A Surrendered Heart: Why Did I Marry This Guy?

Welcome to A Surrendered Heart: A Wife’s Journey to Love the Jesus Way. I will be sharing my thoughts here each Thursday during this 6-week class, offering printable journal pages for you to pray through on your own time, and providing discussion questions for us to talk though together. How will this work? Simply click on the “Leave a Comment” button on each post to add your thoughts, experiences, and suggestions to the discussion. If you are a newsletter subscriber, please click through to this post on my website to add your comments to the discussion to be read by everyone. I look forward to hearing what you have to say! God be praised for the gift of marriage and for allowing us to grow in Him.

Surrendered Heart Lesson 1
Matt and I have been blessed to mentor quite a few young engaged or newlywed couples during the past few years. One of the joys of this is looking across our living room at a couple – seeing how excited they are to be marrying each other. They are beaming at each other – even as we talk through some difficult topics.

After 20 years of marriage, I rarely beam at Matt anymore. Why? Is it so hard to beam, have I forgotten how to beam, or do I feel silly beaming at the age of 41? Might it be that after 20 years I’ve learned more about his weaknesses and those sometimes overshadow his strengths – making me not even feel like beaming? I remember beaming. I remember being completely enamored. I remember.

So here I am, practically beamless. Matt doesn’t seem to miss it, or at least he doesn’t say anything about it. It’s funny (not funny) how the logistics of life, parenting, running businesses, and changing toilet paper rolls can take over a couple’s mind, keeping them from taking time to even stop and look at each other.

Wait. I just thought of a time I beam. This might be more information than you wanted to know. Should I still say it? I’m going to say it. During soccer season when I’m sitting in a chair across the field from Matt, who is coaching one of our boys’ teams, and I am cheering for our team – and then I look over at Matt, who is so very good at coaching and also looks very good in athletic gear – it makes me all melty and I think to myself, “Man he’s hot.” Okay, there. I said it. I beam on the soccer field.

I bring up the beaming and the hot soccer coach (he’s mine. back off.) for this reason: It’s good for us to think back to the time before we were married.

What were we looking for in a husband? What attracted us to our man? Why did we marry this guy? The reasons were many, and at that time the strengths outweighed the weaknesses. The weaknesses are real – they are. But I’ve found it beneficial as of late to reflect on that guy that made me so crazy I couldn’t see straight. The guy that I couldn’t wait to walk down the aisle toward. That guy. 

Scripture to Consider

Anytime you find your heart focusing on the negative (about your husband or life in general), it might just be because you aren’t spending enough time in the Word. The more time we spend with Jesus, the more easily our hearts find a kingdom focus. I can’t encourage this enough: Be in the Word. Daily. Not with a check-list mentality but with a surrendered heart, open to hear what God needs to teach you.

Each week of this class, I will be offering us a scripture focus that I have found to be helpful with the topic at hand. But one or two scriptures isn’t enough. Take this scripture focus and run with it. Read. Pray. Meditate. Listen.

I chose Luke 6:45 for us to focus on together this week. Why? Because if your heart is focused on your husband’s weaknesses instead of his strengths (aka the reasons you married him and the ways he’s grown during the time you’ve been married) – the outpouring of your heart is going to be ugly. Focus on the good, and good will pour out of you toward your husband. Having trouble finding the good? God’s right there waiting to show you. Pray. Listen. Fill your heart with good.

Luke 645
Download the Overflow of the Heart Printable Here

This week, take time to consider why you married your man. Print the following sheet to add to your Surrendered Heart Journal and write down the reasons. Write what made you beam. Write the strengths he had/has that attracted you to him in the first place. It’s so good to look back and remember.

Why I Married Him

Download Why I Married Him Journal Page Here

I found that opening my heart while reading through different passages, including Luke 6:45, and then writing my Why I Married Him journal page gently turned my focus toward a prayer for strength in letting God fill my heart with His goodness and the truth about my husband’s strengths. Wouldn’t you know it, I have found more reasons to beam. God’s good like that.

Up For Discussion…Share with us:

  • What is one of the reasons you chose to marry your man?
  • What ways do you find it helpful to store up good in your heart regarding your husband?
  • What thoughts come to mind when you hear the words of Jesus, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks?”
  • What makes you beam? Go ahead. Tell us.  ;)

Comments

  1. Sharon says

    You and I are in the same time line. Age and numbers of years married. This has come along at the right time. I married him because he was quiet and not boastful, smart, funny, willing to help and give of himself at any time to others whether he knew them or not and very, very handsome!

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    Laura Reply:

    Sounds like you married a treasure. Thank you so much for telling us about his strengths.

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  2. says

    As a single young lady, I’m saving these pages on my computer to use when I actually have *someone*… And I will enjoy hearing your thoughts and squirreling away the information for later!

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    Laura Reply:

    Awesome! That is super encouraging to me. :)

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  3. Shannon says

    Great post. I wish more women would do this. I hear so many women (even Christian women) bashing there husbands. I know from my parents relationship that this is so devastating to a marriage. My mother is very bitter about my dad. Daddy’s not the night in shinging armor she hoped for and growing up I listened to a lot of “Dad bashing”. Granted my Dad gave her a lot of grief when I was young, but he became a Christian about 15yrs ago and has tried in every way to make it up to her, but she will not forgive him and continues to bash. I got really angry at her a few years ago and said, “Mom if he makes you so unhappy why don’t you divorce him?” She told me, “Because I’m not giving him half of our retirement.” I swore that my marriage would not be that way. I have seen this attitude make her miserable for more than 40yrs. I pray for Mom’s heart to change everyday, so that she can see how much my Dad has changed and that he is trying to be the man God wants him to be.

    Luckly I married a wonderful Christian man. Is he perfect? Not by a long shot, but the Lord has shown me that he is perfect for me. Do I ever get in the bashing mindset? Of course, but I’ve learned that when my mind starts turning that direction I have to humble myself before God and ask to remind me of the all my husband’s wonderful traits. You know what? He helps me everytime. Our Father also likes to remind me that I’m not the easiest person to live with either (don’t like hearing that one do we?)

    I think this study will be a blessing to many marriages. So glad you’re doing it.

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    Laura Reply:

    Ugh, I hate men bashing. I certainly wouldn’t want Matt complaining to all his friends about my weaknesses – why would I do that to him? I love how you said that your husband isn’t perfect but that he is perfect for you. Thats…perfect. :) God knows just who we need.

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  4. JoAnne says

    I’ll be married 19 years to my second husband on Mother’s Day… why did I marry him? He had been married before; had sole custody of his two sons. He was a Christian man and has a good soul. He is one of the nicest men I know and would give the shirt off his back to anyone. When he loves someone, he loves with all his heart and I’m so glad that I’m the one he loves. I truly believe that God sent him to me and I give thanks to God for him. This study is a huge blessing for me. The past two years have been rough (cancer for him, heart problems for me) but we have made it thru it and are coming out of the other side.

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    Laura Reply:

    Your husband sounds wonderful. Praise God that He got you through those rough years together. How exciting to see what God has in store for you next. :)

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  5. Karli says

    After 13+ years, I have trouble remembering this, too. In fact, I pushed myself over his birthday last week to text him every hour on the hour with a reason I was happy he was born. It is so challenging to do something like that because of all of the weaknesses that I now see. Even though it was challenging, I am so glad I did it. It boosted him up when he needed it, too. I am going to try to do things like that more often. So that he knows how much he means to me and so that I remember! I am looking forward to this study. Thanks for doing this, Laura!

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    Laura Reply:

    Texting every hour on his birthday is a great idea! What’s great is that it boosted him AND you as you came up with reasons to be glad he was born.

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  6. Amanda says

    My husband and I will be married 6 years in July. Wow. 6. I can’t believe it’s been 6. I’ve known him for 8 years. We started dating 7 years ago.
    I chose him for several reasons. I think the main reason is because of his servant heart. The way he served others and served me and how he made me feel important really attracted me to him. He is the guy that gets along with EVERYONE.
    ~To store up good in my heart (regarding my hubby), I find it helpful to remind myself multiple times a day that He. Is. Human. He is going to fail me. I fail him, too! I have to constantly offer grace to help keep the good overflowing out of my heart. When I store up bitter or resentment, there is not much room to store up the good.
    ~”Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” When I read those words, what comes to mind is..whatever state my heart is in, the words out of my mouth are going to show for it. Does that make sense? Am I interpreting that right?
    ~ What makes me beam? Oh, many things. As of late, watching him work out in the yard; digging to extend our patio, cutting grass, prepping our soil for plants..that makes me beam :)
    I look forward to this 6 week session with you, Laura! I can’t wait to grow more!

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    Laura Reply:

    YES! I beam at the grass cutting, garden prepping, hard work outside too! (I mean, I beam at my husband, not at yours. Of course.)

    I agree with your interpretation of that scripture. If our hearts are full of nasty, that’s what will likely spew out of our mouths. But if I fill my heart with good (God’s word and focusing on my husband’s strengths) – good will spill over!

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    Amanda Reply:

    I agree! I tend to want to dwell on the negatives, especially since I’m overwhelmed some days raising a 3yo and 10 month old. Sometimes it’s hard to extend grace and store up good in this season of giving sacrifically 24/7. This first session spoke volumes of encouragement to me. Thank you for letting God use you!

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  7. submissive says

    The bible says that He that findeth a wife, findeth a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. (Paraphrasing) my husband and I married because we wanted to live Holy lives unto the Lord. We wanted our family to be pilgrims to the world that is falling away do swiftly. My husband has many faults, as I do as well. Sometimes as women we tend to hold on to the negative aspects in our spouse and allowing that to overshadow the the wonderful things that they do for us. I’ve been in that state and if I didn’t take hold on it I would of destroyed my marriage and the lives of our children. We are called to be help meets to our spouses. A wise woman builds up her home, but a foolish women tears it apart…proverbs14:1. We must make sure our hearts are lined up with the word of God so it can be lined up with our spouses. My husband works hard day by day to provide for us..I love him and I believe God has a plan for us. I’m seeking with all my heart to please the Lord…Amen?

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    Laura Reply:

    Seeking to please God is the very best focus. I’m learning that more and more every day. Doing so blesses everyone, especially my husband.

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  8. Stephanie L. says

    I am so excited about this study! Thank you for taking the time to do it! I’m sure it will be a blessing to many marriages. My husband and I have been married only a smidgen over 4 1/2 years, and it is discouraging to think that I don’t appreciate him like I used to, and I don’t beam nearly enough! I am so thankful for his spiritual leadership in our family, and his sensitivity to the Lord! He is also very longsuffering with me. Our family is on deputation to go to the mission field, and at the moment we live in a motorhome. Consequently we have to do laundry in a laundromat every week. I am so thankful that he has taken it upon himself to do the laundry every week for me, so I don’t have to take our two little girls (2 1/2 and 7 mo.) to the laundromat. In fact, he is there right now, and I’m going to make sure he knows how much I am thankful for him and all he does! :) He is a treasure!

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    Laura Reply:

    Wow, motorhomes and laundromats. What an adventure! How good of your man to take care of the laundry for you. I’m sure you were beaming when he got home today with the clean clothes. Thank you for sharing about his great qualities. :)

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  9. Jocy says

    Thank you so much for this Laura! Thank you for scriptural reference too. I will be celebrating my 7th year anniversary in May 3rd!!! Like a commenter said: my husband is perfect for me! He is a great helper: he helps me grow in every aspect of my life, he is a wonderful dad, he loves God and Jesus, he loves to serve,etc. i’m beaming just writing this, now i need to work on beaming more for him. Thank you again ????

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    Laura Reply:

    I can hardly see my screen with all the beaming going on. ;) It’s amazing how easy it is to beam once we really focus on the good in our husbands. (The overflow of the heart…)

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  10. Kendra says

    This is great timing. As a stay at home mom, my day is spent chasing two little boys, 5 & 3, with another little on the way. Yesterday was tough. My patience was thin. I was tired from a week of running. My words were so unkind to my husband and I tend to bring up past hurts to ‘get even’ with him when I am hurting myself.
    I need this series to remind myself why I chose and married my husband and how to love him like Jesus. Thank you for your encouraging blog. It’s one of my absolute favorites.

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    Laura Reply:

    It’s so easy to bring up past hurts when we are feeling hurt in the present. Thank you for sharing. I know you are doing a wonderful job taking care of those boys and loving your husband too. I found it so refreshing to write down on the printable the reasons I married my husband, and I bet you will too. Reminding myself (and letting God remind me of all the good) was/is so necessary. I’ve been beaming all week as a result. Matt’s probably wondering what got into me. ;)

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  11. Tonya says

    Laura I remember the days when we both met our guys. It still brings up such fond memories. At first, I thought Tim was pretty cute and then he spoke and made me laugh. We joke that our love was at first sight but it kind of was. We had a connection and from that day on I looked forward to each moment I would get to see his face and hear his voice. He is my true friend and the one I can share the good, bad and ugly . I love to reminisce about the early days but I can’t help think that back then I always knew he was a great Christian man and I loved him, but four kids later and all the many little tidal waves we have gone through together, my love for him is much deeper and richer than I could have ever have hoped for.

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    Laura Reply:

    Oh, this makes me weepy (what’s new these days, right?). I love looking back on that time when we were beaming at our soccer guys out on the field. And yes – even better is the men they have become today. I’m so glad you commented. Matt and I appreciate you and Tim so much. :)

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  12. erica says

    One verse that has helped me over the years is 1 Cor 13:5 – love keeps not record of wrong. It keeps me in check to help me stay focused on my husbands positives instead of his negatives. His love language is words of affirmation so my words can be extremely damaging if I am not careful.

    I met my husband when we were 15. We were madly in love as high schoolers think they are and that love between us did mature and grow as its supposed to:). I was so giddy , thought about him all the time and wanted to be around him as much as possible. As the years have gone by that has obviously changed with the amount of beaming I do at my husband, exactly like you said. My husband is funny and lovable. He is a kind person and thoughtful. He pursued me and thats one reason I fell in love with him. He is also faithful, I knew he would make a great husband. We still have a lot of passion for each other whether loving or fighting with each other and I am SO grateful for that.

    I feel convicted for myself when I hear that verse. You are so right in saying that the more Jesus daily the better. My words and action are significantly better when I am active in the word and listening for God to speak.

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    Laura Reply:

    Oh that is a great verse to keep close to heart – all of 1 Corinthians 13 actually. I love that you said that he pursued you. That is so endearing!

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  13. says

    I’ve been married for 11 years to my husband. I was attracted to my husband because he could make me laugh and he has such a generous and patient heart. I remember once before we were dating we were playing charades with a group of friends. (I’m that old :)) I thought he was genius for coming up with “a jelly doughnut on a ferris wheel” for someone to act out. Even after all these years and three kids later, he still impresses me with his imaginative, caring, and funny way he loves us all.

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    Laura Reply:

    Ooh, charades! Great game (I’m that old too – shucks, older probably). Your comment makes me smile. I can imagine you beaming while writing it. :)

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  14. Paulina says

    My husband and I will be marries in June for 38 years.
    We are not perfect by any means but we do love and respect each other very much.
    I became a christian first and it took 6 years for him to come around. Now he is my rock and loves the Lord with all his heart.
    We were High School sweet-harts and just knew right away that we were getting married. We have had ups and downs like any married couple but we are always there for each other.
    Thank you for this study, I will treasure it and pray that each of us in this study will be double blessed.

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    Laura Reply:

    Yay, 38 years!!!!! Love and respect, two of the most important gifts we give each other.

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  15. Katie says

    How perfect your timing is! Today, April 23, is my ten year anniversary. I cannot believe it has been ten years! I love my husband because he is “the one”. The one who can always make me smile, the one who makes me feel special, the one who knows when to hug me AND when to walk away and let me cool down, and the one who knows me better than I know myself. Your post was a great reminder to me that I need to tell him more how amazing he is and not take my frustrations out on him, but let him help me overcome them.

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    Laura Reply:

    Aw, happy anniversary!! It sounds like your husband knows you well and is good to meet many of your needs. Hope you have a lovely (beaming) celebration today. :)

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  16. says

    Incredible timing for this lesson. I am 42 and have been married 20 years and have been struggling on and off with negative feelings/disappointment. But then I remember to be thankful for the loyal, hard working Christian man I married and focus on that so my heart is right like the scripture says. Your example speaks to me. Thank you. Oh, btw I listened to the sex/marriage audio this week too from the bundle and it also made me cry. But that was a good thing! Great stuff! I am now on that blog as well. Another thanks. God is good.

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    Laura Reply:

    Ooh, I’m glad I’m not the only one effected that way by the sex/marriage audio. It wasn’t necessarily new information to me, but it was just so good to be affirmed and encouraged by it. I think I should listen to it every month or so. (My husband probably wouldn’t mind if I did…) ;)

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  17. Karen S says

    We will celebrate our 36th anniversary in August. We raised 2 wonderful children and have the perfect granddaughter. We agreed early on in our marriage that divorce was not and would never be an option. I would suggest that couples remove that word from their marital vocabulary. My husband isn’t perfect, and I am definitely not perfect. We’ve had unexpected hardships pound our lives, but I never feared that he would leave. I knew his promises to me were real and forever. He also never fails to tell me how much he loves me and how beautiful I am. You know what they say about love being blind! It would be good to remember that when we bash our husbands to others, especially family, we may get over the offense; it’s more difficult for our family to forget and may damage the relationship between them and our spouses.

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    Laura Reply:

    Blind nothin’ – I have no doubt that you are absolutely beautiful, inside and out.

    You make a great point about bashing our husbands to family members and the damage it can cause. We have to be SO careful about what we say and who we say it to. People who love us may be defensive on our behalf and have a difficult time letting go of what we’ve shared that was at one time hurtful to us.

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    Karen S Reply:

    My sister tended to do that a lot; it definitely affected the relationship between my parents and my brother-in-law.

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  18. mrs.p says

    Our church doing a study about relationships how men want to be respected and woman want to be love. That men have blue earing aides and women have pink. We just think and hear things differently. Which as help me alot instead of getting mad or thing he didnt get my point. I just tell myself he cant hear cause he blue ear aide is working or not. Now, I just walk away and smile.
    I married my hubby for many reasons beside he cute and i had a eye on him since high school. He is my rock and when my weakness comes up he there to let me know its ok and helps me get alittle stronger on that area. He been a great provider and I have been staying home with my two girls. I love him more today then the day I married him. I get caught beaming at him and my girls are like mom really!

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    Laura Reply:

    One of the best parts of this is that your girls are learning to beam because their mom is beaming. You show them a wonderful example of respecting their daddy and their future husband!

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    Karli Reply:

    My Sunday school class did that same study several years ago. It was a very good marriage seminar. I think it’s called Love and Respect and there is a book that goes with it. It changed how we related to each other in some ways.

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  19. Meredith P. says

    I needed this so much RIGHT NOW. My family has been going through a season of change, and it is so easy to let the stress and missing hours creep between you until you are more like roommates than life mates.

    I fell for my husband because he is strong, honest (to a fault), and has this magnetic confidence that still blows my mind. He is also gentle with those weaker than himself, willing to work hard to get what he wants, and incredibly loyal. He adores me and sees beauty in me even when I can’t.

    I beam at him when I see him let his walls down and really engage our boys. There is nothing hotter than a good, loving father in action.

    I beam at him when he surprises me by cooking and/or cleaning spontaneously.

    I beam at him when he reminds me that he doesn’t hear or believe MY negative inner voices. He makes me see me as more lovely and more valued and more worthy than I could ever see myself otherwise.

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    Laura Reply:

    YES! I always beam when my guy is engaging with our boys. Or working with them. Then I beam at all of them. :)

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  20. BetsyD says

    Thank you, Laura for this timely study! It was this month six years ago that my husband and i were introduced. We were married in December of that year. What makes me beam about my husband is the love that he has for God. Out of this love come a steadfastness, a faithfulness to me and now our two kids. I love how my husband is organized, kind, loyal, and honest always. Recently it has been the way that I have surprisingly become a stay at home Mom, and the ways that he has shouldered the load of the sole provider. I need t I share again my appreciation!

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    Laura Reply:

    Surprisingly, huh? Sounds like you have a great story of how God worked through you and your husband to make that happen. :)

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  21. Jane says

    I am so grateful that my husband is faithful! We have been married twenty-one years. Fifteen of those years we have been wrestling with my chronic health condition. There are weeks on end when I am bed-ridden and this is terribly difficult for a family with four active kids. Yet, he is faithful and steadfast. God has provided and transformed each of us, but it has not been easy. I thank the Lord that my husband takes his wedding vows and the words, “In sickness and in health.” seriously.

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    Laura Reply:

    Wow, what a testimony to how God has worked in your lives, and to how your husband is faithful to both you and to God. We never quite know what we’re promising when we say “in sickness and in health” so it is always refreshing when I see a couple living this out faithfully.

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  22. Kristi says

    Laura, I absolutely love what you are doing here. Well, you were with me when my guy asked me out for the first time. Actually he asked “if one of us two ladies” wanted to go out. Thankfully, you knew that I had already “chosen” him. :) Dana was definitely a gift from God hand delivered from Pennsylvania via California to Nebraska. We often times tell each other that “you complete me”. I agree that life takes over and beaming is a rare event. Every once in a while when he grabs my hand I can feel the rush that I once did when we were dating. After a year or two of marriage, we sat down, at my request, and made a list of all the annoying things each other did. My list was filling the page when I looked over and he was struggling to write down one thing. Now after 21 years of marriage, we joke about this a lot now but I am going to surprise him and work on this new list of all the wonderful reasons why I married him then and why I would marry him now (knowing what I know now). Love you Laura! Can’t wait for the next post!

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    Laura Reply:

    I had FORGOTTEN about that! It’s so much fun to think back to the early days when we were all together, sharing all the joy of our new relationships (and then getting married at the same time). Have fun making your new list. You married a great one. Love and miss you!

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  23. Brooke says

    Ok, I totally beam at my hubby in church!!! I’m like “ah man, can we just sneak away right now?!?!” Lol – that’s my truth sister
    I’m glad you’re doing this because just within the last week, I had to stop make myself remember why I married Larry…. “Well duh Brooke…” My hubby is a man of God and that’s was my instant attraction to him. Plus he’s such a such a hard worker, fantastic daddy, gracious, forgiving, and so many more great qualities.

    Out of the overflow… I think about how God provided me with a hubby who is much slower to anger and easier to forget and forgive. So his overflow is done so in love and patience and kindness. Whereas too often my overflow can be done in anger and impatiently. So thankful Jesus showed us his example and He also provided me just the right spouse.

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    Laura Reply:

    Hahaha, well try to keep it under control at church tomorrow. Be strong. You’ve got this. :) :)

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    Brooke Reply:

    Lol!

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  24. says

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this message, this series, and the printables. Thanks so much, Laura!

    This is such an important topic and one that is often far too neglected. In my 22 years of marriage, I have found that when we keep our eyes on Jesus, everything else has a way of falling into place.

    May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing!

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  25. Jacqueline says

    Love this, thank you:) We are in our 8th year of marriage and I am so thankful to have married my high school sweetheart. I beam when he loves on our children, when he stands up as the man the Lord has created him to be and when he leads our family. I hate men bashing as well and really try to speak good things about my guy.

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  26. Kristie says

    It’ll be 6 years at the end of this month that my husband and I have been married! The best piece of advice ever given to us was during our premarital counseling. The pastor encouraged us to make Philippians 4:8 lists for each other and whenever we found oursevles dwelling on the negative, return to our lists to be reminded of “whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, worthy of praise” in our spouse. I married him because he was a genuine believer, a true servant, hard-working, intelligent, thoughtful and, of course, handsome. He is still all of these things, moreso today as he’s grown in Christ.

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