What is Your Question About Marriage?

These are my parents. Aren’t they cute? They have been married for 41 years and have been on the Family Life Weekend to Remember Speaker Team since I was in high school {that’s a looonnng time!}. My dad is a full-time pastor, and they speak for Family Life several weekends a year.

My wonderful mom is joining me here at Grace Full Mama on Mondays in February, and we are going to do a series on marriage together! I am so excited! I don’t promise we will get it all right, but we are working hard to bring you some godly wisdom and encouragement for your marriage!

So, here is my question to you:  What is your question about marriage? What is the one question you would like to ask an older woman on the topic of marriage? Or what one topic would you like to hear about?  Let us know in the comments!

Don’t forget to subscribe to get your free copy of my ebook, Cultivating a Heart for Motherhood!

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  • Ashley@ Stay-At-Home Daughter

    I’m not married yet but I like preparing for the future. Practically, how does a woman keep the Lord first in her life when she is married? What does that look like? How does she love her husband much but her God more?

    • Daughter_of_the_King

      Practically speaking- How do you know if the person your dating is the person God has for you? How do you ensure you marry the right person?

      • Joy

        Good question!

    • Joy

      Excellent.

  • Christa Cordova

    What recommendations do you have for continuing to grow as a couple through the many stages of life?

    • Joy

      Good one!

  • Ann

    My husband and I don’t agree on how many children to have. I despartely want more, while he is very happy with 3. We both love the Lord and each other, but it’s hard. Any advice?

    • Ann

      Make that “desperately”!

    • Joy

      Great question!

  • Heather

    Ijust found your website and I am very excited to learn from your wisdom. My husband and I are both Christians, but in the past few years he has become very controlling. Almost like we are back to the olden days were woman weren’t heard, they just cleaned, cooked and took care of the kids. I know prayer is a powerful thing, but how do I live day to day?

    • Joy

      Good question.

  • Amy

    I’ve been having a hard time being selfish in my marriage. How do you graciously give up your own interests (sometimes daily) and truly live a life of sacrifice and support to your husband without resentment or bitterness?

    • Joy

      Yes, yes, yes! Great question!

  • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

    Hooray! I’m so excited for this!!! How fun! I love the mother/daughter duo!! What a blessing – I’ll be reading :)
    Love you!
    Courtney

  • God is my refuge

    How do you keep your marriage first when kids and life in general get so consuming?

    • Joy

      Amen! I need the answer to this one, too! Good question!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.lynn.161446 Jennifer Lynn

      A friend of mine gave me a book a while back called, “How to Be a Great Wife . . . Even Though You Homeschool” by Todd Wilson. It’s an easy read but has some great, easy to follow, advice.

  • G

    Even though my husband is a believer, he is reluctant to take the role of spiritual leader for our family of 4. He hasn’t been a believer as long as I have, so I think he’s uncomfortable with this role because of his lack of knowledge, but I desire him to lead, instead of me prompting him. He would rather study separately. How do I encourage him in family worship without nagging?

    • Joy

      Good question. Great question, actually!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.lynn.161446 Jennifer Lynn

      I was wanting to ask that very same question. My husband is more introverted but I strongly desire him to be the spiritual leader in our home. We have been married a little over 15 years and I’ve been praying all during our marriage for him to take up his place. It’s very hard not to be that nagging wife.

  • Natasha d

    Thanks Joy!!! I understand that we should be respecting our husbands but sometimes I get caught up on exactly what that means — I guess I would like real life examples of simple respect!! thanks Joy (and mama)!! Can’t wait for this series!

    • Joy

      Great question!

  • Candice Foldenauer

    How do you encourage your husband when he is in a difficult season? For example, he doesn’t like his job or is going through sickness.

    • Joy

      Good question!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ebj1s Erin Brown Jones

    My husband and I are in a season where our family is complete and I am a stay-at-home Mom. Our kids are 2 & 5. We don’t have a good support group here (we moved less than 6 months ago) and my parents who are the closest are too busy to babysit. We don’t have much money to go on a date, much less hire a babysitter. How do you take time out with your spouse so that you can reconnect together and cultivate your marriage? I just feel like we coexist sometimes and we have a hard time enjoying each other as a married couple and it’s not at all like we felt when we were dating… I guess it’s mostly my problem. I don’t deal with changes too well! But thanks for this series, I cannot wait to read it!!

    • erica

      Hi! I just wanted to say that it truly isn’t only your problem. I could totally relate. I’m a SAHM & hubby works, sometimes lots of overtime too. it is easy to start feeling like we are just coexisting & caught up in the hustle & bustle & responsibilities of life, notto mention just being worn out from daily mommy duties. :) just try to be intentional about planning time to spend with each other. if you can’t afford a babysitter or a date night, might I suggest doing some kind of family fun day or activity. maybe a picnic or park trip, check out what kind of passes your local library has to museums. I always feel refreshed and overjoyed when we can all be together having a good time, seeing the kids have fun too. also, if you can’t do a date night maybe just have a night where you get the kids to bed and just hang out with hubby.communicate, talk about things on your mind, in your heart, play games, watch a movie like maybe you would have when you dated. just wanted to commentbecause it’s not just you and those are little things that have helped me. :)

      • Joy

        I can speak to this one as well! Dave and I have a weekly “at-home” date night. I prepare dinner in the afternoon and feed the kids early {if you littles, you could put them to bed early, do without a nap that day, or something….}, and my kids get to pick a movie to watch on the mini-DVD player in their room. They love it because it’s special “movie night” for them, and then Dave and I eat our dinner together and hang out, talk, watch a movie, and go for a walk {the walk thing might not work when your kids are little}. Anyway, we both made the decision to guard that Monday time and I have to say it is the BEST thing we have ever done for our marriage. It requires more work from me in the afternoon, getting everyone going early, etc, but I look forward to Monday night every week. :) Does that help?!

    • Beka

      Have you checked to see if there is a MOPS program in your area? It’s a great place to find a support group for moms.

  • Jessica

    My husband and I both grew up in Christian homes ad his dad is a pastor. Once we got married, he started hanging out with some guys who were not the best influences and decided that he no longer believes in God. We are very young, 22 years old, and have been married almost 4 years. I guess advice on unequally yolked marriages would be nice to hear.

    • Joy

      Wow. Jessica, I am praying for you just now.

  • Sheri

    Could you address marriage and the “empty nest” years! Also, I can’t get your e-book to open!

    • Joy

      We will see if we can fit that topic in! I know my mom would be a great one to address that.
      Sheri, if you can send me an email I will send you the direct link. :)

  • Eliz

    I am engaged to soon be married and currently my fiance is in medical school and we will be surrounding our life around that pursuit of his medical career for many years. I have moments of lonliness in the town where we live, try to balance my needs from him with the time that he is capable of giving, and sometimes feel resentful of this life that we have chosen in him making sacrifices for this career…How do you protect yourself against resentment and biblically support your husband 100% of the time when your dreams often have to take the back burner to his pursuits, especially when that includes a hard schedule, limited quality time, and being far from family?

    • Joy

      Wow. Great thoughts and question.

  • Steph

    I am really struggling with submission to my husband. While he is a “believer,” his view on almost everything reflects the world’s view and many times does not line up biblically. He is not a strong spiritual leader in our family-does not read the Bible, pray with or for me etc. I am a newer Christian and radically want to follow the Lord, however it is wearing on me and our marriage constantly disagreeing on EVERYTHING-number of kids to have, how to raise our kids, how to school our kids, the church we attend-the list goes on & on. I know my biblical duty is to submit to his will, but I am not sure what to do when I feel like God is telling me one thing, and my husband is saying & doing another. I KNOW who I need to listen to, but God is also telling me I need to submit.

    • Joy

      Good, good question. I have struggled through some of this in my past, so we will work on answering this question if we can!

  • Sara

    Can’t wait for this!! I just ordered a book on marriage. God must know what I need right now. We’ve been married 14 years. I don’t like sex and we have sex about once a month, sometimes less. I love my husband and he is pretty patient with me, but I can’t get out of this slump.

    • Beka

      One book I have found helpful is The Sexually Confident Wife by Shannon Ethridge.

    • Joy

      Sweety, that is just so hard. Praying for you, and we will address this for you. :)

  • Sparky

    How do you get the spark back?

  • Rebecca

    How do you cultivate a shared mission for your marriage? A mission both partners are on board for and both actively working toward for God’s glory?
    THANKS! :)

    • Joy

      Awesome question!

  • Katie

    How do you use get on the same page with your husband about the future? That is, how do you learn to share his vision when it is different from your own?

    • Joy

      Yes. Great, great question!

  • Excited for wisdom

    My boyfriend and I are pursuing marriage and are hoping to soon be engaged. I just graduated and am making a permanent move to Seattle where he lives and works, where our church is, and where I went to school. I’m currently applying to jobs that would dramatically affect where we would live once we get married. However, since we aren’t even engaged yet I’m trying to figure out what kind of decisions I should be making for us or just for me. As someone pursuing marriage and in a relationship but not quite at that point, how much should I be making decisions based on our future together? How far should I go wanting to look to him for leadership and guidance since he is not yet my husband? We will get to that point of figuring things out together as a team when we are married, and I want to practice that now, but am not sure how that all looks since we haven’t yet reached that point. Pre-marriage help!!!

    • Joy

      Good question. It’s so wise of you to be thinking through all of this now!

  • Jessie Polzin

    In what ways do you maintain quality time and attention for your spouse as your responsibilities stack up? (I’m thinking as you have more children, but it could apply to anything.)

    • Joy

      Yep. Great question! I think all of us moms have this one! :)

  • Erica C.

    My question would be about expectations & role balancing. sometimes I feel like we wind up getting distorted views of each other’s roles because of either unrealistic or unmentioned expectations. That leads to arguments & disappointment. How do you manage & overcome that? We try to be good about communicating & planning, but the hecticness of life sometimes gets the better of us.

    • Alyssa

      I would love to hear about this as well. And how to forgive and get over the bitterness that follows failed expectations

      • Party of 7

        I would echo this question.

    • Joy

      Oh yes. What a great question!! Yes, yes, yes.

  • New Wife

    My sweet husband and I got married a few months ago. He is wonderful and I know that I am blessed to be married to him. The very first months of marriage were awful! I thought to myself often, “what have I done?!” But now we are in a good place – a much sweeter place in our marriage. However, in spite of my happiness I still struggle with unmet expectations, specifically with sex.
    I am caught between what I think is “normal” by the world’s standards (which have become MY standards) and what God desires for us.
    How do you let go of expectations and live in the moment God has brought you to in your marriage?

    • Joy

      Oh yes. I think many of us had those months early in our marriage. :) Would you mind {if it isn’t too personal}, expounding what you mean by unmet expectations, specifically with sex? I want to be sure we understand your question. You expectations of you, or yours of him?

  • Marle

    Hello. I’m getting married on february and I’m a little bit afraid of how will be live with him and don’t keep God out of our lifes. How should I get more patience, tenderness, be a nice wife and continue our work in the church? Any advice?

    • Joy

      Good questions. Thanks!

  • Sarah

    How do you help your husband see that marriage retreats, or reading books on marriage are good even if you aren’t struggling in marriage. I desire to help us grow stronger and to keep the energy to keep marriage strong and fun – but he thinks it’s silly and unnecessary. We have gone one to a retreat in the past and it was the best weekend…lots of communication and openness that weekend and after for several weeks….but he thinks all retreats will be a repeat and that we don’t need that. Ideas?

    • Joy

      Great question!!

  • CG

    I’m too am a SAHM, married 5 years, raising 3 kids (5, 3, and 1 1/2), and my husband works very long hours. The bible says to put our priorities in the following order: 1st God, 2nd Husband, 3rd Family, so on. For some time now, I’ve been putting my children first, God 4th or 5th, and my husband falls into the “whenever I have time leftover” spot (like, after grocery shopping). Not on purpose, but I just have SO MUCH going on in my head, and when it’s time to relax, I just want to sleep. He sees us as roommates. I suggested to him that we attend a marriage conference that is being held and he sees no point in it – “he doesn’t do ‘group therapy’…. I suggested that we see a marriage counselor and do one-on-one…he asked me what I wanted to gain from doing that. I’ve been praying A LOT about this, asking God to guide me down the path that he has put in place for me, and to make my marriage stronger – but it seems like the more I prayer, the worse it gets; however, I find strength in the things that have come my way. For instance, last weekend at church they mentioned the marriage conference; and now being new your blog, I get an e-mail first thing this morning about your upcoming discussions on marriage. These are things that I believe God is putting in place for me….SO, I guess what I would like to hear is…after losing that “spark” and any kind of desire to have a healthy sex life w/ your spouse…how do you get that back??? Thank you for this series!!..I am truly looking forward to it.

    • Wanderdust

      As a stay at home mom whose husband travels a lot and works long hours, too. I would advise you to lower your expectations of your husband– and yourself. I see my job as the home and children and my husband’s as providing. But his job is not mine or my place to tell Him how to do it and thankfully He does not tell me how to do mine either. When I go back to work, the kids will still be my priority, but I also want to be a blessing and help and encouragement to my husband. Your husband probably doesn’t care so much if the kids have to wear dirty underwear three days in a row, but he does want a kind wife to come home to. When I was working and came home to my house I wouldn’t like it if I came home from a long exhausting day and anyone, no matter how beloved, started telling me things I had to do. I don’t like to be bossed around. Just let him relax. After you put the kids to bed, you relax too. Just being nice is the important thing. Most of the things we think we have to do are not the end of the world. And seek your spouse out for sex even if you do not feel like it. He will feel wanted and desired. And never deny the other person as our bodies belong to each other. How would I like it if my husband rejected me when I initiated. I mean sometimes he has because he was tired, but sex is so intimate it is something very very hard not to take personally. Jesus laid down his desires and kept in constant prayer. With all the demands, He was abiding in the Father and thus able to love. He has given us the same power and asks us to walk as He did. Nothing we do for love of Him will go unnoticed or be without power. What we do for our children and husbands is very important and God sees it and is pleased. Instead of demanding His rights, Jesus loved. And the more loving we act, the more loving we feel. It is amazing. Focusing on just the good in the other person and loving and forgiving them as God does them and us. And accepting God’s grace that we do not have to be perfect ourselves. God bless.

      • CG

        Thank you!!! Perhaps this is what I’ve been needing to hear ;-)

      • Joy

        Wow! Maybe you should do the series for us! :) Great thoughts!

    • Joy

      Great thoughts, and great questions. :)

  • Lynnebee

    We have had an empty nest for 9 years now, but it seemed there was one crisis after another happening at the time…i.e.,my parents deaths, major surgeries, etc. NOW it seems that we really are “empty” and we have hit a wall. Have you had this in your own marriage? when you know you need to change, but you don’t know what to change first? we have been married 31 years. thanks for any encouragement

    • Joy

      Great questions!!

  • Sheila

    What can I do to change the way I view my married life? I feel like I am the “responsible” parent and I do so much for my husband and family. I appreciate that my husband goes to work but I also work from home to help make ends meet. We have been to the Weekend to Remember marriage conference for the past 5 years and everytime we go, my husband vows to me that he is going to be a better leader and helper, etc. Then things go back to the way they always were. I know it starts with me, not expecting him to change…I need to be my best whether he is or not. But I cannot lie and say it does not discourage me a lot of times. I guess what I want to know is, from your experience, did your husband make a big change at any point in your marriage for the better? We have been married for almost 10 years. Praying and believing that God will continue to work on my heart…I love my husband and I truely want a successful marriage.

    • Joy

      Wow. Yes. Great thoughts and great questions.

  • Jessie

    Can you give advice on encouraging your husband to be more of a spiritual leader of the family? I believe many of the challenges we have in our marriage could be resolved by my husband making it a priority to read from the bible and lead our family, but I don’t know how to tell him this without sounding like a nag.

    • Joy

      Ah yes. I have been there. My mom has some great thoughts on this one! :) I will leave it there for now…..

      • becky webb

        I echo this! it seems to be an epidemic…men who are unwilling or unable to spirituall lead their families. would love advice in this area as well.

        • julie

          I know this is a couple of months late, but I agree! I am working thru the book by Stormie Omartian, but with young kids, I need him to lead RIGHT NOW. My boys are watching his lukewarm responses and are like clay now. What if he doesn’t become the leader until they’re teens and it’s too late. I wish he’d step up and lead instead of looking things up on the computer while we’re trying to talk to him. I’ll keep praying for him and myself that my heart doesn’t harden, but this topic is so important!

    • dtoplov

      I’m sure Joy’s mom will do a better job than I will answering this, but since I have/am also experiencing the same situation, I want to encourage you in this: don’t look at the lack of your husband’s spiritual leadership role as the one way to resolve your marital challenges. Rather make a commitment to pray for him every day and ask the Lord to search your heart and deal with the areas of sin in your life. I am not promising an immediate change, but God is interested in dealing with us first and our role is to pray for our spouse, not to nag. I’ve gone the other route of nagging and thinking our problems would be resolved if HE would take his role seriously, but I Peter talks about winning our husbands over by our submissive and gentle behavior. What other way is more submissive than to pray for them and not criticize them. I sure hope Joy’s mom has some answers along the same line! :)

  • Shaina

    How do you tackle disagreements?

    • Joy

      Great question!

  • Tamra

    Just CRAZY! I have been reading your blog for a while now, and love it! As soon as I opened this up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. About 5 years ago, my husband and I went through an aweful separation due to an affair on his part. Right after he confessed it all to me, we went on a Weekend To Remember retreat in Estes Park, CO that we had been signed up to attend for about 6 months. Your parents were the speakers that weekend!! I would recognize their faces anywhere. Your Dad spoke such wise words that weekend, and it left us, especially my husband, changed forever. Your Mom was amazing as well. Even though we arrived home after the retreat and had years of heart ache and restoring, we are 100% better than ever now. We remember the words they spoke and God used them in such a huge way in our marriage! What a sweet memory to see their faces on your blog. God used them during the hardest season of our marriage, and we are so thankful for their ministry! I just had to post that on here because I have always wished that I could tell them thank you for what they do. Marriage is hard, but fight sweet ladies. It is worth the fight! I’m so glad that I chose to stay with my husband and work hard to restore our marriage. Blessing to you and your family!

    • Joy

      NO WAY! You just gave me chills!! That is just SO awesome!!! Yay GOD! Tamra, THANK you for sharing. This just made my day!!

  • Lisett

    I had the great privilege of meeting your parents and listening to your dad speak at one of the conferences in Yosemite, Ca!! Your dad (parents) are amazing! I learned SO much from all the speakers that weekend! My husband and I asked your dad personally but I think I need a reminder =) I’m a SAHM of 3 and expecting another one in August. My husband works full time, and is a pastor full time. So my question is how to balance and make time for everything and have family time. Blessings to you and your parents! They are a great example!

    • Joy

      Yes! I am with you on this one!!

  • Mackenzie Darrach

    I’m newly engaged and I love my fiancé so dearly and he truly is a gift from God. Recently I have been noticing that I get really jealous of other girls and women. No one really ever talks about jealousy and I would like to know what is biblically appropriate for this issue. God is a jealous lover for us and our hearts, is it ok to be that way towards my future husband?

    • Joy

      Good question!

  • Courtney

    What advice would you give to engaged women or newly married women?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Samuel-S-Martin/100000507392601 Samuel S. Martin

    http://www.amazon.com/Divorce-Remarriage-Christian-Spectrum-Multiview/dp/0830812830

    This book features four Christian views on the subject of Divorve and Remarriage.

    Not all can be correct. Which do you favor and why?

    Thanks,

    Samuel Martin
    http://www.bibilechild.com
    Jerusalem israel

  • Kayla

    How do you keep your marriage thriving during the “child bearing” years. I am just about to have our first child and I feel very nervous about how our marriage will change. How will I keep the day to day romance fresh in our home when I feel very “unfresh”. Hope that makes sense!

  • Kim

    How do I deal with disappointment regarding my husband? How do I not hold a grudge or become discouraged when my heart is broken? The disappointment (on one level only, he is amazing every other way) is so unbearable at times that I don’t even want to lay next to him. Other times I feel strong enough to move past it. Most of the time I feel like I tip toe the line, never quite happy or sad. How should a wife deal with this especially knowing it will be a life long disappointment? (This is an addiction related issue)

    • Gennie

      i went through this…I’m guessing probably the same addiction (and my husband, like yours is amazing in every other way). i can relate to everything you wrote. I believe that marriage is sacred and ordained of God and that people are jumping out too easy, but I also believes that God wants us to be happy, and He will guide us. My husband was willing to work on overcoming his addiction. And as long as he was willing, I was willing to work on forgiving him. If he would have continued with his addiction without being willing to try to overcome it then I would not have stayed with him. It has been a very hard 6 years and a few relapses, but he is working hard.

      i on the other hand have had to learn to trust him again and it has been hard. I am still not 100% there but I believe I am in the right place right now and mostly it just takes faith. I try to focus on the good, and not obsess about the past or what I don’t know. Satan knows my weakness and really tries to push me. but forgiveness is the key, you can’t move on until you have forgiven him. Then your heart can heal.

    • wife

      I have this same thing–the ongoing disappointment–it affects my own self esteem. I don’t want to lay next to him either. I’m giving myself away here, but it’s dressing like a woman when he goes to bed and during…other times (cough, cough). I despise it and have told him, prayed about it, etc. etc. etc. If the kids get up during the night, it’s always me because there is the added “they can’t see him this way” trauma. I have had to go to the front door instead of him, I’ve had to distract kids away from him in the kitchen thinking “they’ll be sleeping a while yet”. It has aged me so much I feel. I know this might not be your struggle, in fact I pray it’s not! I just wanted to validate your feelings. The “life long” part really struck me. I’ve thought about how to hide this as he ages, the kids get older, we get older etc.

  • Amber

    Im a 24yr. old mother of two one is 2 and the other is 8months ive been married almost 4 years and its been great, but for the last 2months my husband hasnt wanted to make love to me he finally told me he didnt want to have and more children right now. Neither one of us believe in using any form of birthcontrol. How can i handle this in a way that is pleasing to God and still respect my husband?

  • Andrea

    My husband loves the Lord but there is one issue that keeps causing problems in our marriage. It is not necessarily a sin, but I feel it is something a believer shouldn’t be doing as it is looked down upon by many unbelievers as well as believers. I try to not let it bother me, but each he does this thing I end up getting mad at him. I want to respect him but this issue makes it difficult.

  • Karen

    How can I enjoy sex? I’ve never found it very enjoyable, except hugs. I don’t even like to kiss. Sad, huh?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Hlavka-Huson/728383861 Heather Hlavka Huson

    How am I supposed to live up to the other perfect marriages in my family? Like my sister’s and my mom and dad’s? I wonder, do they EVER fight? :)

  • A

    My husband & I have been married four years now. We certainly have had our struggles…One struggle lately …My husband doesn’t seem to desire me..I used to be special to him and now we barely kiss. Its so sad to me. I don’t know why its like this. I felt so bad that I started dieting… I lost almost 20 lbs from the day we firt met! And still nothing. I am not sure he even realizes. I don’t know what to do. I do believe he is a christian…at least he KNOWS….He is a good man & I love him so much. I just don’t know how to handle this.

  • Savannah

    I would live to hearing advice on saving marriages, especially those with one a believer and follower and the other not so much. I am a believer and my husband is as well but does not display or engage in the heavenly role of a husband. This is such a tough subject. How do you continue to support and obey what you know is wrong? I am staying in the word, praying for my family, and engaging my children, but would love for my husband to jump aboard. Any thoughts of what a faithful wife should do.

  • Sara

    This might be similar to some of the other posts, but wondering how to encourage the husband to become the spiritual leader. i know prayer is a HUGE part of it, but what are some day to day things the wife can do or say or not do or not say to really encourage him to step up? My husband is very sensitive, so I’m pretty sure telling him he should step up wouldn’t go over well… =) But otherwise won’t things just stay the way they are- we have a spiritual talk about once a week-usually on the way home from church, but throughout the week there’s nothing going on in our home to encourage or push each other in our personal walks with God or with each other. Help! Thank you!!

  • Megan

    I have been happily married to a Christian man for eight + years now. We are a team in ministry. I am currently finding that my evangelistic opportunities are around single girls around my age (in their thirties) who strongly desire a marriage. My message to them is that only God can fill the void we feel, and our purpose in life is not to find “our soul mate.” (I have read _The Significance of Marriage_ can you tell?!) I find it hard to share this message when I have exactly what they seem to be wanting. So, my question is, “How do you best minister to single women as a married woman?” Does that make sense?

    • Colleen Elisabeth Chao

      Hello, Megan! Oh, how blessed I am by your heart for your single friends! I’m cutting in before Joy and her mom give you their (better) wisdom on this one, but do you mind if I pass along some encouragement to your sweet friends? I’m hesitant to sound like I’m promoting my own blog here, but my story of waiting on God till marrying at age 34–and then what I’ve learned since then, may just be a hopeful/encouraging/Christ-exalting resource to them? (www.becomingchao.blogspot.com) Blessings on you and your longing to minister to your friends!

  • Esther E Hawkins

    We have been married for 9 years and have 3 children. We been through quite a bit together and come out stronger. I feel that we are in a good place together right now but don’t want to become complacent. We are very busy but would like any suggestions you have about going to a deeper level together. Thank you!

  • Happy Heart

    I would like to hear discussed some practical ways to reverance our husbands. I guess every wife must find out what really speaks to her husband, but I would enjoy some practical suggestions of what others have found as good ways to show the respect and reverance we are to anoint upon our husbands. Thank you!

  • Sara

    I have another one! Sorry. I’m just very excited for this series. =) Question is, how can I better deal with some anger & resentment issues towards my husband in these early child rearing years? Our son is 3 months & I feel like I’m doing 90% of baby care & I get really frustrated with him when he gets to do things he enjoys or he complains about being tired or something. I know it’s probably not as bad as I make it seem in my head, but I really struggle with anger & resentment toward him right now. Thanks & I’m done, no more questions from me. =)

  • Marie

    Is it ever appropriate for a single or married woman (considered to be a friend, although
    not necessarily best buds, but someone with whom time is spent together
    socially, or in ministry at church) to approach a married man for advice
    regarding a personal/marital issue and purposefully exclude his wife from the
    conversation, expecting that he keep all details from his wife? Please tell me
    if this would be considered a violation of the marriage covenant. Should a wife
    be able to expect that her husband would honor her in this type of situation?
    Should not women (especially his wife, since he has already become involved) be
    called in to support her and give counsel, so that they together as a couple
    can assist her/her husband? I haven’t heard anything like this spoken about at
    a Family Life conference. Please address this issue if possible.

  • A

    How can I encourage my husband in his walk with God without sounding condemning? When we first married he was a new Christian, I knew that I just needed to give him grace to grow. He has been a Christian for about 12 years now and still has no quiet time, doesn’t read the Bible and I can rarely talk about things of God without it turning into an argument. I have stopped saying anything at all and I have set aside specific times to pray just for him but is there something else I can do to encourage growth in him.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    No question, just love that you and your mom can do something like this together. So sweet.

  • Michaela

    How do you encourage a man who struggles with sloth without being a nag? I pray and try not to nag. He has lost several jobs over tardiness and now our family is living in the basement of his parents home without him doing anything.

    Thank you so much for doing this series as I have been begging God for wisdom from a Titus 2 older mentor. So many of the older women have marriages that I don’t want to emulate at all (unhappy or divorced).

  • Chrissy

    How do you keep a positive relationship with your mother in law when she acts like a toddler about not getting her way? It’s been very difficult on my relationship with my very soon to be husband.

  • Rebecca

    What do you understand now that you wish you had known at the beginning or during the different seasons of married life? What choices and attitudes were valuable as you look back? Which would you tweak now that you have the grace of hindsight?

  • WifeSetFREE

    I got married 7 years ago to my soul mate .. and soon after our wedding my husband started to become very legalistic- what I could and could not wear (think ULTRA conservative), we stopped celebrating what he calls “pagan” festivals (Christmas, Easter, Etc.) and started “keeping” the Sabbath, we started understanding the Bible in a whole new way and started implementing kosher laws etc. (this is VERY different from what I had grown up believing), the list goes on and on. My husband is a very strong communicator and as our views on the Bible changed he shared earnestly with family/friends that they were deceived and that they should follow the Law as that is what God desires. At first I fought these changes with all my might only to end long conversations with him in tears and defeated… did I say my husband was a strong communicator? So after a while I stopped fighting because I was exhausted and I just wanted peace… in my desire for unity I just started going along with this kind of life. It became my new “normal”, in fact I even started to convince myself maybe all this was what God wanted of His children. Well to make a LONG story short, God in His mercy has been drawing me back into His word and showing me His GRACE, His love and that to truly “keep” His commandments is to LOVE Him and to LOVE our neighbor. It’s like the lights have come on and I’ve realized how F-A-R we’ve strayed from the truth. But here is my dilemma, I am so torn, on the one hand 1 Peter 3:1 tells us to be submissive to our unbelieving husbands and win them without a word (now for clarification my husband does believe in Jesus, but I would say he has been deceived in many areas). On the other hand Gal 6:1-2 comes to mind “Brethren if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Yes my husband is my husband and I should submit to his leadership…but he is not a perfect man, as I know ALL of our husbands are broken men… But my husband is also my brother in Christ. I LONG for him to rejoice in the truth and to experience GRACE anew with me, to be SET free from the bondage that we’ve made for ourselves these last 7 years. So my question is: Do I restore him in gentleness, or submit to him and win him without a word? (Sorry if this is too long a question… I’m desperate…but not without HOPE, Hallelujah!)

  • Ellie

    I’m young, 18 years old, and my boyfriend and I are planning on getting married next summer (we’d both be 20). We are both strong Christians, and are supported in this plan by our parents and close adult friends. I would love some advice for this stage in life now…preparing for marriage, growing closer together while still focusing on purity, things like that. What habits can we start now, either together or individually, that would greatly benefit our future marriage? I hope this isn’t too broad of a question… : )

  • Betta

    Joy, you have a beautiful marriage and family! Your transparency makes you “real” to all your readers.
    My husband and I have belonged to a fairly large congregation for many years. We both have friends in the church but not necessarily other couples as friends that we can trust and have fellowship with. Aside from prayer and being super friendly, what other things might we do to build friendships? Sometimes it might be about personality conflict…ie. I befriend a sister in the Lord but her husband and mine are not on the same page,etc. Any insight would be appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarahkh424 Sarah Hood

    Do you believe that there is such thing as “the one”? And if so, how do you know when you find him?

  • Leslie

    I would love some advice on how to be a godly wife to my husband who is not a believer. We struggle in so many areas of our lives; I feel mostly due to his not living for Christ. I am trying my best (or so I feel) to stay focused on being Christ-like and raising our two small children to do so, but I find it difficult to not nag and even argue (ALOT) when he is not being a good husband or father. I love him so much, but the difference in our lifestyles is tearing our family apart. I pray for his salvation daily and that I would exhibit Christ’s love, but I find it hard not to let my feelings get in the way. Thank you for sharing this beautiful blog and your willingness to help others!

  • Anonymous

    We are on the mission field as well. My husband and I register as complete opposites whenever we take personality tests. We have five children, 1-8 yrs old, and although I totally benefit from him being around so much sometimes it seems he is around too much being the nature of our ministry. I don’t function so well trying to run the household, home school while he is in and out. We disagree alot, are both first borns so both strong personalities. I feel like he is the golden child while I am the moody, disagreeable one b/c he is the extrovert, happy go lucky one and I am more introverted and can’t fake it so well. So, I’m not sure what I’m asking but so many resources tell us we have the worst mix but I know God brought us together. I would like to hear some positive aspects of what our combination could look like, maybe what we could do to get along better and truly do well what God has called us to do. Not many resources that I know of address these things to couples on the mission field or moms on the mission field w/ limited resources and no where to go but maybe for a walk down the dirty, dusty road? Actually anything encouraging about maintaining marriage on the mission field in a third world country.

  • Samantha

    How do you curb and control anger when the anger is toward your husband? I feel that I am very abusive with my words and actions towards him when I get angry at him. I want to be gracious and Christ-like in these situation but it is becoming more difficult. Is it total something I need to do our does he play a part as well?

  • Lindsey Baldwin

    Kind of a personal question, but one I think some may relate to. I am a wife and mother of 3 little one (ages 3, 2, and 7 months). The Lord is so faithful to continally work on me, and He truly gives me strength for each day (and our frequent long nights, too). My husband and I have a loving relationship, and we truly enjoy being with each other. However, when it comes to spending “intimate” time together, I often just feel exhausted. I am willing to be available, for lack of a better term, but I know it is much more pleasing (for both) when we are both ready and in the mood (which usually isn’t an issue for him, but I take more time…) We don’t spend a lot of our time doing activities or things, so cutting out life events wouldn’t work for us. We are just trying to keep up with three little ones. I love it, but it is tiring. Any thoughts on keeping our intimate time alive and well in the midst of a crazy season. (P.S. My husband and I have talked about this on and off, and we pray about it together too. Just seeking some woman-to-woman advice as well.) Thanks!

  • Loui

    How can I find the Mondays in Feb. posts?

  • Angela Milla

    Dear Joy,i just want to say,thank you so much for create this page,im continuously looking a good examples for my life and you really are!
    i need ask you a favor…i`m Peruvian girl,and i have Norwegian boyfriend 8 months ago. we`re planning married this next december,we love each other,he is a really big bless for my life,but,i want be a good wife,good mother,but im afraid of everything,how could i know if HE is my soul mate,my complement? after marry i should move to Norway with him,but im doing the correct? i will leave my parents (my father had 85 )and my brother (17) in Perù.or i should wait a little bit more maybe?

    God Bless you!
    sorry for my bad english :p

  • Lost soul

    Me and my fiancée have been together for over 10years, and he finally proposed to me a few weeks ago, but something in my sprit is telling me he really doesn’t want to get married at this. I don’t if I am the one who’s really scared. I do know ever time I ask him to come to church with me it’s a constant battle ever Sunday. I keep telling him tat we need to be praying with each other and going to church together so we can have that connected with God about this relationship. Also I have been trying to go to marriage counseling, but that’s a battle to,. Should I keep praying for us or is it time to walk away?

  • Alexandra Braham

    What do you do when your husband is not leading well or you disagree with his decisions? What are ways you can bring up alternatives without degrading his leaderships and still building him up even when you both know he/we could be doing better?

  • bergo samy ghaly

    Mama Grace I want you to do any Li believing wife I Ngrekayaa well because I want to live the full life with a good wife and be from Europe because I no longer trust in the Girls Egypt does not have experience in that you will not successfully this only by people trusted them like you would thinkin this thread …… hand Me I’m working in the maintenance and renewal of railway lines skill and Kqah of I live in Cairo and mobile telephone is 01062188322………..thank you mama grace ….god keep you

    • bergo samy ghaly

      iam sure gesus is dead fro me and you and all of the pepol ..how can ibilding my life but iam bad man i carry my hands to my lord to give me new life