Marriage “Check-Up”




“Once we invite Christ into our lives, our heavenly Father grabs our hands. He’s not going to let us go. He’s not going to divorce us, and we can’t divorce Him. He’s not going to turn His back on us, no matter what. We can’t get out of His family. Once you’re in, you’re in. Theologians call it “the security of the believer.” As a believer in Christ, I’m secure in knowing there’s nothing I can do to cause God to stop loving me.  We should have that same kind of security in marriage. The security that Lisa and I have in our marriage should be reflective of the security that we have in Christ. And when you have that kind of security, come hell or high water, you’re going to stay married. When you are determined that you will stay together no matter what, you have confidence in your spouse and in your marriage. You’re sure of yourself in marriage. You know that you have an agenda above and beyond this world. There is nothing like security in marriage.”  – Taken from the book Sexperiment written by Ed and Lisa Young



When me and David said “til death do us part” we meant it! We both know without a shadow of a doubt that as long as we both shall live, we WILL be married to each other. There is absolutely nothing that could ever come between us. No, we are not naive to the fact that we will face trials. We are very aware, and try to make known to others the fact, that ALL marriages have issues that have to be dealt with, and we are no exception. We have been married for 10 years now and have definitely had our share of trials, some that could have easily wrecked our marriage. But we both know that whatever comes our way, no matter what it is, we will do whatever it takes to work through it and come out on top. Marriage is forever and that is something that neither of us will ever waver on.


Having that kind of security and confidence in your marriage really is an amazing feeling. However, we must also be careful not to get too comfortable in that feeling. When you know that no matter what, your marriage will survive, it can be easy to slide into taking the relationship for granted. Marriage is meant to be an amazing experience filled with love, compassion, forgiveness and joy. We don’t want to just be and remain married, we want to be happily, joyfully married and totally in love with our spouse! There are many tasks, roles, and responsibilities involved in your relationship, and it can be easy to start slacking off on some of them. Your physical appearance, your finances, your job, your communication (also making sure you’re speaking your spouses love language), romance and date nights, your sex life, your spirituality, your goals and dreams, your parenting and also seeing as how we are all continually growing and changing, we need to be continually learning our spouse. Many of us have such busy lives nowadays, that we’re often multi-tasking anywhere we can. But we must make a habit of really paying attention to our spouse, looking them in the eyes and really hearing what they are saying.

One way that we have found to keep things fresh and to make sure that we don’t get too comfortable in our security, is with a marriage “check-up”. Basically what that is, is a time when you and your spouse get alone together, give each other your full undivided attention, and discuss your marriage. What that usually looks like for us is going through a drive thru, taking our food to the park, parking in the most secluded spot (we usually do this in the afternoon), putting our seats back to get comfy, and having a little in-car picnic. We like to stay in the car for privacy during our discussion, but like to be out of the house to be free from any distractions. Then we will talk about pretty much anything thats been on our minds; any concerns that we may have in any area of our relationship, or anything that may be bothering us. It is specifically a time set aside to evaluate ourselves on how we are doing in our roles as a Godly husband and wife, and we ask each other if there are any ways that they feel we could improve in our role. It is very important to make clear and to understand that this is to be an open and honest, heartfelt, loving conversation. Therefore you shouldn’t get mad or upset when your spouse does have suggestions on ways that you could improve. You must speak out of love, from the heart and you must also listen to your spouses heart, and not just the words they speak. We feel that in doing this “check-up” it can release any potential tension that might build up and it can bring loving awareness to areas where we may be slacking off and may not even realize it. We should always strive to be the best hubby and wifey that we can be for our spouse. Spending time together in meaningful conversation helps bridge gaps in our relationships, and good communication is one of the most important aspects to any relationship.

Also we need to make sure that we are appreciative. Thank your spouse for the things you really appreciate about them. Its such an awesome feeling to know that your efforts aren’t going unnoticed and unappreciated. Make sure you let them know how awesome and loved they are. It really feels great to build each other up, and encourage one another. I always thank my hubby for being such a hard worker and providing for us; for allowing me to be a stay at home wife and focus on doing what I love and for being so supportive of my dreams and goals. I thank him for loving me through everything, and for always being willing to listen to me, my thoughts, opinions and feelings and treating them like they are important. You can always find the positives in each other, and verbally expressing your gratitude can mean so much to the other person, and to you. What you focus on is what gets bigger, so make sure that you focus on the best qualities of each other. We like to end our discussion with this kind of gratitude and appreciation. And then we make an effort to improve in the ways that we have discussed. None of us will ever be a perfect couple, and we all will need little tweaks here and there.

Lastly, when it comes to how often we do this marriage “check-up”, we don’t actually have a specific time frame. I think it really depends on you as a couple and where your relationship is at. I’d say once a month is a pretty good goal to have, but we sometimes do it more often and sometimes not as often, it really just depends on whats going on. If something is going on in our lives and one of us feels like we need to have a discussion or just have some things we want to talk about then we will plan on doing it either that day or the next day, even if we just had a “check-up” like two weeks prior. And if we both really feel like things are going great and smooth, then we might wait 2 months before the next one. But the important thing is to do it. If one of you wants to sit down and have this check-up, but the other of you feels like everything is great and its not really necessary, then you need to plan to do it anyways and as soon as possible. The whole point is to place value on each other, your heart, your feelings, your concerns, your thoughts…everything. We think its a pretty important part of keeping our marriage healthy and happy, so I’d definitely get it on the schedule at least every other month if not every month, even if the entire discussion is telling each other how awesome they’re doing and how much you love and appreciate them. ❤








Date Night

Me & the hubby had the chance to get a few photos taken at the fair this weekend. This picture brings the biggest smile to my face so I wanted to share it. Even after being together for 11 years, that boy still gives me butterflies!
I also wanted to say that if you & your spouse aren’t already, it is very important to have a date night just for the 2 of you at least once a month…preferably once a week. It doesn’t have to be anything costly, even a simple candlelight dinner at home & snuggling on the couch watching a movie together is great. You should still be dating your spouse even after the honeymoon is over to keep the fire burning. And if you have kids & no babysitter, try to find another couple that you trust & take turns babysitting so you all can enjoy a date night with the one person you vowed to love for the rest of your life. ❤Image

Communication & Expectations in Marriage

When me and David were dating, he payed attention to me so well that I actually wondered if he could read my mind.  Just by really listening and watching me, he knew the things that I liked, disliked, what I wanted, what I was interested in, if I was upset about something.  To me it was strange because it wasn’t like we were having some deep serious conversation about it all, he just studied me, obviously trying to make a good impression. 🙂  Even though we should strive to continually study our spouse long after we’ve said “I Do”, the truth is that most people don’t, at least not like they did when they were trying to win them over.  That is why good communication is so vital.  Communication is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, but especially in your marriage.

I think especially in the early stages of marriage, we assume that our spouse knows us, and should know us, well enough to know exactly how we’re feeling in every moment; or that they should know exactly what to buy us for our birthday or anniversary without us having to tell them.  I know that as a wife and the hopeless romantic that I am, it would be so much more “magical” if my husband could know all these things without me telling him, but I had to eventually come to the realization that he couldn’t actually read my mind…bummer I know.  But that is why we need to communicate.  We’ve got to help our spouses out a little, because assuming that they know these things, and other even more important things about us, can be a recipe for disaster.  We need to talk about whatever it is thats important to us because when we expect something from our spouse and they don’t meet our expectations, we can get upset or angry with them, when it’s really not their fault.

Everyone has expectations that they bring with them to the marriage, some we know about, and some we don’t even realize until they aren’t being met.  Because of how we were raised, we have them.  We have expectations of what our marriage will be like, what it won’t be like, how we will spend our money, how we will raise our kids, or if we will even have kids.  And expectations aren’t a bad thing. For instance you should expect that the person you marry will be faithful to you, and that they will treat you with respect.  But when you have a certain expectation and you realize it, you should evaluate where it came from and why you have it, if it is a valid expectation, and if so you need to talk about it with your spouse.

Growing up, my favorite day of the week was Saturday.  Monday through Friday was work for my Mom and Dad and school for me and my sister, but Saturdays, that was family/fun day.  My parents would get up, go downstairs, and wake us up to an awesome yummy breakfast.  Bacon, eggs, biscuits, gravy, grits and chocolate milk!  I loved me some Saturday morning breakfast.  We sat there at the table as a family with the whole day ahead of us.  Our Saturdays would include anything from shopping, hanging out at family’s house playing with our cousins, getting the whole family together for dinner, watching a movie, playing board games or even just running errands as a family.  The details didn’t really matter, all that mattered was that whatever we did, we all did it together and got to spend quality time together.  Davids version of Saturdays was much different from mine.  He would get up, get dressed and go to his martial arts class.  Martial arts is his passion and he loved to go, so he loved his version of Saturdays too.  So when we got married, we both had totally different expectations of what Saturdays would be like.

After the honeymoon was over and we got back to real life, and the day came that he started his classes again, it was not pretty.  His class was in the morning, at least 45 minutes away, and it lasted for a few hours.  So basically the whole day that I had come to expect, was slipping away.  I still remember sitting in the bed with tears in my eyes begging him not to go. (Ok, just keep in mind that I was a 19 year old, slightly spoiled newlywed with the expectations of “happily ever after” 🙂 )  I remember telling him that he was choosing this class over me, and that it meant more to him than spending time with me.  Looking back now I totally feel bad for my poor hubby having to put up with me.  Unfortunately my little “episode” happened every Saturday for at least a month (and in my sweet hubby’s defense, he did actually skip out on the class for me, the first couple times).  The problem was communication.  This was something that we had never discussed, honestly not thinking it would end up being such a big deal.  But without the communication, he had no idea how it was going to make me feel when he had his own plans for the day.  He wasn’t purposely trying to hurt me or make me upset; he wasn’t actually loving me any less, this was just what a typical Saturday was for him. And I wasn’t trying to hurt him, I just didn’t understand what it meant to him to go to his class; to me I just saw it as some guy thing that was being put ahead of time with me.  I just wanted him to experience my version of the best day of the week because I knew how awesome it was, and I wanted to share that with him.  It took me a while to let go of my expectations and to see how much I actually was hurting him to try and make him choose between me and something he was really passionate about, that he’d been doing for most of his life.  Eventually, I started working on Saturday mornings and we found an alternate day of the week to have our “family/fun day” complete with an awesome breakfast and spending the entire day together.  And even now, his work schedule changes so often that our “saturdays” have been shifting around for years.

So expectations aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but instead of assuming that things will be a certain way, or assuming that your spouse knows how you are feeling, talk about it.  Talk about everything.  I know for some people there may be certain topics, or issues that you’re not 100% comfortable talking about with your spouse, but just pray about it first. Pray that God will give you the words to speak, and your spouse the heart to hear.  Your spouse should be your best friend, so you should be able to talk to them about anything and everything.  Speak with love and not condemnation, listen and hear with a receiving heart and not a defensive attitude.  Learn how to speak to each other and communicate with LOVE.  Me and David can and do talk about absolutely everything, and it is so freeing to know that you can be that open and honest with someone, and know that no matter what, they’re going to love you and be right by your side, always.

Leading Your Heart

The following is taken from the book “The Love Dare”, Written by Stephen & Alex Kendrick.

…You must take the view that instead of following your heart, you are choosing to lead it. The world says to follow your heart, but if you are not leading it, then someone or something else is. The Bible says that “the heart is more deceitful than all else” (Jeremiah 17:9), and it will always pursue that which feels right at the moment. We dare you to think differently-choosing instead to lead your heart toward that which is best in the long run. This is a key to lasting, fulfilling relationships. The truth is, love is a decision and not just a feeling. It is selfless, sacrificial, and transformational. And when love is truly demonstrated as it was intended, your relationship is more likely to change for the better. You have the responsibility to protect and guide your heart. Resolve to lead your heart.

What’s Wrong with Following My Heart?

 It’s Foolish. The world says “Follow your heart!” This is the philosophy of new age gurus, self-help seminars, and romantic pop songs. Because it sounds romantic and noble, it sells millions of records and books. The problem is that following your heart usually means chasing after whatever feels right at the moment whether or not it actually is right. It means throwing caution and conscience to the wind and pursuing your latest whims and desires regardless of what good logic and counsel are saying. The Bible says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered” (Proverbs 28:26). It’s Unreliable. People forget that feelings and emotions are shallow, fickle, and unreliable. They can fluctuate depending upon circumstances. In an effort to follow their hearts, people have abandoned their jobs to reignite a lousy garage band, lost their life savings following a whim on a horse race, or left their lifelong mate in order to chase an attractive coworker who’s been married twice already. What feels right in the height of sweet emotion often feels like a sour mistake a few years later. This selfish philosophy is also the source of countless divorces. It leads many to excuse themselves from their lifelong commitments because they no longer “feel in love.” It’s Corrupt. The truth is, our hearts are basically selfish and sinful. The Bible says, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Jesus said, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders” (Matthew 15:19). Unless our hearts are genuinely changed by God, they will continue to choose wrong things.

Should I Ever Follow My Heart?

King Solomon said, “A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left.” (Ecclesiastes 10:2). Just as your heart can direct you toward hatred, lust, and violence, it can also be driven by love, truth, and kindness. As you walk with God, He will put dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill in your life. He will also put skills and abilities in your heart that He wants to develop for His glory (Exodus 35:30-35). He will give you the desire to give (2 Corinthians 9:7) and to worship (Ephesians 5:19). As you put God first, He will step in and fulfill the good desires of your heart. The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). But the only time you can feel good about following your heart is when you know your heart is intent on serving and pleasing God.

Why Is Following My Heart Not Enough?

Because our hearts are so subject to change and so utterly untrustworthy, the Scriptures communicate a much stronger message than “follow your heart.” The Bible instructs you to lead your heart. This means to take full responsibility for its condition and direction. Realize that you do have control over where your heart is. You have been given the power by God to take your heart off one thing and to set it on something else. The following verses all communicate a message of leading your heart:

Proverbs 23:17   “Do not let your heart envy sinners.”

Proverbs 23:19   “Direct your heart in the way.”

Proverbs 23:26   “Give me your heart, my son, and let your eyes delight in my ways.”

1 Kings 8:61        “Let your heart therefore be wholly devoted to the Lord our God.”

John 14:27          “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

James 4:8           “Purify your hearts.”

James 5:8           “Strengthen your hearts.”

How Do I Lead My Heart?

First, you need to understand that your heart follows your investment. Whatever you pour your time, money, and energy into will draw your heart. This was true before you were married. You wrote letters, bought gifts, and spent time together as a couple, and your heart followed. When you stop investing as much in the relationship and start pouring yourself into other things, your heart follows you there. If you are not in love with your spouse today, it may be because you stopped investing in your spouse yesterday.

 Check your heart. One of the keys to successfully leading your heart is to constantly be aware of where it is. Do you know what has your heart right now? You can tell by looking at where your time has gone in the past month, where your money has gone, and what you keep talking about. Guard your heart. When something unhealthy tempts your heart, it is your responsibility to guard it against temptation. The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV). Don’t let your heart put money or your work above your spouse and  family. Don’t let your heart lust after the beauty of another woman/man (Proverbs 6:25). The Bible says, “If riches increase, do not set your heart on them”  (Psalms 62:10 NKJV). Set your heart. The apostle Paul taught, “Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1 NIV). It’s time to identify where your heart needs to be and then choose to set your heart on those things. You say, “But I don’t really want to invest in my marriage. I’d rather be doing this or that.” I know. You’ve set your heart on that in the past and you are stuck in a “follow your heart” mentality. But you don’t have to let your feelings lead you any more. Lust is when you set your heart on something that is wrong and forbidden. You can choose to take your heart off the wrong things and set your heart on what is right. Invest in your heart. Don’t wait until you feel like doing the right thing. Don’t wait until you feel in love with your spouse to invest in your relationship. Start pouring into your marriage and investing where your heart is supposed to be. Spend time with your spouse. Buy gifts. Write letters. Go on dates. The more you invest, the more your heart will value your relationship.