6.30.2009

The Answer Begins With This


When Michael and I were in the bad days of our marriage, we looked for answers as to "Why?"
It was more than just the obvious stuff that was happening between us...it always is. Like in the movie, When Harry Met Sally, Harry's friend tells him that marriages don't break up on account of infidelity, it's just a symptom of something deeper.

That symptom is what we were struggling to get ahold of and when we finally did, things really started to change. And it's so simple you won't believe it! You'll wonder how you didn't see it before. Because all the answers you're looking for lie in just one question. Really....just one.

In today's Testimony Tuesday, we're going to tell you what that question is.

Everyone, if we can do it ~ YOU CAN DO IT!

Guys, if Michael can do it ~ YOU CAN DO IT TOO!


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6.26.2009

Name Calling


There’s something I’ve started noticing of late. It’s small, really. I haven’t even mentioned it to Michael but I need to because it deserves honorable mention.

When Michael talks on the phone to someone ~ and it doesn’t really matter who ~ he includes me in the conversation. Says my name, may ask me a question or get my opinion on something. It’s kind of cool.

This may seem like no big deal to you but for me…it’s huge. In the past, hearing Michael speak my actual name filled me with dread; it always meant that he was irritated with me or that a fight was getting ready to ensue or that he was getting ready to interrogate me for some imagined infidelity. Now that he’s listening to my heart and living with me in an understanding way, that feeling has become a thing of the past. It’s strange how just a small change can bring about such a difference. Honestly, I don’t even think he’s aware of it.

I found this quote from a little boy of 4 and let me tell you…he gets it!

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."

I love this! I love Michael! And I love when he says my name!

6.24.2009

The Legend of Dame Ragnell


The excerpt on today’s post comes from the book Good Husband, Great Marriage, by Robert Mark Alter. It’s an interesting take on how a woman will bloom and bless her husband when he gives her a voice and a choice. If you’re interested, you can purchase the book by clicking on the cover in the carousel on the right; we really do recommend it.

Enjoy!

King Arthur is out hunting deer one day in a forest. Ordering his attendants to stay behind, he goes alone deeper into the forest. Suddenly Sir Gromer Somer Joure, “a knight full strong and of great might,” in black armor, with an old grievance against the king, accosts Arthur and threatens to kill him unless Arthur finds the answer to the knight’s riddle. The knight’s riddle is: “What does a woman want most?” He gives Arthur one year to come up with the answer and rides off.

Arthur returns to his court at Carlisle and tells the noble knight Sir Gawain of his encounter with the dark knight. They agree to spend the next twelve months riding through the kingdom asking every man and woman, “What does a woman want most?” Which they do, for a whole year, and collect a whole book of answers, but they know in their hearts that none of the answers in the true one.
As the deadline approaches, King Arthur rides forth one last time into the forest and meets there a hideously ugly old hag, Dame Ragnell. She is hunchbacked and covered with warts, and her face is red and splotchy, with bulging, bleary eyes. Her yellow teeth protrude out of her lips, her hair is snarled and clotted, her nose is “snotted withal.” She tells Arthur that she has the correct answer to the dark knight’s question and will give it to him on one condition: that he give her the hand of the noble Sir Gawain in marriage. Otherwise, says Dame Ragnell, Arthur will surely die at the hand of the dark knight.

Arthur tells Dame Ragnell that he must first ask for Gawain’s consent. Dame Ragnell agrees, and Arthur rides back to Carlisle and explains the situation to Gawain. Gawain immediately agrees.

“I will wed her at what time you will set,” he says to his king. “for love of you I will not hesitate.”

Arthur rides back into the forest and tells Dame Ragnell of Gawain’s consent. Dame Ragnell then gives Arthur the answer. “Some people say that women most desire to be beautiful, or to have lust in bed with many men, or to be always fresh and young, but the truth is what women most want is ‘sovereyntee,’ the power to choose for themselves, the right to have their own way.”

King Arthur thanks Dame Ragnell, then rides off to meet Sir Gromer and gives him the answer: “What women most want is the power to choose for themselves,” says Arthur. “Sovereyntee.”

Sir Gromer concedes defeat and rides away.

King Arthur then rides back to court with Dame Ragnell, and she and Sir Gawain are married, while Queen Guinevere and the other ladies of the court stand there weeping at his pitiful plight.

After the wedding Sir Gawain takes Dame Ragnell to the bridal chamber, and she asks for a kiss from him. As their lips meet, Dame Ragnell is miraculously transformed from an ugly old had to a stunningly beautiful young woman, “the fairest creature that ever he saw without measure.”

“I had been under a curse,” she explains, “transformed by necromancy into a hunchbacked old crone until a courteous knight like you married me and kissed me.”

Sir Gawain is, of course, delighted, and the young couple “made mirth in the bedroom all night.”

In the morning Dame Ragnell thanks Gawain for lifting the curse.

“But it is not fully lifted,” she says. “Because of you, I am now free to be my true beautiful self…but only for half the day! My beauty will not hold. So I must ask you, dear husband, which do you choose? To have me beautiful by day and ugly in the nights, or beautiful by night and ugly in the days? Choose, choose, Sir Knight.

“Alas,” Says Gawain, “the choice is hard.”

If he chooses her to be beautiful at night, he will have to look at her all day. But if he chooses her to be beautiful only during the day, he will have the ugly hag in his marriage bed.
“I don’t know what to do,” he says. “Choose what you think best, dear lady. The choice I put into your hand. Do as you want.”

“Thank you, dear husband,” says Dame Ragnell. “Now you have lifted the whole curse. Because you gave me the choice, you shall have me beautiful both day and night, always fair and bright. Because you gave me the power to choose what I want instead of what you want, you’ve freed me to be my beautiful self always.”

What does a woman want?
She wants what she wants.
She wants her say. She wants the choice.
Your wife wants the power to choose.
And the good husband that you are wants to give her that because, according to the legend of Dame Ragnell, look what happens when you do.

6.23.2009

Responding Positively ~ Part 2



This week Michael and I have decided to continue speaking about a wife's response to her husband as he lives out laying his life down for her and listening to her heart.

Most of us ~ husbands and wives alike ~ come from homes where we never saw our moms respond positively to our dads for various reasons; perhaps it was an abusive marriage or your dad, like mine, was never around (my mom & dad divorced when I was two). Or it could be because our own marriages have gotten so bad that even the thought of responding positively to our husbands seems completely foreign. Perhaps the roles have been reversed and, as often happens, the wife has become the initiator in the marriage and the husband the responder and this never works (John and Kate are, sadly, a perfect example of this)!

Listen in on today's Tesitomony Tuesday for more of how this plays out in our marriage and don't forget that additional terrific resources to help you both along can be found here at Your Marriage Restored.
Remember....if we can do it ~ ~ ~ YOU CAN DO IT!



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6.22.2009

It's Just Because He Likes You


Remember when you were a kid in grade school and if boy came up and pushed, teased or hit you, you were told (usually by your mom; sometimes by your dad) that it was just because he liked you? I know I was told that and, I’m ashamed to admit, I’ve said the same thing to my boys.

I never used to give this playground right-of-passage a second thought but I’m starting to. Talk about being conditioned to believe that if someone cared about you it would be evident when they were mean to you! I think its part and parcel with the whole ‘Bad Boy’ syndrome that so many women fall victim to. Why do we do this? What is it about being mistreated that has fooled us into thinking we’re loved? When did, “he didn’t really mean to say that” or “he didn’t really mean to hit me” become our excuse for not being treated like the daughters of God that we are? God calls a man to love his wife unconditionally; ‘to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.’

I need Michael to cherish me; to support me and be my advocate; to walk with me in love and kindness and to pursue me always as his bride. Its sad how often the enemy tries to stop this…and even sadder that it started when I was a child.

6.21.2009

Becoming a Father for God


I want to take a moment and give some praise where praise is due.

I want to give praise to Michael….my husband…the father of our children.

A little over two years ago, I wanted to get myself and my children as far away from Michael as I possibly could. I knew that if I stayed married to him, my boys would grow up with the same view of women that Michael had for me; one of mistrust, disrespect and manipulation. Outside of divorce, I didn’t feel there was any other way to stop what was going on in our marriage.

During this awful time I found the marriage ministry we’re involved in that has a simple and straightforward message: A man will become the husband that his wife needs him to be when he becomes the man that God has called him to be. This was the key that turned Michael and our marriage around.

Of course, this has meant a world of change for us but I can’t emphasize enough what it’s done for our children. They have stability now. Everyday they witness their father living with their mother in an understanding way; everyday they witness their father blessing their mother by serving her and loving on her and speaking to her with respect and honor in his voice. They no longer hear raised, angry, tear-filled voices; instead they say, “Mommy’s the queen!” and they love picking out my weekly present with him! And Daniel, our youngest has never once heard Michel and I speak to one another in a dishonoring way.

Michael is becoming the man that God has called him to be and it’s making a positive impact on our children. I couldn’t ask for anything more!

Train a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6
(this picture above is of Michael with our children: Katie, Jack, Evan and Daniel)

6.18.2009

I Couldn't Have Said It Better...


We love receiving everyone's comments to the posts on our blog and every now and then, we get one that deserves it's own post; what follows is such a comment that was left on my post entitled As Wise As Solomon . The woman who wrote it, Kimberly, is also involved in the same ministry that we are and is currently living a restored marriage with her husband, Joshua (look for their story in an upcoming Testimony Tuesday). We haven't yet spoken with Joshua but we have spoken quite a bit with Kimberly and we just think she's AWSOME and, as you'll read, is clearly in touch with God's heart. She blesses so many in this ministry and we're sure you'll be blessed by her too!




The importance of a husband listening to a wife is based in the heart of God. One of the best ways to get to the very heart of an issue is to ask a question.


Looking throughout Scripture we know God wants His bride to ask of Him and bring every question and care. God asks every human heart at some point in their lives...no matter how it may come, what each person will do with eternity.(?)

Remember God asks us very penetrating questions also. Jesus asked Peter the most profound question ever recorded...and asks this same question of every human being..."Who do you say that I am?" Are you to say to God...you are "bothering" me with your incessant questions? John the Baptist asked Christ..."Are YOU the one?" This answer to his fearful heart, at his moment of death kept him grounded in the truth that the Kingdom had gloriously come. This great man of God faced being beheaded with knowing he met God face to face.

God Himself birthed in man the gift of wondering. God tells us that He loves our questions and that He will show us mysteries and secrets...this kind of deep relationship only comes by asking...a desire to know....a longing to have the right answer. To hunger and thirst for God.
Job, was questioned by God in his darkest hour. Jesus' disciples constantly asked Jesus questions about His kingdom. It is in His own nature. "Who is like unto our God?" "Who can compare to Him?" These are questions that comfort us and bolster our very faith.

To say a wife is "bothering" her husband just because she needs or wants an answer to something is in reality disregarding her and saying that you are disinterested in her heart.
Questions to a husband are in reality the heart of his wife reaching out to connect. To be reassured that she matters. Much in the same way as Christ's Bride we reach out to God to connect and at times want His strength and comfort. We desire to know if our souls are well and in intimacy with Him.


All from a question....the right answer or response can change a life. Asking the right question can as equally open up in us a profound knowing something that we could not know any other way.


Often in life it is not the answer we are looking for it is that we are heard. In the vast unknowing someone is listening.....

6.16.2009

Responding Positively


The ministry that Michael and I are involved in encourages a husband to make his every waking moment all about his wife for the first 6 months of their restoration process. This is largely due to the fact that he hasn't done anything like this for most of their marriage up to this point.
Typically, a wife will respond positively to her husband when he's laying down his life for her and meeting her needs. This is easy to do if she hasn't been too humiliated or broken by her husband's past actions in the marriage. If she has experienced this with her husband, like I did, she will go into a self-protect mode and become wary of opening her heart towards him - even if he's doing it perfectly - and it will take time for her to heal and trust again.
That's O.K.! Just remember ladies that remaining wary can lead to bitterness which is not a good place to be and guys...a word to the wise; a woman will live in a shack with a less intelligent, less successful man who treated her like a queen than a successful, more intelligent man who treats her poorly.

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6.14.2009

A Wife's Issues


One of the things that we’ve learned through this marriage ministry with regard to a wife’s issues is that 90% of them will disappear as a husband brings healing to a wife and whatever are left over she will work through with God. I was able to experience what this looks like this past Friday.

Earlier in the day I had watched a video collage of our wedding pictures and while they’re quite lovely and it was bittersweet to see Jack & Evan looking so young (they were 4 & 3 at the time), I found myself filled with hurt and anger over what should have been and the reality of what was. You see, there were two men in the wedding party that Michael had accused me of having sex with and one of them was the officiate. Yes, it was that crazy. I’ve shied away from watching any part of our wedding ceremony because this is still a very sensitive area for me and I didn’t realize how much until I was actually looking at it.

Michael watched the last part of it with me and didn’t get up and leave when I turned it off with tears in my eyes and angrily told him how hurt I still was over everything. He listened, held me, cried with me, apologized…everything he should do and, I know, was everything he genuinely wants to be (and is committed to being) for me. He’s also had the opportunity twice since then to speak with two husbands and use this situation with them as learning (for him) and teaching moments for them in how they can bring healing to their own wives.

So herein lies the part of the 10% of issues that I have the need to go to God with and ask him to check my heart in: my trust towards Michael and the healing he’s been bringing to me since he’s started winning my heart and laying his life down for me; my trust in God with Michael’s heart and motives and commitment to this process and that he will never, NEVER, go there again with me in any way, shape or form (which, to my knowledge, he hasn’t). And so I pray, “Lord, I’m angry; deliver me from my anger. Lord, I trust You; forgive my mistrust. Lord, I forgive; help me in my unforgiveness.”

Do I still have my issues? I must truthfully answer with a resounding, “YES!” In fact, I was just speaking about this with a friend of mine who writes an amazing blog called 40 Days of Worship (you should check it out). My list was longer than I care to admit and while I know that God is working on me to get my act together, it’s a damn painful process at times. I also find myself extremely thankful that He continues to give me a husband who is willing and able to be the man I need him to be as he grows in Christ alongside me each day.

6.11.2009

Living In Understanding


You may know that on Tuesday nights, Michael & I facilitate a couple’s call for the marriage ministry that we’re involved in and that has saved our marriage. This past Tuesday we were working with a couple of which the husband regularly (over the past 24 years) isolates himself from being in relationship with his wife. This post is the actual transcript ~ with only some minor editing from me ~ of Michael’s conversation with him.

I was so taken by what he said that I knew I needed to post his words because they are vital in a husband and wife really understanding this process. Michael has been asked many times when it was that he actually “got it” and what that looked like for him; I’ve wondered the same myself. What follows not only addresses the hopelessness of isolation but also the beauty of what takes place in a marriage when a husband lives with his wife in understanding as God’s Word calls him to.

I love you so much, Michael…thank you for your willingness to walk this journey with me! Annalea (your BWE)

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C.S. Lewis wrote about isolation and the pain and fear that surround it. He said that a man who chooses to live in isolation is a man who’s choosing to live in his own hell before he even gets there because in hell there’s no risk, there’s nothing but complete darkness; there’s no one there to love. And a man who chooses to love explicitly accepts the risk of loving and not being loved back. Isolation is born mainly out of a fear of the loss that’s guaranteed when you love and that’s a scary thing.

My arguments with Annalea were a mixture of me thinking she was wrong and that she didn’t know what love looked like and I did. That was on the surface. What it was really about was me thinking that if she’s right and I’m wrong then I’m really going to lose her and if she’s right and I’m not doing it right then there’s no reason for her to stay. And that was where a lot of my insecurity lay. How it showed up was me behaving as I’m right and she’s wrong and she needs to repent and change and get her act together and then she can be with me.

What I’m getting at is that I didn’t know how to love. I really wasn’t risking much by arguing with her and becoming angry because that’s just selfishness masked in love under my terms and being more concerned with my wants and needs being met by her. When I risk by putting my needs and feelings aside, I’m entering into the realm of real love and it is uncomfortable and it is scary and it is painful…all of those things that C.S. Lewis wrote about because when you’re risking…your feelings are going to get hurt and there’s going to be times when ~ even if you’re right ~ you’re setting aside your right to be right in order to bring healing to your wife’s heart.

Look guys, most of the times, our wives are right. 99.9% of the time Annalea was right and if there was a time when I was right ~ so what! Her feelings being honored and validated were more important. For once in our lives, we’re choosing to lay down our lives and ourselves; our feelings and our needs in the hope that it will all pay off. That’s the scary part. That’s love.

One of the things that I’d do with Annalea that would shift my attitude and mind was to recognize what I’d done or said to her, own it, validate her heart and apologize to her. Additionally, I began to recognize that what got me arguing with her in the first place was me thinking that she was wrong and needed to see things from my point of view. I’d remind myself that if I’d been the man that she needed me to be from the beginning we wouldn’t even be having this argument or these problems and this would always change my attitude towards her where before there was never enough room in my mind and heart to hear her heart and understand what she was truly needing.

My experience from being involved in this ministry and working with other couples and husbands is that there isn’t a man around (myself included) who can carry the two: meet his wife’s needs (listening to her heart and validate her feelings) and getting his wife to see things from his perspective and get his needs and feelings validated. I don’t know a man who’s that creative.

If we, as husbands, are so worried about the pain we’re going to experience in laying down our lives for our wife then we’re selling ourselves and our marriages short. The reward is being able to present our wives holy and blameless before the Lord and we do this by bringing healing to them. It’s through this sanctification process that we receive a happy, whole wife who’s experiencing all of these amazing things in her life that she’s never experienced before. Now how cool is that to know that God has given a husband the power to give this gift to our wives? In a sense, all we’re really doing is just trusting God that our wife isn’t our enemy ~ she’s our helpmeet calling us to be the mighty great man that God intended us to be; caring enough to help us get there. Finally, we get to experience oneness with our wives.

This is contrary to what a lot of men think of as “manly” which is to demand that our wives (verbally, emotionally, physically, etc.) be submissive. That’s what the enemy does; demands compliance and submission which isn’t love and that’s what I was doing with Annalea ~ the work of the enemy ~ saying to her, “Hey, I’m a good guy, a Christian, how dare you say I’m not doing it right!” I was fighting against God and against my wife when what they were both trying to show me what it really meant to be a lover of the Lord and a lover of her soul.

It’s two been two years since I started to live in understanding with my wife and I’m still learning how to do it and that’s a good thing. And as I live out my life with her and trust in God that this process works, more and more I’m enjoying the fruits of my labor with Annalea.

6.09.2009

When A Husband Goes First


Welcome to our second week of Testimony Tuesday in which Michael and I share, via video, more of what we've learned on our journey towards an Outrageously Happy Marriage. Today, we're talking about a husband going first and what that looks like in the relationship, how he does this and what the happy result can look like.
The resources that have helped us along the way can be found here and we highly recommend them; they give a wife strength and validation and give a husband practical steps to take to becoming the husband that his wife needs him to be.
And guys, here's a secret, when you do this for your wife, she'll become the woman of your dreams and will start blessing your socks off!


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6.07.2009

The Key To Making Marriage Simple


Each one of us comes into marriage with specific (and often unrealistic) ideas of what we think it should be. These ideas have been influenced by our own upbringing, our parent’s marriage, the media, movies, our hopes & dreams or, sadly, born out of abuse. When those ideas become intertwined with your spouse’s who brings the same, simplicity can become non-existent.

For hundreds of years, husbands have been expecting their wives to melt before them simply by lifting the proverbial boom box with Peter Gabriel blaring from the speakers crooning about the light and heat he sees in her eyes. While it appears to have worked in the movie, in a real life marriage, most wives are left emaciated from the crumbs their husbands have been throwing them throughout the years. When this happens, problems in the marriage that could have been avoided begin to creep in and tear down the dreams of both involved; now there’s tension, anger, boredom, frustration…the list can go on.

In contrast, a husband who purposes to love, honor and cherish his wife in the ways she needs every day, who creates safety in the marriage and listens to his wife’s heart; earns her respect and she gives him everything – her heart, her mind, her body…her everything! A simple pattern for a breathtaking marriage is set in motion as the husband and wife are now giving and receiving.

You may have noticed that we’ve been putting the responsibility on the husband quite a bit here and you’d be right ~ we are. God calls a husband to go first, to be an initiator of unconditional love towards his wife; and, even if you’re not a believer, you’ll at least have heard that God created Adam first and gave him Eve to care for and pronounced it “good”.

The marriage ministry we’re involved in offers a simple and straightforward message: a man will become the husband that his wife needs him to be when he becomes the man that God called him to be. Over the last two years, Michael and I have found this to be true as we’ve walked through the process of restoring our own marriage.

I like to think that God is a god of simplicity and I don’t believe that He ever intended for things to get so complicated ~ especially in marriage which is the closest relationship we have on earth to our relationship with God.

6.06.2009

The Ignored Wife


“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12

I received a message today from a wife whose husband ignores her; in some ways subtly and in other ways, not so subtle. She felt bad for even bringing it up because she thought that her marriage problem was the least of those we hear about on a regular basis. Nothing could be further from the truth~ we hear this a lot!

Understand this ~ a wife who is ignored by her husband (sexually, emotionally, verbally, etc.) is bled drop by drop over time; it’s a slow death that sneaks up on her until there comes a point where she can’t take it any longer and her heart becomes sick; her will, feelings and intellect get sick. Since most men can’t handle seeing their wives like this and are clueless about the role they’ve played in them getting this way; they become angry and push them further away, increasing her feeling of being ignored.

This, my friends, is how a husband becomes responsible for pushing his wife into an emotional affair and/or physical affair. Now, before you get up in arms and send us a judgmental email or leave a similar comment on this post, We’d like to ask that you put yourself in a mental attitude of consideration. If you’ve seen the movie, FIREPROOF, you’ll have a better understanding because the very thing I’m speaking of happened in that movie. You might say, “yes, but he wasn’t a Christian husband (which he did later become) and a Christian husband wouldn’t do that, nor would a Christian wife behave in that manner.” Let us tell you that Christianity has nothing to do with it ~ a neglected, emotionally abused wife is ripe for the plucking to any “rescuer” who comes her way. Why? Because he listens, sympathizes, validates her, compliments her, maybe starts taking her to lunch or giving her small gifts….all the things she needs from her husband that he should have been doing for her but wasn’t.

“Your desire shall be for your husband.” Genesis 3:16

“When the desire comes it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

“God has given a wife a desire for a loving relationship with her husband. It’s a longing, a reaching out after, a powerful emotion that moves a woman to pursue a genuine, heart-to-heart relationship with her man.” (Joel & Kathy Davisson)


When a woman says ‘Yes!’ to a marriage proposal, she’s agreeing to join her life to the man who has been positively pursuing her, talking with her, spending time with her, complimenting her, smiling at her every time he sees her, supporting her dreams, sharing her hopes. She never would have agreed if she’d known that her future husband would eventually stop romancing her, start spending more and more time away from her and the children, become a workaholic, not help her raise the children, start looking at porn, self gratifying, start taking second looks at other women, criticize and blame her for their problems ~ problems that he initiated.

Husbands, if you’re marriage isn’t going the way you’d like it to, begin looking at what you’re initiating into the relationship. God has created a woman to be a responder and, as such, your wife will mirror back what you’re bringing to the table.

Wives, you and I both know that we can’t force our husbands to change but there are some things that can help such as telling him what you need from him, giving him ideas of things you’d like him to do in the relationship that he’s overlooking, acknowledging the good that he does (men love to be praised), and speaking to him clearly, directly and calmly.

I hope that we’ve shed some light on this subject and that some scales have fallen off reading eyes. Michael and I offer our continued support as we are both on this road with you and we can honestly tell you that we will never go back to the way it was. Why would we?

6.05.2009

As Wise As Solomon

“The failed solution offered by a vast array of books written to women is to caution a wife to be very careful about asking questions of her husband. Her questions convey disrespect to him and no man wants to be disrespected.” Joel & Kathy Davisson

I recently read a Twitter remark by someone that was along the lines of marriage and men: What He Wish You Knew -- It really bothers him when you question him and argue all the time, talk don't confront!

I almost spit out the sip of coffee I’d just taken! This is one of the most childish and enabling comments I’ve ever read on the subject and the thing is, just a couple of years ago I would have adhered to it. Listen up guys and gals…this is not biblical! This is ego-lical!

Take a look at King Solomon’s interaction with the Queen of Sheba – the ultimate Q & A:

Now when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of
Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she
came to test him with hard questions.

She came to Jerusalem with a very great
retinue, with camels that bore spices,
very much gold, and precious stones;
…and when she came to Solomon, she spoke
with him about all that was in her heart.


So Solomon answered all her questions;
there was nothing so difficult for the king that he
could not explain it to her.


How did the queen respond to Solomon in this? Not by arguing with him, I can tell you that! No….she responded with praise and gifts the like of which have never been seen since! And not because he “needed” it either ~ it was a genuinely organic response from her because he made her a priority, listened to her and patiently answered her questions. And then, Solomon gave gifts back to her:

“…all she desired, whatever she
asked, besides what Solomon had given
her according to the royal generosity.”

There’s a beautiful pattern here. A wife comes to her husband with questions. He listens to her heart and answers ALL of her questions. Now he’s earned his wife’s respect and she gives him everything.

In a nutshell: a real man earns his wife’s respect because he loves her so much. He becomes more like Christ every day. This is real living. This is real manhood. A woman cannot help but to admire and respect this man. No one has to tell her to.

6.03.2009

Marriage 911



Can you imagine being able to call up your counselor at 2am right when you and your spouse were in the middle of a knock-down-drag-out? For free? To talk as long as you both needed to? To be prayed for and ministered to? Incredible right?

It happened last night during our ministry call! Normally, these calls last 2-3 hours but last night, we were on for over 6…..there are a lot of hurting Christian marriages out there.

Michael and I are on the west coast and the two couples who called in for help were in Florida and New York so it was quite late for them ~ about 2 in the morning. But here they were, in the thick of it, hurting and needing help and they were able to get it because of this ministry. Just sit back for a moment and take that in – how important that was for them. Haven’t you and your spouse been there? Wow…I know that Michael and I have and it would have been so awesome to know that we could pick up the phone and get some help.

So you wives, I hope your husband is treating you so well that you’ll never need to call us in the middle of the night out of fear or hopelessness or because he’s threatened to leave.

And husbands, I hope you’re treating your wife so well that she sleeps safely and willingly beside you each night with no thought of ever having to call on someone to calm you down and talk some sense into you.

But if you do…God has supplied that need through this ministry and, as we say on our calls, “…the lines are open!”

6.02.2009

Looking for Hope


One of the things that Michael and I kept looking for in our bad days was hope. It seemed so elusive despite everything we tried: counceling, books, weekends away that were supposed to be memorable but turned out to be forgettable, pastors, active listening...you name it. You and your spouse may have tried some of these things yourselves and are still stuck being miserable in your marriage.

It doesn't have to be like this any longer.

In today's Testimony Tuesday video, we talk about how we found the hope we were looking for and what that looked like - and continues to look like - as we walk this journey of achieving the marriage we always dreamed about.

Remember, if Michael and Annalea can do it...You Can Do It Too!



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