Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

It became something of joke between us.

I mean, if it had only happened once? Then I wouldn’t have thought much more about it.

But it seemed that every time I gave birth to a child . . . He gave birth to a new project.

A Major Project.

A move to a new house. Switching to a new job. Starting up a new company.

Always something new and something big.

So I started to tease him that he was unconsciously trying to compete with me. As if it wasn’t enough of a life-changing event for us to bring a child into the world.

He only smiled and gently held our tiny baby to his strong chest.  One more sweet baby boy added to our family crew.

That made it my eight babies to his six moves, four jobs and three companies.

Makes us about even, I figure.

But he says that I pulled ahead with that last little guy.

And he might be right.

Either way,  we both agree that change has been a predominant theme in our 22 years of marriage. Seems like there’s always been something new – and often unexpected – coming at us. Sometimes it came as a blessing and other times as a trial. But change is inevitable when you’re going through life together.

So we’ve done our best to embrace those changes, the easy and the hard, but there are also those things that we’ve determined to never change.  These are the things that keep our marriage strong and steady in the midst of upheaval and disruption. It’s these 7 things that have kept us grounded through it all.

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy, Loving Marriage

1.     The Need for Communication. No matter how many years you’ve been married, good communication is essential to a strong marriage. So don’t stop talking, whatever you do. And don’t limit it to talking, but express your love for each other in all kinds of other ways too. Sometimes the simple gesture of making his lunch says far more than words.

2.     The Commitment to Closeness. You don’t grow close by the mere fact that you live in the same house. For the rest of your lives together, you’ll want to seek each other out. You have to make time for one another. Pull away from the world and pull in together.

3.    The Offering of Forgiveness. The need to forgive never goes away. Sometimes I wish it did. But here we are after two decades of loving one another and still saying, “I’m sorry, my Love. Will you forgive me?”.  And it’s yes, yes, and yes again.

4.     The Desire for Touch. Matthew’s parents have been married for over 60 years and she still reaches for his hand and he continues to slip his arm around her shoulders. Touch is so powerful. So keep touching each other forever and always.

5.     The Determination to Work It Out. You’re tired. You’re discouraged. It doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Don’t give up. Whatever you do. Stay in the game and work it out, even if it takes a very long time and an heroic effort you don’t feel you have to give.

6.    The Pledge to Stay Together. Those marriage vows meant something real and the two of you are sticking together – no matter what. Through the good times and the hard times. A sacred trust you’ve both pledged to keep.

7.     The Promise to Love One Another. Love is mostly made up of those little choices that you make every single day. This is a selfless love that puts the other person first. Day after day. This is the meaning behind our promise when we said, “I love you”.

Those 7 Things That Never Change in a Healthy and Loving Marriage

Lastly, and most importantly, no matter what changes come into your lives, we can count on our God who remains the same.  He is our perfect Father without variation or shadow. He is unchanging and the faithful foundation of our love.

So whatever changes you are facing in your marriage, you can be assured that your Heavenly Father is the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Amen?

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~ James 1:17

CHALLENGE: Consider some of the ways that your marriage has changed over time. Start counting the blessings that these changes have brought. Take a moment and write them down (and maybe share them with your spouse). 

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over to see each one of them!

And here are the topics . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

I hope you are being blessed and refreshed by our Virtual Marriage Retreat!

*Would you like to share a little of some of the changes in your marriage? How did you “embrace” those changes? And what are those things that never change in your marriage?

In His grace,
Signature small
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

*If there is serious sin or trouble in your marriage, I’d encourage you  to seek out a trusted, godly counselor or leader in your church. You might also benefit from this specific marriage advice from Sheila Gregoire (a fellow blogger in this marriage series).

What Your Child Wants Most From You

What Your Child Wants Most of All From You

Not everyone knows this about me.

But I love making bread.

I’m not sure what it is, but for some reason I find the process incredibly relaxing and rewarding – maybe even downright therapeutic.

There’s something about grinding the wheat, mixing and kneading the dough, and baking the loaves. It reaches deep down inside me.

So right and good for my soul.

Yet there’s this one problem.

My kids love making bread too. With me.

And I hate to say it, but this changes the experience for me - significantly.

Because when I have my little helpers?  I’m no longer unwinding or getting lost in the wonder of it all.

Instead, I find myself distracted by their wiggly fingers and chattery words. The mess, the mistakes, and the mayhem. My nerves are inevitably on edge by the time the loaves are tucked safely in the oven.

No, it’s definitely not the same experience at all.

So what to do?

I’ve a difficult decision to make: Should I minister to my own soul . . . or pour into theirs?

A real dilemma.

Because I’m aware that if we do this together, our children will probably remember it forever.  They’ll remember sinking their hands into the warm, sticky dough. Kneading and forming each loaf. Trying to follow my hands and copy everything I do.

They’ll never realize that it cost me much.

They can’t understand how it changes everything.

They’ll not know that I gave up some of my own soul-feeding moments to nourish their own.

To be honest, I’m always surprised by their enthusiasm for baking bread. I’ve tried suggesting they go build with their Legos. Or go outside and play on the swing. Maybe they’d like to watch a favorite movie?

But, no, nothing seems as pleasant as making bread with mama.

Funny, huh?

It’s really quite strange when you think about it.

Why wouldn’t they rather run along and play?

Why do their small hands seek to be so close to my own?

And why won’t they stay in their own little world . . . so that I can enjoy mine?

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 3

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 2

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 1

What Your Child Needs Most From You - 4

I think as moms we can be so caught up with giving things that delight our children – toys, crafts, treats and games – that we forget what they really want from us.

They want to be part of our lives.

They want to know what it is that we love, and learn to love it too.

They simply want to be with us.

So welcome your children into your world. 

What Your Child Wants Most From You

If you have a passion for gardening…or reading…or writing…or design….then share it with them too.

Invite them to come alongside and place their young hands next to your own.

Their heart next to yours.

After all, it really is good for the soul.

Both yours and theirs.

*So what kinds of things does your child like doing with you, or alongside you? I’d love to hear it!

In His grace,
Signature small
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson
*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get the FREE eBook, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage).

The Power of Grace to Hold Your Marriage Together

Embrace Your Marriage - The Power of Grace to Hold Your Marriage Together

So strange.

So strange that it would be one of the first things they told us.

Stranger still, perhaps, that this is what continues to stand out in my mind. Out of all the things that the doctors at the hospital shared with us, that this statement would be the most memorable.

“Most parents who give birth to this kind of child end up in divorce. We just thought we should prepare you for that.”

Yeah, thanks.

It was like hearing two pieces of devastating news.

As if one wasn’t enough.

The first news was that our sweet baby had suffered a massive stroke before she was even born. She would likely never walk, talk, or know us as her parents – if she lived at all.

The second was that our marriage would not likely endure the tragedy of it all.

More news than a couple should have to take in at one time, wouldn’t you say?

Basically, “This is the beginning of the end.”

I glanced over at my husband with desperate grief and fear in my eyes.

But he wasn’t having any of it.

No way, Babe. We’re not going to take the “likely” path, you and me.

We serve the God who continually surprises us with the unlikely. The God of miracles. The Restorer. The Redeemer.

And He is more than able to hold us together.

So how did we get through the years that followed? Those pressure-filled, emotionally, physically, and financially draining years?

The grace of God.

Grace from Him and grace for each other.

And you can cling to that same grace as well—in both the good times and hard times.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. ~ Heb. 4:16

The Power of Grace to Hold Your Marriage Together

Grace that offers compassion. When the other person is weak. Sometimes I was too tired to see straight. Or even talk sweet.  He overlooked that snap because he knew I wasn’t “myself” from fatigue and worry.  And I tried to do the same for him.

Grace that doesn’t keep a grudge. He said things that hurt my feelings or made me feel like he didn’t really understand. He let me down and didn’t always hold up. And it was the same here. But we knew we needed to let it go and not let bitterness settle in.

Grace that goes the extra mile. At times each of us had to give more than we had—and certainly more than “our fair share”. We couldn’t keep records or simply take turns. We had to learn to give . . . and then give some more.

Grace that accepts the gift of others.  Grace also comes in the form of support from friends and family. We can’t do this by ourselves, but recognize that we are needy. We are part of the body of Christ for a reason and were never meant to walk alone (More here: On Why It Is So Critical To Connect With Friends).

Grace that doesn’t give up.  No matter how dark some days were – and especially the nights – we refused to give up. We believed God had us in His hands, even when the situation seemed impossible. You are in those same loving Hands.

The Power of Grace to Hold Your Marriage Together - Embrace Your Marriage

So, yes, our marriage held together. By God’s grace, we will be celebrating twenty-two years this Friday!

Grace to Hold Your Marriage TogetherAnd if you’re wondering what happened to that dear little girl of ours?

She is a miracle. While it’s true she never did learn to walk, she can definitely talk…and talk. She calls me mommy and says how much she loves me.

She prays for us and for this blog. Every day.

And so in a very real sense, she prays for you too. All because of unlikely grace. Powerful grace. 

The same grace that  is available to you too.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~ Eph. 2:4-7

CHALLENGE: Before you can extend grace to others, the best place to start is with the preparation of a pure and tender heart. Pray, asking God for wisdom and guidance in this area. Think of how God’s grace has impacted your life, and acknowledge the areas where you have been forgiven.

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, these five bloggers and I will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. I hope you’ll hop over see each one of them!

And here’s what you have to look forward to . . . .

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

So mark your calendar and join us each week as we all share on these very important topics in marriage. And be sure and invite any friends who might be blessed by this event as well.

Looking forward to seeing you on Mondays!

In His grace,
Signature small
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

Embrace Your Marriage: A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Have you been hoping to attend a marriage retreat?

But maybe you just haven’t been able to get away.

Or maybe you’ve both been way too busy.

Or perhaps you simply haven’t been able to afford it.

Well, how you would you like to come to our Virtual Marriage Retreat?

You don’t even have to leave the house (unless you want to) and it doesn’t cost a thing.

Yes, I’m totally serious. Lovely idea, isn’t it? I thought so too.

That’s why I’m so excited to share with you this new Marriage Series starting the 1st of September!

Embrace Your Marriage - A Virtual Marriage Retreat

Every Monday in September, each of the following blogs will be offering a word of wisdom and inspiration to encourage you in your marriage. You can meet my wonderful blogger friends over at the following sites . . . .

And here’s what you have to look forward to!

  • September 1 – Embracing Grace 
  • September 8th – Embracing Change  
  • September 15th – Embracing Your Differences  
  • September 22nd – Embracing Unity 
  • September 29th – Embracing Friendship 

So mark your calendar and join us each week as we all share on these very important topics in marriage. And be sure and invite any friends who might be blessed by this event as well.

Looking forward to seeing you on Monday!

*If you have topics or questions that you would like covered in this series, would you let me know? Either in a comment below, or on my contact page? I’ll do my best to cover it if I can!

In His grace,
Signature small
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson