About the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Not...

Recent Posts

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Yes, yes, yes!! Such a good reminder to all of us. I’ recently noticed I was approaching my marriage in coast mode – we’re 13 years in and have had no “major” challenges – and I’d become complacent. I’m doing Love Dare without my hubs knowing it – but its been incredible. Yes, sometimes it takes me four days to get through one of the challenges – but dang, I’m definitely not complacent anymore!

  2. I’m up for this too, Lysa! We have been married nearly 20 years and have 2 wonderful teenage daughters. My husband is in the emergency services which brings its own pressures to bear on him and on family life but GOD is with us and He blesses us so much.

  3. It truly is the little foxes that spoil the vines. The Song of Solomon says it so well, “Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love . . ” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NLT) After 23 years, I believe this now more than ever. So many Christian marriages around me are together but plagued by these “pests”. I believe not only can they ruin a marriage, but their absence is what makes it all God made marriage to be ” . . for the grapevines are blossoming!” Thank you, Lysa. This is such an important message!

  4. A timely reminder – God has been teaching me this year about paying attention to the details. Setting out a glass of juice by my husband’s computer every morning for him is such a small thing, but that detail speaks hugely to his heart. We’ve been married almost six years, and I am regularly amazed by the things I am just now learning about this wonderful man. I pray every morning for God’s strength and wisdom to keep molding me into the woman I want to become – one that pays attention and loves well!

  5. Thank up for this challenge/encouragment! Yes, the little {negative} things do have the power to detroy, but positive little things also have the power to heal! And our words are such a powerful source of that healing or destruction.

    It reminds me of Provers 15:1, 4 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger…The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. ‘

    I have been married for five years. With two kids under two it can be so easy to use up all my patience, love, kindness, and gentleness on my sons all day and have nothing left when my husband gets home from work. But I, too, have been trying to focus on being intentional by loving and encouraging my husband in small ways, like short text messages telling him how much I appreciate something specific he did I know the little things will bless us both and help build and sustain a strong marriage, which is also one of the greatest gifts I can give my kids.

  6. Thank You!!! I love how God even uses blogs to help us along. I know that I really need to see/hear this today and I’m going to join you on making things different in my marriage.

  7. How true it is…I’ve already started the day off with words that I shouldn’t have said. Not bad words, but just not kind or encouraging ones. Brought on by the lack of sleep only a newborn can bring on!
    But I will pray for the remainder of the day and everyday to keep my words kind! Maybe I’ll count to 10 (or 20) before I open my mouth!!

  8. I learned, the hard way, that resentment and love can not live together in a marriage. I was the wife that took my husband for granted. I knew he’d never leave, so I got lazy. My laziness created his resentment towards me. Little things, like my hair on the bathroom counter, begin to anger him more and more. Normally those things wouldn’t matter.

    We are great now…. but it took a LOT of work on both of our parts. We talk instead of letting stuff build up inside. We aren’t lazy. It’s work every single day.

  9. Yes, I will join you. Just this past weekend, I began to notice how critical I had become of little uniimportant things my husband does or doesn’t do. It really made me stop and think and then I read your post today and it was like God used it to talk to me. My goal is going to be to speak only life to my husband and to be joyful and thankful even when I don’t feel like it. Lysa, thank you for your wonderful posts. they have really been speaking to me lately. God bless.

  10. Lysa I could use a advice from you and anyone else…I am in my 27th year of marriage to a man that has control issues…I have suffered mental, verbal and physical abuse through out the whole 27 years…I pray everyday for strength and for God to help me to love my husband through him…For so many year’s I lived a lie and we looked like the happiest most put together christian family that stepped into church…My family seem to know there was a problem, because I wasen’t allowed around them and seen them only at church, but NO one was allowed to say anything critical about him, because in my eye’s he was the greatest and I always deserved the abuse, because of something I had said or done…but after about the 16 year mark my husband felt it justified to assault my sister, because of some words that had been exchanged and at that moment I changed…I began to scream ALL of our personal issues and wanted the world to know how he had always been abusive to me…my two son’s lives were changed forever…several year’s later after a weekend of torment I got the nerve to get in my car and drive away, but much to my surprise my two grown son’s broke ties with me stating I had taken it too far when I took out a 50 b to keep their Dad away from me…So after about 4 month’s I could stand it no longer and went back, so I could try and patch up the relationship between my son’s and I…I have really no relationships outside my husband, because of the guilt he makes me feel…I have been blessed with my church family and the girls I work with…because of the daily things that go on in my house I find myself venting to co-workers and church family and after I’m done I feel total guilt, because I am being critical about my husband and I know that is wrong…I keep praying for God to change me first of all in the area’s that I need work, and to help me love my husband through him, but I have nothing but resentment for him and I can’t bring myself to be receptive when he is trying to be nice. because there is good in him and that’s what I hang on too… Is there any of you reading this that has had or know’s of a simular situation? Lysa I need your advice!!!!

    • Susan, I have absolutely no advice to give as I’m most definitely not qualified, but please know that I’m praying for you. Praying for peace and grace and (maybe) most importantly, love, to reign in a bad situation.

    • Susan,
      First of all, there will never be anything you did or do that makes you ‘deserve’ physical or mental abuse. I would suggest that you and your husband go for counseling to help you overcome the abuse. Like you, I am in my 27th year of marriage and also like you, I really have no relationships outside my husband because he’s controlling. I also live far away from most of my brothers and sisters so family connections are few and far between. Although I volunteer at my church and play in a tennis league, my husband always makes me feel guilty about doing those things. A few years ago, I finally stood up to him and told him that I do certain things for him, but that I need to do things for me too. If he liked that I felt good about doing things for myself, that was fine. If he didn’t, well that was too bad because the things I did were good things and there was nothing wrong with them. Although he gave me the silent treatment for a long time after i came back from volunteering or tennis, I still treated him with respect and love. He eventually came to realize that when I did things that made me happy, I was happier toward him and more loving. Today, he still doesn’t like it very much when I go out, but I go because I can’t forget about me. I need to be happy in order to make others around me happy. You should never feel guilty about doing good things just because he wants to keep you all to himself. I pray that you remember to take care of you. No one should suffer abuse of any kind.

  11. I read this before I left this weekend and my dearest hubbies “Dr Jekyll – Mr Hyde” reared it’s ugly head this weekend. I planned a weekend out of town with another couple that our friends go to school together and I almost walked out with the kids and did the single parent thing…I’m in a rough place – then he calms down and apologizes and the whole thing is over and so we are supposed to go back to normal….but doesn’t want to talk about it anymore…Done, overwith and move on…ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

    • Deborah,
      My husband acts the same way. When he gets angry or annoyed with something, I get the silent treatment for a while. When he calms down and gets over it, that’s it. No further discussion. It’s over with. it’s very hard to deal with problems because he doesn’t know how to talk about things. I find that if I write down how I’m feeling and let him read it later on, at least he knows what I feel. It’s seems like that is the only way he knows how to deal with problems.

  12. I was the guest post today about having grace in marriage, and how fitting this post is to go right alongside mine. I needed this reminder today, as every day I fight my mouth to keep shut. I love the “Be on your guard and protect your marriage” comment.

    It is so encouraging to see that no one is alone in these struggles!

  13. This is such a great post. I am totally guilty of letting the little things go, thinking because haven’t had a big blow up in months meaning everything is fabulous. That caution from your anonymous commenter is a sobering reminder that it could really happen to anyone.

  14. I’m guilty of “little” things too. Thanks for the boost! I needed reminding of being intentional with my life, spouse, family and God!

  15. This is an important reminder. My husband are always stunned when we hear about someone splitting up or divorcing. It seems to have come out of nowhere. Then we remind ourselves….divorce does not happen over night. It is the culmination of many small, often unnoticed or unaddressed things. They pile up upon one another until the weight of them is too great or too overwhelming to overcome (or so we falsely believe since Christ says otherwise).

    Thank you for the reminder and honesty.

  16. Gulp. Even after 26 years of marriage to a good, good man, the truth of something like this smacks me right between the eyes. Guess I should get off the computer, get a shower, and put on something pretty. He is a gift, and he’s so worth it. Thank you for the reminder.

  17. Hi Lysa,

    Thanks for sharing this blog. It wakes us up from time to time when we need to hear things. I AM READY FOR A CHALLENGE. Looking forward to it! I’ll be on a lookout!

    May God Bless you with your wonderful ministry. I’ve been married 8 years this last May. A lot of struggles with finances as my dear husband lost his job will be 4 yrs ago this coming January. No fault of his own. Someone became greeedy and wanted more money so he layed a few people in the company to get his raise. He has a visual disability so it’s been so hard for him to find another one. people are so hesitant to hire a blind person. Please pray for us! I’m trying to be real encouraging to him. His self esteem is really shot! i keep on trusting and believing that a job will come along for him!

    In Christ’s love & prayers
    Sis in Christ
    Tina

  18. Hello Ladie’s,
    My husband and I just celebrated 12 years in August!! It has not been easy, we have gone through so much, almost divorced in 2002, I had issues from past abuse that was wreaking havoc, PTL I am set free now!! The greatest restoration is when you step back and you look at the truth of all who GOD is and that is your husband is your brother in Christ first, I am his sister in Christ, then friends and then husband and wife. I praise GOD daily that my husband and I are still together, that is ALL GOD!!! Yes we have bad days , but PTL for grace and mercy.
    ***Sacred Marriage by I believe Gary Smally is great, if you have not read it, I recommend it!!***
    Love and prayers,
    Tina R.

  19. Lysa, i am thanking God for giving you the words that I’ve read today – the anonymous comment left on your blog could have been written by myself, as prior to coming to know Christ I too left my marriage, with 3 young kids in tow. By His grace, I have learnt *so* much about marriage through my divorce, and it is my heart’s desire that wives and husbands know what gifts their spouses are, what a gift marriage is, and just how truly *sacred* it it. For me, it took a divorce to learn this, and I pray that all you married girls out there truly value your marriages, and seek God to deal with those very real issues that come up every day.

  20. I have been going through a very difficult time in my life, and my husband has been fantastic. He knows that I am in a place where I can’t be at 100% and he is not expecting it from me in any area of our life right now. I do want to step out and do just some little things to let him know I appreciate his loving care. Thank you for reminding me!
    Bernice
    http://bernicewood.wordpress.com/2010/08/31/its-the-little-things-like-glitter-in-the-air/