"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and
by knowledge the rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." -
When we marry we believe that if we're both Believers in God that we will
build a godly marriage. Oh, if it were only this simple! Yes, the
"chances" that we will have a godly marriage are greater if both spouses
are godly, but that's not the only determining factor. Building a godly
marriage takes more than saying wedding vows and then living together. It
takes determination and intentionality to actually live out and apply your
The Bible says in James 1:22: "Do not merely listen to the word and so
deceive yourselves. Do what it says." The principles for building and
living out a godly marriage are the principles for loving as it talks
about all throughout the Bible. But you have to actually apply what God
says in His Word for them to work. God, whose very name means LOVE, can
teach you how to love each other and build a godly marriage but you need
to call upon Him to help you and then apply what He tells you to do. Then,
your house WILL be filled with "knowledge" and rare and beautiful
treasures" as it tells us in Proverbs 24.
But it won't be easy --especially in the same way we thought it would be
before we married. For some reason so many of us think that we'll glide
into marriage with ease. (Sadly, Steve and I fell into that trap.) After
all, if we love each other, and we're both Christians before we marry --
won't our love just grow stronger as the years progress? That would make
sense in theory --sure! But in reality it's much more difficult.
It's like what Dr. Ed Wheat spoke of in his book, Secret Choices: "It has
been said that marriage presents one of the most difficult personal
problems in life, because the most emotional and romantic of all human
dreams has to be consolidated into an ordinary working relationship. Many
of us would agree. And yet the statement is not precisely true, for
marriage is no ordinary relationship. God designed it to be the IDEAL
partnership in which each partner supports and compliments the other; a
partnership which is continually renewed and refreshed by the presence and
power of love."
Building a godly marriage is about being partners and working through the
many issues that come up with intentionality and holy determination and
perseverance --being dispensers of grace and mercy. It's the same kind of
grace and mercy we want from God, and we are to apply in our marital
There's one thing about marriage that's for sure: "At prime moments, God
will use your marriage to show you how to love the unlovely." (Dennis
Rainey) It's amazing how "unlovely" your spouse (and you) can appear at
It's like what Bridgette Dunk, from GTO Ministries said, "Marriage is a
union of two individuals who have come together from different families,
each with a different set of expectations concerning marriage. For this
reason, it has its challenges. Both spouses have been shaped by positive
and negative experiences within their own childhood homes. Because of
this, each has a predetermined idea about how conflict should be handled,
the value of money management, religion, children, and what it means to
Again, it will take applying the principles laid out in the Bible to learn
how to do that in order to build a Godly marriage. And it will take hard
work and determination.
As Dr. Steve Stephens said in his book, Marriage: Experience The Best,
"Many of us grew up with the Hollywood fantasy that once married you
automatically live happily ever after. Wonderful relationships should just
happen, shouldn't they? If relating is too much work, it's not worth it.
Tony Compolo writes, 'Love becomes nonexistent and marriages collapse
primarily because most people don't work hard enough to create love and
build marital relationships.' We fail to realize that things of value cost
us time and energy. Marriages are demanding and draining. Good marriages
don't come easily."
Dr Stephens also said, (which we whole-heartedly agree): "It's a sad state
of affairs when we take better care of our cars and houses than we do our
marriages. We change the oil, fill the tank, check the tires, and
periodically tune up our cars. We change the light bulbs, wash windows,
paint walls, unplug toilets and re-roof our houses, but what do we do to
maintain our marriage?
"The truth is more damage is done than repairs are made. How important is
your marriage? Is it more important than your car or home? Are you willing
to put in the time and energy and whatever else it takes to prove to your
partner how valuable the relationship truly is to you?"
So, what it comes down to, if you want to build a Godly marriage is the
1. Read and apply the principles for loving, as outlined throughout the
2. Ask God, whose very name means LOVE, to teach you how to truly love
your spouse --not with human love, but with a Godly, Christ-honoring
love (which won't come naturally).
3. Live in partnership throughout your marriage with each other and with
4. Realize that you have entered into a union, blessed by God, with
someone who is very different than you (and probably very different
than you thought THEY were also) but still, you determine to persevere
through whatever circumstances in which you find yourselves.
5. Know that it will cost you time, energy, and that it won't come easily.
6. Come to terms with the fact that anything of value will cost you
something. And because marriage is something that God values, you
should too. It will be worth it all for your sakes and for the sake of
God's Kingdom work.
7. And finally, "Consider it all joy, whenever you face trials of many
kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops
perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be
mature and complete, not lacking in anything." (James 1:2-4)
Within your marriage relationship, "May the Lord direct your hearts into
God's love and Christ's perseverance" (2 Thessalonians 3:5).
Cindy and Steve Wright
If we think of the common problems that can break apart our marriages as
“illnesses” we may be more inclined to seek treatment and healing than
separation or divorce. In last weeks Marriage Message we focused on the
issues of how our moods and putting the “ME” ahead of the “WE” in marriage
can tear us apart.
We want to share four common “illnesses” (or problem areas) that can
infect even the healthiest of marriages. If they go undiagnosed or
untreated they can lead to the “death” of a marriage. This shortened
version comes from pastor/counselor, Wayne Coggins in the book, Lovers for
Life published by Christian Publications. (This book has many great
contributing authors, which Pastor Coggins is one of them.) He writes:
1. Marital Anemia. I’m convinced that more marriages are in danger of
anemia (tired blood) than of getting blasted apart by a surprise affair
or deception. Drifting apart a little each day can leave a couple
vulnerable to all kinds of problems. For a marriage to stay fresh and
vibrant it needs frequent doses of fun and re-creation [notice how
Coggins changed the word, "recreation"].
I am not advocating being irresponsible, but I am saying that all
responsibility with no breaks for fun is a sure ticket to burnout and
boredom. I often ask couples whose responsibility it is to make the time
available for investing in their marriages. God’s? Should we expect God to
give us an extra day of the week right after Sunday and call it Funday?
While that may be a nice fantasy, the truth is that if we value our
marriage relationships, we must take the time to keep them alive and
[Cindy and I (Steve) have found this to be important in our marriage. And
it doesn't take a lot of money to make it work. With careful planning and
a little creativity you can do just about anything that interests the both
of you to accomplish the RE-creation of energy in your marriage.]
2. Presumption. While attending a Marriage Encounter Weekend back in the
1970′s, I learned that most relationships go through 3 stages. The
first is ROMANCE, that time we’re so enamored with our newly discovered
love that talking for hours is done genuinely and joyfully. I sometimes
jokingly share that romance is the anesthetic that enables two normally
very cautious people to cast fate to the wind and commit marriage.
The second relational stage is DISILLUSIONMENT. This is the time when we
discover the packages we thought we got when we married our sweethearts
aren’t exactly what we had expected. It is when we become inescapably
aware of the painful truth that in order for there to be disillusionment,
there must have been an illusion.
That girl who was so witty and funny and always had the right thing to say
turns out not to have an “off button” on her vocal chords! And that guy
who didn’t always have a lot to say, but what he did say was “deep,” turns
out to be the strong, silent type who doesn’t know how to communicate at
all in matters of the heart.
The third stage presents a fork in the road with one direction marked
ACCEPTANCE and the other REJECTION. It’s during this stage that the
“rubber meets the road,” so to speak, and the real work of keeping a
marriage healthy and growing is done or evaded. This is where presumption
does its deadly deed by presuming that “it will all work out somehow.”
You see, “it”, or the marriage, doesn’t do the work of communicating when
you’re weary of forgiving each other. It’s YOU, the partners in marriage,
who do that work. It’s you whom makes the value judgment that the
imperfect person you married is indeed the most valuable treasure in your
life, in spite of those imperfections.
3. Heart Problems. While there are many variations of this condition,
probably none are as threatening as unforgiveness and bitterness. If
allowed to remain in marriage, they can clog marital arteries quicker
than cheeseburgers and French fries can clog your natural ones. They
will cut off the life-giving love and communication that are necessary
for the health and growth of the relationship.
May I suggest a simple procedure that can fix this problem? Try reaching
over to your loved one and taking his or her hand in yours. Then, simply
pray for one another, asking God to help each of you to forgive the other
for the hurts that have occurred in your relationship.
You see, I believe that if God asks us to do something, He is faithful to
provide the ability to do so. In Ephesians 4:32 we are told to be “kind to
one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for Christ’s
sake hath forgiven you.” (KJV) If it feels like the walls of bitterness
are too high and trust too shattered to glue back together, believe me --
no, believe God —forgiveness is the miracle cure that can make healing
4. Secret-Life Syndrome. This occurs when a secret part of our lives is
allowed to grow until it suddenly springs into view. While this malady
has been around since Adam and Eve tried to hide their secret life and
sin from God, in recent years a strain has been at work through the
unlikely agent of the computer.
The addictive nature of Internet pornography and on-line chat rooms is
taking a huge toll on marriages. It is such a shame-saturated problem in
people’s lives that it often grows hidden and undetected until it has done
severe damage to a marriage.
The real heart-cry that I hear from couples is for true intimacy and that
wonderful feeling of connectedness that a healthy marriage can bring. That
which can be found in chat-room affairs or cyber fantasies is NOT the real
deal. Real love can’t be found in one-night stands or a secret life apart
from your spouse.
[Cindy and I have personally seen the destruction this can cause in
marriages. If you'd like to find some resources and help in this area go
to our web site and see what we make available on this subject.]
If you feel there are one or more “illnesses” in your marriage that need
healing or maybe even that your marriage is close to “death”, Pastor
Coggins has this encouragement:
“The Lord, who is the Great Physician, can and does heal and restore
marriages in need of a miracle moment of healing. He is also more than
willing to share His rich wisdom with us on this subject so that we can
build healthy marriages right out of the chute. The fact is that He wrote
the Book on it, and His office is never closed.”
We pray this has been helpful. It’s a great reminder to all of us—because
we all experience those types of “illnesses” in our marriages and need a
touch from the Great Physician to bring healing.
Our prayers are with you. God Bless! - Steve and Cindy Wright
“I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and
see something totally different.” We don’t know who wrote that
statement but it sure is true—especially when it comes to the
different ways that men and women perceive so many things!
Ladies, I (Cindy) came across an article I think all of us as wives
could really benefit from reading and applying. It was written by a
man, Dr Val Farmer, who gave several points of advice that “men
frequently mention when it comes to describing what they would like
in a marriage.” It was published in The Pilot— Independent and is
titled, “What Do Men Really Want in Marriage.”
It’s my prayer that you’ll read it with an open heart and mind to
see what you could learn from it concerning your husband. It could
be invaluable to every one of us as wives if we’ll take it to heart.
When I showed it to Steve and asked what he thought, he said he
wished all wives could read it because it could transform countless
marriages if wives would apply its principles.
Ladies, I urge you to read what Dr. Farmer has to say and pray
about it. Ask God to reveal to you anything that you could learn
that could help you. Even though it wasn’t written from a Christian
perspective, I saw so many Biblical applications. See if you agree.
Dr. Farmer wrote:
• Be less critical. Men feel they’re often on the defensive and
“wrong” just for voicing an opinion that doesn’t match their
wives’ expectations and standards. They want a feeling of
teamwork, cooperation, and a more legitimate discussion of
issues in their marriage.
• Accept him for what he is — imperfect. He needs to be accepted
as he is with his own legitimate interests and hobbies. Take
advantage of his strengths and good points. Men want appreciation,
probably for the things they are doing for the family. Reinforce
and reward the things you appreciate him doing.
• Don’t make every issue between you a fight to the death. Some
quirks and differences you can live with. Trying to change him
adds to his and your frustration and resentment.
• The home should be a refuge, not a place where he faces a barrage
of criticism and conflict. How strongly and frequently you are
judgmental of him may shut him down or trigger an emotional
response that exacerbates the problem.
• Forget the past. Husbands feel that some past hurts and blunders
in the marriage aren’t left alone. They feel matters they think
are resolved are brought up unfairly in fights. “Let the dead
stay buried.” Forgive mistakes. Don’t bear grudges. Don’t bring
up the past unless it pertains to a current problem.
• Be supportive of work and leisure activities. Men want their
wives to understand that work obligations occasionally take
precedence over family needs. Some of their priorities are out
of their control. “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
Men would like understanding and appreciation for the work
pressures and responsibilities they face. A man’s work
accomplishments and struggles need to be recognized and supported.
• They also want acceptance for their occasional need to be alone
or to pursue their personal interests.
• Be nurturing. Giving emotional support, respect, attention,
soothing and meeting his needs makes coming home special. Family
meals together give more than bodily nourishment.
In homes where there is confusion, disorganization, anger or
emotional distance, men don’t do well. The family doesn’t do well.
When women reject or struggle with the homemaking role, there may
be a basic discontent that eats away at the marital relationship.
These traditionally female responsibilities are important despite
everything else that is going on in life.
This isn’t a rehashing of stone-age advice on how to please a
husband —”shut up and wait on them.” Mutual roles need to be
clarified, understood and negotiated. If you are working outside of
the home, this is a two-way street. He has a supportive role to
But the nurturing and caring still needs to take place. What we
are talking about is caring, not care-taking. In the era of
women’s greater involvement outside of the home, the baby shouldn’t
be thrown out with the bath water.
• Verbalize needs. Men don’t like being judged or criticized for
not doing something they “should have known.” There are times
when they just “don’t get it.” They want their wives’
expectations spelled out — the more detail, the better. Don’t
expect him to read your mind. Be clear and spell out exactly
what you want and expect from him.
• Be a friend. Men want a safe haven, a best friend where they
can unburden themselves and be accepted for who they are. They
want to be able to share emotions and know their thoughts and
feelings will be kept confidential. Companionship, affection
and romance are important. They want a friend who can take
their side and is supportive of their struggles.
• Take responsibility for your own happiness. Don’t expect your
husband to solve all your problems. If you depend on him to
make you happy and always do the thoughtful, loving or right
thing, you will be disappointed.
If you are insecure or unhappy with yourself, you’ll have a
tendency to put strong and unrealistic demands on the marriage.
Over time, unhealthy dependency breeds hostility and resentment.
Ladies, I realize that so many of these points are ones that we
want from our husbands also. And they may or may not meet these
needs—even though they should. But the purpose for us to share
this with you isn’t to point fingers and say, “Me too! I want
these things too, so I’ll do my part if my husband will also.”
That’s not Biblical (no matter how much we want it to be). It’s
to gain a better understanding of our husbands as God would have
us. Below are a few Bible proverbs that talks about the
importance of gaining understanding:
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing
his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2).
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding
rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16).
“Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of
Understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6).
“Do not say, "I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that
man back for what he did.” (Proverbs 24:29).
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like
him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4).
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is
established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare
and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4).
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the
foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1).
We pray this has been helpful! God Bless you!
"It didn't take long before we realized we had to reinvent our marriage.
We had to learn to relate in radically different ways instead of
destroying our marriage with angry insults, self-righteousness, and self-
centered attitudes." -Kim
Sometimes we need to reinvent our marriage, and sometimes we need tips to
apply to make our marriages good ones. To help in either mission, below
are useful relationship pointers based on long-term studies from the
Gottman Relationship Institute, on what makes marriage fail or succeed.
We've added scriptures [and additional thoughts in brackets] to support
- "HAVE HIGH STANDARDS: The most successful couples are those who, even as
newlyweds, refuse to accept hurtful behavior from one another. The lower
the level of tolerance for bad behavior at the start of a relationship,
the happier the couple is down the road."
- "EDIT YOURSELF: Couples who avoid saying every angry thought when
discussing touchy topics are consistently the happiest."
[It's too bad we don't have workable buttons installed so when we say the
wrong thing we can rewind and erase it. But since we don't have that
luxury it's important to be careful of what we say in the first place. As
it says in the Bible, "The tongue has the power of life and death."
Careless words, when spoken, can deeply crush our spouse's spirit. Just
because a thought comes into our mind it doesn't mean we have to let it
pass through our lips. Garbage should be thrown out --not delivered to the
one we vow that we will honor for the rest of our lives.]
- "Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking" (1 Corinthians 13:5). "A wise
man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction" (Prov.
16:23). "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of
understanding is even tempered" (Prov. 17:27). "He who guards his lips
guards his life; but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin" (Prov.
13:3) "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself
under control" (Prov. 29:11).
["What men fear most is criticism and rejection. That doesn't mean that
you can't be honest and truthful just because they've got fragile egos.
You can. But you have to look at the consequences and see if what you're
doing is working or not" -Dr. Phil McGraw. Ask yourself if what you're
doing and saying is respectful. We are responsible for our own words and
our own actions and God's Word tells us to be respectful in all we say and
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is
helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may
benefit those who listen" (Ephesians 4:29).
- "SOFTEN YOUR 'START UP: Arguments flare because a spouse escalates the
conflict from the get-go by making a critical remark in a
confrontational tone."Words from a wise man's mouth are gracious, but a fool
is consumed by his own lips" (Ecclesiastes 10:12).
["Do you treat your spouse as the most special person in the world or are
you more polite to the neighbors? We teach our children to be polite, yet
how polite are we to their fathers?" (Linda Dillow) And husbands: how
polite are you to their mothers? Are you living out what the Bible
commands of you?]
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up
for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through
the Word, to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or
wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy & blameless" (Eph 5:25-27).
- "LEARN TO EXIT OR REPAIR AN ARGUMENT BEFORE IT GETS COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTROL: Change the topic to something completely unrelated; use humor;
make it clear you're on common ground ("this is OUR problem"); back
"Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your
servant cursing you --for you know in your heart that many times you
yourself have cursed others" (Ecclesiastes 7:21-22).
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control" (Gal. 5:23). "Live in
harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be
compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult, but with
blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a
blessing" (1 Peter 3:8-9).
- "TAKE A BREAK: If an argument gets too heated, take a 20 minute break
and agree to approach the topic again when you are both calm."
[Don't allow the problem to come between you so you forget that the object
of marriage ts to be in partnership with each other. Don't let it divide
you to the point that it permanently chips away at the commitment you have
to "love, honor, and cherish" one another for the rest of your lives. When
an argument starts to get out of control look for ways to defuse the
situation until you can can come back and work on the problem again in a
more sensible and honoring way. Even if you have to revisit the same
problem a dozen or more times, commit to working on it --until you can
control it together --rather than having it control you and allow it to
- "FOCUS ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: In a happy marriage, couples need to make at
least 5 times as many positive statements to and about each other, as
opposed to negative statements."
[Find ways to encourage your spouse in positive ways like you did before
marriage. Ask God to help you apply Philippians 4:8 in how you view and
interact with your spouse. "Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- think about such
things" (Phil. 4:8).]
- "SEEK HELP EARLY: The average couple waits six years before seeking help
for marital problems, which means that many couples live with
unhappiness for far too long."
"Be very careful how you live --not as unwise but as wise, making the most
of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be
foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. Do not get drunk on wine,
which leads to debauchery. Instead be filled with the Spirit. Submit to
one another out of reverence for Christ." (Eph. 5:15-21)
We hope you will, and together, it is our hope we will apply the above
tips as needed,
When we marry most of us don’t often think about changing our behavior so
we “become one” as the scriptures tell us to do. So many marriage
ceremonies even include lighting a Unity Candle which is to symbolize two
individual lives then becoming one But do we? Do we, from that day
forward, start behaving as if we’re united as a marital team just because
we pledge that we will?
Steve and I (Cindy) have to confess that we didn’t. For some unexplainable
reason it never even occurred to us that we’d need to be intentional in
becoming a “we” instead of an alone “him” and “her” after we’re married. I
guess we just assumed we would act differently. But in all honesty we
It’s not that any of us stopped being a “him” and a “her” on our wedding
day, but after marriage if our individual behavior causes problems within
our married lives we need to talk about it and come to some kind of a
compromise so our marriage isn’t hurt by it and the “WE” breaks apart.
Otherwise, what was the purpose of marrying in the first place?
Read a section of what Dr David Ludwig says on the subject on, “Think We,
Not Me” from the book, Lovers for Life, published by Christian
Publications. (This book has many contributing authors, which David Ludwig
is one of them.) He writes:
Think of the last time the mood shifted between the two of you. Perhaps it
was last night when Mother called, or when you talked about money. Let me
guess who you blamed for your frustration and internal upset. It wasn’t
yourself, so you blamed the only other person you could see, right?
Well, you made a critical error! Neither of you controls the mood of your
relationship. The “we” controls the atmosphere! When the two of you are
allies and your spirits are united, the mood is uplifting and friendly.
But when the “we” breaks down and you are at odds with each other, the
mood shifts to turbulent and upsetting. When you harbor resentment toward
each other, a bad mood settles into the relationship.
No wonder Paul advises, “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace”(Ephesians 4:3). He uses even stronger language
in Philippians 2:1-2:
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any
comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any
tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.
When you are “one in spirit,” you have a safe place with each other. The
mood is friendly, and you are allies. You are a “we” and are working
together. It is safe to share your thoughts and feelings with each other.
You can be “soul mates.”
But when the “we” breaks down, it’s no longer safe! You’re defensive and
guarded. The relationship splits into “you” and “me.” There is no one in
charge, and the atmosphere becomes uncertain and confusing. Both of you
get your feelings hurt and end up upset and angry with each other.
Since you cannot see the “we,” you blame each other for the hurt and
frustration. You think, If only he/she would not react that way. Then you
spend your energy trying to change the other person.
But the other person is not to blame! You cannot see the “we,” but it does
control the spirit (mood) of the relationship. When this “one another”
breaks down, the mood shifts. No wonder the apostle Paul uses the words
one another so often: “Submit to one another out of reverence for
Christ” (Ephesians 5:21). The “one another” is the “we.”
The deep spiritual meaning of this passage is to make the “we” more
important than the “me.” When your feelings are hurt and you’re upset,
it’s natural to nurse hurt feelings and seek to get even. Both of these
actions put the “me” as more important than the “we.”
So how do you do the “unnatural” and put the “we above your own hurt and
upset? The answer is in the aforementioned verse: out of reverence for
Christ.” The Holy Spirit can change your attitude at this critical moment.
Christ’s presence has the power to change your heart and mind to make this
shift from “me” to “we.”
As you pray, ”Lord, help my spirit; help change my attitude, ”His Spirit
will be at work in your heart to change reality. Call this a “reality
check.” Right in the midst of your desire to nurse your hurt feelings,
Christ will remind you of His love and of your love for one another. This
will help to put the relationship in its proper place—the “we” will become
more important than the “me.”
The next time the mood shifts and you are left confused, hurt and upset,
try the following steps:
1. Become aware that the “we” just broke down.
2. Stop blaming the other person.
3. Assume that there has been a misunderstanding.
4. Offer a prayer to get your attitude right.
5. Approach the other person in the right spirit.
6. Begin by saying, ” WE have a problem. Let’s talk.”
Don’t think this is easy! It is highly unnatural. It is more natural to \
assume that the other person is to blame. This is what puts the “me” above
the “we.” So don’t overlook the importance of bringing Christ into the
equation. His love changes reality. His presence can make the “we” more
important than the “me.”
Put the following on your refrigerator door or bathroom mirror:
SUBMIT TO ONE ANOTHER OUT OF REVERENCE TO CHRIST.
We pray this has been helpful. It’s a great reminder to all of us—Steve
and I included, because we can all get self-centered in our behavior
sometimes—even though we should know better! It’s our prayer that we will
all do better on this in the present and in the future.
Steve and Cindy Wright
"Marriage was designed by God to honor Him. Our union and our loving one
another, is a statement to the next generation of what love looks like and
what two people who keep their promise to one another looks like. We have
a generation of young people today who desperately need to look into the
eyes of their mom and dad and see them loving one another, committed to
one another, and honoring God in their relationship. And you do that one
step at a time, one day at a time over a lifetime. That's what covenant-
keeping love looks like in a marriage relationship." - Dennis Rainey
This is the picture God wants every Christian couple to model for their
children. And, while we all start out with the "best of intentions" to
have our marriages reflect that picture of a God-centered relationship to
our children, things can and will "happen" that can distort or ruin that picture.
This week we're going to share some comments from author and marriage
counselor, Dr. Gary Chapman, as he talks about a common problem in
marriage that all of us who are parents (especially of very young
children) need to be aware of because if you follow his advice and counsel
it could save your marriage. (While we don't know the origination of the
source, we do know it comes from Dr. Chapman.) He writes:
"For over 30 years, I have been sitting in the counseling office listening
to couples pour out their pain. For me, nothing has been sadder than those
couples that haven't focused on parenting their children while neglecting
their marriages. They were deluded into thinking that the best thing they
could do was to seek to meet the children's needs. Yet, they failed to
recognize that when they didn't meet each other's needs, they were setting
the worst examples for their children.
"My wife and I learned early on that we had to focus on each other if we
were to become good parents. We had serious struggles in the early years
of our marriage, before the children came. When they arrived, we knew that
we couldn't let them come between us. We love our children devotedly, but
more than anything, we wanted to have the kind of marriage that would
serve as an example for them. I remember how hard we worked to get the
children to bed early so we could have time together.
"Karolyn chose to be a 'stay-at-home-mom,' and we agreed to live on less
so we could have time for marriage and parenting. I'm not suggesting it
was easy. I am saying that we have no regrets. The children are now gone,
and we are still together - loving, learning, and growing.
"I'm convinced that one of the best things any of us can do for our
children is to provide them a strong marital model. Children need to know
that their parents love not only them, but also each other. The child's
sense of security grows as he/she sees parents loving each other. To put
your marriage on hold for 18 or more years while you raise the children is
not only detrimental to the marriage, it is devastating to the children.
"We must learn to 'childproof' our marriages during those parenting years,
or we will soon learn that the marriage withers and dies. When the
parental team breaks down and begins to disintegrate, the children become
the biggest losers. They lose their family unit, which is where they build
their sense of security. When children don't feel secure, their whole
world seems to unravel. No amount of baseball, piano lessons, or toys can
make up for that kind of loss.
"As a matter of fact, recent research has shown that when the family unit
falls apart, so do the children. Children from broken homes show a higher
-- Academic problems
-- Dropping out of school
-- Teen pregnancy
-- Alcohol and drug use/abuse
-- Running away
-- Emotional and behavioral problems
-- Poverty as an adult
"And that's just to name a few. So, if you're thinking that you're doing
the best for your child when you put your spouse behind them in priority
and your children as number one, you're sorely mistaken. Although children
obviously require our time and attention (and money, too), they do not
require ALL our time or attention (or money).
"If we hope to influence the next generation, we must experience a change
of focus. Of course we're interested in protecting our children from all
those things I just listed, and the best way to do that is to help
marriages stay together."
Are you modeling a good marriage for your children to observe and emulate?
While you can't control your spouse's actions, you do control yours. Is
the way in which you are relating to your spouse distracting your children
and others from seeing Christ? Are you revealing and reflecting the love
of Christ in the way you talk and through your actions?
Please know that, "the marriage relationship is one man and one woman in a
unique lifetime covenant commitment where they glorify God, enjoy the
companionship that is provided by marriage, and raise godly offspring -
that's God's intent and purpose for marriage. I want to emphasize that
your children first see how to love by watching you and your spouse relate
to one another - that's part of your legacy." (Dennis Rainey)
That's something to think and pray about this week. Are you modeling a
good marriage for your children to observe and emulate?
God Bless! Cindy and Steve Wright
"You're not responsible for what happened to you in the past, but you
ARE responsible for what you do with your life now. Do you have the
courage to be who you were meant to be?" -Cathryn L Taylor
When we marry we bring all of the experiences of our past with us --
both positive and negative. These experiences have shaped so much how
we view things and how we conduct ourselves in situations. While we
can't change the past, we do have the power to change the present and
future. That's what we learn from Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg's book,
"Healing the Hurt in Your Marriage" (Tyndale House Publishers). On
this particular issue they wrote:
"For years now Barb and I (Gary) have heard a litany of complaints
from husbands and wives who came into their marriages negatively
influenced by our culture and their families of origin.
"Speaking of their marriages and hurts, they say things like: 'I just
don't know how to do this right'; 'I grew up in a dysfunctional home,
so I don't know what normal is'; 'No one ever taught me how to deal
with conflicts'; My parents' example is so ingrained in me, I'll never
be able to change.'
"You may feel the same hopelessness, the same inability to change.
You may feel destined to live out the same ineffective patterns in
your own marriage. But that's like giving up on a garden because the
soil is too hard or too rocky or infested with weeds. Have you ever
heard of a pick, shovel, hoe, soil amendments, and a little hard work?
"In the same way you can change the condition of soil you can unlearn
bad patterns of dealing with conflict and learn new ones. It's never
too late to learn and implement the biblical principles for forgiving
"It is our God-given responsibility to cultivate good soil in our
marriage relationships so that our children and grandchildren will
have a biblical pattern to follow in their marriages.
"The psalmist wrote: "For [God] issued his decree to Jacob; He gave
his law to Israel. He commanded our ancestors to teach them to their
children, so the next generation might know them--even the children
not yet born --that in turn might teach their children. So each
generation can set its hope anew on God, remembering his glorious
miracles and obeying his commands." (Psalm 78:5-7)
"As you divorce-proof your marriage through forgiving love, you will
help your children to divorce-proof their marriages.
"So what are you doing to alter patterns you learned? How are you
making your marriage different from that of your parents? How can
you bequeath to your children a family legacy that is more biblical
and positive than that of your family of origin?
"You can look at this responsibility two ways. You can think of it
as a tremendous burden and a lot of hard work. Or you can welcome
it as an opportunity to pass on to your children something that was
not passed on to you. Even if you didn't grow up in a healthy home,
you can commit yourself to developing healthy patterns for resolving
"The family you came from is important, but it's not as important
as the family you'll leave behind. Identify from your family of
origin the barriers to communication and healthy conflict resolution.
Gain the insights you can from the past, deal with the emotional
pain of it, and then move on to developing new patterns that include
confession and forgiveness of offenses and healing of hurts.
"As you leave behind the past to create a more positive present,
you'll bless the next generation. One way or another, you will leave
your handprints all over the personalities and hearts of your
children. Will you leave behind a generation that will reach the
world for Christ, or will you give up at the daunting task and let
them go their own way?
"What are you doing to give your children the spiritual training
and skills they will need for their lives and marriages? What kind
of godly heritage are you leaving them? The key is found in
establishing a home that honors God, a home where each individual
is encouraged to develop a relationship with Jesus, a home where
people make mistakes and fail each other but recognize they have
the power, through God, to be transformed.
"Conflict in marriage is inevitable, but you don't have to remain
trapped in the dysfunctional patterns of resolving conflict you
learned from your parents or the world around you."
Cindy and I believe that each of us, as couples, have the respon-
sibility to break free from whatever negative patterns we brought
into our marriage. Even if we've been married 39+ years it's not
too late to change. After all isn't that what Jesus specializes
in --making us into new creations?
Yes, but we must cooperate with the process because He won't force
it on us --we're given a free will. If we pro-actively seek and
participate, the positive changes are nothing less than amazing!
If your marriage is going in an unhealthy direction right now,
that's what we encourage you to do --work with God in doing
whatever you can to re-direct it in a good direction. Your
children deserve to have a healthy, God-honoring marriage modeled
for them. Please don't buy into the lie that you'll "never be
able to change" or that once things are bad, they can't get better.
That's just not true.
Even if you never had a good marriage modeled for you, that doesn't
mean that you can't do what it takes, in working with God, to
eventually live within and model a good marriage for your children
and those God brings your way.
Go with God, knowing that He is "...able to do immeasurably more
than we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work
within us." (Ephesians 3:20)
“When you yell at someone there’s a part of the brain that shuts down —it’s the part of the brain that houses how we reason through a situation.”
Did you read that right? Yes! It’s been proven scientifically that when yelling starts there is a part of the brain that goes offline —much like a computer goes offline when its circuits become overloaded.
That proves all the more how true it is when the Bible says, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control” (Proverbs 29:11). In other words, a fool yells (shutting off all reason) but a wise person stops, listens, and is then able to better reason.
Dr. Dan Siegel, who is an associate professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, and author of the book, The Mindful Brain, talked about this on a Dr Phil television program. He told Dr Phil McGraw that there is a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex that “allows us to think and pause before we act. …It’s what makes us human. It lets us think, and plan and actually look at other people and think about what’s going on inside of them.” It houses our reasoning centers.
Dr Siegel then points to a diagram of the brain and says: “This is where the more animalistic brain is centered. In general, our higher human brain controls that, but if we get really upset, if these emotional centers are getting active, it will literally shut that off, and this won’t be functioning. What do you think life would be like if we try to talk to each other, just from an animal brain?”
Dr Phil added: “When you start yelling, these other centers become pervasive. They grow and take control, and so all reasoning stops. Now, it’s animalistic: attack, fight, flight, survive, and that’s not a problem-solving mode.”
Dr Phil then addresses Dr Siegel: “You talk in your book about the fact that if you’re going to live consistent with the principles of The Mindful Brain, you’ve got to stop reacting and start reflecting and looking for something called attunement.”
Dr Siegel explains that when a person stops before he or she acts or speaks, it gives them the opportunity to reflect and then better tune into what the other person is trying to communicate. In essence, what this means is that when you’re being yelled at, the reasoning stops and the more animalistic part of the brain takes over, along with fear and frustration, and you react rather than think things through in a rational way.
I’m reminded of a proverb that speaks of this concept, which says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Proverbs 14:12). We may think that when we yell, we’re getting our point across in a stronger way. Yelling may make sense to us and may seem to be the only way that we’ll get our spouse to grab onto the gravity of what we’re saying. “But in the end,” it really leads to the death of the conversation going in as productive a direction (and can eventually lead to the death of the relationship if contempt enters in).
It shuts down reason and ushers in chaos and frustration in the other spouse to try to defend rather than listen. It proves all the more that, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin” (Proverbs 13:3).
We may rationalize that “this is the only way I can get them to listen to me —when I yell!” And it may seem to be effective (although I wonder if we reduce ourselves to a lower level when we do this and if the other person really listened, or if instead they stopped talking because of your reaction). But for most of us, I believe, that the Lord would rather have us find ways to act wisely and use all the parts of our brains and allow others to do the same, to come to a more peaceable solution.
God tells us: “A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless. A quick-tempered man does foolish thing…” (Proverbs 14:16-17). “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may BENEFIT those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:29-31).
As you read all of this, please consider what you’re doing when you yell at your spouse. I know it’s tempting to yell when you’re frustrated, angry, hurt, confused, and don’t know what else to do. I’ve been there —both Steve and I have done that, much to our shame.
But when I’ve found myself getting heated beyond reason when Steve confronts me with something I don’t like or want to accept, and when I’ve told him that we need to take a break for a time so I can compose my thoughts because our “discussion” is going in an unhealthy direction, I’ve never been sorry. Eventually we come back together in a more reasonable way and work out a solution that is satisfying for both of us.
I realize that not all of you have a spouse who will allow this type of “break” to occur. And for that I’m so sorry. I encourage you to ask God (as persistently as you have to) to give you guidance as to how to get through this situation in the most peaceable way that is possible. We’re told in God’s word, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:17-18).
That doesn’t mean that you just let them run over you with their words, but that you look for healthier ways to resolve things, to the best of your ability.
I also realize that some of you have allowed yourself to give into the habit of lowering your impulse control and have yelled when you knew you shouldn’t. Again, my heart goes out to you. I’ve done the same and deeply regret it. But I also know that God will show us a “way of escape” from even our own impulses when we sincerely pursue His help. “Because He himself suffered when He was tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).
“And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
We pray this gives you “food for thought.” Please work to find ways not to yell at each other, shutting down the parts of the brain that helps reason to come through. We have many articles on our web site that can help you with this and many resources that are recommended that will continue to help you on this mission. We’ve found it to be freeing and helpful to our marriage to work through this issue in our lives. We hope you will also.
Cindy and Steve Wright
"Few people attain great lives, in large part because it's just too easy to settle for a good life" -Jim Collins
I (Steve) read the best selling book, "Good to Great" that has motivated and changed a lot of business leaders over the past few years. It didn't take long to see that the same principles the author, Jim Collins, was revealing to move companies (and their leadership) from good to great are the same principles that can move marriages from good to great.
Let me rephrase what Collins said above, applying it to our marriages: "Few couples attain great marriages, in large part because it's just too easy to settle for a good marriage." I sincerely believe this because that's exactly where I was in the past. I was content to say that my marriage was "good." This was partly because I didn't have clue at the time as to what a "great" marriage looked like and partly because it was just easier to settle for good.
I want to be careful here because you may define a "good" marriage differently from how I (and probably many others) define it. A definition of what I used to think made a marriage "good" comes from Scott Engleman's
study called, "The Genesis of Marriage." Many say, "it is two people seeking a peaceful co-existence together with the hope of obtaining a measure of personal happiness." On the surface there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with that, right? Certainly it's better than being in a marriage where there is constant conflict. What Cindy and I have come to realize is that God never intended for any of us to just "settle" for anything less than His best. If you're satisfied with a marriage because it is "absent of conflict," you're settling for less. If you have obtained a "measure of personal happiness" in your marriage and you think that's good enough, you're settling for something FAR LESS than what God wants for our marriages. As Collins said in his book, "Good is the enemy of that which is great."
Now, you may need to stop and think about this for a few minutes like I did to let the truth of that statement sink in. After you've thought about it we'd like to give you a few ways you can move your marriage from "Good to Great."
1. Great marriages are built on the solid foundation of God's Word. We all know couples with very good marriage
that don't claim to know Christ or have a belief in God. Cindy and I believe, that while it's possible for a couple,
that doesn't build their marriage on God's Word, to have a good marriage, they still miss God's design for a
GREAT marriage if it is truly lived out as God intends.
It begins when both the husband and wife have prayed and asked Jesus Christ to be their personal Savior and
Lord. (If you have Internet access and you have questions about what this means, go to the following link:
Then it's important to understand what God intends for the ultimate purpose of what marriage is to be: "It is a man
and a woman on a life-long journey together towards God" (Scott Engleman). It has little to do with obtaining a
measure of comfort and happiness. "Marriage is about change -- it's about changing YOU." (Engleman) What
does that change look like? Well, the Apostle Paul gave us a good snapshot of what a marriage moving towards
God should embody: "Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not
rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but
rejoices with the truth." (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)
2. Great marriages are ones that have a shared and clear mission/vision. It's important that every married couple
have a shared vision (written down for easy reference) for their marriage. Without one, it's easy to
falter in your commitments to each other and drift from the things that are most important for your growth
through God's plan for you as a couple. Vision Statements can change over the years as you pass through the
various stages of marriage and life together. If you're newlyweds, your Vision Statement may have something to
do with how you are both going to be committed to God and each other, to learn and grow in your understanding
of each other. When you begin having a family your Vision Statement should reflect how you as a couple or
going to work together to instill godly values in your children. It should also containa commitment to working on
your own relationship so you won't neglect meeting each other's needs. After your children are grown and out of
the house you would probably want to restate and revise the vision you have for your marriage together again as
just a couple and what you want to accomplish in the years you have left on earth.
We are told in Proverbs 29:18, "Where there is no revelation (alsotranslated as 'vision') the people cast off
restraint." When you have a hared vision, no matter what conflicts or problems that come your way
(and they definitely will), God can remind you that you are a couple who has a shared vision and you WILL work
together to resolve any problem. Why should you do this? Jeremiah 32:39 tells us why: "I will give
them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their
children after them."
3. Great marriages consist of a couple who is "in it" for the long haul -no matter what comes their way. As Jim
Collins says in his book (talking to business leaders) if they want to move their company from "good to great," it
will take an "unwavering resolve --to do what must be done." We admit this will at times be very difficult to fulfill.
It is one thing to have an "unwavering resolve" when you're arguing over whose turn it is to clean the bathroom.
It's a lot more difficult to "do what must be done" when one of you is diagnosed with a debilitating disease that is
going to change your marriage in every way possible. But God tells us in Romans 12:10, "Be devoted to one
another in ...Love. Honor one another above yourselves." And then in 1 Corinthians 4:2, we're told, "it is required
that this who have been given a trust must prove faithful." We realize we have barely begun to explore the depths
of this topic, but we hope you have been challenged to take a hard look at yourselves this week and ask
yourselves these questions: (1) Is our marriage built on God's Word? (2) Do we have a clear, shared vision for our
marriage? (3) Do we have that unwavering resolve to do what must be done? If you answer "no" to any of those
questions it's time to make the necessary changes so that in the years to come, when you look back on your
lives, you will be able to say, "We have had a GREAT marriage!"
God Bless! Steve and Cindy Wright
"Men, have you ever asked yourself, 'Have I been the kind of person my wife has been able to love?' If you have, you certainly are in the minority. And if you've asked your wife, 'Have I been the kind of person you love to love?' you are in an even greater minority. So many wives are desperately trying to understand their husbands. But many husbands don't know what it means to open his heart and let his wife in. When a wife sees that her husband has discovered her need to know what is in her
heart, and that he is genuinely concerned about becoming the kind of man that she can truly love, she will be ecstatic." (Ken Nair from "Discovering the Mind of a Woman").
After Cindy addressed "What Men Want in Marriage" last week I thought it was only fair that I (Steve) turned the tables and addressed the other side. At the outset I need to say that I don't consider myself an expert on what wives "need" in marriage, though I've read a lot in an effort to learn how to be the kind of husband that Cindy needs. I guess the most accurate description of who I am is a "willing learner" (continuously) of what Cindy needs, because even after 40 years of marriage I still learn
something new almost every week.
By no means is this going to be an exhaustive list. If anything this will only scratch the surface. But one thing I know about men is that most of us can become easily overwhelmed (flooded) by too much information and we'll withdraw from our wives if we start to feel that way. My goal is to give husbands a few key areas to work on so that our wives will sense we're willing to open our hearts to them and genuinely want to meet their needs. So, the following is a partial list (that I'll expand
on) derived what women wrote to Promise Keepers a number of years ago as compiled by Holly Phillips called, "What Does She want From Me Anyway?"
-- A WOMAN NEEDS a husband willing to assume spiritual leadership of the family. This doesn't mean a husband who quotes or twists scripture to get his wife to do what he wants."
Sadly, many men have abused the scriptures for centuries and as a result have left a wake of badly injured wives as a result. Spiritual leadership is not memorizing the Bible or preaching a sermon. It's understanding what the scriptures say and using them as a guide for loving (not manipulating)
your wife. "Put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12) If we spent the next year focusing just on developing those spiritual qualities it would make a radical change in how we love our wives.
Spiritual leadership also means being willing to pray with our wives not just FOR them. Cindy and I know how awkward it is to start this practice and how uncomfortable it can make you feel. But we also know that this is the one spiritual leadership practice that can have the most positive and
dramatic affect on your marriage.
Start simple. Maybe just by taking your wife's hands in yours before you leave the house in the morning and praying, "Lord, thank you for this precious gift you've given me in (insert your wife's name). Bless her richly today and protect her while we're away from each other; in Jesus
One woman said of her husbands prayers, "When Ron prays for me, I feel as if I'm covered by a velvety blanket of protection. Even though I still face problems and setbacks, his prayers shelter me from the sharpness of the pain." [Cindy says she feels the same way when I pray over her.] -- "A WOMAN NEEDS a husband who will listen to his wife." I admit this doesn't come naturally for me, or most men. But that doesn't mean we're to be given a "pass" on it. It means we have to be willing to learn how to listen. Webster's Dictionary says it is "to make a conscious effort to hear; attend closely." I've found that if I am to truly listen (make a conscious effort) to hear Cindy I'll have to put down what I'm reading, or turn the TV off, or close the lid to my laptop and look her in the eyes. Because if I don't make eye contact with her while she's speaking I will miss at least 50-75 per cent of what she is trying to get me to hear.
I like the way Ken Nair puts it: "Listening to her means to stop placing little or no value on her words. Concentrate on what she's saying. Learn to hear what her feelings are saying - not only what her mouth is saying." This is another skill that takes time to develop but the payoff is tremendous in building intimacy with our wives. After 40 years of marriage I've found that when I take the time to connect (REALLY connect) with Cindy at this level it's like I've just given her the most expensive
diamond in the world. That's how much she longs to be heard and understood.
-- A WOMAN NEEDS a husband who will protect his wife and make her feel secure. This means more than protecting her from physical harm. It also means protecting her from emotional harm."
I don't believe there's anything (short of adultery or physical or verbal abuse) that's more destructive in marriage than a husband who belittles his wife in public. What many men consider a "little joke" about their wife's cooking, her appearance, the way she keeps the house, etc. can in effect be tantamount to verbally raping her. That's how hurtful our words can be. Proverbs 12:18 sums it up. "Reckless words pierce like a sword." And the second part of the verse sums up how we can protect our wives: "but the tongue of the wise brings healing." [NOTE: This works both ways,
ladies --you need to watch what you say and how you say it to your husband's just as much.]
Protecting our wives also means we're to defend their honor and integrity to our family members. If we have parents or siblings who try to belittle (put down) our wives it is our God given responsibility to defend them and make it absolutely clear that we will not tolerate any slander or verbal abuse against our wife. As for security, that comes when our wives know there is no one thing that comes before her --not our jobs, our family needs, our hobbies, our sports - NOTHING!
We also build security in our wives when we as men take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, especially when it comes to sexual temptation. I'm not talking about just pornography; I also mean the way we look at other women or talk about how other women look. If you want to find out
how well you're doing in this arena, just ask your wife to read this part of the message and then ask her if she feels secure.
-- A WOMAN NEEDS a husband who is a full partner in the marriage." I like expressing this by using the term, "Oneness" in marriage. This means in areas like disciplining and caring for the children, making financial or other major decisions, sharing responsibilities, we are to be in "oneness" of partnership. The opposite of oneness is alienation and if we as the husband don't become full partners with our wives they will feel alienated from us, and that is not God's plan. I realize that there are dozens of other needs that our wives have, but I must stop here. Please know that in the "For Married Men" section of the Marriage Missions web site you will find many more articles and tips to
help you better know the other needs your wife has in marriage. But I've given you enough to begin to make a huge difference in your relationship if you will but ask God to help you to implement the areas where you have identified that you are weak. God promises us husbands in 2 Corinthians
12:9, "for my strength is made perfect in weakness." What this means to me is: I'm weak. I can't do this in my own strength. God is strong and He can work through me to do what is necessary to bless Cindy. As always, Cindy and I pray that we will make our marriages a priority and learn what each other needs so that God will get all the glory. We hope this has been helpful. God bless you!
Steve and Cindy Wright