Category Archives: Prayer

Keep Up the Good Work

If you were to look on one of my bookshelves or in one of my two different eBook apps you would find three primary types of books.

  1. Bibles and other books about growing closer to God and others.
  2. Fiction and sci-fi (a very small number since the purge of early 2014).
  3. Personal and business growth.

Bible reading is part of my daily routine along with reading for personal, relationship, and or business growth. On a side note if you’d like more detail on my daily routine check out the post What I Do.

A Short Note

Sometimes I get a little parental on this blog. I throw out recommendations and statistics, platitudes and methods. I do that for the same reason a father gives instructions to his children…for them to have better lives and relationships. My claim does not consist of being a better husband than anyone else, but rather to take what God has blessed Sally and me with and pass it on to others.

A Sense of Accomplishment

Considering that this is the first post of 2015 I wanted to change the tone a bit. I’m still going to give an instruction and suggestion, but I think you’ll enjoy them. I’d like you to take a look back at 2014. Consider your relationship with your spouse. List one or two things that went well, really well in your marriage last year. Spend a few minutes as you share some prayer time together to celebrate these accomplishments! Thank the Lord for His work between the two of you in 2014. Also don’t forget to be excited about things you did to improve your marriage.

Looking Forward

This next step is optional, but highly recommended. As you considered your marital relationship in 2014 it is likely you noticed an area or two that you would like to improve. One challenge of being a man is that we don’t always notice places of potential relationship improvement. Talk to your spouse and ask for honest suggestions. See if you can determine how to make these changes. Perhaps commit to reading a book on a specific marriage topic, subscribing to a podcast related to marriage, going on a marriage retreat, scheduling a regular date night or seeing a counselor for some more challenging issues. Never forget the option to ask another couple who has walked a similar path for their input.

In Summary

Celebrate your accomplishments from 2014 and consider areas to make your marriage even better in 2015! One last suggestion, think about taking what you have learned in your marriage and passing it on to another couple. This not only affirms the power of God in your marriage but may help them as well.

Go celebrate your marriage!

-Troy

The Truth About Divorce

I’m going to lift your spirits…by talking about divorce.  Oh yes I am!

Let me ask you a question.  What percentage of marriages in the United States end in divorce?

I heard what most of you were thinking.  The commonly quoted statistic is 50%.  Based on that number anyone who gets married has a 50/50 chance of making it.  Flip a coin, heads or tails, half of you who are currently married are going to split up.  Based on the 50% statistic.

But is it true?

In a word, no.  Multiple studies have shown that the divorce rate in the United States has never hit the 50% mark.  In fact the highest rate ever actually calculated from raw numbers is 41% based on a New York Times article…and the rate has been declining since 1980.  But even that number isn’t truly accurate.  In fact according to initial research conducted in 2006 on first time marriages, “probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average”.  This is from Shaunti Feldhahn and her husband Jeff who have written a book called The Good News About Marriage.  They spent several years pouring through the data related to marriage and divorce.  Apparently the 50% value came from projections based on how the divorce rate was increasing through the 60s and 70s but the 50% never happened.  It’s a myth.

In fact among all marriages for those who regularly attend church the rate is much lower, likely in the teens or single digits.  For couples who pray together frequently the rate is less than 1 in 10,000.

The problem isn’t just that there is a false statistic believed by many, perhaps most married people.  The problem is that believing a 50% divorce statistic leads to a sense of hopelessness.  The idea that no matter what we do then we still only have a 50/50 shot of making it.  But it is simply NOT TRUE.

If you are married or thinking about marriage then your chances of staying married, whether or not you are a Christian, are almost certainly above 60%.  If you are a Christian and so is your spouse then your odds are likely above 80%.  If you pray together regularly your odds are at LEAST 99.99%.  This is the truth!!!

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If together you make a commitment to a life-long marriage, you center your relationship on God, you take advantage of resources to grow and nurture your relationship then you WILL have a lifelong marriage.  Furthermore if you know what love really is you can have an incredibly happy marriage.  If you want to improve martial happiness, just click through the HappierHusband archives on the right side of this page and enjoy!

Love you all!

-Troy

The Only 2 Things

As many of you know over the past year and a half Sally and I have had a complete change of direction at the Hand of the Lord.  Some things that we thought were permanent in our life were abruptly removed.  The problem was that we didn’t want to let go.  Have you been there?

We eventually let go and have been praying, seeking and wondering ever since. Wondering and wandering through a series of options, thoughts and a sea of potential.  We have a glimmer of at least part of where God is leading us, but we don’t have the whole picture.  We are becoming ok with that.  Slowly.  This post is not focused on change…it is focused on The Only 2 Things.

We have seen people make declarations and commitments that something is “for life”. A statement that either it will never change or they will never stop doing it.  I have to say that’s not me, at least not anymore.  For me there are Only Two Things that will be consistently and daily part of my life.  Only two.

  1. My relationship with God.
  2. My relationship with my wife.

Everything else is variable. At this point I hear the thoughts of those of you who are parents (as are we).  “But what about your children?  Why aren’t they included?”  I love our boys and I am proud to be their father.  I treasure any time I have with them.  But they are adults and have begun charting their own paths.  I’ll never stop being their dad and will always love them, but the day will come when we won’t talk as often as we do now.  Where we and they live, life changes, and most importantly the call of God may modify when and how often we communicate.  They will have their own families and responsibilities. We will become smaller players in their daily lives and that is perfectly normal.

But the two things, God and my wife, will both be there as long as we live. In life be prepared for things to change, sometimes by your own decision and at other times in ways that are outside your control.  Let me make a statement that you may already understand or will one day become clear to you.

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At some point God will shake up your world. It may be through a job change, a loved one moving or passing away, a need to move to a new city, a call to a different church or one of many other possibilities.  But make no mistake, the life you have now is not permanent.

You can’t control everything, but you CAN control the strength of your relationship with God. Have daily time in the Bible and prayer.  Make God the priority above all else and you will be living in the power of His peace.  You can also control how much love and care you pour into the relationship you have with your spouse.  You can’t control her or his reaction, but God’s Word has taught me that as you put more love in to your marriage then you will see wonderful results.

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I’m not saying to neglect other family and friends. A support system is of great value to you AND you should be a support to others who are following after you.  But over time both of those groups will change, perhaps several times.

When it comes down to it there are only two things that are going to be a part of your daily experience for a lifetime. God and your spouse.  Make sure each gets the attention appropriate to the relationship and changes in your life will be less about loss and more about adventure!

Love you all!

-Troy

 

22 Years of Failure

I write about truth in life and marriage.  Everything you read in these blogs is from real experiences that either we or people we love have gone through.  Today I want to share something I failed in…for 22 years.

In 1 Corinthians 11:3 we read, “But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God.

First of all this is NOT about a husband controlling a wife.  The marriage relationship should never be about a power struggle or one person forcing their will on another.  Here is the point, as Christ is the Head of the man (the spiritual Leader) so should the husband be the spiritual leader in the house.

Ok, once more.  The husband should NOT make this into some kind of dictatorial situation.  If we, as husbands, act like Christ does when he leads us then we will be “gentle and humble in heart” (see Matthew 11:29).

Here is where I failed.  I was not acting as a spiritual leader.

Did we go to church?  Yes, pretty much every Sunday and often for other services.  Did we pray?  Yes, individually, but I was not nearly as consistent as I should have been.  Did we have a great marriage?  Yes, thanks be to the Holy Spirit.  Were we as close to each other as we could be spiritually?  Not by a long shot.

I recently heard a statement that changed my behavior in a small way, and our relationship in a huge way.  “According to a study, the reported divorce rate among couples who pray together, out loud, is less than 1 in 10,000.” – Andy Stanley

BOOM!  This is a big deal!  Now, before I heard this were Sally in danger of splitting up?  Highly unlikely as we had a fantastic marriage.  Did I make a change due to this fact?  Absolutely!  Why?  I’ll give you two reasons.

1) I firmly believe in insurance.  :-)  If praying together gives us incredible odds of being together all of our lives then it is a small investment for a very large return.

2) “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (Matthew 18:20).  I’m pretty sure having Jesus in our midst is the best possible thing for our marriage.  :-)

Was it awkward at first?  Yep.  Is it still awkward?  Not so much.  We read a short (one page) devotional in bed and I pray out loud, sometimes my lovely bride prays as well.  Total time?  Usually less than five minutes.  Total value?  Immeasurable.

Here is the catch.  Someone has to be the one to step up and make this happen.  It’s not natural.  Guess what Mr. Manly Husband?  It’s your responsibility.  Go back and reread 1 Corinthians 11:3.  I had to man up and do it and you should too.  Out loud.  Out loud.  Out loud.  Not silently.  Out loud.  Clear?  😉

I can make a suggestion on a devotional in the comments section if you like, but it’s really not important which one, or you could simply read a verse or two.  The critical thing in praying with your wife, out loud, at least once a day if at all possible.

Try it!  I challenge you to give it a shot for just 7 days.  One week.  Do you accept my challenge?

Let me know in the comments section below.

The results will be amazing!

Now go pray with your wife!

-Troy