My Second Guest Post

July 27, 2012

Here‘s a second guest post I wrote for the marriage and family website called Power of the Home. You can find the first post here.

Through the course of my project to commit an act of love for my wife every day for a year, I’ve learned much about my marriage, my wife, and about life in general. (I still have a lot to learn.) For starters, I learned that taking my wife to Chuck E. Cheese for Mother’s Day is not a hot idea, nor is climbing a tree filled with poison oak. But here are a handful of my more substantive lessons:

1) My marriage is not about me. It’s not about my wife, either. The primary purpose of my marriage and my blog is to glorify God.

At one point during 365 Acts of Love, I stopped focusing on my relationship with God in order to focus on the blog. I knew that if I kept that up, it would’ve undermined one of my purposes for the blog, that is, to better my marriage. How do I figure that? Well, anything that is not built for God and his glory—whether a business, a life, a marriage, or a blog—is built in vain. And nothing built in vain is successful. Even a seemingly good marriage is a failure if it’s not built on bringing glory to the only one worthy of receiving glory.

So, early on in 365 Acts of Love, I committed to doing my project with the aim of glorifying God by loving my wife in a way that pleases him.

2) Loving my wife best requires putting my relationship with God before my marriage. When I put God first, when my soul is anchored in him and his faithfulness, I won’t be shaken by the ups and downs of life and I can focus on loving my wife through it. Additionally, I’ll be able to love my wife when she seems unlovable (though that doesn’t happen often).

3) I can’t make my marriage successful on my own, but need God’s grace for that. This is the case because nothing good that I have or do comes from me. It’s all from God.

This realization has driven me to prayer over and over in the past year since prayer is a means by which God grants grace. I’m learning to daily and persistently plead with God that he would give me the grace I need to live with my wife in a way that pleases him.

4) Putting my wife’s needs and desires above my own is one of the best ways for me to express and increase my love for her. Love is often portrayed as something glamorous and exciting. But typically it’s unglamorous and pedestrian. It involves everyday, nitty-gritty stuff like laundry and dirty dishes and screaming kids, not just flowers and chocolates and surprise dates. It involves giving her the comfortable side of the bed, carrying stuff into the house for her, letting her pick what to watch on TV, pumping gas for her because she hates to do it, giving her the last of the chocolate, running errands for her, cleaning the bathroom when it’s her turn, etc. Though it’s fun to do the romantic stuff, most of the loving that goes on in a marriage involves the everyday stuff. And in fact, my wife just might appreciate the latter as much as (more than?) the former.

Additionally, self-sacrificial love is tough. It’s a battle, something you fight for, not something you fall in to. Consider what Christ endured to love the world:

[Christ] . . . being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God

something to be used to his own advantage;

rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very nature of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross! (Phil. 2)

That’s pretty serious love, but God calls husbands to love their wives in the same way—by giving up their interests for those of their spouses. I want to apply this in my own marriage. As the apostle Paul says in the context of the above passage, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

5) With all this giving of myself that I’m supposed to do, what’s in my marriage for me? Well, for one, if my wife takes Paul’s advice above (which she usually does), there’s a whole lot in it for me. In fact, when we both consistently live out the scriptural commands for relationships, our marriage is pretty great.

But what if my wife doesn’t put my needs and desires above her own? Well, I’ll still get a lot out of our marriage because I’ll find much joy in serving her if I sincerely and consistently devote myself to it. At first, it can be painful and annoying, but with practice, it becomes more natural and carries great satisfaction with it. More importantly, though, I’ll be doing what God requires of me even if I don’t get anything out of it.

6) Consistent loving acts, not romantic feelings, keep a marriage together for the long term. Consider these words from Timothy Keller’s The Meaning of Marriage regarding the relationship between acts and feelings of love:

Our culture says that feelings of love are the basis for actions of love. And of course that can be true. But it is truer to say that actions of love can lead consistently to feelings of love. Love between two people must not, in the end, be identified simply with emotion or merely with dutiful action. Married love is a symbiotic, complex mixture of both. Having said this, it is important to observe that of the two—emotion and action—it is the latter that we have the most control over. It is the action of love that we can promise to maintain every day (103).

7) I’ve relearned how fun marriage can be when I make it a priority. Through this year, my wife and I have gotten a lot more lighthearted with each other and the little things that used to annoy us about each other don’t do so as easily. This relates to the joy that I talked about above.

8) Some of the smallest things can make my wife very happy. Little acts, done consistently, are very meaningful and important for our marriage, even though my wife does enjoy my grandiose, romantic gestures. For one of my acts of love, I spent three hours at a coffee shop memorizing a soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet. I then came home and performed it for my wife. I thought she would be very impressed. Instead, she said, “I’m glad you did that for me, but why did you spend three hours at a coffee shop memorizing that when you could’ve just hung out with me?”

9) If I give my relationship with my wife priority over my relationship with my kids, I’ll do the whole family a favor. By putting her first, I’m making sure that our relationship is solid. This shows our kids what a loving and committed relationship looks like and they’ll likely copy our example when they get older. In addition, I’m giving my kids a stable family life, making them feel safe and secure.

10) It’s a lot easier to serve people outside our home if our marriage is good. If we’re constantly fighting or trying to work things out, we won’t have as much energy to love and serve others. But if things are going well at home, we’ll likely be united as we minister outside our home.

11) Through 365 Acts of Love, I’ve learned a little more about the value of determination, perseverance, and commitment. This project has been very difficult and has consumed so much of my time and energy. Every day, I have to plan, implement, and write about an act of love as well as keep up with school, work, family, and church. At times, I’ve simply wanted to escape or quit or fast forward to the end of the project or anything to get out of continuing it. But, I’m seeing it through one day at a time and growing because of it. At the end of this year, I’ll be glad I persevered.


My Guest Post

June 27, 2012

Note for my wife: Unlike my typical posts, this one is not addressed directly to you, though it’s about you. 

I recently wrote an article for a marriage and family website called Power of the Home.  Here‘s a link to the article and you can also read it here:

About nine months ago, I committed to doing an intentional act of love for my wife every day for a year and I’ve been keeping track of my project—which I’ve called 365 Acts of Love—at my blog. In that time, I’ve committed a wide variety of acts: I’ve written my wife numerous love notes, given her tons of massages, taken her on a whale-watching tour by helicopter, filled our living room with balloons (which were themselves filled with candy and love notes), watched the kids on various occasions so she could go shopping or get coffee with a friend, taken her on a sunset cruise, and the list goes on. As it turns out, this year has been one of the more challenging years of my life.

What drove me to make this huge commitment? Whether or not some lesser commitment would’ve sufficed (an act of love a week, maybe?), I took on this project to rekindle my love for my wife. When she and I first started dating, growing in love for each other was easy. But then, life happened: we had kids and we worked hard to pay the bills and to keep me in school. Keeping our romance aflame got put on the back burner.

Still, it seemed to me that things were okay. My wife and I enjoyed each other and lead relatively happy lives. However, she would occasionally tell me that I wasn’t doing much to show her that I love her. That seemed absurd to me. As she said that more and more, my response changed from confusion to utter annoyance.

Then everything came to a head about a year ago. While driving to the beach, we got into a heated discussion. She told me that I don’t do much to show her that I love her and I maintained the opposite. I told her that I show my love by consistently helping out around the house, being there for the family all the time, going grocery shopping with her every week, working really hard to support our family, etc. I got frustrated because I couldn’t understand why that wasn’t enough. “I’ve given everything for you and our family and I’ve loved every minute! What more could you want from me?!” I thought I had her. How could she argue with that? Very well, it turned out. She said she appreciates those things, but she wants more. She said that she wants to be romanced, but that I don’t do that. She was right—I rarely brought her flowers or told her that I love her or wrote her love notes or held her hand or told her she’s beautiful or took her on dates. Somewhere along our journey, I stopped romancing her. In spite of all that I did for her, I took our relationship for granted.

After that conversation, I decided to change. But I knew that unless I did something systematic, the change wouldn’t last. So I came up with the idea for my blog. It required me to be consistent with its built in accountability and seemed like a great opportunity for change. I thus committed to 365 Acts of Love by creating the blog and posting this resolution:

You are my beloved and I am yours. But after several years of marriage, I’ve grown passive about our relationship–no longer do I passionately pursue your love nor express mine. I’m not sure how or why this happened, but I know that I want it to change. I love you, but desire to love you more and want you to feel loved by me. So, starting today, I’m resolving to commit a different, intentional act of love for you every day for a year, so that our relationship may thrive once again . . . By blogging about this journey, I hope to preserve the memory of this year as a gift to you.

Since I started this project, I’ve realized that my problem is more than just a lack of romance. By not putting the effort into our relationship that it required, I was being selfish. I wasn’t romancing my wife, not because the kids or school or work got in the way, but because my thoughts, desires, will, etc. were all turned toward myself. And it ate away at our relationship.

But 365 Acts of Love has changed things for the better. For one, it’s made an astounding difference in our relationship. 42 days into the project, I said this:

I’m happy to say that after 42 days, I don’t just see a need to romance you, I want to romance you. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 343 days.

And 70 days into the project, my wife told me this:

I feel like we’re friends again. Happy friends. Not just roommates . . . It’s clear you’ve been thinking about me during the day. Like how you gave me that coffee card . . .You’ve been so romantic lately. That’s exactly what I’ve wanted from you this entire time. That’s exactly what I’ve been talking about.

Our relationship has really grown and we’re more unified than we’ve ever been. We’re experiencing a joy that’s been absent for a while. We’re happy to serve one another and we’re setting our sights on serving people outside of our family.

365 Acts of Love is also changing us as individuals. I’ve noticed that serving my wife and family comes more naturally than before (though it’s still a struggle). In addition, my desire has strengthened a ton to keep our relationship and our family together, healthy, happy, and centered on God. And I’ve gained a renewed desire to be the kind of man that God designed me to be.

As for my wife, she’s happier—even giddier—and more confident. She’s more willing to try new things, daring things (at least for her), like riding in a helicopter. She’s putting a bunch of effort into centering our home around loving and glorifying God. And she’s opened herself up to me like never before.

One of the greatest lessons I’ve taken away from 365 Acts of Love is that developing a good relationship requires great care. As an analogy, consider the work it takes to grow a garden. No one expects a garden to flourish from a few days of hard work. Instead, it sometimes takes months of daily hard work for it to be fruitful. In other words, gardens don’t self-maintain or self-improve. But neither do relationships. Both require consistent and careful attention and cultivation. Left to themselves, they wither and eventually die.

I put a lot of work into my marriage at the beginning to get it to a certain level (so did my wife!), then expected it to stay there. I thought that after a while my wife and I would be able to just sit back and enjoy our lives together. But when I stopped working hard, our marriage slowly and almost imperceptibly withered. Although things could’ve been worse, they weren’t where they should’ve been. I’m so glad I started 365 Acts of Love when I did.

I would encourage all of you married folks to consistently and carefully attend to and cultivate your marriages. If your relationship is great, don’t expect it to stay that way without effort. If it’s bad or mediocre, work hard to change it. It’s possible that your hard work won’t bring about the change you expect. But your relationship won’t be good unless you try.


Day 257: Continuing My Education

June 18, 2012

I’m on a sort of John Piper kick. For this act of love, I read his chapter on marriage from Desiring God. He made the point that love seeks its own joy in the joy of others. From what I could tell, his claim is that one person loves another person just in case she (consistently) attempts to receive joy in bringing joy to the other. As for me, if I love you, I should be seeking my joy in bringing you joy. A source of my pleasure should be your pleasure. That’s exactly what’s happened through the course of 365 Acts of Love.

Before I started 365, I was very concerned with my own happiness, regardless of your happiness. But as 365 progressed, I grew to find joy in bringing you joy. In fact, though my ultimate source of joy is God (or at least, that’s what I’m striving for), part of my joy depends on your joy. When you rejoice, I rejoice. When you weep, I weep. When you’re happy, I’m happy. (Rom. 12:15.) Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that my happiness depends on your happiness in that your unhappiness prevents me from satisfying some selfish desire of mine (though that’s sometimes the case). The kind of dependency I’m talking about is this: since I care for you and want you to be happy, I’m made unhappy simply by knowing that you’re unhappy.

May we seek our own joy in the joy of each other.


True Men

June 13, 2012

My last two posts on being a man haven’t been very serious. I don’t actually think that manliness is defined by things like blowing stuff up, gutting fish, eating bacon, and lifting weights. Men can still be men while having a variety of interests. Men also come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors, and from many different backgrounds.

But there’s one thing all true men have in common: they submit to God’s authority. This submission includes living with integrity and being faithful, gracious, forgiving, and loving. It includes putting others before oneself, being willing to die for others, and even dying to oneself for others on a daily basis. Real manliness requires (among other things) service to others and submission to God.

Though I’m trying to become a true man, in this lifetime I’ll always be striving, never achieving. Though I can get closer to what God demands of me (i.e., perfection), I’ll never attain it. And I’ll never get anywhere without God’s grace.

One day, though, Christ will return to bring justice to the earth. On that day, he’ll perfect those who’ve submitted to him. On that day, Christ will transform me into the man he intended me to be.

For now, I’ll strive, by God’s grace, to become a truer and truer man until that bright and dreadful morning when Christ sets all things right.


Day 250: Continuing my Education

June 7, 2012

For my 250th act of love, I had something big planned for you, because I’ve done something big or meaningful for you every 50th day of this blog. I had to put my plans on hold, though, because my cousin was here (if you read this, cousin: no biggie; we were so glad you came).

Instead, I simply read some of John Piper’s articles on marriage.

Keep an eye out for that big act, though.


Day 249: Weekly Prayer

June 7, 2012

For Sunday’s act of love, I prayed for our marriage for fifteen minutes per my weekly custom. For most of that time, I prayed something that I’ve continually prayed throughout 365 Acts of Love: that God would turn our hearts toward him and each other.


Day 246: Piper Sermon

June 2, 2012

In my attempt to learn more about what God requires of husbands, on Thursday I listened to John Piper’s sermon called “God’s Showcase of Covenant-Keeping Grace.” In it, Piper claims that I, as a husband, should show you grace since God in Christ showed me grace. In addition, he claimed that if I make gratitude for God’s grace a focal point of my life, it will be easier for me to be gracious to you.

Whenever I sin–whenever I act pridefully, selfishly, in lust, with anger, or whatever–I betray God by denying him his rightful place as king over my life. I essentially tell the king of all things that he cannot be king of my heart. And the penalty for such betrayal is death. Well, Christ took my penalty upon himself and made me right with the king. Given that, I should live in gratitude to God and in recognition of his grace.

When you commit something against me or irk me in some way, how can I not show you grace when I’ve been granted grace abundance? If I’ve been forgiven such a debt, how can I not forgive you your debts?

On Thursday night, you did something to make us late to a dinner party. I was incredibly irked by that and let you know–almost the entire way to the party. Even as I did, though, Piper’s sermon was in the back of my mind. Finally, I was able to calm myself down and ask for your forgiveness for getting so upset.

It’s unbelievable how perturbed I can get by the small things you do against me when God forgave me for the cosmically wretched things I’ve done against him. May I eventually be so grateful for God’s grace that I cannot help but show you grace.


Day 234: Reading Up on Marriage

May 24, 2012

A necessary condition of becoming a better husband, of treating you as I should, of making a better marriage, etc. is getting an accurate picture of what marriage is, of what’s required for husbands, of how husbands should treat their wives, etc. For this act of love, then, I read some John Piper articles about marriage that I found at desiringgod.org.


Day 184: Love and Respect CD #3

April 3, 2012

We listened to the 3rd CD of the Love and Respect Conference on Friday night, which was about the Engergizing Cycle. Per this cycle, when a husband loves his wife, this motivates her to respect him, which respect motivates him to love her (though it’s not necessary for the cycle that it starts with the husband). Dr. Eggerichs, the speaker, offered husbands some advice on how to best love their wives. Though I enjoyed all of what he said, I was especially struck by what he said about loving your wife by listening to her. That’s something I need to work on, as I’ve discussed before in this blog. Sometimes (most of the time?), when you start talking to me about some problem you’re facing, I offer up a solution before you finish. Maybe you aren’t even looking for a solution, but a listening ear.


Day 174: Interview on Marriage

March 21, 2012

For “my” 174th act of love for you, I interviewed Tom and Debi Walter from The Romantic Vineyard about marriage. The thoughtfulness, sincerity, and downright usefulness of their answers really amazed me. Thanks, Tom and Debi! You’ve given my wife and me a tremendous gift. And keep up the great work on your blog.

(1)   How important to your marriage is your relationship with God?

Our relationship with God is primary. He is the only reason our marriage works, because we are only able to love because He first loved us.

(2)   What do you do to grow in God together?

We talk about our church’s sermons each week. We have our personal devotions each morning separately, but we’re reading the same Bible-reading plan. We’ve done this for the past few years, and what a difference it has made in our spiritual intimacy. We can talk about what we’re currently reading and we’re working to apply it to our life.

(3)   What does commitment look like in your marriage?

Commitment is doing what you know you ought to do whether you feel like it or not. Commitment is loving your spouse when they aren’t so lovable. Commitment is outdoing one another in showing acts of kindness to each other. Commitment is living your marriage vows with no option of divorce. Tom told me when we first were married that divorce would never be an option for us. We would have to work on any problems we faced—that’s commitment!

(4)   What’s the key to a happy marriage? A loving marriage? A lifelong marriage?

A happy marriage comes and goes. Happiness is measured by our feelings. Joy is something we have regardless of how we feel. A marriage is loving when it is walking in light of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. As far as the lifelong marriage goes . . . we’re not there yet, but we’re on our way. We celebrated our 33rd anniversary on Feb. 24th. We’ve had our trials and conflicts, but the commitment we made “for better or for worse,” always kept us moving forward, even if it was an inch at a time.

(5)    What marriage resources (e.g., books, conferences, blogs, etc.) do you recommend?

Our favorite marriage book right now is by Paul David Tripp, and it’s titled, What Did You Expect? As far as conferences go, we love CCEF and all the conferences and materials they provide. CCEF stands for Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation. They use the Bible as their primary counseling book, and the effects are quite successful. There are many great marriage blogs available as well. We would recommend going to the newly formed Christian Marriage Bloggers Association in order to see the list of other like-minded marriage ministries who host blogs for the upbuilding of strong and lasting marriages.

(6)   Do you recommend that we find another married couple who can mentor us?

Yes, yes, and YES! Tom has led us from day one to find other couples who you admire for their marriage and pursue them. Ask them questions. Seek their advice on difficulties or decisions you’re considering. Invite them into your lives for their support and help.

(7)   What advice can you give me for 365 Acts of Love?

It has been a joy to watch you grow in your sincere love for your wife. When you first began it was obvious this was something way out of your comfort zone. But you stayed the course, and in the process the Lord is changing you to love your wife more like Christ loves the church. We would encourage you to pray more for God to be glorified in how you love your wife. This isn’t just about you, but it’s about the glory God receives as you learn to love your wife the way He demonstrated for us. We believe God is pleased with your efforts. Keep it up. There is a saying that goes something like this: it’s not about the destination but about who we become in the process. Your goal for 365 Acts of Love is changing you and the way you love your wife. May there be more than 365 . . . an entire lifetime.

(8)   What are some ways that you show love for each other?

We pay attention to little requests and seek to do them. Something we’ve practiced for years. We also have a weekly date night, one night a week where we have each other’s undivided attention. It doesn’t have to be out on the town either. Some of our best dates have been sitting on our back porch talking and listening.

(9)   What sorts of loving acts do you think are most effective in showing your spouse you love him or her? Least effective?

It’s best to show your spouse you love them based on things that bless them. For instance, Tom loves a clean and neat bedroom. So I purpose to keep our room this way as often as possible. If he’s had a rough day, I’ll even make him a before-dinner snack, walk him from the garage to our room, sit him down with soft music playing, and close the door. This gives him time to relax before dinner. He loves it when I do that! He has cleaned the entire kitchen for me when I was exhausted, or discouraged. He will often clean our shower too, because he knows I don’t like to. Little things tend to mean the most as the years pass. Don’t neglect the little, everyday moments. The least effective ways to show your love would be doing things that really aren’t important to your spouse. If your spouse isn’t one to like gifts, then don’t buy gifts for them for they won’t be as meaningful as you hoped. The 5 Love Languages is a great resource for determining how your spouse likes to be loved.

(10)   What should someone do when he or she doesn’t feel like loving his or her spouse?

Love them anyway and pray. Love is not a feeling . . . feelings are fickle and can’t be trusted. All relationships go through dry seasons. What you become on the other side of staying committed through the dryness is worth it all. The feelings will return. Just keep doing what you know you should do, whether you feel it or not. This is only possible by the power God supplies. He is the only One who can sustain this kind of love. Without His help, we would be powerless to love in this way. But with God all things are possible.

(11)   How important is romance for a marriage? What do you do to keep the romance going in your relationship?

As we mentioned before, we have a regular date night. We also celebrate every anniversary, i.e., our first date, the day he proposed, and our wedding date. I, Debi, also like to plan special surprises for Tom when he least expects it. Our blog, The Romantic Vineyard, is full of some of the ideas I’ve come up with.

(12)   What do you do to foster closeness in your relationship?

We are best friends. There is no one else we would rather spend time with. We each have guys friends and girl friends, but when we do things with them we’re usually together. There are times when Tom plays golf with the guys and I go shopping with the girls. But I’m an avid golfer too, and Tom enjoys shopping with me. We take an interest in what the other loves to do. In fact, I had to take golf lessons for 3 years in order to get good enough to play with Tom. I didn’t want him to think I was no fun to play golf with. As it turns out, he loves taking me on the course with him.

(13)   How important is sexual intimacy in marriage?

Tom has always said that sex is a barometer of how healthy our marriage is. Now we realize there are some issues one spouse may have to overcome that has nothing to do with the other spouse, i.e., previous abusive relationships, poor self-image, etc. But we’re talking about a couple who is doing well in most areas, their sex life will be healthy as well. The sexual relationship is the closest the two of you can become in this life. It is more than a physical act; there is a spiritual oneness which glorifies God. We are celebrating the one flesh aspect of our marriage, which we do with no one else. It is special and it should be treated as such. It should never be withheld as a means of punishment.

(14)   How do you deal with conflict in your marriage?

A lot differently than we did when we first got married. We used to give each other the silent treatment . . . for days. It was so immature and not helpful at all. Now, we usually communicate our need to talk about something. Then, when we do we say it not assuming we know the motive behind the action. Rather than say, “you always . . . or you never!” we say, “it seems that lately you’ve been distant to me. Is there something wrong?” See the difference? It’s not coming to them as a judge ready to catch them in their error. No, it’s coming alongside your spouse to love them enough to talk over the reason you feel the way you do. We have found this way to be the absolute best way to love your spouse through conflict. A picture came to me one time of two oxen who were yoked together. Imagine one sitting down and refusing to take another step? Or what if one wanted to go one way and one another? That wouldn’t work. The oxen would go nowhere. In marriage we are yoked together. We are on the same team. And we have a common enemy. Together we face our enemy and stand strong together against his attacks. And when we’re in disagreement, we stop, talk, and then continue forward.

(15)   Have you ever had a crisis point in your marriage? How did you get through it?

Oh, yes. Many! We got through them by Godly counsel and God’s grace. It takes a willingness to  humble yourself, confess your sin, and repent. Only then is growth possible. Remember God gives grace to the humble, but He resists the proud. If I am digging my heels in, demanding my way, I’m not only resisting my spouse, but God is resisting me. That’s a scary place to be. Being a humble spouse is key to having a healthy marriage.

(16)   Do you have any advice for communicating well in marriage?

The best advice is to become a good listener. You’ve heard it said we have one mouth and two ears, which means we should listen twice as much as we speak. When our spouse says something and we’re tempted to react, it’s always good to make sure you’ve heard them correctly. We use this question often: Now, what did you hear me say? Asking this simple question has averted many conflicts.

(17)   What one piece of advice has had the biggest impact on your marriage?

Be completely honest with your spouse and hold no secrets. This one piece of advice changed our marriage in a powerful way. It was hard telling each other things we never thought we would, but this is what is needed in a healthy marriage–vulnerability. And it must go both ways. If there is anything you would never want your spouse to know about you, then you most likely need to tell them. Our spouse should know us better than anyone else. And when they love us still, there is a deep intimacy which takes place. I believe following this advice took our marriage from a superficial love to a deep, God-honoring type of love. It was sacrificial because it cost us something to keep on loving even when we were hurt.

(18)   Do you have any other advice for my wife or me?

Enjoy the process. Celebrate the good times. Extend forgiveness for the bad. And pursue God as individuals. As you grow closer to Him you will inevitably grow closer to each other. Look out for your spouse’s interests over your own, and you will succeed. Learn to ask good questions, hard questions, fun questions. Questions open up new possibilities and help clarify the right direction when change is needed. Never stop dreaming together.

Thank you for the opportunity to answer these questions. It’s seems fitting our last piece of advice was about asking good questions, because you’re doing this well. Thank you for your humility in asking us our thoughts. We pray they’ve been helpful.