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Archive for Marriage Articles

Mar
28

Why Your Marriage Matters

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerpam-why-mattersI’ve entitled my blog When Marriage Matters for a couple of reasons:

  1. It sounds good
  2. 5 people agreed with me that it sounds good
  3. It really does matter.
  4. It is succinct
  5. I forgot this reason already 🙁   (and five is a much better number than four!)

What I’d like to share is why it matters and what purpose marriage provides society. Don’t worry, I won’t share a million links on studies or that. I think this comes from the “Common Sense” vault that we all share. What any great society has shown is that the family is the bedrock of a great society. The bedrock of a great family is, of course, a great marriage.

Marriage affects everyone. It is the foundation for one’s views on marriage, how we treat our future spouses, and how we raise our children, to name a few. We learn about life, how to deal with stress, anger, joy, sadness, shame, all while living under our parents’ roof. Their marriage affects us greatly and in many ways we don’t or didn’t realize until we left and started our own marriage and family. In short, we learn how to treat one another via our parents’ direct and indirect behavior we saw demonstrated in their marriage. We see the good, bad, and the ugly. Hopefully, we also see some joy, happiness and peace that they model for us.

I believe that marriage matters greatly even though its’ been knocked down and dragged through the media mud in the last several decades. Unfortunately, those attempting to follow God’s ways on marriage have also been adversely affected. A lot of people believe the lie, “Well, God wants me to be happy, s/he’s not making me happy anymore, so divorce is okay with God.”  Another popular (but so untrue) lie  is “the kids will adjust; it really won’t negatively affect them/they’ll bounce back—look, I did!

Our American culture has consistently and persistently chipped away at the following:

  • The basis of marriage
  • The value of marriage
  • The definition of marriage

I think it’s been very hard for Christ-followers not to be affected by all the clamoring and noise about marriage, just like it’s hard to go into a bar and not smell like smoke when you come out

Or to go to a rock concert and not have your ears still ringing. Or like getting near a swimming pool without getting splashed. We’re surrounded by negative statements and doubts about marriage wherever we turn. The media is quick to jump on our mistakes etc and loudly proclaim, “See, you guys can’t even do it right!  And indeed we cannot get it right, not without Jesus.  I cannot respect or love my husband without Jesus giving me the strength to. Because I don’t always feel like loving him or respecting him. I am very selfish.  I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it! That attitude is very destructive in marriage if left unchecked. A quick look at 1 Corinthians 13 should help motivate me back to square one: Am I being patient with my spouse? Am I being kind? Am I not getting my own way? Am I being selfless? Pleasant and not irritable or resentful? Read More→

Nov
08

I love you and Thank you

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Alovet my mom’s house with my aunt, I asked for a little help as I struggled with writer’s block. Here’s the conversation:

   “Either of you have any ideas of what I should write about for my next stay-at-home-mom blog?”

   “You could write about how husbands don’t appreciate stay-at-home mom’s and don’t appreciate everything they do.” My mom offers.

   “No way, I can’t write that! It’s not true in my house. Dennis appreciates everything I do. Just the other day I was complaining that I have not contributed financially to the house and he said I definitely contribute to the house, just not with pay. He helps me around the house and with the kids. He always says thank you for everything even the little stuff. We both do.”

   “Well, there is your next blog Dri. Your uncle and I always appreciate each other and say thank you too.” My aunt added.

There you have it, that’s where I find my writing magic. I pick other people’s brains and manage to find something worthy of writing. Thankful is a fitting topic for November, the house of Thanksgiving. While I will always be grateful for my country, my husband is my rock and an amazing person. No, this blog is not going to be a brag book for my favorite man, but it could be. What I want to talk to you about today is why appreciating your spouse is so important. Here is our secret to a successful marriage.

  1. Always say thank you for everything. When Dennis makes me coffee, I always say thank you. When he fills my gas tank, sweeps the floor, remembers to check the kid’s homework when I forget, I thank him. He does the same. Something so simple has made a world of difference in our marriage. We both feel wanted and needed. This is not something you should ever stop, because if you do stop, you will always wonder if the appreciation is there. No appreciation equals bad feelings and animosity.
  2. Notice the little things. Another way to keep the appreciation alive inside of a union is to see the little things. My hubby never leaves the toilet seat up. Never. Because this is such a cliche action by so many men, I always notice. When he makes the bed in the morning, I acknowledge. When he lets me watch another re-run of Gilmore Girls instead of watching Top Gear, I notice. When you notice you appreciate, when you appreciate you are thankful.
  3. Have perspective. I always sort problems into man problems and Dennis problems. I expect him to have a similar list because some problems just can’t be combatted. Some problems just need to be accepted. So, when I get emotional for no reason at all, I expect Dennis to chalk this up to women problem. But when I leave my shoes all over the house, and he talks to me about it, that’s an Adrina problem not typical of all women. The same for him, when he waits until Christmas Eve to do his shopping for me, I don’t flip out, but if he folds his clothes before putting them in the basket and I can’t tell if they are clean or dirty, that I fight. Just toss them in, I do not need help being confused. Read More→
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May
23

What To Do When Your Marriage Is No Longer A Happy One

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When you first met your husband (or wife), you were most probably crazy about each other. You would spend all your time together, dream about the future, and talk about what you would do when you were old and gray. However, after being married for a few years, you may have noticed that your relationship has changed. Perhaps your once happy, fun marriage has all but disappeared, and in its place is a couple that seems to have very little to talk about.

Don’t worry; you’re not alone. A lot of couples find that after a few years, their marriage is not what it used to be. If your marriage is no longer a happy one, you may be thinking about divorce. However, that’s not the only option; you may be able to get your relationship back on track. It’ll take time, but it is doable.

Seek help

marriage1

Image credit

 

If you’re unhappy with your partner, the first step is to seek help. You can’t fix your problems all on your own; you may need a helping hand. Talking your problems through together will often lead to an argument, which is why marriage counseling can be a good idea. This allows you to chat about your problems in a calm, controlled environment. This will allow you to work things out by talking to one another, instead of arguing.

 

Keep talking to each other

In any long-term relationship, it’s crucial that you keep talking to each other. Instead of eating dinner in front of the television, sit at the table and talk about your day. Don’t spend your time in bed on your electronic devices, chat about anything and everything. Be intimate with one another, take the time to show affection. As you chat, you’ll find that you’ll start to grow closer again, and you’ll realize what it was that made you fall in love in the first place. Read More→

Categories : Marriage Articles
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Mar
25

It’s Good Friday, but Sunday’s a comin’

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high crossFor those who follow the church calendar Good Friday is a special day, one of the high religious days among many Christians. Personally, I think it is a good one to remember and celebrate.

Overall, apart from a few exceptions, I do not like special days. As far as I’m concerned, every day I get up and take nourishment is a special day for me.

Everybody seems to have their own special day and I find it rather difficult to keep up on all of these “special days.” If a person would honor and celebrate every “special day” posted on the calendar there would be no days to get any work done whatsoever. And, as luck would have it on my side, I would miss a very special “special day.”

I am in favor of setting aside one day a month as the official “special day” of the month in which everything that anybody wants to celebrate during that month could be included. That way we could get the celebrating of special days done and then we can get back to business as usual.

One of the most frightening phrases a husband can hear is, “Do you know what anniversary it is today?”

Every husband has been backed into a corner like this sometime during his marital career. I for one say it is not fair. Because everyone knows special is as special remembers, which puts husbands at a great disadvantage.

It is not that men cannot remember, a man’s memory is limited and so he must be very selective. And to be honest about this, anniversaries are simply not on any man’s radar.

I learned this very early in my relationship with the young woman who graciously accepted my invitation of matrimony.

We had been dating for around a month and one night when I picked her up to go out, she said something that confused me. “You know this is our first anniversary?”

My confusion lay in the fact that an anniversary had to do with something yearly. I had only known her for several months at the time. I know time gets away with a person, but this was rather ridiculous. In the short time we had known each other, it was impossible for us to have an anniversary of anything.

It was at this point I did something, although innocent enough at the time, that I have regretted the rest of my life. I looked at her and laughed. Read More→

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Mar
18

Excuse me, but I just gotta be me

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I refuse to answer for anybody else because it is a full-time job trying to answer for myself. I must confess, though, I sometimes cannot give a good answer for myself. I can give an answer, but not a good one, and when it comes to answers, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage demands good ones.

For one, I am not an actor. I want to make that very plain to all and sundry. With me, what you see is what you get. I suppose when you boil it all down, I am just not smart enough to be a good actor. I am not even smart enough to be a bad actor.

Putting all of this in context, I must confess that my wife believes I am a great actor. I have tried to dissuade her from this opinion, but up to this point, I have not been successful. When she thinks of me she always says, “And the Emmy goes to…”

Some examples need to be given here to show my point.

Just the other night we were at a restaurant with some friends, having a good time, or so I thought. I must say when I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll. But all during my “roll,” I kept feeling somebody under the table kicking me. I ignored it thinking perhaps our friends did not quite know what they were doing.

Finally, both of them excused themselves to take a break and when they were out of hearing distance, my wife said to me, “Will you stop acting so foolish?”

I looked at her, not quite knowing what she was referring to, and said quite innocently, “But, my Precious, [it’s a name I use when I’m in trouble but don’t know why] I’m not acting.”

She gave me one of “those looks” and said, “Stop acting foolish.”

Another example comes to mind.

I remember she was trying to explain something to me one time. I do not know what it was now. It was something to do with something in the garage, a place I have not been for years, and I was not connecting the dots, as they say. She was going into a long dissertation on what needed to be done and I was just standing there staring at her. I was trying to understand what she was saying, but nothing was clicking upstairs, if you know what I mean. Read More→

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Mar
04

For a Short Month, February is rather busy

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RosesUsually, I am not one to get all excited about holidays. At my age, I do not need the confusion and these holidays take more away than they actually give, if you want my honest opinion. Even my birthday is something I am not too excited about anymore.

I did not realize that February, which is the shortest month of the year, had more holidays than just about any other month. There is a holiday to celebrate every day of the month; from Groundhog Day to Valentine’s Day to President’s day. It is hard to keep them apart. Sad is the husband who confuses Valentine’s Day with Groundhog Day.

I could understand how someone might confuse President’s Day with Ground Hog Day. The confusion is obvious. What if after the next presidential election Punxsutawney Phil was elected president by mistake. Or, would it be a mistake? I have to think about that a little more. Instead of, “You’re fired!” we would hear, “Six more months of winter!” I am leaning towards the latter.

Did you know that there is a “Tooth Ache Day” in February? Seriously? What a toothache has to do with February is simply beyond me. Don’t ask me what it is or what they are celebrating. Maybe it has something to do with the Tooth Fairy. It makes my tooth ache just thinking about it.

All this confusion of holidays has had a negative effect upon me but the one holiday I cannot afford to overlook is Valentine’s Day. If I give attention to some of these other nonsensical holidays, it might compromise my ability to remember Valentine’s Day. You know what would happen if for some reason I forgot Valentine’s Day?

Or, if I got my February cards mixed up and gave her a Groundhog Day card on Valentine’s Day. At that point, I would have to say to Punxsutawney Phil, “Move over I’m coming in. And forget about six more weeks of winter.”

I have often wondered why we celebrate something as romantic as Valentine’s Day in the shortest month of the year. If it was up to me, and it certainly is not, I would make Valentine’s Day the only holiday to celebrate in February. After all, it’s enough to celebrate during the month.

Also, if it was up to me, and it isn’t, I would have only one holiday per month. Maybe every year rotate the monthly holiday but have only one holiday for that month. That, to me, would make more sense. Read More→

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Jan
14

Love Is Patient – Part 1

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You should really be careful for what you pray for.  God can and does answer!  I’ve been thinking a lot these days about the following:

  • Identity  (What is it? What is my identity truly?)

  • Patience (What is it really?  Why is it so hard? What does it look like in real life?)

  • Community (What is true community?)

  • Labels  (Is ‘christian’ really an accurate description or not? Is Christ’s Image bearer a better term?)

So, just a little light pondering for the past month.  Back to the title.  I have told others a lot, and also tried to practice just the first two lines of the famous and familiar “love” verses.

You know, “ Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Cor. 13:4-8).

I’ve been thinking of how patience actually acts or looks like, so I prayed, “God, please help me to really BE patient today.”  So, I go to bible study and then to the grocery store.  I have 15 items, so I go in the Express Lane.  The lady ahead of me thinks something should be less.  Of course, I think to myself, I prayed for this. No big deal.  A minute goes by. I didn’t time myself.  I wasn’t really in a rush, so I thought, I’ll just go to the other Express Lane and I start to move, but then 2 people beat me there. Ok, I’ll just stay here.  They’re calling for a manager. Now, this is where I start to be impatient. I start looking around at the other lanes hoping to change lanes.  The manager comes, and it’s taking him awhile. Another manager comes and  tells a nearby clerk to ring me up on another Express lane (there were 4 all together). She can’t; the previous clerk (now on break) had locked everyone out. The manager apologizes. I say “no problem” and tell him I prayed today for patience and now I get to practice.  But I think I am not that patient.  I feel my emotions more now; I’m getting annoyed, frustrated, etc.

But I don’t have anywhere but home to get to. No scheduled appointments, the weather is fine. No rush. No big deal, right? Then why am I NOT able to just chill out and wait patiently?

So, the clerk on break comes back and starts ringing me up. (The lady with the problem has just finished.) He spills my blueberries over his scanner and starts apologizing.  Then he starts re-ringing everything up. (Some computer glitch.)  Now, I’m pretty annoyed and now I just want to get out. “This is ridiculous! This is taking SO LONG!” is in my head, loud and clear.  The manager comes over again.  Outwardly, I think, I tried smiling, but inwardly, I’m going crazy.  Over what, really? I feel the tension inside. The manager apologizes and says, “Thank you for your patience, I gave you 5% off your bill for waiting so patiently.”

I am surprised; I don’t think I deserve it, though I thank him for it.  My clerk goes and gets me new blueberries.  That takes awhile.  I get to my car and think, ok, better next time. God has a sense of humor.  What could I have thought or felt? Cliche as it is, what would Jesus have done?

Now, you may be thinking my story is over. Nope.  As if to make a point, or to just drill it into my thick skull, getting out of the parking lot was awful! I do just sit and wait. And wait. And wait some more.  At this point I am tired and I realize I cannot change anything.  The cars are blocking me in.  I’m thinking “this is round #2”, and I’m feeling nothing really.

So, in Part 2 I’ll go over some more thoughts on what Jesus might have done in my place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pam Bass is a wife, mom, and licensed Christian counselor, who has helped hundreds of people over the last 23 years. She desires wives especially to be cognizant of the way the American culture can influence our stated Christian values. Through her blog, she hopes to encourage women (in particular) to be, know, and trust what God tells us in His word. Find out more atwww.pambass.com .

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Dec
16

Missing the Obvious

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Pam Bass, When Marriage Matters bloggerWhew! It has been one crazy busy year!  I can’t believe it’s December already! How about for you? It seems like only yesterday I was enjoying my son’s high school graduation party, and now, he’s been gone a whole semester! Where has the time gone?  I bet I’m not the only mom saying that.

Missing the Obviou by Pam BassSo, I don’t remember if I mentioned that when our first son left for college, here in town, that he forgot his pillow.  Here, all four of us had done the “let’s-check-every-room-to make-sure-you-have-everything” drill and somehow, we ALL missed that his pillow was still on his bed!  We had a good laugh last August.  Well, imagine my surprise, when son #2 almost did the same thing!  And he had given his older brother such a hard time for doing the same thing!

How could we miss such an obvious item?  It’s not like your pillow fits in your hand and is tiny.  It’s not like it was hiding behind his chair or in his closet.  It was in plain sight all the time.  It reminds me of a popular YouTube video a few years ago.  I forget what the researchers were testing, but the results were humorous to say the least.  They showed 20 people, ten in white shirts, and ten in black shirts, throwing around a basketball.  They asked you to count how many times the ball was thrown between the white shirts.  Then after you said “7”, they’d ask you about the gorilla. What gorilla? Then they replayed the video and had circled the gorilla that was clearly walking across and in between the players!  Talk about missing the obvious! Read More→

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Dec
11

From Ashes To Beauty

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ivetteThis is not really my title.  I am borrowing it from the Old Testament, Isaiah 61:3 to be exact.  I was listening to a song on my playlist today (you know  I like old songs–I’m always getting inspiration from them!).  This one is from Toni Braxton’s song,

“Un-Break My Heart.”   This is a very sad song, and I sometimes play it when I am feeling very sad.  I know, probably counter productive, but somehow it helps.  I dunno how exactly, but it does.  Maybe you can relate?

Anyway, it’s  about someone breaking someone else’s heart and walking out of their lives. That is always sad, especially when the two were married to one another.  “Don’t leave me in all this pain” is one of the lines.  When people are in pain, we don’t like it; we want out of it ASAP!  We want our spouse, sometimes the very person who hurt us in the most unimaginable way to “come and take these tears away…to un-break my heart.”  This is probably what I’d call the theme song for the faithful spouse when they find out their spouse has cheated on them.

Most people assume that affairs will naturally lead to a divorce.  But that is not true in most cases.  A brief survey states that 17-35% will end in divorce.  In my experience, if it’s the man who has had the affair, it won’t end in a divorce.   If the woman has had the affair, it takes a pretty tough guy to forgive her and keep HIS vows to her, IMHO.  But it can, and has been done.  Just ask God.  Or ask Hosea.  Or ask the many, many couples whom I’ve helped restore their marriage.

You see, I have had the recent pleasure of meeting with several couples who came to me 1-2 years ago with the pain of finding out their spouse has had one or more affairs, over the course of their marriage (15-40 years).  It is hard to see the pain, the betrayal in the faithful spouses’ eyes.  It is humbling to be one of the first people who see and hear their pain.  The first several sessions, if they have just found out, are raw, very raw with many emotions: anger, hurt, fear, disappointment, rage, confusion, to name a few.  The list goes on.  They are in a state of emotional shock, even if they suspected s/he was cheating on them.   Read More→

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Dec
04

Live Here, Work Here

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toy1Live Here, Work Here,” is one of the mottos used in our household.  Simple. Short. Profound. Okay, maybe the last one is a bit of a stretch, but I really don’t think so.  It’s a foundational principle of households since the beginning of time I think.  I’m no historian per se, but if you grew up on a farm, you contributed to the running of the farm as soon as you were physically capable.  Nowadays, I see far too many parents, well-meaning of course, who do the work of 2 or 3 people, while they’re fully capable children are sitting around on their butts.  This is should not be!  There is only heartache to reap when you knowingly sow these seeds of irresponsibility into your child.

When you live in a household, unless you’re disabled, you should contribute to the house by actively doing something that does good.  The good you do for the house will also truly give you a number of things.  But first, here’s a few ideas of what children can do to contribute:

1-6 year olds can pick up their toys, put them away. They can do more than we think.

7-12 year olds can empty the wastepaper baskets; carry small (then bigger) items in from the store; make their beds; unload the dishwasher; set the table/clear the table; help with raking leaves/shoveling snow.

If you have pets: provide food, water, clean up after them, walk them, pet them/play with them, etc.

13-18 year olds can either help with preparing, making meals, shopping for groceries; doing laundry; picking up other children; babysitting their siblings.

19-25 year olds can pay partial rent, pay in part, for THEIR own phone, insurance, etc

By teaching your children to help out it gives you:

  1. A much need break from said activity
  2. More respect as the authority in the house
  3. The ability to specifically guide their natural talents, abilities, etc
  4. The satisfaction that you are shaping your little people into fully functional, responsible and respectful citizens.

Read More→

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