Saturday, February 21, 2009

Marriage Stuff

I do not claim to be an expert.

Like, at all.

I would be foolish to think I knew even a handful of things about marriage.

But I do know how practical and useful it is to surround yourself with the right stuff to prepare/continue to grow/repair your marriage.

Because it is all ups and downs and smooth sailing and pot holed road.

Not just one type, but a mixture, and it's constantly changing.

So here are a few of my suggestions, on what has been useful for Ian and I so far.

Blog is a blog by an ex pastor and his wife, who, after the husband had an affair, were separated and nearly divorced after years of marriage and children. Thankfully, they were able to work on things (and still are,) and are back together. They did a "special," on marriage called "8 Things That Destroyed Our Marriage," and it's very practical and applicable.

Simply go to the site, scroll down to the right, and pick any of the 8 parts under "Blog Archive."


The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. Now, I haven't actually read this yet, but I know alot about it, and have taken some evaluations based off of it. The book is about how each person expresses their love/affection in different ways. They may also like to receive it in a different way, which makes it difficult for their spouse/ loved one to figure out how to love and serve them best.

The author and his publisher has put together a great website at which includes a thirty second quiz, information on the five love languages, advice from Dr. Gary Chapman, and real stories. Plus alot more. So, if you are skeptical, check out the site first, but, I will tell you, it was one of our most sold books at "the bookstore," when I worked there. PLUS, I just was looking at the site, and apparently there are Five Apology Languages too! I really need to read the book. (I just found a 10 dollar gift certificate, so I will be getting it this week!)

*Also, I have heard that The Love Dare, the book that "Fireproof," the movie, is based off, is an excellent resource, but have also heard that it is not very good for newlyweds, because it is for more of the "slipped into normalcy instead of being constantly awesome due to the newness of marriage," crowd. Still, I wouldn't mind getting two of the workbooks and having them ready for whenever Ian and I feel that we need a boost.


My friend from college, Olyvia, gave me this awesome set of questions to talk through before Ian and I got married. Alright, if I am telling the truth here, I would let you know that she LENT them to me, but then I couldn't find them after the move, even though SHE needed them before her wedding. I felt like a heel. Only, I found them!

There are seriously, at least 50 questions, that you should talk through with your future spouse, and, probably with your current one, just to cover your basis. The questions seem basic and like things that you have already discussed before, but I thought it was very helpful to have a whole list to work through, and we just talked through our "agenda." We took them on our road trip to VA for his graduation, and ended up talking through them for days. In the car, rock climbing, over dinner, and hiking. It was wonderful. Well most of it. I will tell you these questions brought up some not so wonderful things, but I am so glad we forced ourselves to answer EVERY question, no matter how uncomfortable we were.

I am working on typing them all up, and will have them up in the next week or so, so keep your eyes open for them!


Ian and I think it's really important to listen to church leaders take on marriage, love, and family, but, unfortunately, that is not always the topic at church on Sunday. We have found several free podcasts on marriage though which is helpful to hear someone else's opinion on the matter, other than you local pastor.

Mars Hill Church-Pastor Mark Driscoll Good Sex, Bad Sex

ugh, I can't find the rest because my itunes has slimmed down my podcasts, bu I will get you more if you are looking for some!

That's it for now, I just thought you would like to know what Ian and I are doing to be "continuously working," on all aspects of our marriage. It's a refining process, and we are trying to be vigilent about not sitting back and thinking, "wow, we have this all under control." We know that God is the only one who can make this marriage work as it should.


Callie said...

Nice list! I'll have to check out a couple of the websites you listed! Something that has really helped me in my relationship with Derek has the been "Love and Respect" by Emerson Eggerichs - another good book to check out! I'm still owrking on reading it, but it's been really helpful so far.

Emily said...

I can't recommend enough the Gary Chapman book- The Five Love Languages! It is awesome! Thanks for letting me know there's a website to it now! How awesome!! When I first read it- yeah, I know it's hard to believe- there was no internet! I'm of the generation sandwiched between the cavemen and you tec- savvy whippersnappers! Y'all have no idea how blessed you are to be able to recommend this stuff to each other through the internet! I've said it before but it's always worth retelling- you and Ian are very wise for your age. Marriage isn't easy, but when you truly work together, communicate, are honest with each other, and most of all forgiving- God blesses you through it! Those things sound simple, but miss any one of those pieces, and whole lot of grief can occur.

OlyviaNoel said...

I'll definitely have to check out some of the things you listed! Glad you and Ian enjoyed the questions :) I know Matthew and I certainly did. Another good book given to me (I haven't read through it all yet...) is titled Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl. It was given to me by a lady at our church. Our pre-marital counseling books were awesome too. I think they were titled Preparing for a Godly Marriage. I love workbook type sessions, and this was definitely one of those.

Justin and Trisha Davis said...

Thank you so much for your link to our site. God has used our experience to reach people that we couldn't have imagined reaching. I appreciate your link, and God's blessing to you and your marriage!