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The Day I Took My Ring Off

Have you ever been without your wedding ring? It’s a strange feeling – like a part of you is missing. When I take it off for cooking, I’m quick to wash my hands and put the ring back on as quickly as possible. It’s never off for long.

Earlier this week one of our dogs jumped up and scratched my hand and lower arm. My hand was sore so I took off my wedding ring for about 36 hours, until it started feeling better. The day I took my ring off gave me a lot of time to think about marriage.

The Day I Took My Ring Off - What I'm learning about marriage. Plus, some resources to strengthen our marriages.

 

Marriages today do not have a lot working in their favor. We live in a society that wants to make sure that each individual gets what they need in order to feel good, do well, and move through life without anything holding them back.

* * * * *


Yesterday I spoke with a gentleman who was telling me the story of his recent injury. He fell off a dock, into the water, and hurt his back pretty badly. Apparently he was having some trouble while in the water because his wife had to jump in to help him. 

That’s a pretty selfless act, isn’t it? I think, though, that most of us would do the same thing for a spouse or loved one. 

This man’s wife, though? 

She did not know how to swim.

 

I expressed my surprise to the gentleman. But here’s the other important part of this story. He was an older gentleman – it’s not like they were a young, newly-married couple. 

In fact, he has been married to this lady, who could not swim, yet jumped into the water to save him, for 51 years. 

Fifty-one years. 

I asked him for the rest of the story. He said he was grateful for some substantial upper-body strength to be able to hold up his wife and himself. He also said that some friends had seen what happened and had worked quickly to help the couple get out of the water. 

I asked about his wife and how she was doing. He indicated she had been scared, but that she was okay. And then he said that after 51 years she’s still willing to risk her life for him, so he plans to love her a little more and to be thankful for such a supportive spouse. 

* * * * *

Marriages don’t have a lot going for them. We live in a culture that wants to provide an easy way out, no matter the situation.

We are friends with someone – until it’s an inconvenience.
We associate with people – as long as they help our reputation.
We stay married – until we get hurt, or until we don’t feel like being married.

For those hours when I was not wearing my ring, I considered all these things. I realized that if my marriage were to end, I wouldn’t be any different from many other people in our world today.

* * * * *

This summer will mark my 15th anniversary. I am hardly an “expert” on marriage – not at all. But it saddens me that I’ve already been married longer than many other people I know. 

Please note: 
This entire post is not a judgment against those who have walked the road of divorce. 
Not at all. 
Rather, I am hoping to provide encouragement for those of us 
trying to stay married. 

Marriage is tough. If anyone tells you otherwise, they’re wrong. Marriage isn’t impossible, but it’s not like they portray it in so many movies and TV shows. 

Marriage takes a lot of communication, a lot of working together, a lot of selfless decisions – putting the needs of our spouse at the forefront of our mind. 

So what do we do – those of us who really want to see our marriages work – in this world where so many people are only out for their own goals and ideals? 

We work on the most important relationship. 

And it’s not our marriage.

 

In this crazy, mixed-up world where life can change in a minute, Jesus is our only security. He is the rock, the security that we can have in our lives. 

How do I know?

Because when things fall apart – as they inevitably will,
when others decide they are done with us and our hearts break – as they inevitably will, 
and when marriage is hard, and we’re unsure if we want to continue, or even if we can continue, 

He is our Hope.

 

* * * * *

Some amazing things happen when we pursue that relationship with Jesus.

-Life becomes a little easier as we rely on His strength.
-Hearts are mended as we allow His healing to work in our lives.
-Rough roads are made smooth.
-Relationships are healed.

Please note: 
This is not a guarantee that God will FIX a relationship in the way we want Him to. 
Rather, it is a promise that God will heal the relationships – 
that He will provide what is needed in each relationship, 
whether it’s restoration, healing as we move on, 
whatever the specific need may be. 

* * * * *

The day I took my ring off, as I pondered all these things, I realized that I need to keep trusting Jesus in my own relationships. 

Marriage is hard, parenting is not for the faint of heart, friendships do require time and effort. 

As I look around and see a world constantly in change, with everyone on the lookout for themselves, I want to be a champion for marriages. I want you to know that marriage is worth fighting for. I want to tell you that marriage should push you closer to God as you seek to minister to your spouse. 

But I also want to tell you that the road isn’t easy. We need each other on our marriage journeys, to encourage one another, to support the sanctity of marriage, to help us strive to be the spouse we should be, to keep our focus properly directed on Jesus. 

I want to be one of the couples who makes it to 50+ years of marriage. I want others in my life who are going to encourage my marriage journey; who are going to believe in my husband and me, even when the road is hard. I want people in my life who realize we’re all human – we all make mistakes, we all come to a relationship or marriage with baggage – and some of it is ugly baggage. And I want people who will look past the filth and walk the road with us, whatever that may look like. 

And I want to be that same level of support for others – for you. 

I want to be one of those couples who defy the odds, who live happily ever after. 

And who live happily… 
even after

all the storms of life and all the frustrations of our human imperfections.

And I want to encourage those who, like me, are struggling through marriage. 

You see, I’m not sitting inside a perfect marriage, looking out, saying, “You, too, can have a marriage like this!” 

Rather, I’m in the muck and mire of marriage – just like many others are, wondering what’s coming down the pike. 

I’m committed to my marriage, but that doesn’t mean I’m always confident in it. Sometimes life takes us on roads where we never intended to set foot. 

I’m committed to my marriage,
but I’m confident in God. 

He is the only one who can work out any relationship. He’s the friend when we feel alone. He’s the love we search for in this life. 

* * * * *

I can’t guarantee that my marriage is going to work out anymore than I can guarantee that your marriage/friendship/relationship will work out. I hope it does – I pray it does, but only God knows. It’s often easy to point out the flaws in the other person. Sometimes it’s really easy.

But what if we took our marriage to God, left it with Him, and whole-heartedly pursued our relationship with Him? If we are drawing closer to Him, then we are doing the best thing we can do to make our marriage work.

I wish I could know for sure that my marriage will survive to see many decades together; I wish I could guarantee that for you, as well. I can’t, though.

 I can’t guarantee marriage, but I can guarantee Jesus.

I can't guarantee marriage, but I can guarantee Jesus rebekahmhallberg.com

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5,6

The day I took my ring off,
I realized that
I really don’t ever want to be without my wedding ring. 

 * * * * *

I’d like to add a few additional resources that might be helpful to us,
especially as we work in our marriages.

The first post is one that I can really relate to. It’s hard to love when you do not feel loved. Jen shares beautifully from her own experiences and reminds us that our eyes need to fixed solely on Jesus in her post, “How to Love When You Feel Unloved“. I love this post, particularly because it reminds me that I’m not alone in the feelings I sometimes have.

How to Love When You Feel Unloved

If you’re committing to love your spouse and stay in your marriage, then prayer is the best place to start. Kaylene has written a series of posts that I know will be a blessing to us. She offers “40 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband“. I’ll be honest – sometimes it’s hard to know what to pray, especially if we’re struggling. But these 40 prayers will get us started and will open our hearts to communication with God about our beloved.

40 Prayers to Pray Over Your Husband

 

One of the things I sometimes struggle with  is trusting God, especially as it relates to my marriage. My friend, Arabah Joy, has written a book called “Trust Without Borders: A 40-Day Devotional Journey to Deepen, Strengthen, and Stretch Your Faith in God. She challenges us to ask, “What would happen this year if you really believed God?” She has taken truths from the Bible, combined them with Scriptures where God promises fulfillment, making it a great list to affirm and confirm our trust in God.  If you are trusting God for your marriage, or even just to hold your heart, this is an excellent resource.

Trust Without Borders

 

And this – a free eBook for email subscribers. This was the fall series of 31 Days to a Better Marriage. 30 different writers joined together to share articles designed to help strengthen your marriage. You can learn more about the free eBook here.

31 Days to a Better Marriage

 

Resources to Strengthen Your Marriage || rebekahmhallberg.com

photo source
photo source 

I’m sharing this post at
A Little R&RHolley Gerth, Grace & Truth

 

Comments

  1. I LOVE this post! You are right on in everything you say. My husband and I have been married for 35 years. We have had all the ups and downs that everyone experiences in life. The only reason we are still together is that we are two sinners who love Jesus and put Him first in our lives. Like you, I don’t say that to condemn anyone else that has gone through a divorce. But, my husband and I often think how easy it would have been to give up on one another years ago. Without God’s help we would have been doomed to fail. Now, 35 years later we get to enjoy the sweet reward of sharing our lives with the person who knows us best in the world…knows all my faults and loves me anyway. God is good.
    Anita Morrison recently posted…Life Insurance is For the Living…Not the Dead – guest post by Dan MorrisonMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Anita, thank you! I appreciate your words here and the insight into your story. Oh, how I love stories and seeing how God works in lives and marriages. Your words – “…two sinners who love Jesus…” YES! Thank you, thank you for your beautiful words here! Best wishes for many more years together, growing in God’s grace!

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  2. Timothy Hallberg says:

    Hello my Love,

    I very much enjoyed your post and I am the husband of whom you spoke. I don’t often comment on your posts, but I wanted to comment on this one. You are the best person I’ve ever met. You make life enjoyable, and Jesus has helped me understand just how much I love you, and how much I need you.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Hi! I’m grateful for the knowledge and the reminders that we’re all works in progress. I’m grateful for the grace poured out in our lives!

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  3. Luisa Mitchell says:

    Rebekah my friend,
    I love this post. You are in an amazing writer that God is using in a mighty way. Everything that you wrote here it is so right. I know our Savior provides Grace and Mercy daily to us and if HE commands us to do the same for others and that includes our spouse; however it is so difficult sometimes that only with the help of God and the Holy Spirit we are able to do so. Keep writting my friend.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I agree, dear friend – it is so hard. It’s only by the grace of God, and by staying close to Him that marriage even stands a chance at working. Following God is the only way that anything can work out in life. I am so blessed to have strong friends who help keep my eyes focused on the most important thing. Grateful for you!! xo!

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  4. Sweet friend, I have been praying for you – for so long. We are sinful people living in a sinful world and when we wake up and realize the person next to us needs grace and mercy from Jesus as much as we do – when we start sharing grace, mercy and true love that is when the rubber hits the road and we see others for who they are – no better or worse, just needing Jesus. Being sinful – in a sinful world means it’s just going to be hard, but when we seek Jesus and focus on Him – even when and if the rings come off – is always when He meets us and can work miracles that He has in store for us. You know part of my journey, part of our story… it’s a daily desire to put Jesus first and remember, I’m a sinner married to a sinner…

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you – I cannot begin to tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. I am hoping to reply to you via email tomorrow night (Tuesday) when I have a little more time. I love your words – all of them – especially, “I’m a sinner married to a sinner…” I will be in touch now that I’m sort of getting my head back above water. I so appreciate you…praying God’s rich blessings on you this week! xo!!

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  5. You’re spot on and I thank you for a beautifully written and insightful post on the joys, struggles and loving hope of Christian marriage. God bless, and shine on!!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Marianne, and really that’s just it – the loving hope of Christian marriage. It’s to make us more like Jesus and less like the world. I appreciate your encouragement! Have a wonderful week!

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  6. Please send me an email at marmo212 (at) yahoo. I have a gift I would like to send you relavent to this topic. Again, God bless!!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Sent, thank you! :-)

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  7. Lyda Plummer says:

    Thank you so much!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    You’re very welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read and leave a note – I really appreciate that!

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  8. Jen Mount says:

    Becky,
    This was so good. As someone divorced twice (married the same person twice) determined it had to be right, I finally realized that God was never first in my life. When I realized that was what I was supposed to do, my life has new meaning…with My relationship with God first, I have found someone who shares the same beliefs with me and puts God first. I know I will marry this man and I thank God for the way my life has changed instead of being embarrassed and ashamed. Thank you for this post. It gives marriage the meaning and sacredness it deserves in this world.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Love, love, LOVE your comment here!!! I’m SO happy for you and SO glad to know how God is working! I’ve seen you two a few times and wanted to ask, but didn’t want to pry. 😉 So happy to hear how God is working in your life! Blessings, sweet friend!!

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  9. I love this post. Unfortunately for me, my marriage didn’t work. I was married for 12 years and found out that my now ex-husband has had a girlfriend for over a year. I tried everything to make our marriage work but he was no longer wanting to be with me!!!!! I hope that the next person (if there ever is one) will be the right one. Tired of making mistakes and getting hurt and heart broken!!!! Your post was amazing!!!!!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you so much for sharing some of your precious story here. Trusting and praying with you that God will heal your heart and that if there is a next relationship for you, that God will be first and foremost in your heart, and that He will begin to prepare you, even now, for that! Thank you for taking time to read and share your heart!

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  10. Rebekah, this is just amazing. Amazing! I reached a point in life where I didn’t think I wanted to work at it any more. We had two children and life was stressful as it was… I felt unheard. Unappreciated. Unloved. I know I wasn’t unloved…but we were struggling with communication and both of us had things on our hearts (that we carried for years) that were never said. Finally – we were able to say them. And with God’s healing, here we are 7 years later and stronger than ever. And with two more children! Thank you for your honesty – and your wonderful talent of sharing it with us. Blessings!
    Jennifer Frisbie recently posted…Embracing what hurts…My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I love that your story has such a sweet ending! But I know the pain on the front side of your story, too. Communication is such a key…but a lack of it can be such a killer, can’t it? Ours was slipping away (and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s completely back yet), but we are actively working on that here, too. A sweet friend gave me a small sentence that holds so much truth, and I’m clinging to it. I want to share it with you, so that you, too, can hold onto it on the tough days: “I’m a sinner, married to a sinner.” So simplistic, but such a reminder that as a couple, we are both in such need of grace. And God gives freely! Thank you for sharing here – blessings on your sweet family, and I’m praying that God gives you and your husband many, MANY more happy, fulfilling, precious years together!

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  11. Beautiful. My husband and I will be married 30 years next week. We live every day like it was a gift and like it was our last.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Happy anniversary to you both! Congratulations on 30 years and best wishes for MANY more!! Great advice – life is a gift, and we never know when it’s our last day.

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  12. What an inspiring story of the gentleman who jumped in the water to save his spouse!
    I agree with you that our society has made relationships about what is best for ourselves, and not about the other person….selfishness is reigning in most peoples hearts (and we have to guard constantly in our own I might add).
    This was a great reminder of the sanctity and importance of biblical marriage. Congrats on 15 years together! That is truly a great accomplishment :)
    Rach D recently posted…~’Thinking of Homeschooling’ Series (part 1) AND a Special Announcement~My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Rachel, so true – selfishness is what seems to be at the center of most lives today. Thank you for the congratulations on 15 years! Definitely looking ahead to all that God will continue to do. Blessings!

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  13. What a way with words you have, my friend. The Lord is using you!
    Arabah recently posted…Praying Scripture for Your Children: A-Z VirtuesMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    It’s only Him! Saying “yes” to His will, and writing His words has already taken me on quite the adventure. And He continues to bless, and you are one of those blessings! I’m so grateful that we’ve connected across the many, many miles! Praying for you today!!

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  14. :) Muck and Mire.
    That would be a good post title. Congrats on 15 years! And I’m here to tell you, 31 is possible with God. At about the ten year mark it was a tough go here…but God. He made a way and when we stuck it out…now-WOW! :)

    Okay, there are STILL muddy miry days, but mostly it’s wow. :) :)
    Kathy Schwanke recently posted…No Need To Scrunch or Punch: What To Do When People Have An Agenda For YouMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Amen… BUT God! I’m looking forward to moving on and continuing to move closer together as the years go by. It’s been a tough start, but I’m looking forward to what’s ahead! :)

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  15. Hi, Becky! I find myself nodding yes to so much in this post, but what I like most is that you just point us back to Jesus. Abiding in Him really is the best thing we can do for our marriage!
    Jen :)
    Jen recently posted…The Loft – “Potluck” StyleMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I keep nodding, too. I was just commenting to someone else how “funny” it is that God has us write these posts and then brings US back to read them. (…a little hard-headed I am… 😉 ) Thank you for your sweet words! XO!

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  16. Marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done. Greg and I will celebrate our 20th in January and it is only by God’s grace that we are still married. I gave us plenty of opportunity early on to NOT be married, but God held us together, and we are so thankful. It is true…only Jesus is the super-glue that holds marriage together. Bless you my friend for bring this post to The Loft.
    Leah Adams recently posted…The Loft ~ A Tuesday Link Up ~ Pot LuckMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    20 years…just beautiful! I’m certainly praying for many more happy years ahead! We have such a knack for messing things up, don’t we? (especially me, in my perfectionist tendencies…sigh). I’m glad God doesn’t require perfection, just a persistent following where He leads! Blessings, friend!!

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  17. What a truly wonderful piece of writing and so apt, as I have just recently been married. I think everything that you have said is spot on and I pray that I take this message to heart throughout this covenant journey. I am encouraged by your honesty and I look forward to reading more of your posts :)
    Ruth Clemence recently posted…What’s the Weather Doing?My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    First of all, congratulations on your marriage! I’m praying that God gives you many, many happy years together!! And second, you are so correct in your choice of words – a covenant journey. Keep God as the main focus, keep seeking Him, and He will continue to bring you closer together! Thank you for joining us at The Loft! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts as well! Blessings!!

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  18. Thank you for sharing this!!! So many times people, Christians included, just toss away their marriages. Marriage is worth fighting for, and it is something we have to leave in God’s hands…it is quite the balance.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Quite the balance indeed…it’s one of those things that we, ourselves, cannot perfect because another human is involved (and we’re all imperfect! 😉 ) but at the same time, we want to be drawing closer to Jesus, especially in our marriage. Thank you, Kristen, for those words – just what I needed today: “quite the balance”. That’s on my heart now!

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  19. This is so beautifully written. I loved your story about the sweet old couple. What a testimony! I love what you said about Jesus being our only guarantee. So true! I think I said Amen like ten times while reading this.
    Thank you for this encouragement!
    Cate

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    Rebekah Reply:

    I say Amen each time I read it, too – funny how God gives us words to write, and then brings us back to them to be reminded of something He’s trying to teach us! 😉 Marriage is hard work, I’ve come to find, but it’s GOOD work when we’re focusing on the relationship through God’s eyes! Thank you for your kind words! :)

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  20. Good post. I’ve only been married for three years, today, but I’ve done a lot marriage prayer ministry with people in the Healing Rooms at our church and through Victorious Ministry Through Christ.
    I like the way your writing ebbs and flows and is very encouraging
    Lizzy recently posted…A Song and a PrayerMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Hello! Thank you so much for your kind words about the writing! I’m always thrilled to hear when people are praying for marriages – thank you! That’s really the best we can do, isn’t it? How beautiful that God gives us the opportunity to carry each other before the throne of grace. Thank you for all the marriages you have stood for!

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  21. Here I sat, upset at my husband for his selfishness and pondering why or how did I end up in this “crap!”. But your blog reminded me that this marriage is worth fighting for. I’m reminded of the small, far and few between selfless moments that he has displayed. Then I feel better. It was worth waiting for. I thank God that these moments last in my mind. God is still working on me. Thank you for this blog.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Believe me when I tell you that I understand…ALL of what you just said! This post is just as much for me as for anyone else. Sharing this gently with myself today, too. I read a quote yesterday that helped me remember to keep things in perspective. It read, “All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.” -Helen Keller. I know sometimes I need the reminder to get my eyes out of the muck and mire and back up to God. Praying for you today, and for your marriage. May God richly bless you! Thank you for taking time to leave a note today – it’s encouraged me greatly!

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  22. I loved this post too. What a great conversation. When we are committed we are fully in EVEN when we can’t swim.
    Chris Malkemes recently posted…Conversation at THE LOFT – What Should I Do With My Journals?My Profile

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  23. After thirty-four years of marriage, we have gone through prison, cancer, loss of homes and burying children. I can boldly attest to the fact that there is happiness, even after! Only because our God is so good and constantly so kind. His mercies never come to an end!
    Thank you for speaking that truth to this generation.
    Deb recently posted…Cheetah ChasingMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Deb, wow…what a powerful testimony! You have been SUCH a blessing in sharing these few words – the exact words you’ve shared here are some of the struggles that I’ve been going through myself. How timely that God sends these words just when I need them! Thank you for being brave to share these words. Thank you!

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  24. Coming from The Loft (late this week)- I loved the illustration of the married couple and I loved that taking off your ring prompted you to think on marriage!
    Ren recently posted…Ode to My Father-in-lawMy Profile

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  25. Ahw, Rebekah this is so good and like you I am a strong advocate for marriage. God gave me a second chance and between my remembering His covenant to me and mine to him when I remarried the second time with Christ in my life, it made all the difference!

    Bless you! As you share these words may they give hope to someone who is on the precipice of the exit door!
    Kimberly Nyborg recently posted…Embracing 2015!My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    We are in the season of a second chance for our first marriage. I am praying that all of the work, dedication, re-learning, healing, and even the heartache, will produce something better than ever before! Thanks, Kimberly!

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  26. Rebekah, Ive seen this post floating around the blogosphere but I didnt know you wrote it! I love everything about this post! So glad you shared with Grace & Truth!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Kaylene. God’s taken it on quite a trip and it’s encouraging to know that it’s a blessing to others. Thank you for your kind words!

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  27. Taunya Richards says:

    Rebekah,

    This is beautiful. I’ve been married 21 years. Last year we faced divorce. Abba has restored us and I’m so amazed. Every day. Thank you for sharing this post on Grace & Truth.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Taunya, for sharing that. God is so good to restore. May He give you many more years of joy! Blessings!

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  28. I LOVE this post, Rebekah!

    I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been married over 22 years and I have learned the hard way to love, cherish, and protect my marriage. I have also learned that we need to love Jesus Christ first and foremost if we want our marriages to be all that He has intended them to be.

    Love the encouragement here. A much needed message in a world that cares little about this God-ordained institution.

    Blessings to you and yours!
    Heather @ My Overflowing Cup recently posted…How Then Should We Walk? {The Walking Series Intro}My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you, Heather. It seems that no matter what I do, I can’t get away from the message of working on my marriage. I want to teach my kids that marriage is worth it – that the work of love, the choice of love is worth it. Love’s not a feeling, it’s an action and every day we can choose how we will respond to others. Thanks, Heather!

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  29. You are such a blessing to me! Thank you for sharing my 40 Prayers post. Love you!
    Kaylene Yoder recently posted…Creating Margin for God in Your Day {Grace & Truth #7}My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Oh, thank YOU for sharing with all of us! I’m looking forward to being more intentional in praying for my husband, and for our marriage through the 40 prayers! Love you!

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  30. Wonderful post! I so agree! We’ve been married 48 years. I’ve been a Christian 44 years. My husband still is not YET a follower of Christ. But nearly two years ago I made a commitment to spend 5 min. a day on my knees praying for his salvation. He’s not there yet, but I’m seeing marked improvement in his attitude and sensitivity to the Gospel.

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  31. Beautifully written, insightful and inspiring. I’ve been married twenty-two years in June and I’m so thankful we made it through the hard times. God redeems the wasted years.
    Blessings to you,
    Patti

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  32. Erika C. says:

    Needed this today. Feeling quite defeated and then guilty for feeling defeated.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    What a web of emotions we travel through, yes? I believe that our feelings are valid and sometimes we need to sit with them and work through them. But while they are valid, and need worked through, they aren’t necessarily fact. I know I’m still struggling to find the difference between fact and feeling some days, especially as it pertains to my marriage. I pray that there is opportunity to talk through some of the feelings you have, with your husband, and maybe work toward feeling refreshed and renewed. Praying for you today, sister!

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  33. I REALLY needed to read this. As I embark on this journey with my soon to be husband I am faced daily with how society’s view of marriage is today. It worries me a little but pushes me to work that much harder to strengthen our bond before and throughout our marriage so that, Lord willing, we will be one of those couples who can say “we’ve been married 50 years”. How true it is though that the #1 relationship MUST be with GOD FIRST! Reading about yours and your husband’s marriage and how real and honest you are is truly inspiring. Recently I had to drop off my engagement ring to be sized, which I had been dreading, and immediately as soon as it was off of my finger I felt different. Those 2 days seemed to be the longest and I knew I never wanted to be without this ring or my wonderful fiancé. I look to couples like yourselves for advice and an example of what it takes to truly make a marriage work. Glory be to GOD, through him ALL things are possible. Thank you for sharing your story!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Renaya, I can honestly tell you that I really thought we had worked so well on our communication and our plans together. Unfortunately, my husband struggled through a lot of things personally, which have really caused some pains in our marriage, but God is good to keep us strong together and firmly focused on Him! Keep working at it – it’s a lifetime journey – a marathon, not a sprint! :) May God richly bless your marriage for HIS glory!

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  34. From August 19, 1961 until June 8, 2011, I was dating, “going steady” with, engaged to, or married to my husband, Stan. God blessed me during this time with Stan as we liked, loved, and trusted one another. I shudder to think what my life would have been like without him. Marriage: Work? Absolutely. Communication? A MUST. Patience? Required. Lots of prayer & worship time with our LORD? Can’t do without it. As his widow, I say to those of you who are married, enjoy every day with your LORD, your spouse, and your family. Someday, you may be without one or all of them (except the LORD). Praise God for your blessed marriage and go give that husband or wife a big hug for me!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Oh, Linda, it sounds like a life well spent! I’m sorry for your loss – I can’t even begin to imagine. But how wonderful that you can share the insight and wisdom of your years together to bless and encourage us! May God continue to be your comforter, your encourager and your best friend in life! Going to hug my husband right now! Thank you!

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  35. So well said, Rebekah. Loved the story you started with and appreciate your thoughts and conclusions all the way through.
    Abi @ Joy In My Kitchen recently posted…Do You Need A Fresh Perspective, Mom?My Profile

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  36. This is beautiful…my husband and I have only been married two years, but I feel like we’ve already learned so much about how we need to fight for and pursue our marriage on a daily basis. Just like you said, God has continued to show up and deepen our relationships with Him and with each other, and it is so, so sweet! Thanks for sharing this!
    Lauren English recently posted…Five On Friday: Summer Celebrations and Car TroublesMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes – on a daily basis! It’s so important to be intentional in your pursuit of a strong marriage. What a blessing to know that God is at work in your marriage. Thanks for taking time to share with us! Blessings!

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  37. “I’m committed to my marriage, but I’m confident in God.” I love that. Our strength will fail, but Jesus won’t! As a newlywed, I am learning to lean on Jesus to deal with the hardships of marriage. It’s beautiful when we do that, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing this!
    Alison [Life of Scoop] recently posted…Scoops for SaturdayMy Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Leaning on Jesus is such a good thing to learn early in your marriage! May God bless you both – keep Jesus first, and communicate well. May God truly give you the desires of your heart!

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  38. Absolutely! No one has a corner on marriage. I’ve been married 28 years and I’m still hoping I make it to 50 – because we have a sin nature and we live in a sin filled world. I’m thankful for our Father’s generous mercies daily and that we get a new chance every morning. Yep, I’m in that muck and mire right along with ya, sista! But it’s oh, so worth it to rear your kids and see them leave home knowing that even though mom and dad did have some ugly disagreements at times, they worked it out, and so can we!
    Thanks for this encouragement about marriage, Rebekah, I’m sharing on my fb page today!

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Yes, that ugly sin nature! I so often forget that our struggle is not against flesh and blood. No wonder this life can be SO difficult at times – we’re not just trying to live peacefully with a spouse and kids, we’re fighting the enemy who would love nothing better than to see us fail. Thanks for your kind words! Blessings as you work toward 50 years!

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  39. This is wonderful. I need to trust God more.
    Here from Grace and truth link up
    Melinda recently posted…1,000 Likes!!!My Profile

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Trust is such a hard thing, isn’t it? I recently shared this post at a friend’s linkup. She’s doing a 31 days of trust series, so if you read this & click over to her site, you’ll be able to read the whole series.
    http://rebekahmhallberg.com/3-ways-to-strengthen-your-trust-in-god.html
    Blessings!

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  40. Rebekah, this is great! Marriage is hard, but also very rewarding. I love your comment, “I’m committed to my marriage, but I’m confident in God.” That is so good. Sometimes we put so much expectation on our spouses to make us happy that we end up disappointed by their inability to do so. Thanks for sharing it at Grace & Truth. And thank you for all of the resources mentioned here.

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    Rebekah Reply:

    Thank you – Yes, I agree that we put entirely too much weight on what our spouse says, and not enough on what God says. It’s God’s job to fill the void in our hearts, and while our spouses may certainly play a role in that, it’s ultimately God. Blessings!

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  41. Rebekah, I loved the story you shared of the wife who jumped in after her husband knowing very well that she couldn’t swim. I remember once jumping in after my 8 year old (and I’m not a strong swimmer) but I’m not so sure I’d confidently do so for my hubby. So her love was definitely inspiring.
    As you said, marriage has its challenges but the rewards are also endless. We can feel like we are going against the stream in our Christian marriages but I’m glad we have each other to encourage and spur on. Wishing you blessings!
    Marva | sunSPARKLEshine recently posted…One Lie You Should Never Have to Pay ForMy Profile

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  2. […] it? I loved the encouragement to look at things differently. Rebekah had me in tears. As I read The Day I Took My Ring Off I began to reflect on the 21 years of marriage with my husband. I realized that when I made my […]

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