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Are We Being What Our Husband’s Need?

I would really say that my marriage is good. I am always looking for ways to make my marriage better, because I want my marriage to be best. My husband and I have endured a lot of pain and heartache through our marriage, and I try my best to never let ourselves get to that point of time ever again.

Our church does a little marriage group and we talk and fellowship with other who are married. We share ideas and difficulties of marriage. We try to build each other up. We have been watching this short series of video clips that really make us think about what we can do in our marriage and how we can do better. One of the questions in our group for the women was, “Are we being what our husband’s need?” Immediately, I would like to say yes, I am doing everything I can. But, in all honesty, I think I could always put in more for our marriage. You can always do better, right?

I began looking up some scriptures and wanted to share. Now, don’t just read the scriptures. I really want you to read them while asking, “am I applying this scripture to my husband’s needs?” “How can I do better?” So, here it goes.

Scripture 1) Proverbs 14:1 “A wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”

  • I would like to think of myself as a wise woman. I’m not foolish, but oh, have I made some foolish mistakes that could have very well tore my ‘house’ down. I have said and done things that were foolish. I have acted foolish and sometimes, I catch myself STILL acting foolish. Too much foolishness makes one man tired of dealing with it. There is just so much a man can take. (And no, I am not saying he should leave you because you are being difficult or ‘foolish.’
  • What can we do each day to build our house up? How can we build our kids up? How can we build our husband up?
  • What are some ways we act foolish? How can we correct our foolish ways?

Scripture 2) Proverbs 31:12 “She brings him good, not harm, ALL the days of her life.”

  • Did you catch the ALL part? Not just some days. Not just the days we feel like it, but ALL days! MY husband and I have almost spent a decade with each other and I’m guilty…. I have not brought my husband good ALL the days of our marriage. As a matter of fact, year 2-6 was completely awful in our marriage. I brought him more bad and harm than good. I am not saying he was the innocent one, either. And I do know that in a marriage, it takes 100%-100%, not 50-50!
  • How can we do good to our husband? How do you catch yourself bringing harm to your husband? I know that I have shot my husband with awful words. I have cut him down a lot. I know that when I get aggravated, I need to watch my words.

Scripture 3) Proverbs 31:26 “She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction us on her tongue.”

  • Okay, going back to being wise. No, I have not always been wise in my marriage. I just admitted that I haven’t always spoke with prettiest, most nicest words… I have been mean. I haven’t always depending on God to lead me in instruction. I have had the mentality of, “Oh, I will pray to God when I need Him…but until then, God can stay in my little box.” Not very smart, huh?
  • What are some ways that you can speak with more wisdom? How can you speak wisdom to your spouse or kids? Is the instruction on your tongue faithful?

These are just some of the things that I have had on my heart tonight. I wanted to share. I know that there are tons of things that I am still having to deal with in my marriage. I want to be a great wife. I want to encourage other women to be good wives to their husband’s as well.

Lord, please help us to keep your scriptures close to our hearts and in our minds so that we can reflect on them and put them into our daily lives and in our marriages. Show us what our spouse’s need and help us to be obedient and submissive and want to serve our spouses. Help us to be Proverbs gals. In Jesus’ Name!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

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Why Everyone Should Have an Accountability Person!

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If you would have asked me a year ago if I had someone that ‘holds me accountable,’ I would have thought that I didn’t need an accountability person, that was something for Celebrating Recovery programs! I have had a big revelation, and I think that everyone should have someone that can hold them accountable for their actions, the way they live, and just everyday things.

We all have girlfriends, guys we hang out with and even our spouses, but are they doing what they need to be doing to hold us accountable? Okay, picture this. You are having issues with your spouse, you are in the wrong, you tell your girlfriend’s and they have your back (even though you are in the wrong as well!) See, there is a difference between a friend and someone that can hold you accountable. Someone that holds you accountable would be the one who does tell you that you are wrong as well, or give you a better scenario of how you could have done better.

I think that is sometimes why marriages fail or that they have so much issues is because we don’t have that person to tell us that we are making mistakes in our relationships, in our parenting, in our daily lives. They are people that have our back, that will have our side, that will bad mouth our spouses and make things worse! That’s not somebody that will hold you accountable. And true friend’s might be honest. They might be people that hold you accountable, and that’s great. I just see a lot of people that have issues in their lives, and they don’t have the support that they need. They have people telling them what they want to hear.

Do you know why people who are married doesn’t tell their parents or family their marriage problems? Because parents and family usually turn against the spouse that they are not kin to. Have you ever caught yourself talking about your spouse to your friend’s or your family? Have your friends agreed along with you and started talking poorly about your spouse? It is kind of like the saying, “adding fuel to the fire.”

My point, find someone that will be honest with you. Find someone who will not sugar coat your life and tell you the things that you want to hear. Yes, you will always have that friend who if you have issues with your husband, so will they….I am not saying kick those friend’s to the curb…but, be careful what you share with that friend.

I am thinking about a friend of mine. She’s actually been married way longer than I have and every single time I see her, she has something negative to say about her husband. She is never going to divorce him, I know that. But, her and her husband do not see eye to eye on a lot of things. Instead of chiming in with her saying, “Oh yeah, he’s a dirtbag, piece of crap….!” No, I try to tell her something positive. I tell her to try to be more patient. I tell her to not stop praying for her husband. She appreciates me doing that. For one reason why I try to not sugar coat or hold people accountable, especially in their marriage is because they appreciate it later. Everyone needs that.

Lord, I know we have issues in our lives. Life is hard. But, please help us to be wise about who we share things with. Help us to have someone that will hold us accountable. Help us to hold our spouse’s accountable. Just be with us and guide us. In Jesus’ name!

Until next time…be encouraged!

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Suicide Awareness

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Through my lifetime, I have had a handful of people that I have known to commit suicide. I had known of several people committing suicide while I was growing up and then since I have been an adult, several more people that I’ve known have committed suicide as well.

You turn on the news, you search the internet, and you just get on a social media site and you will see the statistics for suicide. Huffington Post writes

Each year, 34,000 people committ suicide, about twice as many deaths as caused by homicide– abot one death per 15 minutes. By 2030, depression will outpace cancer, stroke, war and accidents as the world’s leading cause of disability and death, according to the World Health Organization.”

How awful is that piece of information? I lost a friend here recently. She was a mother that left behind her children. She was a daughter. I see the sad posts almost everyday that her mother posts about losing her daughter. She admits that she knew nothing was wrong with her daughter. I attended that visitation and it was quite challenging to say the least. Her parents weren’t able to speak at the funeral, but one of her siblings did. Her older brother mentioned that he knew that his sister was suffering a little, but thought it was normal. Her husband had cheated on her a couple months before and ended up leaving her and the children. He said that his sister spend so many hours scrolling through Facebook. He challenged the people who attended the funeral and that had a Facebook account to post at least once a week something positive…something that if someone on the verge of committing suicide was to be reading your post, it would make them change their minds–that it would give them a ray of hope.

I know some of my reader’s don’t believe in God or an enemy, but I do. I have shared the scripture before John 10:10, that we do have an enemy that comes to steal, kill and destroy. But God comes to give us life–so that we may live it more abundantly.

We pass people daily. How many are suffering? How many people are going through something? How many have though about ending their lives because it would “be better?” I have suffered from depression, and sometimes I find myself and think that there is no way out of it. But there is. I make sure to talk to my husband and let him know.

If you or someone you know suffer from depression, talk to someone. Don’t be like me and have several friends on Facebook that have committed suicide and have to read about it in your newsfeed. Everyone is fighting a battle–some may not even allow people to know. Reach out and be kind.

CHALLENGE: In honor of my friend, I challenge my readers to post something often on their social media pages something positive or the suicide hotline number! You might save someone’s life.

Lord God, I pray for those people out there that are hurting. Let us me more aware of the enemies attack’s, especially when the enemy throws up to us that we need to end our own lives. Help us to be courageous and not be scared to reach out to someone if we are hurting and depressed. Lord, I pray that we would be more aware–give us the eyes to see– people that deal with depression! Help us to be aware of the signs! In Jesus’ name!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1 (800) 273-8255

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Are You Appreciating Your Spouse?

There was a time during our marriage where I absolutely did not appreciate my husband. As a matter of fact, I took everything he did for granted. Looking back now, I sometimes wonder if maybe I would have appreciated him more, maybe then he would know how much I respected and loved him. Looking back now, I wonder why I didn’t show him how much I loved him or appreciated him.

My husband has always worked very hard for our family. He has always loved to cook for the family. He has never been a selfish person. I might have could said a lot of things about him, but selfish was not one of them. Now that I realize how much I took for granted and looking around, I realize how much a lot of people take for granted in their marriage.

I believe marriages would start being built up if people started respecting and appreciating their spouses. So, the big question..do you appreciate your spouse? There are many different ways that you can show your spouse appreciation, even when you think that they don’t deserve it

Each day, try your best to tell your spouse something that you appreciate them doing–even if it is simply just appreciating them just going to work and trying to provide for the family. When is the blast time you actually verbally expressed your appreciation for your spouse and something that they did?

My challenge for you this week is to tell your spouse something that you really appreciate n, tell them that they are a stepdad to your children, tell them that you appreciate them taking on the Father role. If you could make up your mind to tell your spouse something each day, or ever other day this week, something that you appreciate about them, you never know, it could make all the difference in the world.

When we don’t feel appreciated in our marriage, we start feeling worthless. We start feeling unloved, and that is never a good place to be in a marriage. When we don’t feel appreciated, we have an enemy who loves to have a field day and tell us lies. So, make sure that your spouse knows how much you love them each and every day and make sure that they know how much you appreciate them!

Lord, sometimes, when we are going through hectic times in our marriage, we forget to appreciate the things that our spouse is actually doing in our lives instead of the negative things that they are doing in your marriage. Help our spouses to see that we are trying to appreciate them and build our marriages off! Help us as we are trying ot build our marriages! Restore our marriages, Lord!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!!!!

 

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Hope for the Separated Couples

In a way, I do have to give some respect to those who choose separation rather than just hopping right into getting a divorce. I am not saying that separation is necessarily a good thing, but I believe that divorce can be better than divorce. Granted, separating can be hard on families. I have been on both sides of separation. I have been¬† child and my parents separating over and over again, and I have even separated from my husband once in our marriage, but played the “I am leaving you” game plenty of times.

I think some couples get a couple of things confused when they decide to separate. If you are separated from your spouse at this time, or you have talked about separating, make sure that you are understanding what you are doing, and if you have children, make sure that you realize that they may react negatively towards your decision.

After my youngest child was born, I suffered from PPD (Post Partum Depression) and like I had described before, my husband and and I had been completely disconnected for a long time. I was suffering from depression and he was so busy working to make ends meet and we were just distant. We were constantly arguing and it was just a really rough time in our marriage. Our kids were young and we had a newborn and we thought that it would be best to separate. One of the things that we didn’t consider was how the kids would react. We didn’t talk to the kids or explain anything, I just up and left with the kids! It was during the summer time so I made it like a summer vacation…without Dad! The kids started acting out. I was even more depressed trying to juggle everything together. When we did talk, we threw around divorce a lot. That is just some of our story!

Some things to consider or think about before or if you are currently separated:

  • Your children- If you are constantly fighting, then yes, maybe it is time for a little break. But, sometimes it is good to let your children know that marriages aren’t perfect. I used to have it in my mind that my children would always see my marriage as perfect and no fighting! But, if we never allow our children to see us argue sometimes, then aren’t we setting them up for disappointment? Think about some of the things your children might go through if you were to separate. The changes that it would make in their lives.
  • What exactly is separation- A lot of people separate and they think that they can immediately take off their wedding rings and are single. Separation is to HELP your marriage, not to make it worse. When you are separated, it doesn’t mean you are divorced or single–it means that you are taking time away from your spouse (with hopes of working things out) and you are working on your marriage.
  • ¬†Keeping contact with your spouse while you are separated- Sometimes it is good to keep in contact with your spouse. If you are thinking of any hopes or futures with your spouse, keep all contact positive. Meet up for a date for just the two of you! Send cute text messages! Send her flowers! Don’t waste your time grooming for a relationship that isn’t with your spouse…put the effort into working on the marriage that you already have! Work on forgiving! Get in church and really seek God during this time!

It is crazy how people will get separated and start sleeping around with other people and making relationships with them. It’s “play” time. I don’t think that’s what separation is about.

Lord, I pray for all the couples are going through separation. I pray that couples start realizing how valuable their marriage is. I pray that you open the eyes of the ones that are separated. I pray that all communication is not negative but positive communication. I pray that you will restore marriages that don’t feel like they have any hope! I pray for all marriages!

Until next time… be encouraged!

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Keeping the Fights Clean

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Keeping the Fights Clean

Ok, so obviously we are all married or in a relationship and obviously, we are going to have arguments and disagreements with one another–sometimes, even fights. I heard or read one time that it is good to have disagreements with our spouse. I don’t know about you, but I completely hate it. I guess when I got married, I thought we were so in love and that everything would be perfect, but GEEZE was I wrong! I mean, we were and are still in love, but our marriage has been far from perfect.

My husband and I have gotten into the worst of fights. We have screamed cussed, slammed doors, broken things and even gotten physical (not in the good way) with one another. Looking back, I feel so ashamed for acting like such a fool. I read constantly on Facebook about couples who are like this…because yes, they post it! So, what about you and your spouse? Do you keep the fights ”clean?”

I believe that love can be messy. It can sometimes be ugly. We might not intend on our relationships becoming ugly. We never intend to be ugly…or sometimes we do, but we shouldn’t. If you and your spouse do not get along, or sometimes it may even seem like you hate each other..that is never good! So, what are some steps that you can take in order to getting your relationship back on the right track?

Don’t “plan” to argue with your spouse- Of course, our spouses are going to do things that are going to tick us off. But, we have control over how WE act. We might not have control over how they are going to act, but we do have control over how WE react to what they have to dish out to us. Here are couple tips.

  • When our spouses do something that upsets us, do not think bad thoughts. Do not plan your arguments in your head. Depending on what your spouse has done, think of the BEST way you can approach them. Do not start text messages blasting off how big of pieces of crap they are. That’s never good and will never solve anything.
  • Instead of planning on the ways you can be ugly to your spouse for their wrong doings, plan on how you can do right. Pray before reacting.

Never, ever name call- I know that when arguments get deep, every name in the book can come out of your mouth. But, guess what?! You have control over that. If your spouse happens to call you a name or say something that offends you, simply say to yourself (in your head) “I forgive them for that.” It’s easier said than done, I know.

Learn when to walk away- If you and your spouse gets into overheated conversations, know when to walk away. Know when the conversation isn’t going anywhere and know when to stop the fight before it gets started. If you feel yourself getting upset, learn to tell your spouse that you love them during the argument. Let them know that you love them more than this argument.

Learn to not sweat the stupid stuff- Do you know how long my husband and I had arguments because I didn’t cook the spaghetti like he was used to eating it? Or how many arguments we had because I didn’t fold his jeans correctly? Or how many times I argued at him for not cleaning up his hair in the bathroom after shaving. Or the pee droplets on the toilet seat?! Or how many times we argued over stupid things that no longer matter to us. Sometimes, we have to live with the stupid, irritating habits our spouses have. I finally started making the spaghetti the way my husband likes it. I still fold his jeans incorrectly. He still leaves a lot of hair in the sink after shaving. We’ve learned to not have stupid arguments over little things that can easily be fixed. Look over the small stuff!

Know when to seek help- I hate to see divorces happen, but I never want to encourage people that have HAD to leave their spouse because they are in danger. Maybe you are in that position. If you and your spouse are very abusive to one another, learn when it’s time to get help. Maybe that doesn’t mean getting a divorce, but maybe that means simply seeking counseling. And my biggest excuse for not wanting to go to counseling was, “it cost too much.” Well, there are many churches out there and many pastors that counsel FOR FREE. Don’t raise a family in an abusive home. Seek help!

Remember your children- I don’t care if your child is 1 day old or if they are 18 years old, they are watching you and how you act can and will damage their lives. For babies, they can always sense stress. It is the weirdest thing ever. When my babies were babies and I would fight with their fathers, they would scream and holler and it happened that way EVERY TIME! Babies sense stress. For the older children, they are watching. You may keep thinking to yourself, they will never remember this. Well, if nothing changes, yes they will remember it. You are teaching your daughters how they are to be treated by their husbands and your sons how they are to treat their wives. We are teaching our children either how to have negative relationships or positive ones. What are your children seeing you do?

  • If you and your spouse is arguing, do it away from the children. Go to your room. Make it to where they can not hear or see the things that are going on. They are too little and young to be involved in your problems.
  • I don’t care how bad your spouse is, never bad mouth your spouse to your children.

Do not bring up old stuff- I do struggle with this, I’m not even going to lie. I have a habit of throwing up my husband’s past hurts that he has done with me. “Hey, you wrote a check and now we have an overdraft fee and are in the negatives!!” “Well, remember that time 6 years ago when you forgot to pay the bill?!?” If you mess up, own up to your mistakes. Sometimes we are wrong. Sometimes we need to own up to our mistakes. Don’t throw up something from the past, because a past is called a past for a reason! Just because your spouse has an issue with you doesn’t mean you have to have an issue with them!

Lord, I pray for these marriages that don’t do clean fighting! Lord, help us to learn to communicate with each other! Help us to not be ugly and to be smart about having arguments! Help us to know when to get help if we need it. Most couples may think counseling is dumb, but Lord, sometimes we need wisdom! Help us in our marriages today and everyday!

Until next time…be encouraged!!!

Communication is Key in Marriage

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I have talked to several of my “Married Mama Friends,” and they all have admitted that in their marriages, communication has been an issue–even after 15+ years! You would think that after so years of marriage, you would know your spouse well enough and they would know you enough to know what to say and what not to say to each other. So, if we know our spouses to well and we should have already mastered the communication skills, why do we take offense to what our spouses say? Why do we get angry and it causes arguments? Why don’t we listen to one another? Why are our communication skills so poor?

I believe that the biggest reasons for poor communication are having distractions, reacting too quickly, not communicating enough, and not respecting one another while communicating. Here are several ideas and tips on how to better communicate with your spouse.

Take away any distractions- I know that as soon as we hit date night, I have been guilty of picking up my phone and texting whoever back, looking on Facebook or turning on the radio when the conversation goes dull. Have you ever been there? What about children? Have they ever interrupted an important conversation that you and your spouse was having? Think about a conversation that you and your spouse have had in the past where a distraction came up and it made communicating with them turn bad.

  • Have a technology-free date night. Leave the cell phones, iPads, laptops in the other room at home while you are communicating with your spouse. There is nothing more annoying than trying to communicate with someone while they are on their phones. You are unsure if they are hearing you. Do you continue to talk or wait until they are done scrolling? It shows complete disrespect to people that you are communicating with when you are stuck on your technology! Put it down, make eye contact and make up your mind that you will not have any distractions from Facebook or text messages while trying to communicate with your spouse!
  • Teach your children not to interrupt your conversations. My nearly grown children STILL try to interrupt while my husband and I are talking..and they know better! Instead of cutting your spouse off, cut your children off (unless they are bleeding or need you!) and let them know that you are talking. If it’s a very important conversation, get away from the kids! Go outside, in the bedroom, so they can’t distract you. And if they need you in another room…teach them to knock!

Don’t go to your spouse when you are extremely mad or upset- Often times, I will get so frustrated at different things and react way too quickly. When the problem is “fresh” then we tend to be meaner when we are trying to communicate. When we are angry, we don’t communicate, we yell, we fuss, we fight! I read somewhere where if you have a problem with someone, wait 24 hours, if you still have an issue with them after the 24 hours have passed, then talk to them…if not then it wasn’t a big deal to begin with. I don’t know if I would go that extreme, because I know some people, the more you hold it in, the madder you get..or you withdraw from your spouse. That’s not good either. You know yourself and if you react to quickly or if you hold it in, it becomes worse. Find a happy medium. If you are a praying person, pray before you talk to your spouse if you think that it can turn into an argument.

Communicate daily- With some couples, their schedules are different, their spouses are out of town, their spouses are deployed..so it makes communicating harder! But, there is always a way to communicate with your spouse daily! I know when I usually talk about technology, it’s that we spend too much time on it..but if you don’t have a lot of opportunities to communicate with your spouse, make a point to text with them during the day, an e-mail. If you and your spouse are at a point in your marriage and you don’t know what to say to them, let them know you are thinking of them, mention a happy time in your marriage, if you have children, let them know something that they have done recently. Make a point to say something POSITIVE to your spouse EVERYDAY even in the midst of an argument or even if you are separated. Positive words can be just what makes a marriage turn around.

Respect your spouse- I have been guilty of when my spouse is trying to tell me something that has bothered them, I will instantly get offended and fire back at him! If your spouse is coming to you and trying to communicate with you, whether it be general communication or actually needing to talk to you, respect them. Try not to take offense so easily. Listen to their words, because they could be hurt and lacking communication skills themselves. Not during this conversation, but at a later time, express how they hurt or offended you during that argument and how they can change how they approach you.

I believe that Satan knows how to use communication as a weapon in marriage. He uses it in every single marriage. He might serve it differently in different marriages, but he wants us to have issues on communicate. Satan does not want us to communicate, but fight. Satan wants to see us taking offense to our spouse. Remember that if you are having issues with communication in your marriage, that flesh and blood (your spouse) is not your enemy!

When you and your spouse realize you are on the same team instead of on separate sides, your marriage will become stronger!

Lord, I pray for communication in all marriages because I know all marriages have had struggles with it. Lord, help us not to take offense to what our spouses have to say, but rather see it as they are hurting and not knowing how to communicate it to us. Help us to recognize distractions in our marriage and learn to lose those distractions during communication time with our spouse. Help us to make more time to communicate to say. I pray that when we communicate that what we are trying to say will not be disturbed and come out wrong to our spouse. Help strengthen our marriage and our communication skills! Thank you, Lord, for the marriage you have blessed us with!

Until next time….be encouraged!!