• Ask A Question: One Way to Encourage Your Husband to Be a Spiritual Leader

    Someone recently asked: How can I encourage my husband to lead our family spiritually, without nagging him? This is such a great question, and one I’ve wrestled with over the years. We could talk about it from a number of angles, but one practical way I’ve learned to navigate it is this: Ask rather than tell. Curiosity is always a much less threatening approach. And oftentimes, our husbands desire to lead our families in gospel-growth, but they either aren’t sure how to do it, feel ill-equipped, or lack creativity. We have the privilege of respectfully and lovingly, helping them lead. Here are some questions to get you started: How do…

  • Ignite the Fire: Remember God’s Good Design for Sexual Intimacy

    I remember sitting in the auditorium with my jaw in my hand and my eyes bulging. I had been asked to speak on a panel with several other single women, during a conference on sexual intimacy. But between the time they asked me to participate, and the actual event, I agreed to marry my husband. As a newly engaged woman, they invited me to sit in on the sessions for married women. It was an eye-opening experience, to say the least. Both main speakers were offering advice and practical tips on how to create time for sex and ways to keep it creative. Their words shocked me. My husband-to-be and…

  • Listen to Advice

    May we never forget our greatest pursuit. There aren’t many books I have read and loved on marriage. So, when I find a good one, I like to recommend it. Married for God: Making Your Marriage the Best It Can Be, is at the top of my list. This is Day 10 of a series: A Diligent Wife

  • Plant A Seed

    I was taking out the garbage one day, and noticed something small emerging from the ground. When I bent over and pulled back the dirt, I found a tiny hydrangea bush, and I was shocked. Earlier that summer, I haphazardly plopped a hydrangea bush in the ground right next to the recycling bins, and promptly forgot about it. It was not my smartest gardening move, but in spite of my negligence, this little plant was holding her own.  Unfortunately, I treat various aspects of my life in the same way I treated this plant. In my neglect and forgetfulness, I can easily fail to invest in the things I know…

  • Pick Five: Keep Having Fun With Your Husband

    I remember his words like it was yesterday. We were planning our honeymoon, and my husband said, “I want to go somewhere where we can mingle with the locals.” I had more of a five-star resort in mind. Lush bedding, a gorgeous view, a private spot on the beach, time with my husband, and no one else. Except maybe an occasional visit from room service or housekeeping. Clearly, our ideas of a honeymoon were vastly different.  Eventually, we reached a compromise and found a quiet hotel in southern Belize. We rented a car at the airport and drove several hours through the mountains, dodged potholes on dirt roads, and carefully…

  • Move Closer

    A few years ago, I asked Bradley to help me with a major diaper blowout. He was eager and willing to help, but I quickly became irritated because he wasn’t actually helpful. I had to give him step-by-step instructions on how to put a diaper underneath the baby and use extra wipes to clean up the mess. It didn’t matter that this was our sixth baby and he’s changed hundreds of diapers over the past twelve years. Well, a few days later, he asked me to get a nail gun and hot galvanized nails for our fence repair project. It took me two trips to Home Depot and Harbor Freight,…

  • Look Inside

    I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve looked over at my husband and wondered what’s wrong with him. Usually, my thoughts go like this: If he would just be…Why can’t he…How could he… You too? It’s so easy to judge another person’s faults before our own. So, we stomp our feet, slam cabinet doors, scrub the dirty pan a little more vigorously, or give our husbands the silent treatment. The man across the room might not hear us mumble under our breath or let out a theatrical sigh, but God does. Sometimes we’re more direct. We hurl accusations, point fingers, and list off our grievances. We’re quick to become…

  • Keep It Simple: One Tip for Marital Intimacy

    Last week, I asked my Instagram followers: What marital challenges are you facing? Of those who responded, ninety percent named marital intimacy. They admitted exhaustion and an inability to find time for their husbands. Most expressed a desire to improve in the area of intimacy with their husbands, but it felt impossible. When little children need you constantly, it’s difficult to find a way to meet your husband’s needs. Children get in the way, they interrupt, and sometimes we just don’t want anyone else to touch us at the end of the day. I completely understand. I’ve been physically and mentally exhausted for twelve of the fifteen years of our…

  • First Things First

    As a young teenager, I made a rather extensive list of all the qualities I was looking for in a husband. I combined traits from many of the men I respected—plus a few extras—just to be sure I found the man who would fulfill all my hopes and dreams. When I graduated from college without a ring on my finger, I started to carefully examine my curated list. Were my standards too high? What could I eliminate? I began to whittle away, scribbling out traits I knew weren’t necessary, maybe even ridiculous.  By the time I met my husband, the list was shorter than the one I wrote in the…

  • Quote It

    My husband brought several pieces of furniture into our marriage: six woven dining chairs, two barstools, and a wooden bookshelf. Although several chairs are now wobbly from fifteen years of use, we cannot bring ourselves to part with them. I’m okay with this because they’re functional, and new dining room chairs are expensive. However, the bookshelf is another story. I do not like it, and I have never liked it. The wood stain is too red, it’s not large enough to fit all of our books, and its irregular size limits its placement in any apartment or home we’ve lived in. But my husband doesn’t want to part with it.…