Tag Archives: how to live happily ever after

What Makes an Anniversary Happy?

Today is our 27th wedding anniversary.

I’m thankful for the years together, and blessed that we’re still best friends and deeply in love. This is the marriage we purposed to have years ago, and with the grace and strength from  the Lord, we are experiencing this.

People who may not know our lives, may  think  our marriage is happy because our life has been easy. Without going into great details, the exact opposite has been true. We approached the financial problems, parenting and health issues, many moves and job challenges with the goal of drawing closer together instead of further apart.

It wasn’t just a goal or a glib platitude; we fought for this. When our marriage was tossed into the storm, we clung to each other and the Lord. 

Wedding Pic

The cord of three is the rope that rescues.

PRAY to FIND EACH OTHER:
Like most young people, our marriage really began in the earnest prayers we poured over our respective lists of "Things We Want in A Spouse." Along with the prayers, we purposed to not compromise our standards. If the Lord was good enough to hear and answer our prayers, then we were going to have the faith that He would provide the answer to our prayers. We were willing to wait for the person that suited those attributes we each desired in a mate.

PRAY to HELP ONE ANOTHER:
Complete unity requires complete honesty. We tell each other absolutely everything. The only information we withhold is in a counseling situation, especially if we are asked to not tell our spouse.

Complete honesty means complete honesty about our own life and each other’s. We take the spiritual admonitions to exhort, encourage and rebuke one another to heart, knowing that we are brother and sister in the Lord. We pray about each other’s strengths and weaknesses, then we may speak about them, then we pray more. It is vital to not only point out spouse’s spiritual gifts or their faults, but to pray for them.

PRAY SPECIFICALLY:
I specifically pray for my husband concerning his spiritual gifts, relationships, parenting, performance at work, wisdom, blessing, his Bible reading and Biblical understanding, his role as an elder, and his unsaved family members. I pray specifically for situations he needs to make decisions about, I pray about conversations he needs to have or is having, and I pray for his influence on others.

For myself, I pray to love, honor and obey him. I desire to be a good helpmeet and not be selfish. It’s too easy to have a Disney princess mentality, thinking your husband’s purpose in life is to make you look and feel like royalty. Sometimes it is about cleaning toilets and being alone because your husband is spending time with the kids, other believers or is in the Word. I pray my my joy and strength would come from the Lord so I don’t drain my husband with demands that aren’t his to meet.

 

PRAY for UNITY:
Because I purposely chose a man who had the Biblical doctrine, parenting ideals, a work ethic, future plans and beliefs on marriage roles I could wholeheartedly submit to, our marriage has been one of little major conflict. I get cranky about dumb stuff, we may argue because we are frustrated about something/something else, but we don’t disagree on the major issues in life.

We make decisions together. We pray about things, then decide what’s most in accordance to the Lord’s Word. If it isn’t a spiritual issue, we just ask for wisdom.

When we do disagree, we pray for unity. Someone has to change. Instead of each insisting on our own way, we commit to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to change our hearts. Disunity is  lonely in a marriage, and the Lord wants our hearts unified as much as we long for this.

A specific example has to do with the number of children we wanted to have. Since I was 12 years old, I wanted six kids. During our engagement, my husband thought four would be a good number. Once we began having children, he thought two would be a good number. Although my heart wanted six kids, I could feel them in my arms before they were there, it was more important to me to have unity. I prayed and prayed for the Lord to unite our hearts and plans according to His will.  The Lord answered my prayers. One pregnancy at a time, my husband’s mind was changed, by the Lord, not by me. We have six children, six that were a blessing in unity, not a happening because I insisted on my own way.

PRAY through SCRIPTURE:
Another way prayer has blessed our marriage, is by praying specific Scriptures in the Bible for ourselves and for one another. We pray for the children this way, too. We feel it is more powerful to use the Lord’s words in prayer, we are more likely to be praying in His will if we are praying His Words.

PRAY to STAY
Staying in the race isn’t the same as finishing the race well.  Growing up, Scott  spent much time with an older couple in the neighborhood. At times being in their little home was like being caught in the crossfires of a world war.  Their communication over 50 years had been yelling and bickering, even though the love and commitment were real.

Through each stage of life, your marriage must grow and change with you. It gets better, it never gets easier.  The challenges of live only increase with the increasing demands. Pray to stay your way through. 

Tying your marriage together with a cord of three that’s strengthened by prayer, is how to make your anniversaries  happy.

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To read other posts I’ve written about love and marriage, click the image or link below.

 

Grandkids and Wedding Cake Topper 056                

       Happily Ever Afters Don’t Just Happen                    The Man She Married

         Girls' Apt 045                           

   Ten Things to Look for in the Perfect Man                  Laughter Doeth the Marriage Well

Keep Love Alive

 

I didn’t  buy When Love Dies:How to Save a Hopeless Marriage by Judy Bodmer for me. I bought it because I’m an elder’s wife and I thought it would be a good tool for the occasional marriage encouragement we do  with couples.

I was also curious. I know the author, Judy,  as we’re both members of the Northwest Christian Writers’ Association.  She’s a director for the annual Northwest Christian Writers’ Renewal and I’ve been privileged to volunteer alongside her for several years. She’s an amazing older woman I’ve grown to love and admire.  On the occasion I’ve  watched Judy and her husband work together, I’ve seen their mutual admiration, respect and affection and thought, "Judy? Really? She had marriage troubles? And she’s willing to admit it?"

Christians don’t always do that. Sometimes we put on our church clothes and our church words and play a part. We don’t always delve into personal lives the way we should for mutual encouragement and burden-bearing.

Do you know anyone you could walk up to right now and truly confess what you’re going through? Would you get the spiritual wisdom you need? Would your confidence be kept?

Judy caught my heart, by opening hers. She graciously combines the wisdom of human experience and the wisdom from her study of the Word of God. Through the printed page, she is the wiser, older woman your heart has been longing to know.

I made the mistake of reading this on an airplane with only half a package of travel tissue, ya’ know, those little ones you carry in your purse, but the tissue is folded up so much, that by the time you get it all the way unfolded, you need more than one?

When Love Dies

I began taking notes of her admonitions and I knew I would be reading this book again.  And again….and again…

There isn’t any marriage that’s at a state of  perfection and doesn’t need encouragement.  I wasn’t packing the suitcase on the way out of the door, but I learned how to keep it from getting to that point.

But, this book doesn’t relate to only marriage, it relates to ANY relationship you have. When you see the word “husband” just substitute the name of anyone you are struggling with.

Like she was peeking through the dirty windows of my heart, Judy describes the Symptoms of An Unforgiving Heart, p. 41

1. Blowing up over seemingly small things

2. Sarcastic remarks that are meant to hurt

3. Talking about your husband to others

4. Criticizing

5. Correcting

6. Unexplained headaches, stomach problems, fatigue

7. A bout of tears for no apparent reason

Though the book is written at a time when her marriage was struggling, it could be read by newlyweds to keep themselves from getting to that point.  It could be read by happily married couples, to have an even better marriage.

I didn’t buy When Love Dies for me, but it was exactly the book I didn’t know I needed to read.

It also might also be the book you didn’t know you needed to read.

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Despite trying for days to use one of those fancy blog give-away plug-ins, I couldn’t figure it out. Crying face We’re still going to do the old-fashioned way this week.

My giveaway will be open from Wednesday, February 13th at 5am Pacific time until Monday, February 18th at 12:00pm.

There are three ways to enter. You may enter three times if you qualify for each of the three different options.

1. Leave a comment on this blog about something you do to keep love alive in your marriage. We all could use the encouragement! Include your email address.

and/or

2. Like my Mindy Peltier Author image42 page. Click on the FB icon to find me. Return to this  blog  post and leave a separate comment letting me know you did this. (All new followers will get credit for this, even if you liked me before the give-away.) Include your email address.

and/or

3. Become a follower of this blog if you aren’t already. Look for this image_thumb3_thumb and fill out your email address. Leave a comment letting me know you are a new follower. Include your email address.

 

MANDITORY! You must leave your email address with each entry.  I can’t find you without it.  Entries without email addresses will be deleted.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I appreciate all my followers and visitors!  May you always find encouragement for the journey when you visit here.