3 Reasons to Fiercely Protect Your Marriage

We all seem to go into our marriage excited to start a new life with our spouse. We probably attend pre-marital counseling together and talk through all the issues that newlyweds may face. We walk down the aisle to wedded bliss, but we may not be aware of the spiritual battles we’re likely to face.

When I first got married, it was easy to keep my marriage safe. We were newlyweds and spent a lot of time together. We talked a lot, communicated about issues that came up and genuinely worked to keep each other first. Ever so slowly, though, we saw friends start to struggle in their marriages. We saw marriages where divorce was imminent and we noticed problems creeping into our own marriage.

As I took stock of what was happening in my marriage and in marriages around me, I realized there were 3 reasons I wanted to protect my marriage.

3 Reasons to Fiercely Protect Your Marriage - what reasons would you add? Click To Tweet

I began to change my battle plan – from arguing with my husband at times, to battling the real forces that were at work against my marriage. Don’t get me wrong – bad choices were made in our marriage, but I began to battle with the guidelines from Ephesians 6:10-17 rather than try to fight in my own strength.

A change in my tactics has not relieved me of the battle – I wish it did. Instead, though, it has taught me the value of fighting in the manner God intends.

Come with me over to Fulfilling Your Vows for the rest of the post. Read the 3 reasons to fiercely protect your marriage – and then share your own reasons!

My plan for marriage started with excitement and happiness. As time went on, I saw marriages crumble. These are 3 reasons to fiercely protect your marriage.

I’m excited to share that I am contributing at Fulfilling Your Vows. They offer practical encouragement for real-life marriage. Mike & Carlie run the site and they have been through many challenges in their marriage. If you peruse the site, you’ll appreciate their perspective and their honesty. I’ll be there once a month, but there will always be an intro post here to let you know to click over. 

 

Tip: Be sure to check out the related posts at the bottom of this post. The posts there are always related to the content in this post.

 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click here to fill out the form for the Facebook group.

 

Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Alisa Nicaud at Salt & Light, Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement, Susan B. Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Sarah E. Frazer at #TuesdayTalk

How to Overcome Regrets When Standing for Your Marriage

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Recently, I shared Ephesians 6:10-17, the passage about the armor of God, with some wonderful women. I was able to read through the passage, share a few thoughts and provide encouragement on the subject of spiritual warfare. The passage lingered with me, though, and I returned to reading it myself, wondering what I was searching for. As I read the words carefully, one small phrase jumped out at me. I’ve considered the phrase before, but it came to me as encouragement for those of you who wonder if you’ll have regrets in standing for your marriage.

In this type of situation, it can be hard to know what the future holds. We wonder what our lives will look like in five years, next year, even tomorrow. The “what ifs” are loud, undermining our resolve to stand firm.

How to Overcome Regrets When Standing for Your Marriage 

Do you wonder if you're doing everything you should be doing while standing for your marriage? Learn how to overcome regrets when standing for your marriage

You’re probably pretty familiar with this passage in Ephesians 6. If you would like to read the passage, here’s a link to it. We’re looking specifically at verses 10-17.

The verse I want to really focus on is Ephesians 6:13.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 

This is the verse that jumped out at me as I continued to look at this passage. I think it really holds the answer for those who are waiting on God to redeem their marriage. The particular phrase that I latched on to was, “…and after you have done everything, to stand.”

While we have no guarantees on how our marriage will turn out, we can have no regrets in our stand!

Look at these words and phrases from this passage:

  • …be strong…
  • …put on…
  • …can take your stand…
  • …put on…
  • …may be able to stand…
  • …have done everything…
  • …Stand firm…
  • …buckled…
  • …feet fitted…
  • …take up…
  • …you can extinguish…
  • …Take…

What do you see?

Faith In God 

This passage starts with a reminder to be strong in the Lord, and to put on the full armor of God. Paul doesn’t just say, “Go fight, and good luck!” Rather, he starts this section with a reminder of where our strength lies. In fact, if you count, you see that he reminds us twice, in eighteen words, in whom we have our faith.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
    but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. 
Psalm 20:7

Holding to our faith in God is not always easy, but our faith in an omnipotent God gives us boldness to face the right battle. So often, in messy marriages, we treat our spouse as the enemy. While we can justify feelings, we need to remember that our spouse is not actually our enemy.

Preparation for the Right Battle 

Circumstances in a struggling marriage can make us feel hurt, even angry. When you want to lash out at your spouse, though, remember that the armor of God is to be used for a spiritual battle.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 
Ephesians 6:12

We can fight our spouse all we want, but the real battle is one we can’t see with our physical eyes. The pieces of armor are protective. Most of the armor that is listed is to protect your body from top to bottom. Why? Because a spiritual battle can cause a lot of damage. The enemy isn’t just going to attack your mind, or your heart. He’s going to make a full attack in an attempt to derail you.

For those in struggling marriages, consider how hurt you feel when your spouse says they’re leaving. How hard it can be to hear that a spouse has cheated on you. Those really break our hearts. But the devil doesn’t just leave it there, does he? No, he sends doubts (our minds), sometimes we can experience physical or mental distress, we might struggle financially – the possibilities are endless. That’s how he attacks – all out, no holds barred.

That’s why we need the full armor of God, as defense for ourselves. Along with that, we’re told to take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Why do we needs God’s Word? We need it to be able to combat the enemy. We need to be in the Word, to know and understand what God says.

Commitment 

Have you ever bundled up to go outside in winter? If you’re just running to grab something out of the car, you may not worry about too many layers. But if you plan to be shoveling or playing with the kids, you layer up because you know you’ll be outside a while. There are no shortcuts! You put on multiple layers, you get a hat, a scarf, gloves and boots. You don’t want to be cold.

There’s the same level of commitment in suiting up with the armor of God. You may not choose the full armor if you’re just praying for your spouse to have a good day. But when push comes to shove, when marriage is on the line, it is best to put on each piece of armor. To me, this says a couple of things.

First, it tells God that we recognize the seriousness of this battle. Second, we tell our heart  and mind that we are going into this battle prepared. Third, when we show up against the enemy, he sees that we do not come in our own power.

How to Overcome Regrets When Standing for Your Marriage Click To Tweet

…and after you have done everything, to stand.

Preparing for battle, with faith in the Lord and a commitment to His calling allows us to journey through this time of standing for our marriage. God doesn’t just send us in to the battle empty-handed, though. We have hope in Him, we have the knowledge from His Word, and we have the testimonies and examples from those who have gone before us.

I believe God often puts people in our paths who ahead of us in our journey. They cheer us on, sharing some of the “how to” from their journey. We are wise to listen to them, to seek them out for counsel and mentoring, to learn from their battles.

If your marriage ends in restoration, then praise God! We can thank Him for His redemptive work in your marriage.

If your marriage does not end in restoration, though, you can move forward in peace. You can overcome the regrets you may feel because you know that you have done everything. Everything! You’ve put on the full armor, you’ve taken up the sword of the Spirit and have spent time in God’s Word. You put your faith in God, you prepared for the right battle and you kept your commitment. You sought wise counsel and followed advice of trusted mentors.

The flip side of this, though, is that you don’t want to be wondering “what if” in five years, if your marriage has not ended in restoration. You don’t want to be questioning whether your quick devotional in the morning was enough. Maybe you’ll wish you would have taken your mentor’s advice. Perhaps you didn’t put on the helmet to protect your mind. There are many “what ifs” and you don’t want to be wondering about any of them.

Combat them right here, right now, by living out this passage today! 

If you’re looking for a more detailed study of the Armor of God, check out Priscilla Shirer’s Bible Study, The Armor of God.

 

Ephesians 6 lays out 3 ways that we can overcome any regrets we're feeling about standing for our marriages.

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click here to fill out the form for the Facebook group.


Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Crystal at Fresh Market Friday, Susan at DanceWithJesus, Arabah Joy at Grace & Truth, Kelly Balarie at #RaRaLinkup, Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement 

3 Ways to Restore the Love in Your Marriage

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One thing I’ve found in ministering to women standing for their marriage is that we often misunderstand love. I’ve heard from women who talk about “not feeling in love,” and women who say, “He just doesn’t love me anymore.” The pressing question seems to be, “How will we grow old together when we don’t feel loved?”

Perhaps you married because you felt “in love” and assumed the feelings would last. But what happened after a few months, or maybe a year, when things started to change? He didn’t respond the same way any more, or you reverted to getting frustrated too easily. He forgot to take the trash out and you felt frustrated. You stopped speaking nicely to him and he got upset easily.

Where’s the love that was once there?

Have the feelings gone? Try these 3 tips to restore the love in your marriage. Click To Tweet

None of us desire to live in a loveless marriage, but what can we do when all the feelings point to a lack of love? How can we find hope? How can we restore the love we once had?

These are questions I’ve struggled with inside of my own marriage. The answers have been elusive at times, depending on the season of our marriage. The reality, though, is that the answers have never changed – my response, my reaction has had to change.

While the answer can seem simplistic at times, I’ve realized this is an area of marriage that requires a lot of work. I’ve also had to remember that my feelings don’t necessarily tell the truth.

If you’re already married, chances are you’re already committed to giving it your all!

I’m exploring these issues as part of a series on Building a Flourishing Marriage.

There are 3 tips that we’re looking at:
1. Learn The Language
2. Learn How to Understand Love
3. Learn to Keep Fighting

Come join me at Alisa’s blog to read 3 tips to restore the love in your marriage.

Where's the love that was once there? If you've ever wondered this, read these 3 ways to restore the love in your marriage.

 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click here to fill out the form for the Facebook group.

Sharing at Purposeful Faith, Coffee for Your Heart, #DanceWithJesus, Grace & Truth, From Messes to Messages, #TestimonyTuesday, Salt & Light, Crystal at #HeartEncouragement

31 Prayer Prompts for When Marriage is Hard

 

There are many prayer prompts out in social media – for your child, for your spouse, for yourself. I enjoy sharing them because it seems they’re a blessing to many people. As I thought about prayer prompts, I realized I’ve never shared a list of prompts here.

I’ve shared prayers for anxiety, and resources for when marriage is difficult. I’ve also shared access to a support group, encouragement while you wait for redemption, but not prayer prompts.

Why are prayer prompts helpful? In the day-to-day of life, we can get quite distracted. We can also get overwhelmed as we walk through struggles, like the times when marriage is hard. Prayer prompts give us something to focus on and to pray over. It’s a gentle reminder to keep praying, and a suggestion of what to pray for.

So today is the day for a list of 31 prayer prompts – enough for every month!

At the bottom of the post you have the option to download the prayer prompts to have them for personal use.

Is your marriage struggling? Try these 31 prayer prompts for when marriage is hard.

 

31 Prayer Prompts for When Marriage is Hard

Is your marriage struggling? Try these 31 prayer prompts for when marriage is hard. Click To Tweet

For Your Husband:

1.  For God to meet him where he’s at
2.  For a desire for a deeper relationship with God
3.  For Godly role models to speak into his life
4.  For a hedge of protection around his heart and mind
5.  For God to place you on his mind
6.  For God to remind him of his love for you
7.  For protection against the lures of the world
8.  For a realization of anything that is drawing him away from God and from you
9.  For favor at work
10. For provision of daily needs
11. For rest to combat the demands and stresses of life

For Yourself:

1.  For God to meet you where you’re at
2.  For a heart fully committed to God
3.  For Godly role models for you – personally and as a wife
4.  For a hedge of protection around your heart and mind
5.  For peace in the midst of the struggle 
6.  For a strong support system 
7.  For protection from temptation
8.  For strength to withstand anything that draws you away from God and your husband
9.  For opportunities to be a blessing to others
10. For strength to make changes and set boundaries as needed
11. For rest to combat the demands and stresses of life

For You Both as a Couple (whether you live together or apart):

1. For patience as you wait in this season of struggle
2. For grace as you make changes in your life
3. For better communication
4. For a willingness to learn to put each other first
5. For the ability to fight fairly
6. For kindness as you deal with each other
7. For strength to confess wrongdoing
8. For wisdom in decision-making
9. For forgiveness and a heart to continue to offer forgiveness to each other

 

Interested in downloading the prayer prompts? The image below is what you’ll receive when you download the file.

Simply click to download:

31 Prayer Prompts for When Marriage is Hard

 

Is your marriage struggling? Try these 31 prayer prompts for when marriage is hard.

 

 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

Linking up with Holly Barrett, Holley Gerth, #HeartEncouragment, DanceWithJesus, Grace & Truth

3 Ways to Wait While God Restores My Marriage

How long do I have to wait for God to restore my marriage? 

This is a question I’ve heard quite a bit, recently. I’ve read it in blog comments, emails, and from people in my personal life.

The truth is, waiting on your marriage to be restored is hard work. It involves trust in God and His timing, laying aside our own wants and desires, and holding onto hope despite the world screaming loudly to just let go.

Getting up each day to face a situation that we don’t like is so difficult, but the unknown of how it will turn out – and when we might see restoration – adds to that difficulty.

So how do you press on, day by day, as you wait for God to restore and redeem your marriage?

I’m sharing some tips from my own life today, in no particular order.

3 Ways to Wait While God Restores My Marriage

I'm taking steps of faith while God restores my marriage. Here are 3 ways to wait on God as we trust Him for restoration of our marriages.

1. Shake It Up 

I love routines. I am a creature of habit, and I don’t like change, especially when that change is out of my control.

Waiting on a spouse to decide they do want to stay in the marriage is certainly out of our control.

During the hardest times in my marriage, it was easy for me to fall back on those routines. After a while, though, I noticed something else starting to happen.

While going through my daily routines, the doubts, the negative thoughts and the heartache crept in easily, often without me noticing it. I’d go through several days wondering why I was feeling so down. That’s when I noticed the negative feelings creeping in to my heart with my daily routines.

So – I had to shake it up!

I started to change my routines so that my thoughts wouldn’t be so automatic as they were with my regular routines. As doubts crept in, I worked hard to notice them and then I prayed. I simply prayed the name of Jesus over and over. His name was the only prayer strong enough to combat my worries and fears.

2. Jesus – Early and Often 

My morning routine was to wake up, wash my face and drink my coffee. Usually, I eased into my day, did schoolwork with the kids, went to work, completed housework and went to sleep. Early on, I realized that this would not work; I would not survive the impact of our marital issues without Jesus, so I had to start at the beginning of the day.

To be honest, in-depth Bible study was difficult, simply because it was hard to focus on large chunks of reading. I decided to work on smaller chunks of the Bible and wrote out some verses to memorize.

My day needed to start with Jesus, so I placed these verses in strategic locations where I would be reminded of God’s grace even before my day started. I made it a point to sit on the side of my bed each morning, look out at the back yard and thank God for a new day. I turned the chore of washing dishes into an opportunity to pray. Folding laundry became an opportunity to thank God for each family member. Even social media turned into a way to gather favorite verses all in one place.

As I intentionally took Jesus through every part of my day, it became easier to focus on Him instead of being completely devoured by my problems.

3. Move Ahead

“Moving ahead” does not seem like a way to wait while God restores my marriage, but the reality is that it’s another step of faith and trust in Him.

When our situation got to the point where it was completely out of my control, I realized that I had a few options:
*Divorce my husband and need to hit the ground running to provide for my family
*Stay in bed and watch my life fade away
*Begin to put one foot in front of the other and trust that God would do what He said

I came to the point where I realized that either I had to trust God, believe He would care for me, have faith that He would lead me – OR – I had to throw in the towel on my faith and close the door on God.

While divorce was an option, I wasn’t ready to take my kids from their father if there was any other way. The option to stay in bed and watch my life pass by was viable and for a while I did that.

Moving forward, though, stepping back into life, was scary. I had no guarantee that anything would get better. God asked me to wait, but I was not sure how things would ultimately turn out. I realized the only way out of my situation was to get through it, so I determined to move ahead. I told God that if my marriage was to be saved, He was going to have to do it.

Over the years He has done that, but I really believe it’s because I decided to move forward in faith with Him.

Psalm 16:8 became a verse I clung to –

I have set the LORD always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Friends, we have a calling on our lives, each one of us.

The marital issues we struggle with are a small part of the entirety of our lives. I know they seem all-consuming right now, but consider them in the scope of your entire life. I’ll explain it as I heard it from Christine Caine at a women’s conference that I went to:

I will turn 42 this coming Saturday. While the story of my marital issues is the main story of my life right now, it’s not my whole life. It started 3 years ago, and Lord willing, it will come to an end soon. I have 39 years before these issues were a part of my story, and I hope to have many years after this where my marital issues will no longer be a part of my story. They will take up a small portion of my entire life, so why would I camp out in that tragedy rather than living in the years of blessing that God has given?

Isn’t that an interesting perspective? It reminds me of Romans 8:18 –

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Waiting while God restores your marriage can be difficult. We can wait in stress, in frustration, full of anxiety, or we can wait in proactive ways that keep us stepping out in faith with the Lord.

How are you waiting while God restores your marriage? 

 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

Sharing at Grace & TruthKelly BalarieHolley GerthDance with JesusLiveFree#HeartEncouragement, Salt & Light, #MomentsofHope, #TellHisStory

Stand For Your Marriage…Together!

I have something exciting that I’m eager to share with you! I love to be able to offer support to you as you’re walking through some of the darkest times of your life. It’s such an honor to stand beside you as you stand for your marriage. If you’re new here, or haven’t poked around much on the site, you need to know a couple things up front. I believe in the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, and I believe in redemption in marriage. That’s why I write, and that’s my goal in sharing my heart and additional resources with you.

Today I have a brand new (free!) marriage resource that I’d like to offer to you. 

Are you taking a stand for your marriage? Try this practical resource for support and encouragement in your stand for marriage.

A couple months ago, I met another Christian blogger who writes about marriage, particularly from the angle of standing for your marriage. I was so excited to find someone else who shares my passion for this topic. As we got to talking, she invited me to join a group on Facebook dedicated to wives who are standing for their marriages. I joined her group and have been completely amazed at the strength and fortitude of these women who have endured some incredibly tough situations.

Since joining, and at the leader’s suggestion, I’ve offered this group to a couple of readers who have emailed me recently, just to see how they like it and if they have the same experience I’ve had so far. One sweet lady was ready to file for divorce – she had the papers, but didn’t feel that it was the right time. As she shared her story, I was so in awe of how God was working in her specific situation. It was simply amazing!

I’ve been asked to be a co-leader in this group because of my own background and because my marriage is basically restored – though we realize we will always be a work in progress.

After talking with the other leader, we’re ready to open the group to you women who are standing for your marriage. 

This group is specifically for the woman who is struggling in a relationship with her husband. 

**For the men who are here, feel free to skip ahead – there are resources for you listed below.

**For a woman who is legally divorced and whose husband has remarried – we recommend Rejoice Ministries. Our current group is devoted to women whose spouses have not yet remarried. We know that God can work in amazing ways – ways we can’t begin to understand – but we don’t wish to play any part in breaking up another marriage. We will pray with you and for you, but we have to know the limits of what we feel is appropriate for us to deal with, and what we need to hand off to people with a greater background in counseling.

Stand for your marriage – together.

Here are the details to be added to the group, ladies: 

1. Click this link and fill out the form. Your responses are private and will stay with me.
*The response to this group has been so overwhelming that we’ve felt the need to be sure we’re adding people for whom this group is a good fit. This is a good problem to have!
We’ve also had a few people request to join and they simply don’t fit our model of wives standing for their marriage, or trusting God to work in their life and their husband’s life. 

2. Once I’ve seen your response come in, I will reply to you with my Facebook url. You will need to add me as a friend in order for me to add you to the secret group.
*This is the only way to be added to a secret group on Facebook. 

3. Once you’re in the group, I will delete you as a friend so that you can keep your privacy.
*You will remain in the group, we just won’t be connected as Facebook friends. 

For those of you who are not on Facebook, or who struggle with using Facebook due to hurtful things you see posted by your spouse, please consider this option to be able to join us in the group:

Use the app that is just for Facebook Groups so that you don’t have to get into Facebook to find the group and risk seeing anything that will cause hurt. We have a few women in our group who join us this way and they’ve said it makes a big difference since they don’t have to see the regular happenings on Facebook.

Questions?

Feel free to comment or email me – seems many people are choosing email to communicate now and that’s perfectly fine. I can certainly appreciate the desire to keep things a little more private.

You can also find a list of some of my favorite resources here

Resources for men:

And, gentlemen, I didn’t want to share this post without having resources for you as well.

Are you taking a stand for your marriage? Try this practical resource for support and encouragement in your stand for marriage.

I just learned of Jason’s blog from my friend, Beth. He shares the journey he and his wife, Tiffani, have been on. He shares their story and offers hope and encouragement from a man’s perspective. You’ll find the links to their social media accounts.

I reached out to Jason and Tiffani last night and was pleasantly surprised to get a quick response. I’m adding in this message from Jason –

“When new folks ask me which post tells our story in the most direct way possible, this one is definitely it. In the early days of SongSix3, there were things I definitely wasn’t ready to share yet. It had to cook for awhile in my heart before I could open up and tell certain parts.” Read – Keeping Short Accounts

In exchanging messages with them, Jason asked me to let you know that you’re welcome at their Facebook page, and he’d be happy to interact with you on the page or through Facebook messaging. You can also find them on Twitter.

I think this is an excellent opportunity for you to interact with someone who knows the journey from your perspective, men!

You can also find a few of my favorite resources here

The truth is –

Whether you’re brand new to a struggling marriage, or if you’ve walked this path for a while, we all need support.

I hope you’ll take this opportunity to get involved in accepting support from others who have walked this road. You might even find that you can encourage someone else.

It’s a tough road, but we’ll make it together! 

 

Sharing with Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragement

Psalms of Hope

Do you have a favorite verse about hope? 

A few friends and I shared some of our favorite verses recently, and I want to share some of them with you. It can be refreshing nice to have a reminder of how God is at work.

Many of us are experiencing struggles right now – some in their marriage, some with regular day-to-day life, others with job and family issues. In some cases it seems these struggles are due to the enemy ratcheting up the spiritual warfare that people are dealing with.

These verses will encourage you as you walk through your various struggles. Let’s remember that no matter what happens, God is in control and He has our best interests at heart.

This post is different than the usual posts because I just want to share these verses of hope with you. I’m not sharing any stories this time, no great insights, rather I’m giving you something better – a fresh look at God’s Word!

As I compiled this list of hope verses, I realized several verses were in the book of Psalms, so this list is focused on just a few verses from Psalms.

At the end of the post there is a way to sign up for subscriber freebies that I share. I’m including a free printable of these psalms of hope. You guys, this is the first one I’ve ever created, so *if* for some reason, it doesn’t work well, please be gracious! 🙂

If you are already signed up, you should get the link to download the printable in your email. (Be sure to check all your folders as sometimes emails don’t show up in the Inbox as they should.) 

5 psalms of hope to remember that God is in control.

 

Psalms of Hope 

 

Psalm 25:3a

No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame….

 

Psalm 27:14 

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

 

Psalm 71:5 

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.

 

Psalm 71:14 

As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.

 

Psalm 91:2 

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

 

Would you like to be able to print all of these verses and keep them with you?

I’ve created a printable for you to do just that! 

Be sure to sign up to get the posts delivered to your email. Along with the free eBooks about marriage, you’ll have the link to download the printable that has all five of these verses. The image below shows you what it looks like.

When you sign up you will get an email back from me to confirm your subscription. That email has the link to download your freebies, including a pdf file of these verses.

Five Psalms of Hope - 2

I hope these will encourage you!

 

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out the short form for the Facebook group.

Can One Person Really Make a Difference?

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Do you believe one person can make a difference?

Don’t just say yes – really take a moment and think about it.

Do you truly believe that just one person can make a difference in their world?

No one comes away unchanged, from this battle for their marriage. Can one person really make a difference?

One of my favorite articles talks about making a difference. The article is the text of the commencement address by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven to the University of Texas at Austin Class of 2014. I have referenced this article before, and I’ll tell you, it’s one that I re-read several times each year.

Why?

Because I want to believe I’m making a difference. 

In his commencement address, Admiral McRaven tells the almost 8,000 graduates that –

“…if every one of you changed the lives of just ten people—and each one of those folks changed the lives of another ten people—just ten—then in five generations—125 years—the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people.

800 million people—think of it—over twice the population of the United States. Go one more generation and you can change the entire population of the world—8 billion people.

If you think it’s hard to change the lives of ten people—change their lives forever—you’re wrong.

I saw it happen every day in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A young Army officer makes a decision to go left instead of right down a road in Baghdad and the ten soldiers in his squad are saved from close-in ambush.

In Kandahar province, Afghanistan, a non-commissioned officer from the Female Engagement Team senses something isn’t right and directs the infantry platoon away from a 500 pound IED, saving the lives of a dozen soldiers.

But, if you think about it, not only were these soldiers saved by the decisions of one person, but their children yet unborn—were also saved. And their children’s children—were saved.

Generations were saved by one decision—by one person.

But changing the world can happen anywhere and anyone can do it.

Individually, we aren’t going to impact 800 million lives. But we may never fully know how our choices will impact generations to come, even eternity.

My husband and I were talking about this exact thing recently.

That right there – that sentence – is one way that my decisions are changing a life.

My marriage has been through pretty much the very worst that could happen. For a long time, I did not know what to do. God kept speaking, reminding me of redemption. My choice to stay has impacted my family forever.

My choice to stay has impacted my life, the lives of the 4 others in this house, and our extended family. If we follow the Admiral’s speech, I can tell you that my choice has impacted more than 10 people. 

Back to the conversation my husband and I had, because we discussed another way we’re impacting people who are impacting people.

Our oldest son is 16, almost 17 years old. We both chuckled last night as we agreed that he’s “an old soul”. He is not your typical 16 year old. He graduated high school last June, just after his 16th birthday. He worked hard, had almost all A’s (just one B in high school) and he discussed his plans with us.

He is a pianist. He attends a local university where he is a Piano Performance Major. He attends classes, he does his homework, and then he practices piano. He practices some at school, and some at home. On days when his schedule is very full, he tries to get in at least 4 hours of piano. So he’s certainly not just sitting down to practice a piece once, and then walking away. He’s got an astounding work ethic.

Our choice to help him pursue his dreams is impacting those around him. He’s tackled a piece that is very recognizable to most of us (you may know the tune to Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody even if you don’t know the name). The problem is that while we all probably know the tune, apparently what we know varies greatly from what Liszt actually wrote. So our son has gone back to the foundations of the piece – playing what the composer actually wrote.

His reward? Well, one of his professors said that yes, the tune is very recognizable, and it’s a large, grandiose piece. But, he also said that he finds it very refreshing to hear the piece as it was written, rather than in some variation that is available today, and he’s impressed with our guy’s work on it. Our son’s own Piano professor has said something similar, but just yesterday, after a makeup lesson, he said that the piece is ready to be performed. He said that the piece needs to be out for public consumption and that people need to start talking about it.

Our son’s hard work is impacting the people he interacts with, and in turn, they are heaping encouragement upon him – what a reward for his day-to-day hard work and effort!

But how about us, those of us struggling in our marriages? 

No one comes away unchanged, from this battle for their marriage. Can one person really make a difference?

Well, first of all, please know that I’m not promising that fighting for your marriage is going to bring your spouse back, though I sincerely hope it does!

What I am saying, though, is that the process of fighting for your marriage, or even wrestling with God to determine His will for your life, is going to impact someone. It’s going to impact you.

And it’s going to make a difference in the lives of the people in your inner circle.

No one comes away from this kind of battle unchanged. 

But that’s just it: no one – no one – comes away from this kind of battle unchanged. They stand with us, they watch our choices and actions, and then they have an opportunity to go bless and impact more people, and they carry our story with them. Perhaps, ultimately, our story doesn’t end in the redemption of our marriage, though we pray it does. But it ends with God’s faithfulness to us, His leading us through the storm, and His perfect plan for us, despite how others may fail us.

These choices are part of the legacy we leave – for our children, our family, our friends, our co-workers, our acquaintances.

I want to leave a good and godly legacy, don’t you?

My friend, Leah, has re-released one of her Bible studies after a massive redesign. Not only is the book beautiful, it’s full of great lessons on leaving a godly legacy. These are truths that we can apply to our lives as Christians, but even more – as women who are drawing a line in the sand and letting God know that we stand with Him. What an awesome legacy to be able to pass on!

I’d encourage you to take a look at her Bible study.

“When all is said and done, the legacy you leave for those who come after you will be a result of the choices you make each day…choices regarding your faith, character, and holiness.” -Leah C. Adams, author

Please check out Legacy – I think you’ll find it’s a great encouragement for this journey! Click here: Legacy – or click the image below.

Legacy

Can one person really make a difference?

The answer is simple – the answer is yes! 

Just consider a few examples from the Bible:
Elijah, taking on the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18)
Naomi, allowing Ruth to go with her after the loss of Naomi’s sons and husband (Ruth 1)
Mary, carrying the baby who would save the world (Luke 1:26-38)
Paul, who endured so much and penned the words we’re familiar with in Philippians 3:14.
Jesus, sent from heaven, fully God yet fully man, enduring death on the cross for our sins.

Friend, one person can make a difference. Yes, these are big examples, but there is no reason our faith cannot be as big as that of Elijah, Naomi, Mary, Paul and countless others in the Bible.

Consider your situation and look ahead to the legacy that you can leave, because your life truly does make a difference!

Support for women who are standing for their marriage, trusting God to restore and redeem.

Click this link to fill out a short form for the Facebook group.

 

No one comes away unchanged, from this battle for their marriage. Can one person really make a difference?
Sharing at Grace & Truth 

When the Problem Isn’t Spiritual

Winter can be a tough time to keep our perspective in check. The days are short, the nights are long, the weather is cooler than we’d like. Many people find that their emotions to be rather out of sorts, and if you’re already dealing with personal difficulties, these additional factors can put a real damper on your life.

Following Jesus takes work – learning, studying, praying, combating the enemy and the spiritual forces that are at work in our lives. But sometimes, there are still those lingering feelings that we aren’t doing enough, we aren’t the best Christian that we can be, and while there may be areas where we need to grow, sometimes the problem isn’t spiritual.

Often, we try to work through our spiritual issues, seeking God’s help, as we should. But sometimes we need to listen to our bodies and seek additional help in working through physical issues. Sometimes the problem isn’t spiritual and we need help so that our physical bodies can be working well.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is something that many people struggle with. It’s a physical issue / depression that we often see in winter and is brought on by a decrease in sunlight. You might find yourself feeling down, with a lack of energy, and generally not interested in activities that usually provide enjoyment.

Dealing with SAD can impact most areas in our lives. We feel sad and discouraged, and that often carries over from our feelings into other areas of our lives. If this is something you deal with, or think you might be struggling with, you’ll want to see these 5 tips for dealing with SAD.

How to cope when the problem isn't spiritual - when it might be time to seek physical help

 

Remember that medical questions / treatments should be discussed with your doctor or healthcare provider first. 

 

 

Hope for the Hurting Wife

 

UPDATED March 1, 2017:
Hope for the Hurting Wife 
was a free resource that we offered for the month of February, 2017.
If you did not receive your copy, don’t worry! We’re planning something special!

Starting today, we’re working to expand the book into a full 30-day devotional!

Here’s how you can help: 
If you received your copy, we are looking for reader feedback to use as testimonials for the new 30-day version.
If you’d like to submit your feedback, please email me at rmhallberg@gmail.com and share how the book impacted you.

If you haven’t yet read Hope for the Hurting Wife, hang on for just a little while and you’ll start to see information on the new 30-day version, which will include content that has not been published before.

We’re excited about where God is leading us, and how He is using our stories to encourage others.


I’d like to take just a moment and share a little about the books being offered here and why it’s so important to me to share them with you.

I entered marriage having gone through premarital counseling, thinking I knew my spouse well. We communicated often and had those in-depth conversations that people need to have – whether or not we’d have kids, our goals and dreams, where we felt God was leading us as individuals and together.

Things were good – not always perfect, but they eventually got better. And such was the whole of my married life – a lot of good, some tough spots, and then things would work out.

Until one day when the bottom fell out. The knock at the door changed everything. Life changed from basically just going about my day-to-day life, to deciding whether or not I would (or could) stand up against the enemy’s attacks and the struggles my husband was now going to have to confront, head on.

Any of the marriage posts written on this site have come after the pain of that particular day – the day they knocked at the door.

God has really dealt with me in the past few years, teaching me grace, answering my pleas for mercy, and reminding me that all of life is to be held loosely because in the end, it’s all His.

 

Hope for the Hurting Wife is a compilation of writings from Jen and me. Jen blogs at Being Confident of This, and she and I have taken turns writing for each other’s blogs, mostly on the topic of marriage. We’ve both struggled in our marriages and we’re joining forces to offer a resource that we think is going to be beneficial to you. We share from our own experiences of when marriage is hard, as wives who have experienced the hurt, but are still fighting for our marriage.

You’ll find encourage and support for the real-life problems that arise when marriage becomes difficult. You’ll find hope for the journey of standing for your marriage, an understanding of the times when you pass through the deep waters of discouragement and fear. And you’ll find that we aren’t perfect in our fight for marriage – we’re two women who share the hurt, but also the hope from drawing close to Jesus in this time. And you’ll be reminded that no matter what happens, God has a plan for your life.

It’s our desire that this book is a blessing to others who are in similar situations. To get this book, (and the ones below) for free, I simply ask that you sign up for the email list. I don’t inundate you with emails. In fact, you’ll only get an email from me if I have a new post to share, or sporadically in between posts if I have something to share with you.

Marriage resources for when you're looking to strengthen and improve your marriage.

To sign up for the email list and get 3 free books about marriage,
simply click this link.

(Hope for the Hurting Wife is not currently included in our subscriber freebies.) 

Signing up for emails also means that in the future when I have freebies,
you’ll have access to them right away since you already signed up.

*          *          *          *          *

At the time I became aware of the problems  in my marriage, I was writing for a larger website and the owner began to host these 31 day series on marriage. Ironically, I told God that I’d never write about marriage. There are so many other websites that cover that topic. But God kept laying it on my heart to participate and He hasn’t let me walk away from writing about marriage yet, though I do share a few other kinds of posts from time to time.

After each series, we, the authors, were each given permission to share these eBooks with our subscribers. So that’s what I’ve been doing with these eBooks – offering them in exchange for subscription to the blog here.

I know that being allowed into someone’s Inbox is a precious gift. The posts I write are often reflective of where my own heart is in this journey of trying to do my part to work on my marriage. I’m a work in progress, grasping for redemption in my own life when I thought I’d be content just telling others’ redemption stories.

As painful as it’s been, I’m grateful that God has dealt mercifully with my husband and me. Our story is not over, though I’m positive that the devil thought it would be the day I found out about our struggles. I don’t know what’s ahead, but we are both committed to our marriage, to pressing on for redemption and for what God will do through all of this.

These books are a wonderful resource and I hope they bless you as it blessed all of us who participated in writing it.

And just in case you need more resources right away,
please check the related posts at the bottom of this post. 

31 Days to a Better Marriage - Subscriber Freebies

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31 Days to a Better Marriage - Subscriber Freebie

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Free e-book for subscribers || rebekahmhallberg.com

If you have any questions, you can leave a comment below, or hit the Contact page for my email address.

Thank you, friends! And if this is a blessing, would you consider sharing it with their friends? We would love to share the books with as many people as need it.

 

Sharing at Grace and Truth