7 Ideas for a Happy Marriage

My husband and I will celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary this year. Since my parents divorced when I was three, the concept of marriage used to terrify me. I know the statistics. Now, though, I cherish this wonderful gift and thank God for showing me the truth. I’ve learned a lot along the way and continue to grow with each lesson. Here are seven things we’ve discovered that make for a happy marriage:

1.             Commitment.  We both love God and are committed to having Jesus as our foundation. When a husband and wife are seeking God with their whole heart always, God will seal their commitment to one another and provide a peaceful stability. On a personal level, trust has always been difficult for me because of my parents’ divorce. But, I’ve learned – when two people are fully committed to God and each other, it really is safe to trust. Commitment isn’t just a declaration you make at the beginning of your marriage, though, I believe commitment is a daily, moment-by-moment choice.

2.             Communication.  We talk about everything. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell him my true feelings, but I do. Often, I start by saying, “I know this is silly, but you’re my best friend and I want to talk about this.” Be vulnerable and honest with your spouse about everything. No exceptions. It is tough, but communicating the difficult things always takes our relationship to the next level.

3.             Love.  We both have our own faults and love each other with lots of grace. I am talking about those annoying little things — socks on the floor, toothpaste splatter on the mirror, toilet lid up. Do you notice I only mentioned the things that annoy me? He has his own extensive list of my faults! Ha!

4.             Respect.  We don’t yell, curse or call each other names. Do we have disagreements? All the time. But, we always maintain respect. Another note about this, we respect each other’s goals and provide encouragement. I always say – My husband believes in me more than I believe in myself!

5.             Physical Intimacy.  Okay, I wouldn’t be real if I didn’t mention this, but a blog may not be the most appropriate place to have this discussion. I’ll keep it simple – God intended sex for marriage. So, it is a gift to be enjoyed … a lot :)

6.             Teamwork.  Life is messy. We will always be learning and growing together. With our children, we are a united team. We talk about issues behind closed doors, then we use one set of rules for the kids. As for finances, we both work on our budget together. Early in our marriage, the one in charge of the checkbook seemed to be telling the other how much to spend. It created tension. With our personalities, we’ve found it’s better to do the family finances together so we’re always on the same page.

7.             Fun.  No marriage is perfect, but figure out what works best for you and enjoy it! Laugh often and be silly. Marriage is fun!

These work for us! What would you add to the list? Do you have any tips for a successful marriage?

Replacing Judgment with Love

It was an adulterous encounter. Dishonorable, wrong and sinful, then interrupted by several men. Imagine the embarrassment and shame. She was caught in the act of adultery so we can assume she was minimally dressed, if any clothing at all. I’m sure she did not go willingly. A brutal and humiliating scene as sin was exposed.

She was taken by the religious leaders and brought in front of a group of law-abiding citizens, where Jesus was teaching.

Let’s pause here. I would die! I mean, to be caught in the act of adultery and brought before a crowd. And to top it off, Jesus was there. Think about an embarrassing sin you’ve committed. What if you were caught in that sin and presented to your church? That thought is mortifying!

In John 8:4-5, the religious leaders said to Jesus, “This woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

If I didn’t know Jesus, I would expect a huge reprimand here. I mean, she did break the law. No question, she was caught in the act of adultery. There’s no gray area, she sinned.

Jesus stayed calm. He bent down and wrote in the dust with his finger. Complete silence. Can you imagine the tension? And, then He had an amazing, loving and surprising response.

“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

One by one, the crowd walked away. Only Jesus and the adulterous woman remained. In verse 10, Jesus said, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

She answered, “No, Lord.”

Now, in this moment, Jesus could’ve thrown the first stone. Jesus was the only person who lived a sinless life. He was “justified” under the law because stoning was a consequence for adultery. But, He didn’t.

Jesus replied, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”

Another life changed by Jesus. He replaced rightfully-earned judgment and condemnation with love. He substituted guilt and shame with a story of redemption. He is a God of second chances.


The religious leaders wanted the woman stoned and humiliated. Jesus was more forgiving, He showed compassion, mercy and love. Jesus forgave and transformed her life. In only eleven verses, we learn a major life lesson – don’t throw stones at others. Judge less, love more.

“Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” John 13:34