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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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 7

Proverbs 7

 

 

Adultery.

Infidelity.

Flirting with someone who is not your spouse.

Inappropriate texts and messages.

Porn.

 

For some reason the very topics that over 50% of all marriages are affected by, in some way, usually get swept under the rug. Scripture, however, holds no punches when it comes to warning against adultery and infidelity. Before we get too far, let’s define a couple things.

 

Infidelity - marital disloyalty, unfaithfulness, or a breach of trust.

Adultery - voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her lawful spouse.

 

Scripture doesn’t just warn us against these kinds of choices and behaviors, but also warns us of how seductive, sly, and sneaky the enemy is in his attempts to lure both husbands and wives into infidelity and adultery. What’s worse is that it has become common for married men and women to flirt with members of the opposite sex while at work, the grocery store, the gym, and even at Starbucks while getting their coffee from their barista. Too many have accepted this behavior, saying it’s no big deal, and excusing it because “they know nothing will ever happen”. Unfortunately, statistics tell us otherwise.

 

Percentage of marriages where one or both spouses admit to infidelity, either physical or emotional - 41%

Percentage of men who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had - 57%
Percentage of women who admit to committing infidelity in any relationship they’ve had - 54%
Percentage of men who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught - 74%
Percentage of women who say they would have an affair if they knew they would never get caught - 68%
Percentage of men and women who admit to infidelity on business trips - 35%
Percentage of men and women who admit to having an affair with a co-worker - 36%

 

Obviously the warning in scripture is warranted. It is wise to protect yourself even if you think “it would never happen to you”.

 

Action Steps


Discuss with your spouse ways that you are going to draw a line in the sand to safeguard yourself and your marriage from infidelity and adultery. Yes, the conversation can be extremely awkward but we promise it’s less awkward and far less painful than the fallout is from making these kinds of choices because you didn’t decide to safeguard yourself.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 6

Proverbs 6

 

Growing up in Southern California had it’s perks: great weather, great beaches, great food, and, did I mention, great weather? I never fully understood just how great the weather was in California until I moved to Washington. When I made the move, I had one jacket. At the end of my first Pacific Northwest winter, I had twelve.

 

As much as the rain really began to wear on me, year after year, the one thing I absolutely loved about the Northwest were the seasonal changes that happened that I never got to experience growing up. The transition from summer to fall is without a doubt my absolute favorite. As the season begins to transition, we replace hats for beanies, shorts for pants, tank tops for flannels, and iced coffee for pumpkin spice lattes. When summer draws to an end and fall comes, we move from running around outside with the kids to snuggling up inside by the fireplace, preparing for the holidays.

 

What always amazes me is when it’s a blustery 30 degrees outside, and we see a group of teenage girls walking outside in miniskirts and boots acting like they are completely fine, but obviously are close to freezing. They are dressing and acting like it’s still summer when it is blatantly clear that it isn’t. They look foolish, and they are obviously extremely uncomfortable.

 

Enter the ant.

 

“Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest.”

 

Seasons matter. Having the ability to notice changes in seasons, and the wisdom to adapt accordingly, can mean the difference between having what you need or not.

We like to think of life’s seasons like a farmer would. Spring is the time for preparation and planting. Summer is the time for nurturing, tending, and long hours of hard work. Fall is the time to harvest all of your hard work from Summer. Lastly, Winter is the time for rest, family, and reflection. It’s so important to know what season you’re in at any given time, because if you aren’t intentional about identifying and living according to the season you are supposed to be in, you’ll walk around like those high school girls in miniskirts, looking and feeling out of place.

 

Action Steps

 

Identify what season you are in as a married couple. Are you working long hours and putting in the work in different areas of life because you are in a summer season? Are you harvesting and enjoying the fruits of your labor? Are you preparing for what's ahead by planting? Or are you resting together from seasons of hard work, and reflecting for what’s ahead? Whatever the case may be, take some time to pray together and identify what season you are in. Lastly, identify areas where you may be living “out of season”, and come up with ways to course correct. You’ll be glad you did.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 4

Read Proverbs 5

“I told you so.”

These are words that no one likes to hear said to them, but for some reason words that fill us with a sense of pride when we say them to someone else because it means we were right. No one enjoys being wrong and everyone enjoys being right. It’s just that simple.

One of the worst places any individual can be in life is to become so in love with being right that they never listen to anyone's advice, encouragement, or sound wisdom. For whatever reason they no longer feel the need for wise counsel or loving advice from a friend or mentor. Essentially, they think they have figured it out. When someone is in this place they alienate themselves from others wisdom and eventually end up paying the price for their stubbornness. Let’s take a look at a verse in Proverbs 5.

“I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors.” Proverbs 5:13

Here in Proverbs 5 we are being warned to not follow what the bible refers to as “the immoral woman”. We learn that her steps lead to death and she does not know the way of life. Warning after warning come in Proverbs 5 and then verse 13 hits us with the plain truth of the matter. The one who follows after the immoral woman, the one who follow in her footsteps to death, and the one whose footsteps do not know the way of life has refused to listen to the voice of their teachers and has not inclined their ear to instructors. It doesn’t matter if an immoral woman or an immoral man is involved, the husband or the wife that refuses to listen to teaching, instruction, correction, and wisdom will soon find themselves going down paths they ought not to.

So the question today is simple. Where are you being stubborn and flat out not listening to advice, teaching, wisdom, counsel, or instruction in your life and in your marriage? Where have you been refusing to change how you think or act because you “know better”. It’s time to stop the childish behavior, repent, and listen.

Action Steps

Write down an area or two where this is true in your life. Then go to the Lord in prayer and repent. Then go to your wife and repent. Acknowledging this is a reality in your life will bring freedom and set you on the path to great blessing in your marriage. No more running from wisdom and instruction friends.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 3

Read Proverbs 3

I (Cody) spent many years in my twenties as a personal trainer. One of my favorite things is to watch people push themselves to the extent that their muscles literally fail and give out, kinda weird, i know. The best example of this is watching my father-in-law do pushups. He would do so many that he would eventually get to the point where he be half way up from the ground and not be able to push any harder. His arms and chest would give out and he would come crashing to the floor.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5 (NKJV)

 

In the original language, Hebrew, the phrase “lean not” actually gives the word picture of a man leaning with one arm onto a table, a very similar position to that of doing a pushup. With this picture in mind we can begin to understand what this verse is saying a little better. With the table being our “own understanding,” let me ask you this. What would happen to the man that is leaning on his own understanding if the table was suddenly taken out from under him? He would fall quickly to the floor.

This is why we shouldn’t lean on our own understanding.

Eventually when our own wisdom, our own experience, our own strength, and our own know-how runs out we will crash and burn.

The next part of this verse is worth noting: “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” could be more literally translated from the original language into the following statement:

“On all the roads you travel on your journey, allow God to reveal himself to you, and then he will make all of your roads straight and easy to travel.”

Wow. How amazing is that? When we begin to allow God to reveal himself to us, rather than leaning on what we know, he will make the roads we travel straight and easy. So, what in the world does this mean for us?

As we love our spouses and families through this journey we call life it is beyond easy to make decisions based on our knowledge and what we think is best. Sure, we say we pray about things, but do we really go through the process of not leaning on what we know, and allowing God speak to us?

Action Steps

Take a few minutes and ask the Lord to reveal different areas of your life and different ways you are loving your spouse where you are “leaning on your own understanding.” As the Lord shows you these things, repent for leaning on what you know and not allowing him to reveal himself and his ways. Next, ask him to reveal himself to you so he can make your paths straight, because he will!

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 2

Read Proverbs 2

Yesterday we established that the best position to be in to receive wisdom from the Lord is when we are in a place of reverent awe of him. If you haven't read Day 1 yet, click here to read before continuing on.

Today we are going to look at four words that are incredibly easy to skip over, especially if we've heard them before. Let's look with fresh eyes and an open heart today, knowing that the Lord has something fresh in store for us.

"Discretion will preserve you…” Proverbs 2:11

You and your marriage have a real enemy, and his name is Satan. He has been on a mission to destroy everything that God cares about since creation. The Word of God tells us that he roams around like a lion, seeking people and things to steal, kill, and destroy. This enemy hates us and our marriages because we are made in the image of God, and our marriages are to be a reflection of how much Jesus loves His church. Knowing this, it's no wonder that the enemy wants to bring as much anger, bitterness, confusion, and dissension as he can into our lives and into our marriages.

In light of this, Proverbs 2:11 gives us some insight on how we can turn the tables on the enemy.

The dictionary defines discretion as;

"the power or right to decide or act according to one's own judgment"

With this definition it's easy to read the verse and think that it’s telling us to use our own judgment; to not do certain things that may bring harm to us, thus preserving us. However, when we look at the word "discretion" in the original language, we find that it is better translated as "purpose". Additionally, when we look at "preserve" in the original language, it means "to keep, guard, or protect".

So what Proverbs 2:11 is communicating to us is something incredibly profound:

Purpose will protect you.

Do you know what the purpose of YOUR marriage is? Sure, we probably have a cursory understanding of what the purpose of marriage, in general, is on the surface, but have you ever asked the Lord what the purpose of YOUR marriage is? If not, don't worry, you're not alone by a long shot. The truth is that many couples have reduced their marriages to nothing more than cohabitation, but the Lord has something so much greater for you than "just getting by". Jesus has a purpose for your marriage; you might not feel it or see it, but He does.

How does purpose protect your marriage? Purpose gives your marriage a target to aim for. Purpose is your anchor during rough seasons. The enemy will do everything he can to discourage and distract you from your marriage’s purpose because he knows that when you and your spouse begin to live passionately on purpose, it will bring glory to God and point others to Jesus.

Defining the purpose of YOUR marriage doesn't just protect you by becoming an anchor in rough times, but it will also fill you with passion and excitement in your day-to-day living.

So let's apply this wisdom.

Action Steps

Together with your spouse, begin the process of asking the Lord what the purpose of YOUR marriage is in it’s current season. Discerning the purpose of your marriage is not an overnight process; it takes time. Have discussions with your spouse about it and ask trusted couples whom you respect about it. Take everything in, pray about it, and ask the Lord to make the purpose of your marriage crystal clear. Once you figure this out, keep it in front of your eyes and in your heart daily. Having this purpose will protect your marriage in ways that only time will tell.

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31 Days Of Wisdom - Day 1

"To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth— Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."

Proverbs 1: 2-7

As we begin our journey together over these next 31 days we must begin by setting our foundation. Where in the world does wisdom really come from? What's the most true source of wisdom, and how do we get it? In the first chapter of the book of James we are told that anyone who lacks wisdom should first ask God because He gives to everyone who asks. Stop. Did you catch that? We should first ask God for wisdom. It has become all too easy to seek wisdom from other things before we turn to Him for it. We can run to our friends on Facebook, listen to our favorite podcast, or even sit back and watch a relevant episode of Oprah. Not that any of these things are bad, in and of themselves, but when they become the main source of our wisdom we start treading in murky waters. God doesn't want to be your second source of wisdom, He wants to be your main source. When we need wisdom we should turn to prayer and to His Word. This is why the next 31 days of wisdom are all based on scripture; not our opinion, but God's. So let's jump in.

Where do we begin? We begin where scripture says knowledge begins.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…”

Isn't it great when scripture leaves out all the fluff, and just tells you how it is? Where do wisdom and knowledge begin? With the fear of the Lord.

The word used for ‘fear’ in the original language, in verse 7, is not trying to paint a picture of someone frantically looking over their shoulder to see if some distant god is about to lay the cosmic smackdown on them for messing up.

‘Fear’, in this context, implies a sense of 'awe' and 'reverence'.

Think back to when you were a kid, and you saw your father, mother, or an authority figure demonstrate a feat of strength or some kind of out-of-this-world athleticism that left you completely in awe. Perhaps you've stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon or the top of a huge mountain, and it left you with a deer-in-the-headlights kind of gaze. That kind of reverence, wonder, and awe you felt in those moments is the Proverbs 1:7 kind of fear.

When we realize how great, mighty, wonderful, and powerful the Lord is, we remember how small and frail we are. When we remember this, we begin to have a fresh sense of wonder and awe for the Lord, and when we are in awe of Him, we are in the perfect position to receive wisdom from Him.

If we do not begin our journey for wisdom in awe of the Lord we are starting with a faulty foundation. So the question is this: How's your "awe"?

Action Steps

Write down 3 things you saw the Lord do in 2016 that bring you to a place of reverent awe. After you’ve finished, spend a few minutes in prayer, thanking Him again for what He has done, and ask Him to guide your mind and heart in the days to come. Ask that He would speak something fresh to your heart and to your marriage.

Now the stage has been set for you to begin the journey of getting wisdom from heaven for yourself and for your marriage! See you tomorrow for Day 2.

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The Truth About When I Made My Husband Cry

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Disclosure: I had no intention of writing this blog for at least another 5 years. I’d be older, more mature, years wiser, and my mistakes would be far enough behind me that they could then be turned into a teachable moment. But no. 

This past Father’s Day was the worst. Not because of anything my husband did, but because of everything I did (and didn’t do). In a condensed version, I completely forgot it was Father’s Day that morning. I remembered later in the day and wrote a nice Instagram post about my dad, but still forgot to say anything to Cody. After he left for worship practice that afternoon, I texted him something along the lines of, “Crap, babe. I totally forgot to tell you, but Happy Father’s Day!” 

Somewhere between the afternoon and evening my day had turned sour, but I went to the store to pick out a Father’s Day card. After an hour of reading through cards, chasing kids around, and finally picking out the card we wanted, I went and waited in line for a cashier. At that point, I was beyond irritated that it took so long, and that my kids were being antsy and disobedient. When the line started to move I noticed the gal in front of me had the exact same card as we did, and all of my emotions instantly came to a head. I put the card back (after all, I didn’t want the same stupid, generic card as everyone else), loaded the kids up, and went home. We didn’t say another word about it. The kiddos didn’t even say Happy Father’s Day to their daddy. 

Fast forward to the next day. Early in the morning Cody and I were sitting in bed, enjoying our coffee, when the infamous words, “I need to talk to you about something” came out of his mouth. He was smiling at me, but tears started rolling down his face. I could tell that he was hurting, and I knew it was because of me and how the previous day unfolded. It was the first time I had ever made my husband cry. 

We proceeded to have a long conversation that involved many tears, loving rebukes, and apologies. It was the most difficult and uncomfortable conversation we’ve had in the seven years of our marriage, but it made us better, and I learned a few things that I’ll never forget.

1. I have to be intentional.

I’m a planner. I love planning ahead. I love buying gifts for people, celebrating birthdays, and writing notes for special occasions, but I have to remember those special occasions. I have a tendency to forget special days, and when I do remember at the last minute, I think, “Screw it” because I haven’t had time to plan. It legitimately puts me in a bad mood. I’ve had to be more intentional. I write everything on my calendar (or set reminders on my phone) so I don’t forget. I try to buy gifts a couple of days in advance. I ask Code if he wants to do anything specific for holidays. I have to stay intentional with our relationship. 

2. I have to keep an eye on his love tank.

My husband’s love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts. In that order. He really feels loved when I write him a note, buy him a gift, and surprise him with it. To have a day like Father’s Day, a day when dads are supposed to feel loved and cherished, come and go without feeling loved in any of those areas really affected his love tank. One of my responsibilities, as a wife, is to be constantly watching his love tank and doing what I can to fill it.

3. I cannot let my emotions get in the way.

Like I said earlier, if I don’t have time to plan, I tend to have a bad attitude. When I get emotional I can’t think straight, my judgement is cloudy, and my decision-making ability is broken. Because marriage can be an emotional roller coaster anyway, it’s important that I don’t let my attitude or mood dictate my actions. 

Why did I want to share all of this? Because I believe others can learn from my mistakes and maybe avoid them. When we go through difficult times in our marriages, it can either stunt or stimulate our relationship with our spouse, depending on how we choose to respond. We need to choose wisely.

HERE IS A GREAT WAY TO MAKE SURE THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TO YOU!

We’ve created our Marriage Communication Journal to make sure things like this don’t happen! It gives you the questions to ask your spouse on a weekly basis to stay connected and will make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen! Best part? It’s normally $15 BUT RIGHT NOW it’s only $3.99! Don’t wait any longer. Click the button below to get your journal today!

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5 Simple Ways To Make Your Marriage Stronger

Let's start with a bang, shall we?

Saying Jesus is at the center of our marriage doesn't give us some magical hall pass to walk right into a fulfilling and thriving marriage.

Yikes.

There have been plenty of couples who've walked into church every week, worshipped Jesus together, and are now divorced or have been on the tipping point of getting divorced multiple times. The reason is that, without knowing it, the habits in their marriage are similar to a leak in a car tire. These habits slowly suck the life and vibrance out of their marriage until one day they've become stranded in the middle of nowhere wondering how in the world they got there and how this could have happened to them. Habits, that's how. We've yet to meet anyone who have told us, "I'm really hoping that my marriage is completely unfulfilling, life-sucking, and never thrives." The reason is because that's not what anyone wants! We want a blessed, fulfilling, exciting, thriving, and amazing marriage! Our habits are what get us to either destination.

In Galatians 6:7 it says, "Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that he will also reap." And in 2 Corinthians 9:6 it says, "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully."

Our habits are "seeds" that we sow. The future harvest in our marriage will be a direct result of the seeds we are planting today. Here are 5 habits that we've consistently found in marriages that are thriving.

1. They intentionally speak life over their spouse

Without question, our words have the power to create. What we create is up to us. The Word says that we can either create life or death with our words. How do we talk about and/or describe our spouse when we're at work or with our friends? What words do we use to describe their behavior when things get heated? Do we speak life or death? When we see a marriage that is thriving, we also see two people that intentionally make the choice to speak life in and over their spouse.

2. They repent quickly and often

We are human. We make mistakes. When it comes to saying something that we shouldn't, having a toxic attitude, or making a mistake in our marriage it's not a matter of if these things will happen, but a matter of when and how often. When we are the ones who have made the mistake our first inclination is to run the other way and not confront the issue(s) at hand. As humans we are wired to avoid pain, but when it comes to the "pain of repentance" its important not to run from it, but embrace it. When we make a mistake, we need to own it, repent, and move forward in unity.

3. They pray together

Here are some pretty amazing words that come straight from the mouth of Jesus himself in Matthew 18: 

"I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you."

Wow. That promise is too good to pass up! How often are we sitting down with our spouse praying together, agreeing together, and asking Jesus together about our present and our future? So many of the battles fought in marriages are fought in the natural, but when we choose to pray together we invite the supernatural into our marriage.  

4. They have a servant's heart

The Bible is very clear that Jesus himself came to serve and not be served. As we pursue becoming more like Him this quality must be reflected in our marriage. Having a servant's heart is just that: the posture of our heart. With that said, how's our heart? Do we find ourselves being selfish, demanding, or belittling our spouse when they don't meet our needs? When two people choose to lovingly serve and fulfill the needs of their spouse, instead of demanding their own way, the atmosphere of that marriage will drastically change. Let’s choose to be a servant. 

5. They spend time investing in their marriage

We say great marriages don't happen on accident. Most people invest in their marriages like they take care of their cars; they wait until the "check engine" light comes on to fix it. Too many people think investing in their marriage means fixing problems when they come up rather than consistent maintenance to prevent catastrophic breakdowns. What are we doing daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly to intentionally invest in and create the marriage that we want? Remember the promise in Galatians 6: we will reap what we sow. If we want to reap a healthy marriage, what kinds of seeds are we sowing to get that kind of harvest?

HERE IS THE EASIEST WAY TO INVEST IN YOUR MARRIAGE WEEKLY!

We’ve created our Marriage Communication Journal to make sure things like this don’t happen! It gives you the questions to ask your spouse on a weekly basis to stay connected and will make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen! Best part? It’s normally $15 BUT RIGHT NOW it’s only $3.99! Don’t wait any longer. Click the button below to get your journal today!

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2 Words Of Marriage Advice From Our 5 Year Old

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but the two words that my son said to me recently is worth a lifetime of lessons.

Here's what happened...

One Saturday morning I woke up ready to kick off my Saturday morning routine, make coffee and relax on the couch in my pajamas. As I began to grind my coffee beans so the aroma of freshly ground coffee would fill the air I hear the pitter-patter of "little human" feet. Peaking his head around the corner, I saw the smiling bright eyed face of my second oldest son Judah. I called him over to where I was making coffee, picked him up, and sat him on the counter where I was making my coffee. For a few minutes we just stood there quietly until he started asking if he could do everything, to which I gladly let him. I mean, any time I can get someone else to make me coffee on a Saturday morning I'm all in. While he was finishing up my coffee I asked him if he wanted to go on a walk and without hesitation he let me know that he thought this was my best idea ever. With coffee in hand, Judah and I set out for a short morning walk. We were talking about all of our normal stuff like food, animals, and camping until he popped the big question of the morning that would lead to be smacked in the face by a lesson I'd never forget.

Judah looked over at me and asked me, "Daddy? Can you roar like a lion?"

I looked back at him and kind of giggled and let him know that I can totally roar like a lion! And that's when they came. The two words that in and instant taught me yet again how to be a great father, husband, and follower of Jesus.

Show me!

Judah didn't care if I said I could roar like a lion, he wanted me to SHOW HIM!

HE DIDN'T WANT MY EXPLANATION, HE WANTED MY EXAMPLE.

He didn't want my stories of how I've roared before, or hear the most vivid description of how I roar, he wanted to see with his own eyes what it looked like, he wanted to hear with his own ears what it sounded like.

Instantly, I realized again that how I tell my boys to love their mother, how to be courageous, how to work hard, how to take risks, how to protect the hurting, how to love and follow Jesus, and how to embrace what makes them unique doesn't mean a thing unless I show them and unless I set the example of what that looks like right in front of their eyes.

Think about it this way.

What if your children lived their life solely by your example? What would their lives look like? What if your children modeled their future marriage after the behaviors they see in yours?

Never forget this.

What you do screams so loud that what you say can't be heard.

So how does this all translate to our marriages? It's simple really. Your spouse doesn't just need to hear that you care, they need to see it. Your spouse doesn't just need to hear you repent about certain behavior, they need to see with their own eyes the change of behavior that backs it up. How have you been saying one thing to your spouse but living something completely different? Talk is cheap. Show them.

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10 Date Night Ideas For Under $10

Date Nights.

At On Purpose Marriage we suggest that every married couple go on a date at least once a week.

Yeah. We know. You "don't have time" or "don't have money" to go on dates every week.

Well. Those are all excuses keeping you from a better marriage.

Excuses that you can overcome if you chose to.

Date nights don't always have to be a 2-4 hour dinner date.

They can, and should be simple, inexpensive, and meaningful.

One of the things that we've enjoyed during our years of marriage is our weekly date night. Depending on the season of life we have been in we haven’t always had a ton of time or money to make elaborate weekly date nights happen. The important thing is that we have for the most part always made them happen. A weekly date night can be one of the things that you could inject into your marriage to breathe some fresh life or vibrance into it.

Here is a quick and easy list of 10 date night ideas that won't take hours to plan or execute.

Additionally, these date ideas won't break the bank either.

You are welcome.

1.) The Camp Dinner Date (Our personal favorite)

Fill a thermos full of boiling water. Hop in the car and drive to the local REI or other outdoor store where you can by a dehydrated camping or backpacking meal. Drive up into the woods or somewhere “off the grid”. Pour the hot water in and enjoy a camping style dinner without any of the normal dining experiences. 

Cost: approximately $8-9

2.) The McDonalds Ice Cream Date

Ice cream cones at McDonalds are under one dollar. Drive to your local golden arches grab a cone and then go for a walk or a scenic drive. 

Cost: approximately $2-3

3.) The Ride Bikes In The Park Date

Grab your bikes and go for a low key ride around your favorite park, lake or other outdoor destination. This one can also be coupled with the ‘Camp Dinner Date’ from above.

Cost: approximately $0

4.) The Coffee & Games Date

Go to your favorite local coffee shop grab a couple cups of coffee or tea, sit down, play some games and enjoy each others company. My wife and I love doing this while playing cribbage, yeah, we are pretty gangster. 

Cost: approximately $4-5

5.) The Workout Together Date

Get outside to your favorite place to be active or stay inside for this one, it doesn’t matter. Use the app called “The 7 minute workout” and do a couple rounds of it. You don’t need any equipment, and you don’t need to be super in shape to do anything they tell you to do. Getting active with your significant other is always a good thing! 

Cost: approximately $0

6.) The Mall Window Shopping Date

Guys, your ladies will love you for this one. Take a drive to your local mall, walk around and window shop. This one is pretty simple and can get really fun is you get creative!

Cost: approximately $0

7.) The Campfire & Beer Date

Go buy a couple beers, build a bonfire and cozy up with a blanket together out side. There’s always something special about being around a campfire. 

Cost: approximately $5-7

8.) The Walk Downtown & People Watch Date

Go downtown on a Friday or Saturday night, walk around and people watch. Make sure you do this one on a Friday or Saturday evening, this is when you are going to have a lot more to look for the people watching. 

Cost: approximately $0

9.) The Photography Date

Walk around downtown, in the woods or somewhere else with some kind of awesome scenery or backdrops for great photos. Take turns snapping photos of each other with your phones. Who knows, you might just get some really great shots! 

Cost: approximately $0

10.) The Italia Date

Go buy a cheap bottle of three-buck-chuck from Trader Joe's or from your local store, grab some grapes & cheap cheese then proceed to have your own little wine and cheese party for the two of you. 

Cost: approximately $10

There you go! 10 date ideas that wont break the bank!

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