So here you go. A selection of random bits and pieces gathered over time. And a prayer that maybe one or two of these nuggets will hit home for you ...
1. Our frustration at not being able to keep up with the bills and our fears for the future can cause us to lash out in anger, instead of calmly speaking the truth with love and respect.
2. The sooner you get to work, the better chance you give yourself that your marriage will grow and thrive. Trust me when I tell you that it's better to do the work now than wait til later.
3. What's it like being married to you?
4. In the end, it's not about the spouse's pronunciation, behavior, manners, posture, meal preparation, or driving patterns. It's about the control freak. And their attempts to manage their own emotional pain, unmet needs, and searing childhood memories.
5. What do wives really want? Is it the kitchen renovation, complete with the stainless steel appliances and granite counter tops? Or that roomy new van to tote the kids around in? Maybe that dream cruise? Or perhaps a bigger diamond? I don't think so.
6. He doesn't have a crystal ball. She doesn't have a crystal ball.
7. ... many of the deepest yearnings, whether they're single or married, can not and will never be met by another person. Those needs can only be met through an intimate relationship with the Lover of their souls. Jesus Christ.
8. The long established myth is that husbands want sex all the time and their wives are reluctant participants. If anyone has a headache when the lights go out, it's always the wife, right? Wrong.
9. Women can be incredibly disrespectful to their husbands. And men can be incredibly unloving to their wives. And thus begins the crazy cycle that defines so many marriages in crisis.
10. How 'bout we do more than barely look up from the stovetop or sink? Or give more than a distracted nod with one eye on the TV when the ones we're closest to arrive or depart? What if the words we offer are tokens of life-giving blessing instead of a tiresome litany of the day's woes or an endless harangue of all the things that need to be done?
11. Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? Some spouses are so busy fighting for their rights, fighting to be heard, fighting to win the next argument, or fighting to come out on top, that they don’t realize that all these futile debates do is produce a lose/lose outcome. No one emerges as a winner … and the children end up as the biggest losers of all.
12. Separation and divorce not only impact the immediate family but everyone else who loves and cares about each of them. The tragic tentacles reach into the lives of relatives, friends, and others in a church family and neighborhood.
13. The truth is that if we're yawning our way through this lifetime commitment, and if we're not continually 100% invested in making it the most exceptional relationship of our lives, we really are heading out the door in one way or another.
14. What am I going to do about it?
15. You're just not gonna find too many songs that encourage you in your marriage. Sappy country songs and insipid Top 40 music only leave you feeling just a wee bit more entitled to throw up your hands in hopeless defeat and move on to find your next true 'soulmate.'