I remember some wise words I received from an older gentleman three days before I was to be married to my beautiful wife Edie.
He knew that I was about to be married and he told me that him and his wife had been married for more than 50 years.
When I asked him what the secret to a long and happy marriage is, he said “Two very simple words. Yes Dear.”
Although we both laughed about it, he was very serious.
He said that when you try your best to keep your wife happy, you in turn will be happy. When the wife is happy, everyone is happy.
I have taken marriage very serious and remain convinced that marriage is work. Not all work, but you have to work at it.
When we received counseling from our pastor, he told us that “If either of you go through marriage with one eye on the exit door, your marriage will not work.” He said that no matter how tough times are or how much you think you married the wrong person, you are married to the one that God gave to you.
My wife and I continue to tell each other that “You are God’s Gift To Me.” It may seem small, but the fact is that it goes a long way back. Eighteen years ago my wife wrote that on a card that she gave to me on the day we were married. I’ll never forget it.
This is something at our core that we embrace together. Our marriage has not been easy. And we have gone through some rough times very recently as I restart my career.
As a husband I keep my wife close to me. I am always working to improve our relationship and although I am not perfect, she knows that I love her.
Marriage is a daily walk. Every day that you work on your marriage are also the days that you are saving your marriage.
I have worked it out with my wife for many years now. We have been through one of the most difficult times in our lives. But we are walking through this together.
Perhaps your marriage is struggling. I hope not. But whether it is or it isn’t, the day to start saving your marriage is today.
Some of the ways that I have served my wife may not be the most luxurious or most creative, but she know it is what I can offer her.
So I thought if I can share some of these on my blog and help one person, then it’s all worth it.
Here are my top ten ways to serve your wife:
Be the Spiritual Leader– Nothing resonates more with your wife than to know her husband is leading her on her spiritual walk. It is what you were chosen for. It speaks volumes when you read the Bible, study God’s word together, and pray together. Don’t ever stop doing this. You are saving your marriage.
Regular Date Nights– Nothing more needs to be said here.
Iron Her Clothes– Yes hubby, you can do it. And not just once, but every time she needs it. She will think something is up.
Clean the House– You will please her to no end when the house is cleaned and remains picked up. It’s hard at times, but there needs to be some sacrifice here. (You can get the kids to join in the fun.)
Cook Dinner For Her– Just because you work all day and come home tired, that doesn’t give you an excuse to lie on the couch while she toils in the kitchen. Ever hear of a Crock pot? (I’m trying to help here.)
Take the Kids Away– One thing a Mom needs most that she doesn’t get enough of, and that is quiet time in the house.
Make Her Favorite Beverage in the Morning– My wife loves her PG Tips British tea in the morning. I make it for her every morning that she will have it. I am happy to say that I have made her thousands of cups of tea.
Color Coordinate Her Clothes In the Closet– I know it doesn’t sound like much for a man to do here, but it goes a long way. Remember you are doing this for her, and the harder it is for you to do because of the man that you are, the more she will appreciate it.
Do the Laundry– When a wife and mom is over worked and under appreciated, no one in the house will be happy. That means you dad.
Go On Long Walks Together– One of the most important things in marriage is communication. Walking together produces positive feelings and also allows more time for discussion about what’s on your minds and life in general.
This list doesn’t require that you spend money, except perhaps during those important date nights.
Anyone can do these things.
Share what you do to build on your marriage every day.
This is what we say about life when the skies grow evermore gray and the cloud of doom lurks at our door.
But speaking as a dad I know just how much we want our perfect life. If there was ever anything else but success, we feel imperfect, and that is not acceptable.
“Failure is not an option.”
We’ve had it all figured out. The plans we started making when we were young cannot fail. Think of what people will think of us if we do.
I Cannot Fail…
Perhaps the hardest thing about failure as a dad is the struggle with the unknown. We want to fix things right away. We feel powerless in the circumstances we are experiencing.
We want to fix things but the barrage of waves continue with a crashing cadence that is deafening in the dark.
I know because I have experienced this as a dad too. And it is going to be okay.
Being a dad resonates within our heart and soul and the very core of who we are. And that core portrays who we are inside.
It is true what they say- That life goes on.
The only unfortunate thing about life going on is whether you abandon ship or not.
What is in you core?
Does the bombardment and crashing in the midst of the storm make you stand firm in your faith and arise to the occasion. Does it flare your nostrils and your intention to stand firm in your faith?
The sacrificial dad dies to self.
Some dads feel the personal need to fend for themselves and fall into the temptation to flee for the hills leaving yet another broken family without a leader. It is your pride and your fear of what will happen to “you” that will become overpowering as you dad, give into self.
The selfish dad rises to self.
I have personally witnessed too many dads failing family. Some were dad’s mere choice of leaving the family for infidelity. Some were when the dad simply was not spiritually prepared to stand in the gap and let the power of God work in the midst of the storm.
Being Dad In the Storm is not going to be easy and you can’t do this on your own.
You have to start preparing for your life’s storm now!
Whether the storm that you are in comes from a poor decision that you have made, bad health circumstances, or from a financial hardship, you can make it through this.
We have to intentionally sail the ship right into the eye of the storm. We cannot abandoning ship.
It is a hard blow to have to go through these circumstances whether they are from a poor decision we have made or not. Unfortunately some things happen that are completely out of our control.
Whatever the storm you are going though, the most important thing you can do for you and your family, is to be Dad In the Storm.
It is during the hardest times that who you are will come forthright.
You can make it through this storm dad. Take the ship’s wheel.
It will be okay.
Stand firm in your faith and put on the “Whole Armor of God”.
If I could capture a moment in time it would be the day that I celebrate my love for my girls and the privilege that it is for me to be called Daddy by them.
Each year we load up in the car and go to our annual “Daddy Daughter Dance” hosted by Circle Christian School.
It is a special time for us to celebrate the relationship that we have and to shake it out on the dance floor. Its not about how you dance, but rather that you get to dance and celebrate each other.
For me it is a time to pause and reflect on the passed year and re-evaluate my relationship with my girls and to set new priorities. I am reminded each year how fast time is going, how little time that I have left with them, and just how much they need their Daddy.
They don’t think about my inabilities, my imperfections, or my provision (I am so happy about that) they just want to celebrate their relationship with their Daddy.
The fact that they have a Daddy that is there for them, a Daddy who gives them security, affection, and treats them with a loving hand and kind words means the world to them. What they celebrate is that they have a Daddy who would do anything for them that will help build up a morale character development and that helps them to eventually become a Godly woman that fears the Lord.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
My time with them is precious. The two hour dance time that we have flies by like the years have. But there is no time to look back for there is a lot of building yet to be done.
The most important thing for me in the moment while we all melt together on the dance floor for that one last song “Butterfly Kisses”, is to always remember whose that they are, they belong to the Lord. I only have them for a short while. And as I slow dance with them in the darkness of the room, with those bittersweet tears quietly rolling down my cheek as I pray over them, I thank God for the blessing of “Daddy’s Little Girls.”
I Love You Kaitlyn and Mandy. You mean the world to me. “Sign Sign Sign.”
Ephesians 6:18 “Pray in the spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”
I once realized how much my prayer life had been lacking. This realization was hard for me for what I had been missing with God.
A family that prays together, stays together.
Missing what “could have been” according to God’s plan is a big deal. Especially whenever it wasn’t just me, it was my whole family too.
Being a husband and father is a big deal and I felt that I wasn’t preparing them enough for battle.
I made a decision to not miss out on His plan any longer. And I decided to not let my wife and family down in hat way again. We had all been missing a much richer and more meaningful walk with God.
Regarding my past prayer life, most of it was prayer on the fly, which is okay too but not when you don’t have that quiet time with God that you really need when you are truly seeking him. When I watched the video below by Francis Chan, it made me think a lot about myself.
The truth is that most of the time as I prayed I was merely going through the motions. It became very ritualistic. I would almost say the same things when I prayed.
When God’s word revealed to me how to really pray, I then did a lot of searching and asked God about how my prayer life had been.
As I have taken my prayer life with Christ more seriously now and totally relinquished myself to Him, letting the spirit fill me and pour out of me, I become less and He becomes more. During this time when I pray I am literally praying with the spirit inside of me. It is an amazing feeling.
Improve your prayer life and improve y walk with God.
There are three things that have truly helped me in my prayer life and my walk with God.
The first thing is that I have found the way to consistently fellowship with the spirit is through daily devotion. For me to meditate on God’s word and daily ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. Let Jesus fight the battle and let Jesus have victory over the strongholds in my life. To be more intentional in everything that I do. Dig deeper into God’s word. It’s not about how much I read, it is however, about how I read. And that everything I need is in the Bible. God’s love letter is written to me and to you directly.
The second thing is that I have found to help develop your prayer life is to develop your own prayer journal. This is a journal that will help you to organize your personal life and also your prayer life. And as you journal, keep a separate page for what God is saying to you through reading the scriptures. And you can also keep a log of what you are saying to God in return.
In doing this, you can then look back over time to see how God has worked in your life. How you may have been struggling with something and how much God moved through the situation. How God provided healing, or provided for a need that you or someone else may have had.
The third thing is to have a prayer partner. It is a hard thing to have a prayer partner at first. But it needs to be someone you feel you know and trust. When you pray about it, God will reveal who that person is.
Please take a few minutes to watch this video below on the very subject of prayer. It spoke volumes to me.