Monthly Archives: July 2015

Keeping the Spark Alive

Hey all, welcome back! Today we are blessed to have a guest post from my favorite girl, the love of my life, Sally! I love how she looks back and then forward to show us all how to keep the spark of love alive!



Enter Sally:

What made you want to marry your spouse? Was it because you loved spending time with them? For me, I enjoyed every minute we were together. We talked and laughed and really connected. He was always trying to make me happy and vice versa.

When we first got married, we liked to play ping-pong, board games and watch movies.  As time went by, work and babies got in the way and we spent less and less time together. It was difficult going from all quality time to almost none. If you have read the Five Love Languages, you probably already have yours figured out. I had not yet read the book yet, but one of my main love languages was quality time. Most likely one person in every relationship has this as one of their languages. During the period of time when Troy was working 40 hours per week plus some evenings and I was home alone with a baby, we did not have much time together. Our quality time was down and our relationship suffered. We just weren’t feeling the love that we once had, even though we still loved each other. It was a difficult period. Once we read the book, The Five Love Languages, we realized what our issue was. Troy found a different job where he was able to be home every evening, and our quality time went up again.

Quality time doesn’t mean that you have to spend every minute together. It does mean though that the time you spend together should be more meaningful. We have learned over the years to try new things. Troy learned he could ride roller coasters if he took something for his motion sickness. I learned to get into the superhero movies. In fact, just this week we saw one that I would LOVE to see again.

When Troy started getting into running, I decided I better give it a try. Do I like it? No!  What I do like is the time I get to spend with him training. Being together is fun! I like the accomplishment of having finished a race. I like that we get to share more experiences together.  If he took up golf, I would try it too. I may be terrible at it, but I would do it just so I could spend more quality time with him. The point is, whatever your spouse enjoys doing, either find a way to join in or find a way to encourage them in their pursuits.  Whatever your spouse enjoys doing, find a way to join in or to encourage them in their pursuits. Click To TweetI have various crafty/artsy things I like to do. Troy isn’t really an artsy person, but he does like to go with me when I am hunting for specific supplies. He encourages my creativity and he also helps me when I need it.

It could be that your spouse has aspirations of owning their own business. There are many different types of them and some take more money to start than others. We spent three years building a business together. It was very successful for a while, but then it started to change and we felt God pulling us in a different direction. The best thing during the period when we were building our business was the time we spent together traveling in the car or on planes. We would visit new places and meet new people, together. It was wonderful! If I had decided that it was his job to take care of the business and stay home, I might have resented all the time he was away, even though he was doing it to try to help take care of our family and pay for college. Instead, I joined in and went with him. We had some of the best times of our lives and we grew together as a couple! Our kids were old enough to be home alone and did not need us at every event. If they hadn’t been, we would have found a way to take them with us or have them stay with some responsible family or friends. We actually did take our youngest with us on a trip to California and we all had fun.

Speaking of children, these days there are so many extra-curricular activities for kids to be involved in, from scouting or clubs to multiple sports. Over the years, our boys were involved in different things like a youth service club, music lessons, martial arts, soccer and baseball. I have had friends who made a ‘one sport per year, per kid’ rule, which I think is wise. I also have had friends whose children were involved in every sport, year round, some of which overlapped. Not only is this stressful on the kids to be constantly running from practices to games multiple nights per week, all year (even though they love the sports), it is also stressful for the parents. Working all day and then running all night is exhausting for anyone and it also prevents people from having quality time together, not to mention the financial strain of multiple sports.

I am not saying that letting your children be involved in sports is bad, but making that the center of your existence is not going to help your marriage or your child. One day your kids will grow up and move out, and it will happen faster than you think. Trust me on this… my youngest child is already married.  When this happens, you will wish you spent more time growing your relationship with your spouse than you spent sitting in the stands at every sporting event known to man.

When our kids moved out we missed them, but we were fine because we hadn’t put our relationship on hold for 20 years so that we could let our kids have every little experience that they wanted. They had plenty to do growing up, but we did not run from event to event wondering when we would finally have time for ourselves.

If you have already found yourself in the situation where you and your spouse are constantly going different directions and seem to have no connection, it isn’t too late. Schedule a time to sit down together and discuss ways you can change your routines to have more time together. My parents were not at all of my softball, volleyball or soccer games. They dropped me off and picked me up and went home to relax together. It did not make a lick of difference to me as I was just enjoying my time with friends. Your kids will not be crushed for life if you choose to have a date night while they are at one of their games.

Your kids will not be crushed for life if you have a date night and miss one of their games. Click To Tweet

Make time for your spouse. Find ways that you can join them in their passions even if you don’t really understand. You married them for better or for worse, to have and to hold from this day forward. This does not go on pause when you have children, you must find a way to stay connected!

Find a way to help your spouse enjoy today!


Notes from the Father of the Groom

If you’ve been following the blog here you know that our youngest son was about to get married. Well, the blessed day arrived this past Saturday and it was a FANTASTIC occasion of love, family and friends. We could not be more happy for our wonderful son and beautiful daughter-in-law!! God was truly in this relationship from the beginning and He will remain faithful to them and all of us.


As the Father of the Groom I didn’t have a lot of responsibilities, mostly jumping in where needed. But I do have a few thoughts…and they are applicable to all marriages.

Enjoy the Day…and the Rest of the Days

Some couples plan for their weddings in a few months and others plan for a year, two years or more. It’s an important event. It’s one of the most important events in a married couple’s lives. But it’s one day. Marriages don't succeed or fail based on whether or not they have a perfect wedding. Click To Tweet Marriages don’t succeed or fail based on whether or not they have a perfect wedding. Marriages depend on what happens every day. If you love your wife every day then your wedding day will be the first special day of your marriage, but it won’t necessarily be the most special. Build on the past and move forward together into the future.

Keep Your Vows

During the ceremony you made promises to your spouse. Perhaps your vows included to love, honor and cherish. This may be the most simple advice I can give. Keep your vows. When you learn she doesn’t like something that is important to you, keep your vows. When he STILL has that annoying habit five years later, keep your vows. When all you want to do is scream into your pillow because you just don’t understand what is going on, keep your vows. I promise you, I PROMISE you, if you’ll commit to keeping your vows every day that marriage gets easier over time. It gets better. You may think that the love you felt on your wedding day was incredible, but it’s nothing compared to the love of two people who keep their commitment no matter the circumstances.

Enjoy the wife you married as a young man!
Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose—
    don’t ever quit taking delight in her body.
    Never take her love for granted!

-Proverbs 5:18b-19 (MSG)

Embrace Change

As your marriage grows there will be change. Each of you will grow intellectually (assuming you continue to read), you will change physically, there may be children who come into your lives, you will develop passions in new areas and so will your spouse. These are beautiful things. You don’t want to have a stagnant life and marriage. As the changes come don’t just accept them, embrace them! Get excited to learn new things from and about each other. Lean in to the curves that show up in your marriage. Draw closer to each other as you plunge into your future together.

Trust God

If you remember nothing else from this post remember this. God is for your marriage. Click To Tweet God IS for your marriage! He wants it to be a shining example of His love flowing through the two of you. He know what He is doing and it’s all for your good. You will see challenges and difficulties. Being married doesn’t shield you from hardship, but it does give you someone with whom to share your tears. If your spouse loves you enough to commit to you for life, then how much more must God love you…He created you to live with Him for eternity. In the fun and excitement, stay close to God. In the times of trial, stay close to God. In all times stay close to God.

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.

-Isaiah 12:2 (NIV)

So remember:

  • Enjoy the Day…and the Rest of the Days
  • Keep Your Vows
  • Embrace Change
  • Trust God

Love you all!


All You Need for a Life Long Marriage

In less than a week our youngest son will marry the girl of his dreams. This post isn’t specifically for them but for all of us who desire a life-long marriage.


I’m going to tell you a story. It’s a true story and one that’s not so common anymore. The story started one evening, more than a quarter of a century ago. An evening of both the mundane and the divine.  The players were a girl, a guy and another girl. Lest I lead you astray from the beginning, the first two were not a pair, but rather friends who had know each other for just a few months. They did not date, there wasn’t any romantic interest, as the girl had her eyes on yet another guy.

As the evening progressed the first girl casually introduced the guy for which she had only feelings of friendship to the second girl. In truth the second girl also had her eyes on another guy…in fact the same as her female friend, but that’s a story for perhaps another time. The new girl and the guy whom she had just met enjoyed the rest of the evening chatting and playing games. To anyone nearby it likely seemed an encounter of little consequence.

But no so to our friend. The guy who met the girl for the very first time. To him this was perhaps the most important human encounter of his relatively young life. That very same night before he went to sleep he recorded the name of the girl and the date of their meeting. He knew this was a date of great significance. In fact it was not much later that he decided he would marry that girl. They were married exactly 603 days later. As of today that marriage has been a wonderfully happy union of 8,816 days.

The Point of Our Story

There are two reasons the man and woman have been married so long when many have fallen to challenges and temptations and have ended their unions in the sadness of divorce. Only two things stand between a life long marriage of beauty and joy in the midst of any and all circumstances. Two simple factors.

A Critical Aside

There is a requirement to these factors. They can not function as one time events. Like food and air they must be repeated many times. In fact many times every day. Not once and finished forever, but with careful consistency. A couple which applies these factors for a week, a year, a decade or even longer and then stops will soon see the end of their marriage. A life long marriage requires a life long daily commitment to both of these factors.

In Our Story

In our story the factors were applied soon after the couple met. You see, the young man decided to marry the young woman, then he took action to win her heart. The young woman decided to say yes to his proposal, then took action to be married. They made a decision to commit to each other on that day so many years ago and they have taken action every day to keep that commitment. There are only two factors required for a life long marriage. There are only two factors required for a life long marriage. Click To TweetThose factors are to decide and to take action. To decide every day and throughout the day to stay happily married to each other. To take action every day and throughout the day to show love to one another. To decide every day and throughout the day to stay close to God so He can mold your hearts closer to His and to each other’s. To take action every day to read His word and pray for His guidance.

There is Nothing Else

Marriage is simple. At times it may not be easy, but it is incredibly simple. At times marriage may not be easy, but it is incredibly simple. Click To TweetThe simplicity of always deciding that no matter what that the the marriage will endure and the taking of actions that will make it so. If you will both, individually and together, consistently decide and take action then nothing in this world can pull you apart from each other. But never forget, it is the consistency of decisions and actions that makes your life long marriage possible.

4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
-Matthew 19:4-6

Love you all!