This is why your role as a wife, your husband’s encourager, is so vital! Make him feel like he is winning. Even if those wins are small, make a huge deal out of them. Day by day, just watch the man he becomes.

WE HAVE A FREE GIFT FOR YOU!

"20 Encouraging Texts You Can Send Your Husband"

4 Simple and Biblical Reasons to Enjoy Date Nights

Our first “real date” wasn’t until our honeymoon. Yeah. Kinda weird, right? Here’s a cliff-notes version of our “dating relationship” so you have some context.

When my mentor, Jon, found out that I had feelings for Stefani, he called us both into his office and laid out some pretty simple guidelines. We had to either let our desire for dating one another take a back seat for 3 months, and literally not talk to each other or have any interactions beyond what was required for work (yeah, we actually worked together for a brief time as well…), or if we wanted to start dating right away, one of us had to go get a job somewhere else. Since both of us valued our jobs we chose the “3 months of no talking” option. Needless to say, it was rough.

After the 3 months was done, I still had to ask her parents for permission to date her before we could actually start. A couple weeks later I found myself at a local coffee shop sitting in front of her parents, I wasn’t even that nervous because, in my mind, this was “in the bag.” I mean, what kind of parents wouldn’t let a nice guy date their daughter, especially after taking them out to coffee and asking for permission right? Well… Apparently her parents. I was kindly and quickly met with a flat out “no” response.

Fast forward 2 months to Cinco De Mayo 2008. I find myself in that same coffee shop with Stefani’s parents, only this time Stefani is there with us. We expressed our desire to begin dating each other and told them all the reasons we thought it was a good idea. After many questions, and dialogue, we were told that we could begin courting. My first thought was, “I didn’t ask to play basketball with her! I want to date her!” Shortly after, her parents explained what this courting relationship was going to look like; it would be on their terms. One important piece of our courting relationship was no one-on-one dates. For a guy who grew up dating girls pretty much whenever and however I wanted, this was definitely something new. For the next 13 months and 2 days until our wedding day, dates consisted of me coming over to Stefani’s house and working on the weekends outside with her dad. It started with chopping wood and mowing lawns on the weekends, and then progressed into being allowed to come over on week nights for dinner and a movie or show. Our first date night was coming home after our wedding, which, wasn’t all that bad (winkwink).

Shortly after getting married we received one of the best pieces of marriage advice we’ve ever been told: “Never stop dating each other.”

At first, it’s a no brainer; every night is like a date night. Start throwing kids and other responsibilities into the mix, and date nights can quickly come to be viewed as a rare luxury as opposed to a consistent necessity. Over the years we have learned not just the practical reasons why date nights are important, but also the biblical reasons date nights are important. Here they are:

 

1. Your heart follows your treasure

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

One of the biggest excuses we hear when we tell people we still love having date nights, or that they should consider having them, is that they are “too expensive” or that they “don’t have money to do that.” First off, if that’s you, we get it, finances are a real thing. So here are 10 date night ideas for under $10. Also, scripture is super clear about the fact that where your treasure goes is where where heart goes. If you want your heart to be more connected with your spouse, intentionally spend some of your treasure (money) on something that will cause that to happen! No rocket science here, friends. Date nights will knit your hearts together in more ways than you’ll ever know.

 

2. You’ll always reap what you sow

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Galatians 6:7

If you want to change what you are reaping, change what you are sowing. Too many people want to reap the rewards and benefits of a great marriage without ever sowing what’s required to get it. Date nights are intentionally sowing into your marriage. Again, no rocket science here.

 

3. Wise use of time

“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15,16

It’s no secret that we live in a culture that doesn’t value marriage anymore. Sadly, many couples actually consider divorce as a viable option and way out of a marriage that isn’t serving their needs, wants, or desires. Scripture instructs us that in the evil times we live in we must walk wisely, making the best use of our time. Date nights, without question, are a wise use of time.

 

4. You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow

“Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” James 4:13,14

The stories I hear that absolutely break my heart are the ones of a spouse dying far earlier than anyone had expected, leaving a wife and kids behind. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, friends. We aren’t guaranteed our next breath. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m simply reminding you of something we all know, and far too few of us give any thought to. Life is fragile. Our days are numbered. As scripture puts it, our lives are but a mist that appears for a time and then vanishes. If you currently don’t have a consistent date night, don’t wait, start now. Set a time for your next date with your spouse today! Invest while you can. Our lives are but a vapor, so let’s make the most of what we have together with our spouse!

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It's In The Whispers: The Simple Way God Speaks

We all want to hear God speak to us. We want to hear Him speak to us about who we are, our calling, our marriage, and our family. Sadly, too many of us suffer because we feel that we can’t hear God, or feel like He’s silent and distant. We’ve all been there, none of us are alone. When we aren’t hearing God speak to us about the things that matter most to us, it can leave us feeling abandoned and wandering aimlessly through life.

What if God hasn’t been silent? What if we’ve just been listening for the wrong thing? What if we’ve been looking for God to speak in one way, but He’s trying to speak to us in a completely different way?

 

“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”

1 Kings 19:11,12

 

Often, we are looking for God to speak in earth shattering ways. We want Him to speak and appear to us like He did to Moses, in a burning bush. We want Him to speak to us in a way that is dramatic, and could possibly make for a good story, however, God isn’t always into theatrics; He loves to whisper.

I’m convinced that most of us love to dismiss the whispers of God because most of the time it’s way too simple and way too personal.

When I have an attitude, or respond sharply to my wife, I immediately hear the Lord whisper, “Stop and repent. That was not ok.” I want to dismiss the whisper because would God really speak that quickly, simply and that poignantly to something I just did? Yes. Yes, He would. I’d be willing to bet that we’ve been hearing these whispers for years, and we’ve either been ignoring them or dismissing them as “random thoughts.”

Husbands. Has God been whispering to you about what you watch, your attitude, you tone of voice when talking to your wife, or your attitude when you come home from work?

Wives. Has God been whispering to you about loving your husband when he seems unlovable? Has God been whispering to you about letting go of bitterness and resentment?

Listen to the whispers.

Be obedient to the whispers.

A whisper can change your world.

So if you’ve been searching for God’s voice in a massive earthquake, fire, or windstorm, slow down and wait for the whisper. Chances are the Lord has been speaking to you all along.

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That Time I Told My Pregnant Wife To Adjust Her Attitude - Learning To Lead

The sound of the alarm broke the silence of the early morning; our typical 6am wake up call had arrived. We both slowly made it into the kitchen to make our french press, and I could clearly tell that Stefani didn’t want to be up. She had gotten up multiple times with our boys that night, and being 7 months pregnant wasn’t helping how she was feeling in the moment either. We sat there on the couch together, reading the Word, when we were greeted by our three boys thirty minutes before their normal wake up time. I could tell that my wife’s emotions were already beginning to get the best of her, and if I didn’t do something it would affect her whole day.

But how do you tell a tired, pregnant momma of three young boys to adjust her attitude? Like the leader of my home that I am. Tenderly, caring, and with compassion, but still as the leader of my home.

Here’s the deal, husbands. As the leaders of the home, we are responsible for the culture and atmosphere of our home. When we don’t set it, protect it, and adjust it when needed, we are not leading. We are being passive.

To breach the topic with my wife as we sat there on the couch, sipping our coffee, I looked over at her and said,

“Today, it would be easy to be upset that you’re tired. Today, it would be easy to walk in the flesh. Today, it would be easy to be led by your emotions and not by the Spirit of God. But that would be doing what’s easy, and we are better than that. Today, you have the ability to choose if you are going to walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. Today, you have the choice to be thankful, or find every little thing that isn’t going your way. I love you. I also want to encourage you to walk in the Spirit today and have a great day.”

You know how she responded? GREAT! As a matter of fact, she thanked me for not allowing her to wallow in her emotions in that moment, and realized that she had a choice. She and the boys had a great day; something that, if I had not chosen to step out as the leader of my home, probably wouldn’t have happened.

Husbands. Do you struggle with leading your wife? You aren’t alone. In the coming months I (Cody) will be writing some focused blogs specifically for husbands, and leading in the home. Depending on where you are starting from, the process can be a bit painful and uncomfortable, but absolutely worth it! So stay tuned.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 16

Proverbs 16

There she was. The unassuming Starbucks barista who was helping a customer purchase a new espresso machine. The customer wanted to pay for the machine with his Starbucks card to get “the points”. The only problem was that the Starbucks card he was trying to use wasn’t working. Naturally, he started to get upset. What happened next, however, was the completely inappropriate part. He started making snide remarks toward the Starbucks employee, got snippy with his wife, and began to let his emotions escalate to ridiculous levels, considering the matter at hand was simply purchasing a coffee maker. The man ended up getting so upset that he grabbed his wife, left his coffee and the new coffee maker, and stormed out of the store leaving the employee embarrassed. If he treats complete strangers this way, we can only imagine how he might treat his wife and family who he feels much more “comfortable” around.

 

“Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32

 

When it comes to getting angry, and allowing our flesh and emotions to lead us rather than the Spirit, there is not one husband or wife that can be found not guilty. Every single person falls short here, ourselves included. The problem comes, however, when we dismiss these ways of acting as “normal” and excuse this behavior due to the situation that caused them. Proverbs 16 clearly tells us that being slow to anger and ruling our spirit puts us in a better position than a mighty warrior that can overtake and conqueror a city. Think about that for a moment. Conquering your spirit and emotions makes you mightier than a person that can conquer a city. So… How are you doing in this area of letting your emotions dictate your behavior? How are you doing with allowing your flesh to rise up in anger for various reason?

 

Actions Steps

By yourself, or together with your spouse, identify the top 3 causes or situations that typically make you the most angry, or stoke the fires of very damaging emotions. After you have identified these areas, discuss with your spouse how you can each begin to hold eachother accountable and to a higher standard. Maybe it’s a word, phrase, or encouragement that you can say to eachother in these moments to snap each other out of walking in the flesh and into walking in the Spirit. Whatever the case may be, let’s use this encouragement and wisdom from Proverbs 16 to cause us to live more intentionally in the Spirit.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 11

Proverbs 11

We don’t own horses, but we really enjoy them. Whenever we have the opportunity to saddle up and ride them, we jump at the opportunity. Not owning horses ourselves, we are fortunate enough to have friends who do, who are extremely generous with letting us enjoy them as well. Few things are as amazing as the smile on our kiddos' faces from the excitement of being on the back of a horse, reins in hand, feeling like they are the ones in control even though they really aren’t. We aren’t foolish enough to let our little boys just hop up onto animals they don’t spend much time around to just “have fun”. Every time they are riding there is always someone in front, guiding the horse with a rope. Our boys can get so excited holding the reins that they start to pull too hard on one side causing the horse to go the wrong direction. However, it’s all ok because the person in front can course correct them with the rope that’s attached. This keeps the horse from taking off in the wrong direction and possibly causing harm to both the horse and whoever is riding!

 Judah (5) is all smiles when he gets to take a ride with the "hors-ees" as he calls them.

Judah (5) is all smiles when he gets to take a ride with the "hors-ees" as he calls them.

 Elijah (6) loves horses, but REALLY wants a pet turkey... Go figure...

Elijah (6) loves horses, but REALLY wants a pet turkey... Go figure...

 

“Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

 

The word “guidance” in the original language means direction, good advice, or guidance, and implies a type of guidance similar to that of a horse being steered by a rope. So without the guidance, direction, or steering of counselors in our lives and marriages there is the potential to fall. Conversely, scripture shows us that where there is an abundance of counselors we can walk in safety because we are constantly being steered in the right direction. So then we must ask the question: Do we have people in our lives that act as wise counsel and help guide us in our marriage? Just like when our kids are riding horses, there is always the potential for getting off track and eventually harm coming because we never course corrected.

Action Steps

Together with your spouse, identify those people in your life that you deem trusted counselors or advisors. Then ask yourselves if you have been either avoiding them, or simply not taking the time to invest in those relationships. Next, together decide how you are going to make those trusted counselors or advisors a consistent part of your lives and marriage to keep you on track. Additionally, if you don’t have these types of people in your life, it’s time to find them. Discuss the importance of having counselors and advisors, and then find a couple or two, who you would like to pursue, to fill this role in your life and marriage.

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Has God Given Up On You?

The last couple of weeks Cody and I have been getting up around 5:45 each morning to spend time reading the Word together, and then discussing the things which the Lord has revealed to us. In the beginning this was a big challenge for me because I’m a girl who loves her sleep. However, our kids are early risers so it was/is necessary for us to wake up early enough to spend quality time with Jesus and each other before our mornings get 70x louder!

It’s been pretty special, experiencing the Lord bless our time together while diligently seeking Him. We’ve had some amazing revelations, challenging conversations, and indispensable quality time. All before 7am, and kid-free, mind you!

I want to share with you one of the things the Lord revealed to me this week.  Coincidently enough, it can be applied to us individually and in our marriages. In Isaiah 55 there’s a very well-known verse that says this:

“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;

It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

God’s Word never returns to Him void. I’ve heard this verse a hundred times, and for the most part I understood it. But I read it again this week, and the Lord spoke something fresh to my heart. Let’s look at the chunk of scripture surrounding it to get the full context, but in a different version:

 

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven

and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth;

it shall not return to Me empty,

but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,

and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11 (ESV)

 

The Lord has made certain promises to me concerning me individually, my family, and my marriage, and I know that He doesn’t go back on His word, and that He keeps and will keep those promises He’s made to me. There have been times, however, more often than not, that certain promises tend to take their dear sweet time in coming to fruition. I won’t lie and say I’ve never questioned nor began to doubt God in those seasons, because I have. I have a tendency to get impatient and want things in my own timing rather than trust the Lord has a plan.

In verse 8 of Isaiah 55 it says the rain and snow come down to water the earth, which then leads to the forming of buds and sprouts, which then leads to seeds for sowing and bread for eating. God compares that picture analogy to His word. It goes out from His mouth, accomplishes what He purposed it to, and is successful. However, there is quite a process, and multiple seasons that come and go, that needs to happen between raining and eating the bread. It’s in those times that the Lord works on us and prepares us for the things He has for us.

The coolest part? When God says His word does not return to Him empty (void or fruitless), and it will accomplish what He purposes it to do, He’s making a promise! He promises to come through on His promises. We just have to trust His process and His timing.

 

Has the Lord promised you something that you’ve yet to see come to completion?

 

Maybe it’s the promise that your spouse will come to know Jesus.

Maybe it’s the promise that your marriage will not end in divorce.

Maybe it’s the promise that your marriage will be fulfilling.

Maybe it’s the promise that your marriage will be a godly example to those around you.

Maybe it’s the promise that your best days are ahead of you.

 

Whatever the promise may be, continue believing and know that it’s coming! While you are eagerly awaiting the fulfillment of whatever He has promised to you, embrace what the Lord is doing in you, your spouse, and you marriage.


God will never give up on you!

 

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 8

31 DAYS OF WISDOM.png

Proverbs 8

Stef and I recently have started doing something that has produced amazing fruit in our marriage. Now, when we tell you what it is you’ll probably think, “Well, yeah. Of course that would bear great fruit in a marriage”. However, as much as most married couples would admit that this one thing would add so much intimacy to their marriage, we’d be willing to bet that only 10% of couples, at MOST, actually do this:

Daily time in the Word and in prayer TOGETHER.

Every morning we wake up at 6am, make coffee, sit down, read for 20-30min, discuss what the Lord spoke to us, and then we pray together… All before the kids wake up! The difference this has made in how we interact together, parent, and just go about our days is incredible. Now, we must give you a disclaimer: this hasn’t been easy. We started this when Stefani was 7 months pregnant with our fourth child. We don’t wake up full of energy, bouncing off the walls. There were mornings where one of us wanted to stay in bed, but the other brought encouragement because we knew what the discipline would produce in us. Let’s take a look at a couple verses in Proverbs 8 about coming daily before the Lord.

“Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it. Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching DAILY at my gates, waiting besides my doors. For whoever finds me finds life and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 8:33-35

There is something to be said about DAILY coming before the Lord in prayer and in His Word. It’s clear that when we do this, and find the Lord and wisdom, we also find life and favor from the Him.

Action Steps


Evaluate your current daily habits as a couple, and evaluate what kind of fruit they are producing. The habits that aren’t producing fruit, or are producing bad fruit, need to be cut out immediately. Next, create one or two new habits that you can begin implementing TOGETHER as a couple to produce more fruit in your marriage and in your lives.

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My Biggest Struggle As A Husband And How I Fight It

Well here we go. Time to "make an example of myself".

I’m not going to waste anytime with some kind of an intro here or tell you some story that I’ll eventually tie into the narrative of this blog. It’s time to just take a big deep breath and let everyone know my biggest struggle as a husband. The only thing that makes this easy is knowing that there is no way in the world I’m the only guy who isn’t as good at this as we’d like to be.

Consistent intentionality.

Am I the only husband or spouse for that matter that get's caught up with the speed and barrage of life's responsibilities that being intentional about investing and growing my relationship with my wife can become an afterthought? 

I’m consistently intentional with so many things in life but for some reason with the absolute most important relationship in my life it’s easy to push the cruise control button and just hope for the best. I plan and organize my day to make sure I eat what I need to eat, so my car has gas, so I arrive at work on time, so I make it to the gym, and so on and so on. I do all of these other things consistently with an incredible amount of intentionality but when it comes to the relationship that is foundational to my relationship with my children and other people in my life I can easily only make course corrections when we start to feel the effects of not being intentional.

The most recent study shows that currently 40-50% of marriages will end in divorce. Yes. That’s half. Here’s the deal. If you woke up tomorrow morning and heard on the news that you had a 40-50% chance of getting mauled by a bear when you leave your house would you prepare to leave your house a little differently? Would you do everything you could to make sure that you wouldn’t be a mauling victim? Of course you would! For some reason however when we see that statistic as it pertains to our marriages it’s SO EASY to think there’s no way it could happen to me. With such staggering statistics around marriage and the fact that marriage, next to my relationship with Jesus is hands down the most important relationship I will ever have it’s crazy to me that I can be so lazy and unintentional about how I nurture and grow it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a total deadbeat. I've grown leaps and bounds in this area because of these reasons...

1. I surround myself with other husbands who challenge me.

Community isn't a luxury it's a necessity. Husbands and wives alike need others around them that will encourage and challenge you.

2. Daily...yes, daily time in God's word.

The word of God is a lamp to our feet and a guide to our path. Every time we read the word it has the potential to expose something in us that needs to change, mature, or needs to be removed. Spending daily time in the word is like using the bumpers while bowling, when I start to get off track it puts me back in line.

3. I ask my wife how I'm doing and what I can do better.

Yes. I literally ask my wife to basically grade me as a husband and give me areas of improvement. This conversation never gets any easier because I know that she will always have something in mind that I can do better, and it doesn't always feel good hearing those words. At the end of the day I know that hearing the exact things that would make my wife feel more loved and cared for will bear amazing fruit when I do them.

The fight against mediocrity and "just getting by as a husband" is real. Our flesh wants to take the easy route, it wants to take the path of least resistance. But we don't walk in the flesh, we are to walk in the spirit. I want to challenge every husband and wife that's reading this. CHOOSE to walk in the spirit and be intentional about loving your spouse and investing in your marriage, you'll never regret it.

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