October 10, 2016

DAY TEN - Praying for Your Marriage - 31 Days of Life Happens... and so We Pray!



Let me start with this:

First: If you are single... please don't stop reading!
  Whether you hope to be married one day, or are happily single and hope to stay that way, my prayer is this post will help you to better pray for any kind of relationship when Life Happens and Hard comes at our connections!

Second: We can't tackle ALL of the ways Life Happens in our Marriages in one post... but please don't stop reading!
  While there are MANY ways Life Happens and many ways marriage can sometimes make or break us, the secret to this series is this: EVEN WHEN WE DON'T WANT TO PRAY... or WHEN WE DON'T FEEL LIKE IT WILL EVEN MATTER... we pray! 
Sometimes, we just pray ANYWAY! 
(Disclaimor of sorts: Regarding abuse, this isn't saying we always stay --but always, we pray!)

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Marriage... the Dream within a Dream... True Love...
(Princess Bride, anyone?)

Listen... when the Bible says marriage is two becoming one flesh... well - I suppose maybe those growing pains are just implied. Yes?


It doesn't really matter how much you love each other or how long you have been becoming one flesh --sometimes the process is painful and it will require a bit of dying --on both sides!


When the Lord gave me the outline for this series, I noticed right away that there was only one day set aside for Marriage. In reality, the entire series could be about praying for and through your marriage. In fact, my guess is that there ARE a few entire series being written about that! 

I have talked about marriage a few times on this blog... If you want to read more in depth you click through to a few other posts here, and here, and here, and here.

My Honey and I are celebrating our twenty fourth Wedding Anniversary a week from today. That means that we have been together for over 25 years now and I will tell you whole-heartedly, without any hesitation, that it really does just keep getting better and better! (Or, as Chris Caine says, 'Betterer and Betterer!'

It does! 

But that doesn't mean that Life hasn't Happened... that Hard hasn't found us... that miscommunication, woundedness, raw-tenderness, fear and hesitation haven't had their way with us. 

They have. 

As with ANY relationship, marriage will have good days and hard days... seasons where everything just clicks and seasons where no matter what we say or mean, that is not what is heard or interpreted.

Flesh, man.
It's tricky, right?

My Honey and I have been doing a little pre-marriage counseling this year, now that he has been asked to marry a few people.  It is our joy and honor to sit down with new nearly weds and encourage them to believe it will be amazing (It will!) and also prepare them for when it is less than amazing, too!  We go over some Keys to a Kingdom Marriage that have been tried and tested in our own life together. (Keys like giving your all, keeping a healthy sex life, the importance of hobbies/interests, and learning to fight fair!)

In our marriage, we expect the best -- in and for and with each other.

We speak life and choose our words with care! We do not use our words like weapons. 

We love and honor and cherish one another. We encourage and cover and build up each other.

We communicate as clearly and as closely as we can, opting for voice to voice or face to face more than text to text or notes left on counter tops.

We choose to be passionate, patient, forgiving friends!
We are for each other.

We are ready to be quiet and hold our tongues --knowing that often, Silence is the only Right in the room. But we stay in the room.  


Silence and the silent treatment are two different things... there is no sleeping on the couch in this house. (Sleeping on the very edge of my side of the bed... sure. I'll admit to that a time or two!) BUT WE STAY IN THE ROOM!

We respect each other and give grace... and space, if and when needed. If one of us needs to leave the room and get fresh air or go for a drive to think things through and cool off in order to not throw words that wound --we make allowance for that. But we agree to come back at a specified time to finish the conversation.

We are not into pretending it's not there, or shrugging it off with no resolution, hoping to just move on or to forget about it.  

We are big on I'm Sorry and I Love You.  

We make time for each other.  We are empty-nesters now so date night is nearly every night, but even when our girlie was little and life was a different kind of full, we penciled in dinners out, movie nights, and weekends away just the two of us whenever we could manage it!

Marriage is work... but it is also a joy. 

We try to laugh together at least a few times a day.

Marriage - as with any relationship - takes intentionality and focus. 

Listen... 
  We were created for connection! 

Jesus says we are His Bride. He's fond of the idea of marriage because it can be such a picture of what His best is for us --a glimpse of the Goodness that is to come.  


The enemy fights against God's best for us and he loves to come in and create tension and division in relationships. He whispers lies and causes fear and doubt to have free reign in our minds if we are not careful!  

Life Happens... and if our first reaction is not to fall to our knees in prayer over our marriage, the enemy can get a foothold and loose all kinds of havoc between us.

And honestly, sometimes Life Happens because we are to blame... we made a poor decision or chose the wrong thing or simply didn't pay attention when things began to go awry! 

Sometimes Life Happens and only one of us notices... and it takes two flesh --willing and wanting to become one.

Life can Happen in a job loss, in financial stress, in health issues, in extra marital affairs, in simple miscommunication, in disagreements in raising kids, in being too busy (even if that means too busy doing good things!)... 

Life Happens and the world pulls and pushes and if our bond is not strong, there are so many things that come at us to try to untie it!



So however Life Happens to us and our marriage... Prayer, as I said last week, is always our best battle plan! Prayer tightens the knot and strengthens the bond!

Listen... the reality is what works for us most likely won't work for you and your spouse. At least not every little thing... every single time!

But there are some amazing tools available that help us grow stronger and closer in our marriages! We all learned skills in how to relate to each other in the way we were raised and the marriage(s) we watched firsthand as we grew up! 

The good news is that we can keep the skills that created healthy connections and seemed to work! But we can also replace new skills for the old ones if we want to be intentional about not repeating the same mistakes we witnessed in the past!

To wrap up, below are just a few of many books that are powerful resources to growing a healthy and happy marriage. Most of these are on our own bookshelves and have been read, highlighted, and underlined... 
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs 
Keep Your Love On by Danny Silk
The Supernatural Power of Forgiveness by Kris and Jason Vallotton 
The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller
Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend 
The Story of Marriage by John and Lisa Bevere 
The Love Dare by Alex Kendrick
The Power of a Praying Wife/Husband  by Stormie Omartian
You and Me Forever by Francis and Lisa Chan 
Love After Marriage by Barry and Lori Bryne (This is also an amazing weekend conference offered all over the world!) 
Lovemaking by Dr. Dan and Linda Wilson
Sheet Music by Kevin Leman 
I would be honored to pray a blessing over your marriage or to encourage you in prayer regarding a relationship! Feel free to comment below with a request or simply your name(s) and I will take you to the throne in prayer!



I'm also linking up with the lovely writer communities linked below:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 


Barbie Swihart  for #GlimpsesofHisBeauty  

 Today is Day Ten of 31 Days of Life Happens...and so We Pray! If you missed the kick-off and official 'Home page' for this series, you can go HERE and catch up! You will find links for each days' postings, added daily throughout the month. If you'd prefer to have them delivered right to you, I invite you to enter your email address to the right ('Subscribe Here') and subscribe to the blog. That way, once a week, each post is delivered to your inbox in a single email over the weekend and you'll be sure not to miss a thing!

Come back tomorrow as we purpose to be Praying through the Psalms on Tuesdays this month! We will stick with our Family theme as we pray! The rest of the week, we'll dig in to praying for our kids, as well as extended family members and friends, too!

Please comment below and let me pray with you!

16 comments :

  1. This is a fabulous post. Favorite quote: "Prayer tightens the knot and strengthens the bond." I also love your photos used in the graphics. Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more.

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen! You are welcome back any time!

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  2. "Prayer is always our best battle plan." AMEN to that! You know what state my marriage was in earlier this year, and it is only through prayer and the grace of God that we are still together. Lots of good stuff here!

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    1. Amen!!! I felt the need to put the little disclaimor but oh my goodness, before any decisions, we must pray! So glad that prayer and grace has held you together! I continue to pray for you guys and rejoice with all that God is doing! xoxo

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  3. "We are ready to be quiet and hold our tongues --knowing that often, Silence is the only Right in the room" - gulp! I haven't always succeeded at this, having grown up in a home where abuse was rife and verbal battles were the norm. But God... gave me an ever-patient spouse who knows when to remain silent and let me spout off before I seek his (and God's) forgiveness, and when to speak - calmly, of course!
    My verbal sparring was a result of having felt insecure, rejected and neglected as a child, as well as fear of not being accepted, seen or heard. Marriage can be a battlefield at times. Now, after over 40 years of marriage, (I know..where did they go?!), we are stronger together than ever before - largely because God has changed me, given me reassurance and confidence and greater ability to stay silent. And my man's love and faithfulness have never faltered or wavered. Prayer is a great priority in life and relationships, a protective ballast against the inevitable storms. Great post, Karrilee! Blessed to be your neighbour at the #glimpsesofhisbeauty link up. xo

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    1. Oh -- this journey of marriage is an adventure, isn't it? Congrats on 40+ years of marriage! That is no small thing and I am sure you have wisdom to share and aren't you just oh so thankful for a H/husband who is gracious and loving and slow to anger? (I have one -or Two- of those, too!) xoxo

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  4. THIS IS JUST PLAIN GOOD. xo

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    1. And that just plain made me smile! xoxo

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  5. Thank You for telling me to keep reading! :)

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    1. Thank YOU for continuing on! ;)

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  6. Thank you so much for this post, Karrilee!! It is so hard to make a marriage work, especially when 1/2 of the couple doesn't think anything is wrong and not willing to help...and that half also has major hearing issues and dementia, which is so hard for me. I am learning; after 33 years of marriage, and around 20 years with some of the medical issues, I am learning!

    I would appreciate prayers for myself and my husband Bobby...prayer works wonders! God is the miracle maker and has done so in my life; in OUR lives!

    Following my fellow bloggers during this write31days; hand writing my own since the 6th due to blog issues...but I am here and I am writing!!!

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    1. Oh Barbara, I know that you have battled hard for your marriage and the work you have been willing to do has not gone unnoticed! I believe the Lord wants you to know that as you do it unto Bobby... He receives it as an offering unto Him and He is well pleased with the way you love and serve!

      Father God, You have been the Lord of this marriage --in times when that was acknowledged, and in the times when it wasn't! You have been knitting these two lives together for years and just as Jesus walked this life on earth for 33 years and then Resurrection Life came, I am praying Resurrection Life to come to Barbara and Bobby! Lord reawaken their first love for each other and for You and breathe new life and new love and new compassion --and restore memories and the history that they share! We thank You Jesus that You are at work... that You are still a Miracle Maker and we come boldly to Your throne of Grace and we ask for a miracle... in healing, in passion, in restoration, in resurrection power, in Jesus' Name!

      (And yay for how you are pressing on and not letting the enemy stop you! Praying for your blog issues to be resolved as well!)

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  7. Prayer is the most important thing we can do for our marriage. Congrats on 24 years. That is SO SO AWESOME. I bet your guys make great pre marriage councelors.

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    1. Thanks so much, Natalie! Well, our heart is to not just council before marriage -but to keep a relationship connection with them so we can encourage them on through the years! This weekend is My Honeys' second time officiating a marriage ceremony! It's one of the fun benefits of being Pastors! xoxo

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  8. I needed to read this post tonight. I am sure that this is the reason I remembered your 31 days series, when I asked "What should I do now, Lord?" Thank you again so much, Karrilee!

    Jolene

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    1. Praying for you, Jolene! Trusting He is leading and drawing and speaking! xoxo

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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