Love that Goes the Distance

Love that Goes the Distance

So, our wedding. The whole thing was very ’80s. I wore a hat, a tea-length lace dress, and a new pair of shoes I could not wait to throw away.

Before I walked down the aisle with Daddy, I sang, “I love you Lord, and I lift my voice to worship You, O my soul rejoice.” Then at the end, Bill and I sang in harmony, “Rejoice, ye pure in heart, rejoice, give thanks, and sing!” It was really corny and also kinda wonderful and people clapped—back in the day when clapping in a Baptist church wasn’t the done thing.

For our reception, we served wedding cake and homemade mints in the church basement, then hugged people in the reception line for two hours.

That was it. Nothing Pinterest perfect, no honeymoon in Aruba. The entire wedding—dress, tux, rings, flowers, cake—cost us less than two thousand dollars.

Here’s all that matters. We’re still married, 30 years and counting. I am more in love with Bill every day of our lives together, and he kindly says the same about me. Only God could have blessed a (former) Really Bad Girl with a (forever) Really Good Guy like Bill Higgs, who chased away my Wedding Bell Blues in 1986!

Liz and Bill Higgs March 1986

What’s the secret recipe for a love that goes the distance?

Choose carefully.
Follow your heart, but consult your head as well. You’re making a vow meant to last a lifetime. Ask hard questions. Seek wise counsel. Think long term.

Love unconditionally.
Once you say “I do,” then do. Keep a mental list of all the things you love about your mate. Remind yourself of those wonderful qualities on difficult days.

Laugh regularly.
Play together. Do goofy stuff. Read funny books to each other. Share inside jokes that only the two of you get. Look for humor all around you.

Pray continually.
Make prayer your go-to. Before meals, before bed, before you get in the car, before you make important decisions, before you say something you’ll regret.

If I’ve missed anything major here, please let me know in the comments. This short list pretty much sums up life at the Higgs house. God and His Word are at the heart of everything, and He is beyond faithful.

For this month’s Bible study, let’s take a quick look at one verse that speaks to the essence of loving someone for a lifetime.

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11

Not a highly romantic sentiment, but a hugely practical one. Being both trust-worthy and trust-giving is essential for a love that lasts.

Inspire trust Proverbs 31:11 (voice)

Her husband has full confidence in her… Proverbs 31:11

When a man gives a woman his heart, to have and to hold, he’s doing a very brave thing. It means he “depends on her” (CEV), “relies on and believes in her” (AMPC), and “trusts her without reserve” (MSG).

Bill had plenty of reasons not to trust me when we first met. My life B.C. (before Christ) was a total mess. You probably know my story.  The Lord came roaring into my life 3 years before Bill did, so I truly was a new creation.

Even so, Bill might have worried about me slipping back into some dangerous old habits. Instead, he trusted me and, more to the point, he trusted God. One paraphrase of this verse is especially lovely: “She inspires trust, and her husband’s heart is safe with her” (VOICE).

May it be so, Lord. Always.

Every good thing. Provers 31:11

…and lacks nothing of value. Proverbs 31:11

Okay, sure. Whatever You say, Lord. Except, I need a little help understanding this second half of the verse. “He shall have no lack of gain” (ASV) sounds like he won’t run out of Gain laundry detergent, and “he shall have no need of spoils” (DRA) means I better not cook anything past the sell-by date. (Let’s not talk about the spices in our kitchen cabinet that go back to the Reagan years.)

How about this? “She will prove a great asset to him” (CJB). Yes, I get that. “She never lets him down” (CEV). I’m on it. “She will greatly enrich his life” (NLT). A wise goal. Another beautiful paraphrase, “Because of her, he has every good thing” (VOICE).

This kind of thinking helps us put the other person first. If a husband does every good thing he can for his wife, and she does every good thing she can for him, so that together they “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Ephesians 5:21), then marriage becomes the blessing it’s meant to be and not a millstone around anyone’s neck.

30 years ago I said:

I, Elizabeth, take you, William, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.

Still keeping that vow. Still having fun doing it.

Liz and Bill Higgs July 2016

Now, our crazy giveaway. My first novel back in 1999, Mixed Signals, was set in an oldies radio station in small-town Virginia. Bill started writing his first book, Eden Hill,  soon after we married, carving out time to write between caring for our family, managing my ministry, and serving in our church. Finally, his debut novel, a nostalgic gem set in small-town Kentucky circa 1962, was published this summer! Jerry Jenkins calls Eden Hill “a curl-up-and-settle-in delight.”

What fun to share both our novels and a vintage Songbird portable radio made by Crosley Radio with three happy winners: Becky, Annie, and Joan!

Mixed Signals, Crosley, Eden Hill Giveaway

Even though our contest is closed, why not post a comment below, sharing your own secret ingredient for creating a love that goes the distance?

Until next time, bless you for giving me the absolute joy of encouraging you!

Your sister, Liz
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News Notes:

Really Bad Girls of the Bible 2016

Just released: Really Bad Girls of the Bible, an updated and expanded edition for 2016, with a new Discussion Guide for book clubs and a rich, new Study Guide for Bible studies. Also available as a new, full-length audiobook, read by yours truly.

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

Coming October 18: 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, a new daily devotional with a Bible study guide, wrapped in a lovely gift book overflowing with grace!

Liz's Speaking Calendar

Lots of speaking this autumn: Look for me at events in Oklahoma, Indiana, Florida, West Virginia, Missouri, Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, Vermont, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Georgia, and Colorado. I’d love to see you!

386 Responses to Love that Goes the Distance

  1. Valerie Simer July 20, 2016 at 4:25 am #

    Serve One Another.
    When I was having a particularly hard time loving my husband, God told me to serve him. I did things for him I wouldn’t normally do, and it brought joy to me. It probably didn’t change him (he may not have even noticed because I didn’t say anything about it), but it changed me.

    • Catherine July 20, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

      Thanks, Liz for all your encouraging words. I’ve been married over 40 years and I thank God for a happy marriage. We were very young when we married but we had the love of God and His Word at the center of our lives. It still is and it keeps us going with each other.

    • Mickie Lane July 20, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

      David and I have been together for almost 15 years and it has been a roller-coaster ride. We have learned that it is always best to speak your feelings. If you can “walk in the other’s shoes” it goes a long way in keeping peace in the home. David and I know that God brought us together as partners in marriage and partners in raising our three children. We love each other, our children, and most importantly, our Father!

    • Autumn Black July 27, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

      Read Christian Books
      My husband and I celebrated a decade of marriage on Jun 17 without our 5 children. Their absence was devestating but my husband shared a book called “How to Pray” and we immediately put into practice the advice of an experienced Christian who cared enough about the flock to pen his success stories in Christ. I thank God for the testimonies of the Saints who have been called to be authors… Grace-filled souls with hands anointed to obediently trace over the WORD of GOD with paper and pen, leaving imprints on our hearts.

      • Lynn August 14, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

        Dear Autumn, as I was reading the responses to this article, my heart was struck by the sadness in yours. The Word of God has always been a great comfort to me too in times of loss, particularly the Psalms. Our Abba Father is nearer to us than we realize. ❤️

    • Natasha Stevens July 31, 2016 at 5:26 pm #

      Love that goes the distance doesn’t see distance. It sees divine providence. Thank you for being my favorite author & for giving a voice to women. Happy for you and your hubby! I’d say “This Girl’s (You) still got it! God Bless!

      PS. Abigail went the distance too. She knew her husband was a fool. Traded him for a soon to be King! Smart! Wise!

  2. Sherrie July 20, 2016 at 8:50 am #

    Love your books! “Each for the other, both for the Lord”. My husband and I had this quote at our wedding. While some days we forget to do so, we still strive to do this. Married 40 years this August.

  3. Kathy July 20, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Your post so encouraged my heart this morning – thank you. We will celebrate 29 years this October and I so needed the reminders you gave even though things are good today. I just never know some days, but I am still keeping the vow. 🙂 God is faithful, why should I be less than.

    Looking forward to reading both of these books. Eden Hill sounds like a lovely place to visit and your books are always on my tbr list.

    Thank you!

  4. Anita Smith July 20, 2016 at 10:12 am #

    Thank you. Trust is so very important. Many times a small thing can become huge with a seed of doubt. We try to spend as much free time together as we can….hard to do with work/church schedules. Lunch together most days helps us catch up too.

  5. Sara Sartori July 20, 2016 at 10:14 am #

    The thought, “I have been forgiven of more” (by Jesus) helps me to forgive my husband’s (almost always unintentional) hurtful words or actions towards me. Love includes not keeping a record of wrongs (1 Cor. 13:5)

  6. Kathryn Varney July 20, 2016 at 10:15 am #

    I would love to win one of you gift packs with your novels and the radio. Loved reading about your thoughts no Love for a lifetime. I would simply add, “make your mate’s happiness more important than your own (kind of like loving your mate as Christ loved the church)”. Not a popular sentiment to a “me me I am I am” kind of generation but it works for us. Its been 31 years for us in November and my love for my husband just grows stronger and sweeter. I thought I knew what love was but I was wrong, time and trials have sweetened the definition, loyalty and caring for one another has strengthened us and our love for the lord and thanksgiving to him for throwing us together in Sunday School 32 years ago has become a testimony for our children and their friends.

  7. Jane Abernathy Hahn July 20, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    I am divorced so I may not be the best one to answer this, but it seems that if both people are true Christians, they each put the other one first. And that way they are thinking of the other’s best interests always. Of course, both have to do this for it to work- that’s where the love of Christ comes in.

  8. Donna Hornbeck July 20, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Keeping God at the center of our lives is what keeps our marriage strong when we hit difficulties. Date nights and time with just the two of us also helps keep us close.

  9. Rita Schwass July 20, 2016 at 10:16 am #

    Great post, Liz! My comment: We need to learn our husband’s love language, and then focus on speaking it to him each day.

  10. Susan Snodgrass July 20, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    You seem to have a perfect recipe for marriage, but I will add this: I would rather hang out with Tom than anyone else, always have felt that way, since the first day, in 1978, when I married him.

  11. Robyn Dykstra July 20, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    My best marriage advice is to treat your husband like it’s his birthday every day (without the cake). Just look for that little thing that makes his day special.

  12. Tracey Meisenheimer July 20, 2016 at 10:17 am #

    Ministry together but also supporting each individual’s interests and opportunities along the way. If you are looking for the long haul, fairness and equality doesn’t happen – each 100% in with a lot of give and take.

  13. Carol Laury July 20, 2016 at 10:18 am #

    Really enjoyed this post!!!! Thank you for sharing your wedding story.

    My secret ingredient isn’t really a secret. When we said our vows we promised until death do we part. So the idea of parting any other way was off limits in my mind. I can honestly say that when you go into a marriage without an escape clause it is much easier to stay faithful to the promise even when things are rocky.

    I’d love to read the books!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Katie S. July 20, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Needed this reminder today – after months of transition moving from CO to NC this summer, and the craziness of all that plus getting ready for another homeschool year and sending our eldest off to college for the first time, we’ve done practically nothing to encourage our relationship lately. Spending time just the 2 of us, laughing, talking, having fun with no distractions or interruptions is so helpful. Going to get on that immediately and remember all the reasons I’m thankful God blessed me with my husband.

  15. Laurie Diggins July 20, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Forgive quickly and completely.
    My beloved husband Bill is so good at this (and he gets lots of practice)!
    I am more in love with him now than when we married in July 1990. To strengthen our humor quotient, we love reading your books Liz. While Shepherds Washed Their Flocks and Help, I’m Laughing and I Can’t Get Up! always tickle our funny bones. Blessings to you and your wonderful Bill! Laurie Diggins

  16. Andrea July 20, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    Wow. Thank you again Liz for sharing with us and the world encouragement and sound advice. Although we’ve had our struggles my hubby and I will Be married 22 years next month – the one other thing including with all you shared is touch. When we are mad and don’t feel like it, we will hold hands, when we are arguing while
    Driving somewhere we hold hands, when walking, talking, or sitting he will Hold my hand! And for some
    Reason 😉 the anger of the moment just melts away.

  17. Julie July 20, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Oh, I love this! My tip is to treat your spouse as well as you would treat a stranger, any stranger! Just be kind!

  18. Lisa Volz July 20, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Recognizing kindness is important. When your husband scrapes the ice off your windshield he is loving you. When you brought 3 kids to the marriage (as I did) and your husband coaches their ball teams and spends hours in bleachers cheering them on and wishing them success….that, girlfriends, is love.

  19. Kristal July 20, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    We always make sure we kiss each other good night and say love you, love you more ,love you the most. We always try to be the first one to say it. It makes us laugh and we go to bed with a smile on our faces. We have been married 35 (mostly) wonderful years. Thank you for all that you do!

  20. Kathy Pennau July 20, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Loved seeing your wedding picture and I’m going to read Bill’s book! Thanks for sharing, we are celebrating 48 years in January….or is it 49? I think for us its the praying together that keeps us together. Also, we never go to bed angry, which sometimes means that we don’t sleep!! Not so much anymore, the things that used to cause conflict don’t seem as important anymore. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Jane July 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    Every woman longs for what you and Bill have – what a gift! My soul mate and first husband passed away at age 40 after 16 years of marriage. I had 5 years as a single mom and in a moment of weakness and exhaustion I married someone I never should have – after 8 years of trying to be a good wife and holding on to the marriage (because God hates divorce) my 2nd husband had an affair and came to me saying he wanted out–he didn’t love me and never had. Crushing but also a great weight was lifted off. now in the 15 years since the divorce, I can say with joy that God is my husband. I have learned to trust Him to meet my needs. Sure, I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t enjoy a nice dinner or movie out with a godly man, but I have learned to be content with where I am now. I have lived the life of many characters you have written about and I am grateful for the journey God has had me on. Thank you for living your life in front of us. Jane

  22. Teressa Dixon July 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    That’s a great story. Loyalty and trust is key to our marriage. Having fun with one another also.

  23. Kathy July 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    Thanks for the beautiful encouragement. Secret to long marriage is giving and being caring even when you don’t want to. When we serve our husbands we are serving the Lord.

  24. Trina July 20, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    Putting God first is the main thing we strive to do. Praying together and finding time to spend together.

  25. Adrienne July 20, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    I am getting married in November to the greatest man I could ever hope to find. The ingredient I have discovered so far is to communicate. We were long distance for all of our friendship and eventual dating relationship. We learned great communication skills, being patient with one another and making sure to purposefully set aside time to make sure we were talking and spending time together. It is a trait we have carried over now that we are no longer separated by hundreds of miles, and one I pray we never lose.

  26. Amy July 20, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    I love Mixed Signals! I think it was the first book of yours that I read.

    Your marriage list sounds just right. We celebrated 18 years in May and my husband has shown me Christ’s love in his patient wooing of me over all these years.

    I think supporting your husband in whatever he wants to do – and things that he may not even know he wants yet – is important. You are the one who knows his heart – be the one who supports him too.

    And sex. Don’t forget the power it has to knit married people together. God gave it to us to tie us to each other.

    Thanks so much for all the encouragement, Liz.

  27. Mary July 20, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    What a wonderful love story you have. You bring so much joy to my life, thank you. I’ve been married for 42 years, and I think the glue that has held us together has just been that commitment we made to each other and God so long ago. Our love has changed as we’ve grown older and raised a family, but we are still very much in love.

  28. Zuda Gay Pease July 20, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    In the times when you don’t particularly “like” one another and the loving one another is hard work, you have to hold on to the commitment you made when you said your vows. In a marriage class we sat in years ago the leader made this comment, “If you act the way you wish you felt you will soon feel the way you are acting.” It works! I’ve read Mixed Signals several times over the years…would love to read Bill’s book!

  29. Sharon July 20, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    Marriage requires trust, communication and lots of grace. Couples today seem to focus more on planning the wedding instead of planning their lives together. And you’re correct about asking the hard questions beforehand.

  30. Dee Ann Curry July 20, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    Happily married for 43 years. It is important to show your love in both words and deeds. Be faithful. Be kind. Live your love legacy. Your children and grandchildren are watching.

  31. Silvia Arvelo July 20, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you for sharing your story! Miguel and I have been married for almost 28 years and God has been the center of it all and wonderful communication. Miguel was diagnosed with MS after we were married for 1 year and it sure shook our young lives but with God being at the center we knew that we had someone that “had our backs” for the long haul. Miguel is a walking miracle and we take one day at a time and yes….we laugh a lot and love our inside jokes:-).

  32. Emmie July 20, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    Oh, how I loved this – such a beautiful reminder of my own wedding (one year before the 80’s came to be). Winter wedding, colors of burgundy and green, ivy and holly, red mini hurricane lamps for my bridal attendants, mini Christmas boxes wrapped and placed on the wedding cake along with the fountain. Remember the fountains for wedding cakes?
    But this is what I love even more: My husband and I will celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary come December 15. There have been times of such hard, financial struggle, raising of four daughters, living through the rebellion of a couple of them, waiting for God’s redemption (1 done, 1 to go!), yet still staying the course. The love is deeper. And there are still times when I look at him that I see his eyes, and oh. Just, oh. Such a beautiful light blue, and that’s when I see the man from so many years ago. And I’m thankful and blessed that God has seen us through.

  33. Tessa LaBuff July 20, 2016 at 10:27 am #

    425 Quail Lane
    Kill Devil hills, NC 27948

    I have never been married(Thank goodness, I’m only 15) but a Love that goes the distance isn’t just for marriage(Again, thank goodness).
    I’d say two of the most important things in love is Forgiving and apologizing quickly. Because I’m gonna know when I’m wrong and any relationship that has no apologizing and forgiving, won’t last at all.

  34. Margaret Mayfield July 20, 2016 at 10:28 am #

    What’s kept us married is staying in the Word of God and an enormous amount of grace.?

  35. Laura July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Liz,

    My wedding was very similar to yours, except in a Church of Christ in Indiana! It was self funded by my beau and I and cost very near what yours did. My hubby and I will celebrate 28 years together in October. The only way we’ve made it this far is sheer commitment, just hanging in there, day in and day out, month to month, year to year. It is a marathon, not a sprint!

  36. Leisa Patrick July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    My husband and I will celebrate 37 years of marriage in September. Although the road has not always been easy, God has been faithful and our love has grown deeper and sweeter each year. Our family has always tried to put God first and live out our faith. Our blessings overflow – with an especially sweet addition of our first grandchild due in February 2017. Praise the Lord!

  37. Gaye Sunshine July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    Congratulations on 30 yrs! We just celebrated 20 and I was so proud to go up for the blessing in church and announce 20 years. I also was a bad girl, but God healed me and somehow used me in my brokenness to bring my then boyfriend (now husband) to Christ. (I’d known Christ my whole life, but thought I could live wild and have a Christian life?!? What can I say, I was real broken.) And my husband, the baby Christian on fire for Christ taught me how to live in God’s Grace. What a gift. We started as friends. We remain friends and love to laugh and always strive to keep Christ as the center of our marriage and our family. Thanks for sharing Liz — I also wore a hat and a tea length gown, but it was the 90’s, not sure what that says about me 🙂

  38. Rebecca Tellez July 20, 2016 at 10:29 am #

    There are days when I cling to this verse I can do anything through Christ. I am finding that the best way to keep on honoring my vows is to replace my stinking thinking with God’s promises. He is so faithful to give me joy with Him even on bad days.

  39. Elizabeth July 20, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Thank you for this beautiful testimony, Liz. Continued blessings to you and Bill.
    We just celebrated 24. 12 years ago we were on the brink of ending it all. Only with the grace of God, and His redeeming love did we survive and are thriving today! Don’t give up on your marriage. We put our stake in the ground, struggled and cried through the hard parts and trusted the Lord. He’s a miracle worker!

  40. Linda Chambers July 20, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    Congrats on 30 years! And thanks for sharing your pictures, they are lovely.
    My daughter was just married last summer and the costs of a wedding are so different! Though I have not had the joy of a long term marriage I do value them and admire couples whom endure during all the times, good and bad.
    All the best,
    Linda

  41. Toni July 20, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    35 years in September. He wasn’t a Christian and still isn’t. That breaks my heart but he has seen miracles in our marriage that he can only attribute to the God I know. I have to admit it seemed more fun planning our family than our future retirement. The challenges don’t end regardless of how long you’ve been married. But God and his sovereignty remain the same.

  42. Stephanie H. July 20, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Congrats on celebrating your 30th Anniversary and your husbands novel debut! My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary in April. Besides honesty, I think never going to bed angry with one another would also be good advice. Both of these have worked for us and we are still going strong.

  43. Dawn July 20, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Liz,
    Always nice to see your posts in my Inbox. 🙂 Celebrating the love and life you two have had together. Coming up on 34 years with my husband and so thankful for all the years we’ve had together so far. Looking forward to seeing you again in NC in 2017!

  44. Lea Deisher July 20, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    You are so right, Liz. Choose carefully. My first marriage, my heart did the deciding. My second marriage, my heart consulted my head before I committed. We’ve now been married 35 years and I can’t say that it’s all been perfect. But, it has been a journey full of many happy memories that we both share. Working through the hard times, communicating with each other when something needs to be talked out are all important too. Discussing important decisions but then deferring to my husband to make the final decision because I know he has the families best interest at heart and has sought wisdom from God in making the decision.

  45. Patricia Koerner July 20, 2016 at 10:35 am #

    my husband and I have been married 43 years and almost every night of those years we’ve done the dishes together (no dishwasher). its our time to connect and talk about the our day. every day is not perfect and we might drive each other crazy at times but still loving each other.

  46. Beth Spivey July 20, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    One way I work to have love that goes the distance is by serving together in our church.

  47. Pam Loftin July 20, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Make decisions that make the other person happy.

  48. Regina July 20, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    What a beautiful testimony of a forever love! I hope one day to have my own story, but even if I don’t, I am so happy to walk out my eternal love story with Jesus every day. And you know, I think laughter is just as important in that relationship as it would be in a romantic one. I think our heavenly father has a crazy sense of humor, and any time I have eyes to see it at work, it brings a chuckle to my heart and a twinkle to my soul. I love being in love with a God who laughs.

  49. Cindy Bell July 20, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    The BEST thing I can advise anyone getting married or already married is to read God’s Word and pray together every day. There is no way to hold back the most intimate part of your heart when speaking to your Lord. You may feel strange at first, but pretty soon, you forget that the other person is in the room and its just you and your Father. You would be surprised what heart matters come to light! And what healing takes place! We started out as lost, selfish, pleasure-seekers that were ‘fixed up’ on our first date and entered marriage in a rush of passion. Then the troubles started. When we both turned to Christ, we saw healing and wholeness taking place in our relationship. And when we disagree, I take it to the Lord and stop and watch Him work. Sometimes its in me; sometimes in my husband. And we are at 27 years and counting! Congrats to you and your Bill, Liz! Truly, truly blessed…

  50. Jennie July 20, 2016 at 10:40 am #

    Thank you for your encouraging words about making marriage last a lifetime. I love hearing how God’s love is lived out in your life – how He has worked mighty and wonderful and caring things for you and Bill.

  51. Terri Gobble July 20, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    I love anything written by Liz Curtis! She always has good, sound biblical advise and presents it in a non-judgmental way.

  52. Michaela Green July 20, 2016 at 10:42 am #

    16 years we will be married on the 23rd!!❤️
    Beach bound we will be going!
    It has been work, and some ugly times….but God and prayer is key! Also, understanding(or trying) each other. Spending free time(when available) with each other…..listening to music on the back porch late into a Friday night!!
    Snuggling on the couch on a Saturday morning….amazing!! Talking and eating hours after relations, then falling asleep tangled in each other is my ultimate fav!! Not taking moments for granted, but cherishing each memory….even the ugly ones. The ugly times keep us in check, we have learned and are still learning how to communicate with each other with respect. Love is grand! Being married is God blessing!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  53. Emily H. July 20, 2016 at 10:43 am #

    I am about to get married in four days! This blog post is exquisitely timed. My fiancé and I have not experienced marriage yet, but we have been through as many great joys and tests as our three years together have allowed. What keeps me going in good times and bad is remembering Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (NIV). I am certainly not very good at this yet, but I know that the Holy Spirit has power to transform my heart into a heart that loves like that! And I am so grateful for the example Jesus set when he gave up every right he had as the son of the Most High God and laid his life down for people (me, for example) who absolutely don’t deserve him. I pray that God uses my new marriage as a chance to transform my heart into one that looks more like Jesus’ heart!

  54. Peggy Seevers July 20, 2016 at 10:44 am #

    Our “Love That has Gone the Distance” is because of our commitment to God first! Tim and I are simple, ordinary people with a little bit of talent, but a lot of desire to serve Christ and His Church. We married May 27, 1978 after a year of part-time ministry with youth in Washington Court House, Ohio. We took a full time ministry there in June of ’78 with Tim in the pulpit and me at the piano (or Wurlitzer organ). Our gifts were minimal, but God blessed them and His Church grew. We started our family at that little church (100 members when we left) and continued to grow as we moved on a few years later.
    4 churches, 3 children, 3 in-law children and 8 grandchildren later, God continues to bless our marriage and our ministry.
    Our marriage has not been all roses, but because of our commitment to God FIRST, we have remained faithful to each other.
    Remember the vows, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health?” We have seen it all, but through those times we have grown, knowing that God has a mighty work to do in us and through us.
    Thank you Liz, for this opportunity for me to share these thoughts. It was good for my soul to remember after 38 years, the thing that holds Tim and I together is commitment.
    Commitment to God and each other! That’s our ingredient.
    In His Service, Peggy <

  55. Diane Bailey July 20, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    THis is my second marriage, and oh honey, could I write volumes about stepfamily!

    But trust that I, we , would not hurt each other kept the marriage tiptoeing around the house.

    Finally I decided to trust…not in him as much as in God. I believed God had chosen this husband for me,( because I asked him to choose the next husband if he thought marriage was a good idea) I asked him to choose everything just like Esther asked Hagai to choose everything for her. I continued to ask him to choose how my marriage would look, behave and respond.

    With trust in the one choosing, laughter became the biggest accessory we wore each day. Laughter can put out fires, find common ground in opposite opinions and draws others in to find out the meaning of laughter from an “inside joke”.

    I love your writing and would cherish the books and radio.

  56. Patricia A Christy July 20, 2016 at 10:46 am #

    What an inspiring message! My husband and I were married nearly 53 years when he passed away. We married right out of High School so neither of us had much of a chance to get into trouble. I followed him in the Army for 2 years and after he was discharged I got pregnant with our first son. We loved each other very much and never ever went to bed angry! That was one thing I had decided on early on. We laughed together, traveled the US together and enjoyed our 2 sons together and then our grandkids together. We attended church regularly together. I miss him every day! I attended Bible Studies from all the Bad Girl Series and enjoyed them very much!

  57. Lorrie Callaway July 20, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    Loved this. One of my favorite things about my husband is his sense of fun/adventure/humor. He is like a little kid. I have the cutest 11×14 picture of him hanging in my room, he is “spit shined” and looking adorable, but you can see that fun streak twinkling in his eye. When I am so upset with him I can’t think, I go sit in my room and gaze at that adorable little boy and pray until I can hug his neck with genuine affection. That picture reminds me what I love most about him and also how many times this “little girl” has been forgiven and had God’s grace poured over me since I was that old. “Where there is much forgiveness there is much love”. Thanks so much for sharing your story. I hope, even in my very challenged writing ability, you could hear my heart and gained some enjoyment from it. Be blessed dear Liz.

  58. Tina Coughlin July 20, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    This former bad girl found Jesus at 30. At 40-ish, never married and no promising prospects to change that, I finally gave my heart completely to the One who created it. I was open to dating but pretty settled into the single life. As long as I had Jesus, I had everything I needed. When I opened the door to my dinner date on October 16, 2014, I knew he was the one God had chosen for me and gotten me ready for. Love at first sight is real! We celebrated our first anniversary on June 26. Simple, God soaked, family only ceremony (no reception) and a $15 Walmart dress. Our honeymoon cabin in the woods probably cost more than the wedding. 🙂

  59. Carol July 20, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    Love that goes the Distance. My husband and I will be married for 24 years in November. Putting God first has to be the most important way to make your love go the distance.

  60. Stephanie July 20, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    This wisdom you shared in this post was so amazing, I do not know what to add to it. I will say that one thing that truly helped my husband and I in our marriage is to no bring up something that happened more than 30 days ago. If it is still bothering you 20 days later bring it up again, but after that forever hold your peace.

    I loved Mixed signals. It was a pleasure reading it. Bill’s book sounds good too.

  61. Cindy Speight July 20, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    I just love you Liz! What a joy to share this excitement with your husband. I bet you are as proud of the birth of his book, as you were of your own. God Bless!

  62. Janice McDonald July 20, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    My thoughts for a long and and happy marriage…….54 years to be exact……………..”forgive, forgive, forgive” and ” laugh, laugh,laugh” and “love, love, love.”

  63. Angie Adair July 20, 2016 at 10:49 am #

    We have been married 27 years. I hear people say that you both have to give 50 percent for marriage to work. No, you both have to give 100 percent. And sometimes that still isn’t enough. Marriage is hard. Very hard. But, you don’t give up when things get troubling. I went into marriage knowing it was for life. Kids now days think, ‘Oh well, if it doesn’t work, we’ll just get a divorce.’ Our children have been raised in a throw away society. We have to get them back on the right track. What has gotten me this far? God, friendship, love and hard work.

  64. Becky July 20, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    We have gone the distance by making our marriage a covenant relationship. That does not mean every day has been sunshine and roses, but it does mean that after 46 years, we have learned that sticking with each other and letting the Lord guide us, we have learned how to love in a deeper way.

  65. Amy Sabol July 20, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    Wow!! Congratulations to both of you, Liz and Bill — your smiles sure do look happy!!! You give me encouragement to keep on for the long haul. Our 26th anniversary will be this July 28th. Here to continued prayers for your happiness together in the Lord!!! Love to you both!!!

  66. Stacy July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Thank you for sharing your sweet wedding story. We are coming up on 28 years this December. I loved your thoughts, and would only add … assume the best. When things start to hurt my feelings, it is usually because of my interpretation and not his intention. If I assume he is angry, upset, or being hurtful, I am frequently wrong! So, I try to approach his words and actions as if they are coming from a place of love (which they are!). It can save on so many disagreements and hurt feelings.

  67. Kathy Siperly July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    I married a man 40 years ago who had lost his first wife to cancer which left him with seven children to continue raising alone. He was 18 years older, but without telling a long story, I knew that God had led me to him. He went home to his Savior six years ago. Our marriage wasn’t perfect, but we respected each other and found our love for the Lord and each other to be enough. I miss him. Every day, but I know where he’s at and that I will see him again.

  68. Michelle July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    Wow! We were married in 1984 and I wore a hat just like yours, or at least very similar. I agree with all of your points and would only add that thinking of the other person more highly than yourself will make things easier. Congratulations on 30 years! These days that is a huge testimony of our Lord to the world.

  69. Carol July 20, 2016 at 10:53 am #

    My husband and I have been married 30 years last November. Because we are a blended family and his 2 children lived 1200 miles away most of that time, there were times when he would leave me to visit them. It was during those times I came to understand that he needed to be with his children and not worry about the home front. I always knew where his heart truly belonged and never ever tried to make him feel guilty about leaving on Christmas Day, etc. we are a close knit family and we moved last year to be here in Florida with the grandchildren of those two children and I couldn’t be happier.

  70. Pat Dillon July 20, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    I was a bad girl, headed to being a really bad girl. I prayed for God to help me out of this mess, I didn’t care how He did it, I just needed His help. At that time, I was a divorcee and didn’t feel there was a good man on the face of the earth and had absolutely no desire to find out.

    I was a high school secretary and had to deal with teachers on a daily basis and didn’t think I would ever want to be married again, let alone to a teacher! This widower math teacher, who was quiet, but very polite started asking me how my day was when he would bring lesson plans or anything that needed to be given to the principal to the office. Still didn’t look at him as anyone other than one of the teachers.

    One day, as I was preparing the beginning of school packets for the teachers, I was putting this same widower’s name on his information, the strangest feeling came over me and the Lord said (clear as a bell), “You’re going to marry this man.” I looked around to see you was saying that! I thought that’s absolutly absurd, I’m NOT getting married again! Well, that was 21 years ago and Henry and I are happily married. Ups and downs….yes, of course. We’ve had lots of transitions, especially me. I had been divorced six years and my children we grown, so to go back into a home with two teenagers was quite a transition. Plus a married daughter who thought she was still the mother of the house, even though she had her own home, was a bit challenging.

    It has all worked out because this marriage was ordained by God. I don’t call Henry’s children my “step”-children, I call them my “bonus”-children. We have a blended family of six children and 15 grandchildren. We are blessed beyond measure.

    Our secret to our happy marriage is….we have a God-centered marriage and not a self-centered marriage.

  71. Sandra Hehl July 20, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    When people ask me for my secret of staying married to my husband for 58+ years, I tell them I married my best friend and that we have made the Lord Jesus the center of our lives. We were married quite young, 17 and 19 years old. My husband went through five years of college after we were married. During that time, we had four little boys and God chose to take two to be with Him. We later adopted a precious daughter. So, there has been some heartbreak but God has always been faithful and we praise Him for his goodness to us.

  72. April July 20, 2016 at 10:55 am #

    I love hearing how other couples (ones that are truly committed to one another and God) do this marriage thing. It’s so inspiring to hear their words of wisdom. I’d add to be honest with one another. I’m not talking about “I don’t like the way you leave your socks next to the bed” honest. I’m talking about heart issues honest. What God is teaching you in your personal time with him. Sins being revealed to you. Issues you are struggling with. Dreams and wishes for your children and your marriage.

    PS I LOVED Mixed Signals. I read it for the first time while I was living in Arizona, a long way from my southwest Virginia upbringing. It was a balm for my homesick heart at that time. Eden Hill is now on my list of things to-be-read!

  73. Stephanie July 20, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Liz, this was a nice surprise today! I haven’t received anything from you in a while…loved reading a bit of your and Bill’s story….
    in marriage, communication is the key (however, when husband is losing his hearing, it is a bit challenging!).

  74. Sandra Nicholson July 20, 2016 at 10:58 am #

    Love this post and seeing your wedding photo! I’ve been married for 44 years. My bit of wisdom for going the distance is never letting the idea of divorce enter our thoughts as to a solution to hard times. God hates divorces so it’s absolutely not an option!

  75. Jaime July 20, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    I met Patrick September 17. We married October 8 of the same year. No wedding dress or cake. Jeans and a sweater for him. Black leather pants and a sweater for me. Magistrate fee and marriage license combined cost $80. After we said I do, his parents took us to Eat N Park. We had both been in really bad relationships prior to meeting and we knew what we didn’t want. We also had both gone to church as kids but it was just a place to go. We have grown together and grown in faith together. On our fifth anniversary we renewed our vows. At church with our pastor. Pat’s favorite verse is “anything by Paul”. I have lots of favorites. Together, with Christ, we can get through anything.

  76. Sheri Heida July 20, 2016 at 10:59 am #

    Love the story of your marriage! My husband is with Jesus now. But in our 34 1/2 years of marriage I was often reminded of the saying: ” Choose your love. And love your choice.” I did both of those. ( The second half of that, many times in our marriage. ;-)) I am grateful for the man God gave me.

  77. Amparo July 20, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Thank you for sharing the simplicity that a complicated marriage can be.

  78. Crystal Shafer July 20, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Our secret ingredient for marriage is to Live your vows every day!

  79. Vickie Pavelko July 20, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    Happy Anniversary!

  80. Joan July 20, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    I don’t have a secret for a loving, lasting marriage, but I think giving the little and the big things that bother us in our marriages to God is vitally important. Don’t expect perfection, ha, ha! Make sure to make spend time together, “special” time. Turn off everything and just enjoy each other. Keep doing some of the fun, little things you did, when you were first married. A hug and a kiss mean so much. And, if you disagree, don’t take it to a full battle if possible. Don’t go to bed angry and settle difference quickly. Open communication is key. Speak to each other not at each other. We should be able to say I’m sorry and will you forgive me, too. Tell God and your spouse how thankful you are for them. 🙂 And, just saying I love you means a whole lot. And, sprinkle in some fun surprises here and there. You know you love them. I do!

  81. Mary S July 20, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    Thank you Liz for sharing. Congrats to you both on 30 years. Not many people make it that long. I can happily say my mom and dad were married for 58 1/2 years before my father passed away.

    My husband and I have been married for 22 years. We married 6 months after we met. It was a 2nd marriage for both of us, so we knew what we wanted. My husband met all my requirements except for 1 that was on my list, but I have faith that someday he will love my God as much as I do. The kindness in his heart tells me it is there, he just doesn’t realize where it comes from.

    I guess there are 3 things that makes our marriage work.
    1 – before we married I found myself, my identity. I just wasn’t so in so’s girlfriend, daughter, sister, mom etc… it was me and I was comfortable with me.
    2 – we give each other their time and space without jealousies. I can have my time with friends or a hobby, and he can have his. We first talk to each other about our plans since our relationship/family is #1, but as long as our time together is longer then we are apart it works.
    Lastly 3 – don’t go to bed mad at each other. This is hard to do, and when your mad with each other don’t threaten to leave the relationship. There is no reason to build walls that go up fast but come down slowly.

  82. Jan Peach July 20, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Awesome. My husband and I were married 40 years in April and we are still going….He is my best friend. I helped him cut fence posts before and after we married and any thing else he was doing. I loved being with him. I still do today. We buy the posts now and I go help him in the pasture. Even if I am just sitting on the Mule watching him. It is still a pleasure. Oh, he also goes with me to the yarn store. It is give and take both ways. God first, then Dennis, then our family and everything else will follow in order. God is good and faithful. Be Blessed!!!!

  83. Janet Dillard July 20, 2016 at 11:09 am #

    Absolutely loved the devotion. My grandparents would read Scripture to each other when they were disagreeing or arguing & found that you couldn’t stay mad or angry with each other when reading God’s word. It is something my husband & I tried as well in our short 18+ years of marriage before he went home to be w the Lord. The humor thing also resonated with me as that is something that drew us together & I still try to find the humour with my 18 year old son. It does get you through rough places as does the Lord. Thanks for all you do! You inspire me in so many ways!

  84. Anita Evans July 20, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    I have to say reading your story sounded JUST LIKE MINE! My husband and I celebrated 30 years of marriage 7/12, praise God! The church, the ceremony, the singing, the reception, I’m telling you it sounds like the same wedding! God bless you both!

  85. Debbie July 20, 2016 at 11:13 am #

    Thank you for your beautiful posts, Liz! Some of us still hope to celebrate a love like so many of the comments mention above. From what I’ve seen in the marriages I respect the most – making intentional time regularly, to celebrate the relationship and regroup, is ohhhh, so important!

  86. chandi July 20, 2016 at 11:14 am #

    We will be married 21 years this year and it always seems impossible that our love could continue to grow….. 🙂 But it does. And as an added bonus, we really like each other too! There’s no big secret for us I guess. Just that we made the decision to love each other and that’s not something you do just once. It’s an every day decision!

  87. Melody Durant July 20, 2016 at 11:15 am #

    Our live has lasted 32 yrs, taking us from brand new Christians, to pastoring and now 12 yrs as missionaries to Nicaragua and Mexico! I’ve searched the used bookstores for all your Bad Girl bible studies (now that we’re on a limited income), and recently finished the one on Ruth! I love your humor, we could be sisters. My 2 cookbooks (& You’re A Preacher’s Wife?) have my funny stories that God has used for His glory. Would love to read these 2 books and jam out with the radio! I miss my ball and chain one from the 70’s!

  88. Mona July 20, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    I just married my best friend on Saturday. We can’t wait to see what God has planned.

  89. Brandi Harris July 20, 2016 at 11:16 am #

    Persistence and tons and tons of forgiveness!!! 25 years and counting for my hubby and me!

  90. Heather Heller July 20, 2016 at 11:17 am #

    Great message. Great wisdom. Not I’ve learned is that love doesn’t just happen. It is something I have to choose to do, every day (sometimes more often than that), regardless of what I’m getting from my spouse emotionally, mentally, relationally, or otherwise. It is not dependent on him treating me in a way that causes me to love him or feel good towards him. I have to make a daily decision to choose to love him by Christs example and thru His power.

  91. Lauren July 20, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    This summer has been the best summer of my 16 year marriage… because we’ve been intentional. We’ve made time for each other and completed “activities” (hiking, going to the lake, watching TV together and actually talking). I think that’s the key to a good marriage- spending time with each other!

  92. C Power July 20, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    I think it is important to remember why you married your spouse and be really careful not to listen to lies that the evil one will tell you about your spouse.

  93. Barbara Bennett July 20, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    I have seen several couples celebrate 60+ years together, including my in-laws! The one thing I see in them is the bond to each other – no matter how many trials / tribulations they go through (I know with my inlaws it was the loss of a child, financial hardship for a time, … but their LOVE for each other held them together). I know that God was truly in this marriage as with so many others!
    I’ve been married since 1982, God has pulled us together in those tough times, loss of infant, miscarriages, jobs, death of family members,…
    Thank you God for being there for us, every day of our lives!
    God Bless you and Bill!!!

  94. Mary Jane Biltz July 20, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    We’ve been married for thirty years as of October 12th. We love to laugh and have lots of fun. We also cling to the Lord and each other during trying times!! God is so good!!

  95. Cheri' July 20, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    At a time when commitment “for the long haul” seems rare…I love reading your devotional and seeing the comments. My boyfriend and I have been married 39 years. 39 years of marriage and in the ministry. He’s a pastor by trade and calling. All of your comments were spot on! I’ll just add one more….enjoy breathing the same air. No matter what we are doing I want to breathe the same air with my guy. Even if I don’t particularly like the activity…ie watching the news. And more news. And more news. I still want to be next to him breathing the same air. I can watch, read, knit, pet the dogs or write notes but at least I’m with him. Side by side. Marriage. What an adventure!!

  96. Leslie July 20, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    What a lovely post! A while back, I was not feeling very loving towards my husband. I knew this was a destructive attitude to have, and I asked God to help me remember all the reasons I love him. I also vowed to treat him with love and respect even when I don’t feel like it. Asking God to work on my heart has made a big difference – over time – it was definitely not instant (darn!). I have also learned to be calmly honest with him about my feelings – sometimes he is just not aware of how I am feeling! (Imagine that! LOL)

    Happy 30+ years! We are coming up on 32 years in August!

  97. Jackie July 20, 2016 at 11:27 am #

    Coming up on 41 years of marriage, wish I could say that they were all blissful years, but I can’t. But I will say that they were all worth the struggle! We were so young and had so much to learn. God is so faithful and saw us through many difficulties. Letting Him be in control and seeking His will for your lives has to be my top advice for young couples. Along with the belief that once you make that commitment, that’s it! No going back, no getting out, no matter what! We love each other more, and enjoy life more together now than ever before. So glad that we have each other.

  98. Nancy Lohr July 20, 2016 at 11:30 am #

    Let him win. When we are at odds about something, we discuss both sides and/or all of what we each see as important. It is rare that the matter is really a mountain to die on, and so I let him win. I’m not a doormat, and, if the truth were told, he let’s me win too. We’re celebrating 38 years on Friday, so it’s working out for us.

  99. Jamie July 20, 2016 at 11:33 am #

    Remember that each day is a new beginning. You can always start over! We’ve been married 22 years and this idea has helped us through some bumps both large and small.

  100. Michelle July 20, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    But what do I do, Liz, when my wonderful Christian boyfriend won’t consider marriage because I already messed up and am divorced, and he believes my divorce prevents us from getting married without committing adultery?

  101. Angie July 20, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Great blog! I’m still a newlywed, but my advice is pray, pray and then pray some more. The Lord is the answer to all our problems.

  102. Debbie Henry July 20, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    Happy Anniversary! Loved your post on going the distance in marriage. I and my husband have been married 43 years and couldn’t be happier. I think the secret is we went into it knowing separating ways was not a choice but more important was our commitment to have a personal time with the Lord daily and making him the Lord of our home.

  103. Susan Wexler July 20, 2016 at 11:53 am #

    One secret ingredient for creating a love that goes the distance is for each of you to have quality time pursuing your own interests. Enjoy doing things together as a couple, but also enjoy girl time (or guy time).

  104. Mary Geiger July 20, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    Liz my sweet friend in Christ I adore your writings and the very sage sound advice and lessons taught. I can’t wait to read your sweet Bill’s book. My advice is to never to go bed angry and to always be willing to admit when you are wrong. Always encourage your mate. They need to know you are their biggest cheerleader! Girls you have no idea what this does for your sweethearts heart!!! Love to All
    Mary

  105. LBC July 20, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    I am currently in the valley in my marriage. I want to run away – its just too hard for me. Yours is a lovely story that one could aspire to.

    I made similar vows, adding in one .. I will bring peace to your home.

    In my humble opinion the peace in his home will come when I step aside.

    The struggle is real.

  106. Melissa July 20, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    Celebrating 32 years of marriage tomorrow! It may be a rarity for many, but always putting God first, then my husband next has been our glue. We are blessed! I love this email Liz, what a blessing and encouragment you are!

  107. Michelle Almgren July 20, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    I agree with everything listed. For me honesty is huge and the little things, like love notes.

  108. Elizabeth White July 20, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Hi, Liz, Just wanted to tell you that this Saturday, July 23rd, my precious husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Yes , 50 years. Wow, where has the time gone. Faithfulness, to both the LORD and each other have made these years precious, and I am so thankful for my dear Roger. God surely does balance our lives with someone who fills in all the opposite places in our lives. Looking forward to the next 50 years.

  109. Laurel Shaler July 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    Love those photos of you two! My husband and I will celebrate 13 years next month. Through military service, multiple moves, infertility, and more, we have learned that relying on God and being committed to one another are MUSTS in order to keep our marriage strong. Blessings!

  110. Sophia July 20, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    After 42 years of marriage, what I have learned is that married life is like a roller coast ride. There are ups and downs and both lead to trusting God and keeping Him at the center of our lives. Sure we could always stop the ride, but it’s in those ups and downs (highs and lows) that we learn and grow together and in our relationship with Christ.

  111. Patricia July 20, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    My husband and I’ve been married 14 yrs. We are the typical “teenage pregnancy” after a month of being a couple (i was 16 almost 17, he 17 almost 18) that shouldn’t have lasted but did. So much against us but we’ve perservered through joblessness, homelessness and more that could have decimated our marriage. But im happy to say we’re better than ever and just had our 4th child a few months ago. Besides God’s loving hand and grace, our “secret” would be humor. We laugh not only at other funny things but ourselves and my husband can make me smile or laugh when I’m in a bad mood or irritated. It used to frustrate me but now I appreciate that he doesn’t let me stew in my anger and can lighten the mood☺

  112. Cindy Haskin July 20, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    When you marry with the knowledge that God chose you for each other, your marriage will reflect your faith in God’s guidance every day through the good and bad. Trials come but only to remind us of the strength of our love and God’s faithfulness. 23 years of love, faith, family, and a God of grace.

  113. Dalyn July 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    Our wedding was nothing special and the marriage was rocky for the first 15 years but clinging to God and His word and promises has made all the difference. A firm commitment to the institution of God- ordained marriage has gotten us another day in when our feelings and emotions told us to get out. Those things change day by day, hormone levels and blood sugar influence them- but seeking God, knowing He is a rewarder gives us courage in hard times. And then the reward comes and it’s better than we hoped! Our marriage is amazing now. There are hard circumstances as every wife of a direfighter, policeman or paramedic knows but… There is God!
    The marriage is so much more important than the wedding ❤️

  114. Melissa McCormack July 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm #

    We both went into our marriage with the mindset and determination that this was forever. There would be hard times, but just knowing that we were both in this for the long haul helps to draw you closer in the hard times (or sometimes, draw you closer AFTER the hard times! Ha!). Besides being husband and wife, we’re also best friends which I think is really important. And finally, when my husband announced to his parents that we were getting married, his dad simply said, “Be kind to one another.”

  115. Quelle Simmons July 20, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    It was fun to read your story. I was married in the 80’s also. Your description of your wedding made me smile. 🙂 What was it back then about singing brides and grooms? Remember how simple receptions were with just cake, punch and mints? (I had Jelly Belly jellybeans because they came in the two shades of purple I wanted and mints didn’t). I loved telling my dignified Grandmother that I was going to have jelly beans and a polka dot cake (actually the cake was decorated to mirror the dotted swiss of the brides maid’s dresses and the lavender shades of jelly beans were beautiful!).

    Our wedding was simple. We were much more excited about the marriage to follow! I got to marry my best friend and we have had a wonderful 33 years together. It has not always been easy. In fact, there were some down right hard times! I am so thankful that the Lord has always been a part of our relationship. He stayed close, even when we tried to pull away. The wisdom in His Word has kept us going.

    My first instruction to new couples that ask is to put the other first. We serve our spouse not to honor them or because they deserve it, but to honor our Lord. I have seen wives “serve” their husbands with a martyr’s complex. They nurse their gripes about their husband’s and glorify themselves by “serving him anyway”. Nothing good comes from that! When we serve others in order to serve our Lord, it does not matter how or who they are and we are free to love them in the Lord because they no longer have to earn our service.

    It is a hard lesson for us to learn to set ourselves aside. It is so important that the foundation of our purpose is correct or everything that we build will one day topple!

  116. Renée Copp July 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Our marriage of 32 years has made us love each other more. Our success, I believe, comes from praying together several times a day.
    We have blended 2 families. Praise God for the blessings of children, grandkids, and great grandkids.

  117. Debbie July 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Thank you, Liz, for this post and the pictures. It was fun to read and an encouragement to me in my marriage. Thank you, everyone else for your wisdom too. I would say what has been helpful in our marriage is praying for my husband daily, practicing kindness even when I don’t feel like it, being quick to forgive, and letting my husband know how thankful I am for all the things he does for me.

  118. Blanche Hake July 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Love is so powerful and makes one so vulnerable that it is necessary to make sacrifices on all fronts. I feel that God must be the third part of a marriage for it to be strong and sustainable. Having a loving nature is so necessary for our human relationships. What we are witnessing today in this world is the result of family breakdowns, and a lack of respect for all human beings. I think that it will only be by God’s grace and mercy that we may turn this around, and LOVE is at the center.

  119. Melanie Williams July 20, 2016 at 12:30 pm #

    Our verse and not-so-secret ingredient to a lasting and happy marriage: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

  120. Donna W July 20, 2016 at 12:31 pm #

    Liz, I’m right there with you. We were married in 1983. I wore a lace and pearl studded dress, a hat, and a smile that wouldn’t give up that day we were married! We’ve had our ups and downs through job transfers, job moves, job loss, family deaths, growing our family, to growing spiritually, growing our relationship with God and Christ, to grow now as church leaders. I love my husband more each day, as you have. He’s given me strength when I was not, he’s given me love when I wasn’t lovable, and we can still laugh every day.

    God in our lives has given us the strength and endurance so love has gone the distance. In October, my husband’s parents are celebrating 70 years of marriage, so going the distance is in the genes! We laugh daily. We make sure we show our love each and every day. And when our heads hit the pillow at the end of the day, our last words to each other are “I love you”. I am so blessed to have God bring this man into my life to go the distance. Our lives are truly blessed.

  121. Louise July 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    I’m not sure I could add anything profound or new to your list of ingredients for a love that goes the distance. But somehow through God’s amazing grace, we are soon going to celebrate 40 years of marriage – marriage that has walked through many stormy seas and is now navigating through the biggest storm of our lives. Our beloved son passed away a year ago at the age of 30 and we are walking the long, rocky road of grief. We are battered and bruised as we sort out conflicting emotions, but we are limping along together with Jesus. I suppose if I could add one thing to your list it would be to be willing to be transparent – trust can only be built upon complete honesty.
    Love your books and your sense of humor…yes, we still laugh in spite of all the tears.

  122. Peggy King July 20, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

    Because of death and divorce we have been married the second time around for going onto 21 years. Has not been easy as marrying in your 50’s with a lot of life behind us. Each of us had baggage that God is still working on to help us grow more in him. Getting older, leaving our large city and moving to a small southern town so we could afford to be retired has been and still is a tremendous strain on our marriage. One thing we always do is join hands when praying, remembering that we are three in this union with Christ at the center of our relationship. As that was part of our self written vows it always helps us keep grounded.

  123. Jody Greve July 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Keep no record of wrongs…and make sure YOUR mercies to your husband are new every morning as well!

    Gary + Jody…18 years this August, and counting! Loving that man more every day!!!

  124. Jennie July 20, 2016 at 12:33 pm #

    Oh yes, Love for sure. But truly, so much more! My husband loves with a strong, deep, powerful, steadfast love, stable, so very stable and I have so learned from him. Still am, almost 20 years now, for us. Deep love in the Lord and always wanted to out love the other. It’s not all about me. Truly. Putting God first in all. Yes.
    And to receive your sweet, fun giveaway would truly be a treat.

  125. Joyce July 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    This December it will be 40 years, 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 2 angels later. I remember arguing with God those 40 years ago that I didn’t want to marry him, I didn’t like him and he talked too much! 😉 I’m so glad God knew better and my sweetheart never gave up on me even though I kicked him to the curb multiple times. I couldn’t love him more than I do today. God had a plan and I’m so glad I obeyed and stopped fighting Him.

  126. Kathy July 20, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Advise from mother was to pray and live by example

  127. Jan Heyer July 20, 2016 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you Liz for this month’s Bible study. Happy 30th anniversary. My husband & I have been married 25 years. The best advice we can give is talk to each other. Communication is the best way to lift each other up. Talk using God’s love. Pray together. This is what has kept our marriage strong.

  128. theresa rypstra July 20, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

    Oh my secret to “Love that Goes the Distance”….remeberthat “Becoming One” is a lifetime process, so pray together and laugh together. Even when life gets tough and we get older.

  129. Lucy Hutchinson July 20, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

    I use the verse Colossians 3:23 (NLT) – “Work willing at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. ” It is so easy for me to take my husband for granted so I will remind myself to work at whatever we have going on as for the Lord and it does a 180 for my attitude. And when my attitude is right his response is so much better which then my attitude is better in response to his….. what a wonderful spiral effect.

  130. Laura Rath July 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    When frustrated, or during a disagreement, I ask God to hold my tongue and keep me from saying something I shouldn’t. If it’s something that does need to be said or discussed, it gives me time to think first and then speak more kindly.

  131. Becky July 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Thanks for your great article! We just celebrated 32 years of marriage in June. My husband’s thoughtfulness has gotten us through many trying times, and I have learned from him. We also work on having honest, respectful communication. Keeping God at the center of our lives is key!

  132. Melissa July 20, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Thank you, Liz, for your words of wisdom and laughter! My husband and I encourage each other often and strive to keep our marriage fun. We make each other laugh every day, which I think is a key ingredient!

  133. Linda Kamoji July 20, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    My husband of 44 years and I start each day with, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it…Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” No matter what!

  134. peggy lovett July 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    February 28, 1975 during our freshman year at college, Tim Lovett and I eloped. We didn’t have a church full of guests. We didn’t have music or candles or traditional wedding clothes. We didn’t even have rings. We just had each other and the judge.

    In an era where it was already all about the fancy event, Tim and I only had eyes for one another and for a future together. God had created us to compliment and complete one another. All we wanted was to marry and start living that life.

    We blinked and now it’s 41 years later! We have 2 kids, 2 in-law kids, a grandbaby on the ground and 1 on the way and most importantly we still have each other.

    There has been “a whole lotta livin” these 41 years. Every bit of it has been overseen by The Lord who has stirred the bad stuff and the good stuff together to make a wonderful life.

    More often than not these last 4 months it has looked like Tim wouldn’t live many more days. And the test of time has been to encourage one another and remind each other that The Lord is in charge and His plan is at work. These last months have reminded us what commitment and love really mean! We joyfully look forward to many more years together…..

  135. Vicki July 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    First I want to say – You were, and ARE a beautiful bride! Thank you for sharing your precious wedding day picture.

    There are times in a marriage that it can seem hard to love your husband. In those times, I have CHOSEN to love him, and chosen to keep my commitment I made to the Lord, as well as my commitment to my husband. Who knows how many times my husband may have made the same choices for me? The Lord will not leave me, nor forsake me, and if something is so wrong with my marriage, I trust the Lord to show me and tell me what it is that I need to do.

  136. Debbie Wong July 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

    Love God so you have love to give.

  137. Judy Phillips July 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Determination and commitment when the going gets tough is what I banked on when my husband (of fifty years) and I hit the dry spots in our marriage. For there will be dry spots … when I said to myself “I love him but I don’t like him very much.

    Would so love to win that sweet “package” of gifts. Blessings to you Liz. Judy

  138. Roszelle Moore July 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    I had that same promise to my spouse. We also promised to never make fun of each other in public or contradict the other in public or particularly before the children. They can always use it against you. LOL We were married 21 years before he died, but I shared these values to my children and their intended before they married. Thank the Lord they are still married. And that is a true blessing in this day of divorce.

  139. Barbara July 20, 2016 at 1:08 pm #

    My husband I were not Christians when we married. Thankfully now we both are born again Christians. Praise the Lord!!!
    We tell everyone we meet that when they look at us they are looking at a true miracle. We have been married 33 years and I always tell young couples that God has to be at the center of their marriage and they must forgive each other and trust God to get them through the difficult times and that if they can hang in there through the hard and difficult times, they will be glad in the end.

  140. Janet Laudett July 20, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    Thanks for the great reminders in your post! Both my husband and I had parents who were divorced. We decided, even before we were married, that we were not going to let that happen to us. Now, even when we get annoyed with each other, we pray and work thru it! Also, the wonderful man who married us–EVERY couple that he married stayed together! He has gone home to the Lord now, but not about to break his record! Many blessings to you Liz!

  141. Marie Braund Cohoon July 20, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Dear Liz, Your wit, as always is refreshing, but your insight is simply inspiring. How I enjoyed this article… so much! I can share my secret of the marriage to my best friend, John, by saying this; I intended to be the last wife he would ever need. We worked and played together. We enjoyed traveling together, as well as staying home together. We praised God together and thanked Him for our blessings together.
    I don’t need the Crosley radio, thank you anyway. However, I would truly enjoy reading Bill’s book. I will look for it. You see, I live on the east of Eden, NC…on a hill, no less!
    God bless you both!

  142. Michele July 20, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

    Starting each day and ending each night with prayer together. Oh, and making sure we kiss, REALLY KISS, every day. 🙂

  143. Bonnie Oelschlager July 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm #

    My husband and I will be married 53 years on Sept. 6th of this year. We both love our Lord Jesus who has sustained us all these years. I am a very avid reader and now that we are both in our seventies I have a lot of time to read. When I am done with my books, at the end of each year I donate them to the library so that others may enjoy them also. Hope you have a wonderful summer and year. Bonnie O.

  144. Shirley July 20, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Wow! Way to go…it takes work to make a marriage last, does it not? In June of this year we celebrated our 46th anniversary. God said we would have trials and tribulations in this world and of ‘course He was right. With God at the center He helps us through them.

  145. Debbie July 20, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

    Never stop learning how to better communicate.
    And then communicate better!

  146. Rachael July 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    My husband and I will celebrate our 1st anniversary on Monday. We have so much to learn but one HUGE thing for us was no one is allowed to sleep on the couch. When we get mad we usually want to separate and let the hurt fester but forcing ourselves to sleep next to each other has meant that even if I am cross I end up snuggled in next to him by 3am and the next morning we talk it through.

  147. Liz Thomas July 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

    My wonderful husband and I just celebrated our 42nd wedding anniversary! Our marriage and family is a total miracle!! In our journey we have had some not too good years and now we are experiencing the wonder and blessing of a God-led, unified marriage to which we give Him all the praise, honor, and glory! Our great and loving Father has proved His goodness and faithfulness to us time and time again. We have learned to submit and yield our hearts, minds, and desires to Him and do life His way which is the best way always! Remembering that He gave us to each other, knowing exactly what we needed in a spouse, even when we were walking in wickedness, rebellion, and sin. What an amazing God we serve!!

  148. Dolly Lowe July 20, 2016 at 1:54 pm #

    I enjoyed your article. In addition to what you listed in your article, my husband and I had the three C’s. Compassion, communication and compromise. Our kids always said that we were so compatible and I told them we were not compatible but we learned to compromise. We were married almost 36 years when God decided to take him home. He was my best friend.

  149. Chris W. July 20, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

    The pastor who married us 32 years ago said the most important thing in a marriage is commitment. Love is vital in helping navigate the rough patches. My husband really stepped up in care giving while I was dealing with health issues this past winter. I praise God for giving me the best partner for life.

  150. Renette Steele July 20, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Thank you for this lovely post.
    We were married in 1980. We have spent a life time of adventures and moves and raising 4 awesome kids.
    What holds us together is GOD. He has seen us through so much.
    Even when we don’t like each other much we choose to love each other and try and see each other through GODs eyes.
    When you know just how special the other is to GOD it is hard not to love them.
    Also John (my Hubby) used to tell us to sing our complaints its hard to be upset when your singing.

  151. joyce July 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Your goals and desires for your marriage are wonderful and just what I would have wanted when I got married 35 years ago. Sadly, I am married to a self centered man who does not find the time to “do” for his wife. This has been a difficult struggle for me. Aside from that, your advice is what I have given to my children as they look for mates and contemplate marriage.

  152. Terri July 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    My husband and I also recently celebrated our 30th anniversary. I agree wholeheartedly with your ingredients for a love that goes the distance. I will add that our marriage is a sacrament, a covenant between three: God, my husband and myself. We have been blessed with a loving and happy marriage (though admittedly not ‘perfect’…there’s no such thing!). We were young, and looking back, there was much we didn’t know or discuss ahead of time. But we both knew the most important thing: marriage is ‘as long as you both shall live’, and God is here with us at all times.

  153. Denise Carroll July 20, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

    Happy 30th anniversary to you and Bill! A great milestone. My husband and I celebrated our 33rd anniversary this year, and the one thing that has helped me most when we were having a difficult time, was praying for God to help me see my husband through God’s eyes. It really did make all the difference!

  154. Karin July 20, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    The main key in our marriage is:
    when we decided to get married we each burned our ships!
    >>>>Cortes, after disembarking with his men in Veracruz, actually set on fire all the ships, thereby removing any possibility of turning back to return to Spain.

    My dearest, Bill, and I made a FULL commitment to each other.

    Thank you for the study on that verse of Proverbs.

    And—your new books sound wonderful! Can’t wait to check them out.

  155. Susan Kirby July 20, 2016 at 2:18 pm #

    Being married 34 years, we had our hardest time this past spring. Our children had grown, we were moving, both busy with work & church commitments. We had just started “coasting” instead of being intentional in our time together. We had some really hard talks and then we celebrated getting back to “us”. And now, we’re not back to being good, we’ve moved forward to a whole new good.

  156. MichelleH July 20, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

    I agree with all of your points and would add say ‘I’m sorry’, even if all you’re sorry for is the disagreement. When we married we said ‘this is it’. This is an *only* marriage, not a *first* marriage and we both need to believe and live that. Since we are both imperfect humans and this marriage is for life, we can work out the inevitable bumps or be miserable. lol We can say ‘I love you, but I need a break from you this moment’ and calm down before saying ‘I’m sorry’ and working out a disagreement. Twenty plus years and together is still exactly where we both want to be.

  157. Kim Eshelman July 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    Tim and I, Kim(my mom was Mim) will be married 38 years on July 29th. We both give 100 percent to our relationship. Never was there a thought that our marriage wasn’t to be forever. We’ve each had scary medical issues and tough life experiences….but always knew and know we are there for one another. I can’t thank God enough for placing Tim in my life 40 years ago in the apt across the hall at Penn State NOT BY ACCIDENT!

  158. Jodina Painter July 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm #

    I am married a little over a year – this isn’t my first marriage but the first one with God in it – I have a BC story as well and so does my husband – my faith is a little stronger than his and so I am the one that keeps trying in our marriage when it gets tough, I am the one who studies on how to make marriages work, etc.
    You devotion came just in time and made me smile – I have been asking God for direction on what to do and what to say, praying over my husband and myself –
    I love your humor and you awesome story –
    I would love to win the awesome giveaway of your book, Bill’s book and that cute radio that will remind me every day the vows I took before God – and how no marriage is ever easy, not one single one – 🙂
    Jodi

  159. Debbie Johnson July 20, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    We do all the things you said, plus we try to never go to bed angry or mad at each other.
    We also always tell each other Goodnight and I Love You with a kiss and Good Morning I Love You with a kiss before we start our day.
    We also have a nightly devotion after we areally in bed before we go to sleep.
    Love these special moments that make our love grow ever stronger.

  160. Marilyn Bullock July 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    Hi Liz, Good thoughts for me to share with others even though I an satisfied single unless God has other plans. I have Eden Hill ready for my next break. I thank GOd for your life and example and encouragement.

  161. Joye I July 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Enjoyed reading your comments.
    In my marriage, we decided to not let all of the little things bother us-just accept them and move on. We both have a good sense of humor which really helps.

  162. Regi Tolleson July 20, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

    I to was married in 1986 we are still going strong because of Jesus! He is our foundation, not every year was all roses we’ve had our share of thorns but it reminds us that God is with us in every situation and when we love each other unconditionally that honors God. Thanks for your sweet words today!

  163. Debbie Sheets July 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    We’ve been married for 42 years and still feel like newlyweds. Learn to “let it go” – some battles are not worth the “fight.” Sometimes it’s more advantageous to concede than to be “right.” Choose to love unconditionally and do so until death do us part.

  164. Diana July 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

    In addition to most of these, we went to a Christian therapist for 3 years. I needed therapy to deal with PTSD from a very abusive employment/church situation, as well as issues from my childhood. My husband graciously went with me and we were able to deal with a lot of what was between us as well. Since then, we have been part of 2 very grace-filled, loving churches and our lives and ministries have become very fruitful. God bless you all in the journey!

  165. Barbara Axtell July 20, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    My Husband and I always have Dinner together at the table. I started this when we first got married and have been eating like this for 29 years.

  166. Donna Standridge July 20, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    My daughter and I heard you in Louisville 3 or 4 years ago. What a blessing! Joy has read several of your books. Her dream is to go to Scotland with you on one of your trips.
    Your post made me recall our wedding in 1957. My Mother was going to make my dress but when we found a beautiful one at Pogues in Cincinnati for $85.00, my Mother made the decision to buy it rather than make one. We had a beautiful church wedding with cake and punch in the church Sunday School Annex. We had 35 wonderful years together until the Lord took Jim home to be with Him after a 6 year bout of cancer. Jim was a faithful pastor, husband, and father to our two children. I still miss him every day. I’m mostly homebound and seriously ill but my daughter has stepped up to the plate and cared for me so that I don’t need to go in a nursing home

    You are so right! The litle things need to be forgotten quickly. We need to laugh more.

  167. Rebecca sandoval July 20, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    I find myself very reluctant to give advice. We have been married for 29 years. Before we got married we made a promise to each other to never use the word divorce even in a joking manner. But most of all I believe we have both put God first. And God has kept us together, even through some not very pretty years.

  168. Karen Edlund July 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    “Once you say “I do,” then do.” That’s the line that resonates most with me, thank you!! We love by doing. While the feelings come and go, we love by our choices of words, thoughts, actions. Every day.

    And then there’s the God factor — God’s love is the glue and the strength to keep us “doing.”

  169. Reba Woolverton July 20, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

    We have been married 36 years. We both knew quitting wasn’t an option. I refuse to be miserable so we decided to not just make it but to enjoy the journey

  170. Caroline July 20, 2016 at 3:11 pm #

    Praying, reading God’s word, and worshipping together will keep and strengthen your marriage.

  171. tina July 20, 2016 at 3:18 pm #

    Always look for the good and give him the benefit of the doubt

  172. Candace Cook July 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    My husband and I just sit and talk about the day, the week, family, grandkids, church, bowling, fishing, just doesn’t’t matter……just keep talking and listening!!!

  173. Mary Jo Oliver July 20, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    My husband & I will celebrate 38 years of marriage in December. There have been many ups and downs. Learning to talk to God before opening my mouth to my husband has been oh so helpful! About 2 years ago, our pastor suggested a nightly prayer. “Lord, help me to be the wife (or husband) that my spouse needs.” Holding hands and saying this prayer nightly has held us together through some very stressful times this last year.

  174. Karla Tildayl July 20, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Brent and I will celebrate 55 years in December and we are best friends and deeply in love. God has always been a part of our lives and that is why we are still together.

  175. Ann Hair July 20, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    I believe, aside from the obvious- following the Lord together- my favorite secret ingredient to a lasting marriage has been getting up in the morning together and going to bed together. The only exception to this has been when one of us is away or sick! The quiet minutes together at the beginning and end of each day has been a blessing to our relationship. Congrats on the new publications… blessings!

  176. Kay Novotny July 20, 2016 at 3:29 pm #

    My dear husband, Randy, and I have been married for over 46 years. We were both only 20, our wedding was tiny (just family), I got my dress for two dollars at a thrift store, and my mother-in-law baked the cake. But the wedding itself wasn’t important. It was because we saw ourselves as a team, I think, that we survived all that life has thrown at us. Through sorrow and happiness, want and plenty, exhaustion and exhilaration, we have found joy in each other, and the blessings that the grace of God has given us. Quite simply, we believe God meant us to be together.

  177. Annie July 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm #

    I am by no means qualified to give marital advice as our marriage of 15 years is less than perfect. I have learned though that revisiting an issue at a later, calmer time seems to be far more productive than trying to hash things out in the heat of the moment. Another bit of peace I’m learning to lean on is that God sees the little details and hears my heart even if my husband doesn’t quite get get.

  178. Dolly Webb July 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    This year Tomand I celebrated 50 blessed years together! What has made this love last all these years was very constant, putting God first thing every morning! Every morning, climbing out of bed, we sit together and read and discuss his word together. A cup of coffee and our first words are from him. It is simply amazing how his word solves many a problem and puts it into perspective. ( over the years we have done it through discussion of just choosing a book of the Bible and doing one chapter a morning, a Bible study or devotional book. But our favorite part is always…what does his word say to us this morning for today. It’s amazing where he leads you into deep thought and keeps you on the right track! Also, just to let you know, some days it has come through clenched teeth or tears)

  179. Nancy Dean July 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm #

    We both have a lot of respect for each other. We serve in our church and find that we are each other’s best friend. When times are tough we always know we have each other. We’ve been married 41 years.

  180. Shondra July 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Learn to say “I’m Sorry”…no matter how big or how small the error is, apologizing can go a long way.

  181. Elsie July 20, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

    Thanks for your wedding story. I enjoy reading your books.

  182. Gay Olivia July 20, 2016 at 3:50 pm #

    Daily, I ask God to help me see my wonderful husband through His eyes, as my brother in Christ. We are both in His family as well as husband and wife. We were both very young when we married and had a few rocky years but then we came to Christ and that added a whole new dimension to our union. We are both still sinners saved by grace and make a conscious effort to not hurt one another as that grieves our Father. And we always try to extend grace to one another when there are things we can’t see eye-to-eye on……

  183. Mary Ellen Clements July 20, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks for the reminders! My husband and I have been married for 40 years. We married WAY too young and not under the best of circumstances. We experienced lots of hard times but I relied on God to see us through and, as always, HE is faithful. We have three beautiful daughters, three great sons-in-law, and 6 beautiful and handsome grandchildren. We have truly been blessed!
    Love your books, your wit and humor!
    God bless!

  184. Marjorie July 20, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

    We do devotions daily together. Also, vowing to never go to bed angry–who could sleep anyway if you’re angry!

  185. My fiancée had a health issue that made it unwise for him to drive great distances alone or to travel alone by public transportation. We knew the Lord had brought us together and Arthur wanted badly to meet my parents. (I have a hunch he was concerned how he was going to ask my dad permission to marry me.) I volunteered to drive to his home and bring him back to mine. In his letters to me before I could do that, he expressed over and over how grateful he was that I would do that. I told him because I loved him, there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for him. I said it. I meant it. And I did it. That final thing occurred nearly 53 years after we were happily married when I gave him my permission to live when his health issues become so severe, he wanted to go home to Jesus. I miss him every day, and I look forward to the time when we will be together for keeps in the New Earth.
    _Hope Irvin Marston

  186. sherri bullard July 20, 2016 at 4:21 pm #

    W O W…that is so wonderful..I did not realize how serious my marriage vows was until I got older and have a sold out commitment to Christ. I am still married but we live separate. I have miss him for a long time and we now talk randomly. I wanted to be with him for all my life but his anger push me away. If I had known the seriousness of my vows at that time, maybe I could have stay stedfast. Marriage to me is commitment on every side.

  187. Susan Bulla July 20, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    37 years and counting! Our secret is that we really like each other. We enjoy each other’s company more than anyone else’s. We make each other laugh. Divorce has never been an option so is never a part of any “discussion.” I learned early on that my words can build him up or tear him down, so I work hard (and for me, it is very hard work!) to be careful of my words, my tone, and my facial expressions when speaking. Well now that I’ve already given four secrets, I’ll give the biggest one: Trust in God through it all and call on Him to help in the big and the little things!

  188. Kathy July 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    My husband and my made the decision that divorce would never be an option. It’s a good thing we did because a couple of years into our marriage our relationship was not good at all. But we remembered what we had promised each other and stayed the course. Now it’s been almost 37 years together and we are still going strong.

  189. glenwood July 20, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    Listen. Allow the other person to be different from you.

  190. Linda LaRock July 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    Liz,
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with all of us.

    We have been married 39+ years. There were some very rough years. Divorce was never an option and never even hinted at.

    Our Heavenly Father used what I thought was the worst possible thing to do,(go to work for my husband in the office of his machine shop) and brought about the best thing for our marriage. We are one of those few “odd” couples who enjoy working together. It made me feel that I was part of his life. I knew what had happened at work that day. It’s worked for 25 years.

  191. Brenda Murphree July 20, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    We’ve been married 40 yrs in a few months. At times it’s not easy but you have to be steadfast in your love for each other. Always be faithful because that’s the #1 thing that can tear a couple apart. The main thing is to keep God in the equation.

  192. Ashley Sperry July 20, 2016 at 4:48 pm #

    Well I’m not married…yet…but I so appreciate your tips for keeping love alive in a marriage. I have a great example of that in my parents and I’m hopeful I’ll get to experience the blessing of marriage one day soon. I guess if I could leave any tip it would be to hold hands. I saw a cute elderly couple walking into the grocery store today still holding hands after that many years of marriage and it was so refreshing and sweet. Oh and don’t go a day without letting them know you care and that you love them you never know when that day might be your last.

  193. Carol M. Johnson July 20, 2016 at 4:49 pm #

    I will never forget meeting you. My husband and I were on a flight from Louisville to Europe via Atlanta and you were seated next to me. You were busy reading some pamphlet and began to laugh, a laugh which continued to grow, and became infectious, and I began to laugh with you, not even knowing what was so funny! We were both loud laughters. We introduced ourselves, found we were kindred Christian writers, and had a wonderful time chatting until you got off in Atlanta. Later, friends who were traveling with us, seated rows ahead, said how neat I run into an old friend, as they had heard us laughing. I said “I’ve never seen her before in my life.”

    • Carol M. Johnson (Mrs. David R.) July 20, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

      This is part 2 of my comment, because I was a bit tearful recalling that trip. Dave, my sweetheart of 57 years, passed away last year. He was on the plane and when you began to tell me your name, he said “wait, let me tell her. This is Liz Curtis, I listen to her on the radio all the time and recognized her voice and laugh!” This was our life – sharing joy and laughter, sadness and difficulty, success, a loving family, and dealing with his Parkinson’s for 10 years. But always finding JOY, and knowing that every negative has a positive.

  194. Doris Jayne Acker July 20, 2016 at 4:56 pm #

    Love the photos of you and Bill! My husband and I will be married for 44 years this coming January. The first thing I thought of was prayer for each other. Over the years work schedules have prevented praying together each morning but we have for years set aside some time first thing on Saturday morning and that has been great. When we are on the road we still do that as we travel. I bring a devotional to read while he drives! Also VIP is to be able to say ” I’m sorry”. Sometimes its hard to get out cause I am not so sure I was wrong (ha, ha!) but we all need to do that at times.

  195. Anne Clements July 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    My husband and I are estranged. After 43 years he left with another woman shortly after I returned from a mission trip with a Christian group. He does not know Jesus as his savior. In my opinion all the wonderful things you suggested ,Liz , are right on for a good marriage…we did so many of those things for many years….what we lacked was God in the center of our marriage and when I began to grow as a born again Christian my husband chose not to choose Christ.

    Please pray for his salvation, every day I remember Him in prayer. Nothing finer would be to see him on Gods front porch some day. Thank you! Blessings….

  196. Ann July 20, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Nothing profound in keeping a marriage together…we came close to calling it quits, but both of us agreed that we would not use the “D” word. Doesn’t mean we probably didn’t THINK it, but we are still together…41 years later in another 5 weeks. We make each other laugh and that helps a lot.

  197. Tammy July 20, 2016 at 5:05 pm #

    For love that goes the distance…the key ingredients for me are loving my husband the way that God loves me (unconditionally!) and forgiving (whether I feel like it or not ;)) So many time in my marriage, the Lord has directed me the Phil 2, where it talks about how Christ took on himself the form or a servant. He has helped me to see that I need to be like Jesus, love my husband like Jesus does, and always be ready to forgive as Christ has forgiven me!

  198. Robin Fulkrod July 20, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi Liz, We too are celebrating 30 years of marriage this September. The short of this is that My Father In Law killed my Mom in the fourth year of our marriage. The fact that we made it through all the years of hearings and heartache is only because of God’s GRACE! We use this as our testimony…when others were divorcing because “he” wont put the toilet seat down or “she” wont put the toothpaste lid on, We were facing horrendous, satan inspired hateful situations and we leaned on the Lord to make it.
    To this very day our story/testimony is still helping others find grace and forgiveness in their relationships.
    God brought us through all that and gave us an opportunity to help others. How awesome is that?
    I think one thing we never expected was the way our love for one another would change through the years. We thought we would always be deeply and passionately In Love. 30 years later we have a stronger love, more subdued but deeper and wiser than ever before.
    Just a note; My Father In Law is now a double leg amputee. I am working on liquidating his estate now. How ironic and humorous is our Father in Heaven. He allowed me to suffer such great loss at this man’s hands, yet He helped me to forgive the Grandfather of my children and now to feel honor as I serve him as he now resides in a nursing facility.
    Please pray for him to accept the forgiveness from the Lord and finds true peace in his heart.

  199. Pat Rubingh July 20, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

    Hopefully this is where you want comments made for the drawing…

    Just last week I handed a friend at church your book “Mixed Signals” to read as she was looking for something to read on vacation. I told her it was a book I thoroughly enjoyed; in fact, I’ve event read it twice. I told her a bit about you and your story and how you are such an inspiring writer and speaker. I hope I’ve recruited a new member of your “fan club”. 🙂

    I appreciate your posting today about marriage. My husband and I are soon to celebrate our 44th anniversary and I agree with your points of a good marriage. What would I add? Simply show respect for each other in all of life’s situations (good or challenging) and also be good friends with each other (dare I say, even “best friend”?)

    Thank you for your gifts of humor and encouragement to all of us on this journey through life. You are God’s gift to us all.

    Pat Rubingh
    Grand Rapids, MI

  200. Sonja harpe July 20, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    We have been married 55 years. This is only due to help from God through prayer. Also, commitment, love and work.

  201. Ann Zimmerman July 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

    Thank you Liz. I so enjoy your books and encouragements. I share them often with my Bible study group. When I read the one from the new year, they were very concerned for your welfare. Praise to God that you are now doing well.

  202. Jena July 20, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    We let others think we were headed out of town for our anniversary this past year. The kids stayed with grandparents and we stayed at a hotel downtown and spent the weekend reliving some of our favorite memories as a couple.

  203. Brenda July 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    Putting each other first is important in marriage as well as listening and really hearing what the other person is saying.

  204. Shirley July 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    Always remember the love that brought you together. Respect each other. Most important forgive each other. Both of you share a family. Never violate a promise. When one cries, the other does too.

  205. Jonna July 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

    We’ve been married 31 years. We have our ups and downs but always work things out. The secret to keeping my husband happy is the fix dried beans really often!

  206. Charlene July 20, 2016 at 5:34 pm #

    “A three-cord braid cannot be broken” — weave Jesus into the marriage from the very beginning. Nothing will be able to “fray” it.

    • Lisa July 20, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

      Love that visual! Thanks for sharing!

  207. Barbara Westworth July 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

    My husband Bob and I have been married 47 years this December. We both were young Christians when we married and have always put God first in all we do. I would say praying together is one of the most important parts of marriage. Also tell each other that you love them. Bob tells me every morning he loves me. I am so blessed to have Bob in my life! We of course have had our ups and downs but always willing to work through them.

  208. Beth Taylor July 20, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

    Chris and I have been married 17 years. One thing that has kept our marriage together is remembering we each belong to God first before each other. It makes us both want the absolute best for each other.

    Beth Taylor

  209. Anna Marie Teel July 20, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    The secret of keeping our marriage strong for the past forty-two years is always keeping God number ONE in our minds and hearts. Our commitment … our promise/vow…. to Him directly affects our relationship with one another. We’ve had our ups and downs, as most couples have experienced. This one thing has always kept us grounded.

  210. Michelle Reynolds July 20, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

    Marriage will only “go the distance” if God is in the center. Both husband and wife must always choose to invest in each other when times get hard, forgive often, and love unconditionally even when you don’t want to. Pray together every day, laugh a lot, and always be honest. A good marriage is a choice…it doesn’t just happen.

  211. Jackie Hardy July 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Put God first, always and cherish the partner He gave you.

  212. Renee Jackson July 20, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Our secret to our marriage is not only God, but family. We have 5 children we’ve been blessed with (and that keeps us busy)! We’ve learned to team work and include everyone – if it needs to be done let’s do it! Oh, I love him!!!

  213. Barbara Alaimo July 20, 2016 at 6:50 pm #

    We have tried to laugh at ourselves and some of the dumb things we have chosen to argue about. Before going to bed we try to say what we most appreciate about each other that day. Pray before making love and find new ways to show each other that he/she is my favorite person. Honestly admitting that I have said or done something that is not as loving as I would wish before the other can respond or react. Discovering each other’s love language from Gary Chapman’s book and then trying to live that more fully. Being intentional in our marriage is important. If we don’t want criticism to reign, we have to call each other on it when it rears its ugly head. Every anniversary we pull out the wedding album to reminisce about our day.

  214. Roxanne Nanney July 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    I just hosted a banquet for couples in our church who have been married 50+ years. With 9 couples there were 521 years of marriage between them. What a testimony to faithfulness, theirs and God’s. Though God has called me to be single, I love seeing couples who display a “love that goes the distance.” Marriage is a beautiful picture of the relationship God desires to have with us. Thank you for making that picture a little clearer today!!!

  215. Robin in NC July 20, 2016 at 6:56 pm #

    I just love your love story! Wishing you many, many more happy years together! I feel that prayer is essential to a life long marriage! We pray together & also have our separate quiet times too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  216. Josie Pellegrino July 20, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    I have been married for 34 years to my best friend. I know that it sounds like a cliche, but you really should be friends before you become husband and wife. That way you have a foundation for your love. Have I always liked him – maybe not – but I’ve ALWAYS loved him. And there is a difference.
    Congratulations on your 30 years with Bill.

  217. Angie N July 20, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

    My husband and I went to a marriage conference in our first year of marriage. The only thing I remember that the pastor said was, “Wives, get off your husband’s back so God can get on.” We’ve been married 26 years this past June. 🙂

  218. Shirley July 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for the reminder that the Lord needs to be at the center. We celebrated 46 years in June.

  219. Heidi July 20, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    You have to be friends, yes. You have to know how to laugh together, yes. A good sex life is key, as well. But really, you have to be in it to win it, so to speak. Even when I don’t love my man of 21 years I’m still in it for always. Even when I want to run away because I feel like I hate him, I’m still in it. Why? Because I really do love him and because God joined us. I don’t want to break apart what God put together. No one is in it forever anymore, it seems. But you make that commitment at the altar before God and man and when I said it I meant it. So if you’re in it for the long haul then you’d better learn to like each other and learn to love better.

  220. Robin Myers July 20, 2016 at 8:00 pm #

    Having God in your marriage is key, definitely.

  221. Renee Schultz July 20, 2016 at 8:25 pm #

    I totally agree with laughing with your mate, being able to get each other’s humor is a connection so strong, something so special between the two of you. Sometimes it is just a look between you that gives a smirk and you know you are thinking the same thing. Priceless!

  222. Julie Sunne July 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Loved hearing your wedding story, Liz! Dave and I will be married 27 years October 7, and I must be honest, for many years, I let our children become more important than my husband. He let his work and hobbies fill the gap. This created a bland marriage.

    In a happy and growing marriage, God must be center, absolutely, and your children must be cared for and loved, yes, but your spouse must be a priority. Don’t neglect your spouse or your marriage will grow flat. We’re now intentional about taking time to reconnect and grow together. It’s making a huge difference.

  223. Hildy July 20, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    What a lovely story of your marriage. My husband and I have been married for 17 years. What works for us is knowing that no argument goes on forever. When we had our first fight, my husband thought that was the end of our marriage. I thought this was funny. I said are you kidding. We still have a good laugh over this.

  224. Heather July 20, 2016 at 9:15 pm #

    Our marriage slogan: don’t quit. We work through the difficulties together.

  225. Lisa July 20, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    Prayer, prAyer and more prayer! We’ve also found that being part of small accountability group or life group that meets weekly has had a significant impact on our marriage as well as our children- highly encourage it! ?

  226. Phyllis Stevens July 20, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    After marrying at age 21 a man who deserted both me & the military 3 years later. I was a mom with a beautiful daughter but no husband. A few years later I married again & we stayed in love & married through some pretty rough spots. He was an alcoholic but through God’s Grace & AA we worked through it & never gave up. Sadly he died of melanoma cancer a few months after our 27th anniversary. God provided me with a huge surprise when my late husband’s niece introduced me to a man who became my 3rd husband. I was 61 but our time together is so sweet. We are more tolerant of small annoyances with each other because we have both come through the storms of life. We worship together, often visiting with a real interest in our partner’s views. We are less demanding than we were in our youthful relationships. I find myself letting go of details that used to upset me because now I realize they are just that, details. I know at last what is important and what is not. God is first and what is in second place isn’t even close.

  227. Claudia July 20, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Make sure you really know each other, like each other, and that you are Best Friends Forever.

  228. Debie July 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm #

    Our secret to 43 years of marriage was and still is a love triangle. God is always at the top of the triangle overlooking and blessing me and hubby on our wonderful journey.

  229. Jerri Harrington July 20, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    We married August 9, 1975 in a small church in Canyon, Texas, my home town. We have been on a 41 year adventure from our honeymoon trip to Six Gun City (seven miles away), through husband, Don’s career with the USAF Orchestra, (1500 miles away) and the raising of four sons and now to the blessings of two daughters (in-law) and a grandson and granddaughter!
    We never speak ill of one another to our friends or family. We tell each other “I love you!” everyday. Every morning we share the song or dream we have on our minds. We pray together everyday, share meaningful scriptures and moments with God, and, when we face trials…there have been many difficult ones…we say to each other “this will not drive us apart.”
    And we pray to be drawn closer and stronger. We have requested and received much advice and have been blessed with fine examples of godly marriages in our church family. We love each other with the love God gives us. He is good!

  230. Elaine Young July 20, 2016 at 9:58 pm #

    Hi Liz
    Two months ago tomorrow we buried my mom. In the last two months before her passing we had the greatest blessing of sharing with her both her 90th birthday and mom and dad’s 73rd wedding anniversary. (Dad is still quite alive and well at 95)
    They had some very tough years in the early days but they stuck together and through it came out stronger in the later years. During the last few months of mom’s life, my parents lived with my husband and I and I was often overwhelmed, often brought to tears as I saw the demonstration of the love that was so strong for one another, even after 73 years. Totally awesome!! Thank you Lord for this great blessing I had to witness this and the example of a Christian marriage.

  231. Angie K. July 20, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    Keep laughing together and find time for each other. Be together but encourage each other when apart.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  232. Jerri A. Harrington July 20, 2016 at 10:07 pm #

    We married August 9, 1975 in a small church in Canyon, Texas, my hometown. We have been on a 41 year adventure that took us from our honeymoon trip seven miles away to Six Gun City, through Don’s career with the USAF Strolling Strings in Washington D.C., through the growing of our family of four sons, to the addition of two daughters(-in-law) and the joyous blessings of a remarkable little grandson and beautiful baby grand daughter! We never speak ill of one another to other people, but speak only what builds each other up. We kiss and hug often every day. If we wake up “with a song”, we share. We tell each other about special moments with God in scripture or in prayer. We pray for each other and encourage each other to pray through discouraging times. We pray together every day and we remind each other of times God has answered prayers. When we face times of grief and trials, and there have been many, we say to one another, “This will not tear us apart!” and we pray that God will bring us closer and make us stronger. And He has, because God is faithful, and God is good!

  233. Kayla Callender July 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    Some really wonderful and lovely comments on here about godly marriages. Thanks be to God for all He brings together that would never be parted because He willed it to be so for His glory and kingdom purposes. Bless you all 🙂

    Ps. I am a single currently but absolutely encouraged by Mrs and Mr Higgs and all of your fruit bearing in this life in the situations God has placed yall in.

    Grace and Peace!

  234. Bonnie Holmes July 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm #

    Blessed with a second chance at marriage, we decided from our very first date to be open and honest about our feelings, patiently waiting, most of the time, listening before responding. It has help our marriage greatly to know that my husband will listen when I need him to, and offer suggestions to help. I do the same for him. This open and honest policy helps us to get through disagreements and tough situations. We also do not use the “D” word…divorce!

  235. Mary M. July 20, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    Two qualities that give themselves to successful, lasting marriages are humility and the ability to laugh. Life is way too short to be taken so seriously. Be humble enough to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes and gracious enough toward your spouse to laugh with them when they do.

    “And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Cor. 13:13

  236. JT July 20, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

    My husband and I are going on 19 years of marriage. No one told me about the midlife crises that men tend to have. The unspeakable happened to me, my husband had an affair. It was devastating to me. With 4 children and many other factors in life and lots of time spent in prayer, I have decided to remain with him and not file for a divorce. He realizes that it was the biggest mistake of his life and is truly sorry. I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my life and move forward each day and it is more than difficult. The biggest thing that I have learned through all of this is to always remember 1 Corinthians Chapter 13, otherwise known as the love chapter to many. Love is patient, kind, does not act unbecomingly, does not take into account a wrong suffered, bears all things, endures all things. The true meaning of love will get you through the difficult times and help you to thoroughly enjoy the good times. In thinking through what Jesus went through for me, that was a true example of love. Because he can forgive me in love, I can do my best to forgive my husband in love as well. I will fufill my wedding vow…you know, the part about “for better or worse….til death do us part” . Only with God’s amazing grace though. And when I stand before the Father, my hope is that he will tell me “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

  237. Bobbi July 20, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    Our 38th anniversary is this Fri. I can’t say it’s all been”better” and there’s been a few “worse.” But we meant our vows and have taken them as a commitment and a promise. When we had 4 younger kids, when one of us would say that we had it, the other would tell them they had to take all the kids with them. That would make us think and laugh. The other thing we agreed upon was that neither one of us would choose to sleep on the couch. Thank You God for 38.

  238. Sue Nowicki July 20, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

    I’ve always loved Ruth Graham’s answer to a question about whether she had ever considered divorce with her evangelist husband, Billy. “Divorce, no,” she replied with a straight face. “Murder, yes.” When I get upset with my husband, I remind myself that we’re two flawed humans living as one flesh. How is that even possible? Throw a bunch of flawed kids into the mix, and the surprise is that any marriage survives! Ours has, for 43-plus years, thanks to the grace of God and a zany sense of humor. Occasional counseling and ice cream helps, too.

  239. Cindy Jungers July 20, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

    Choosing to love–especially when I don’t feel like it.

  240. Debra Supino July 20, 2016 at 11:19 pm #

    I have been married to my sweetheart for over 20 years and I think the success to our marriage is being “like-minded”. We have a lot in common from liking the same movies to liking the same apples. We are also best friends which helps a lot. We don’t fight and respect each other’s opinions. We know and love Christ and have faith that whatever comes our way, we can handle it with grace and peace.

  241. Kristie Babcock July 20, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

    I have had the love of my life leave and give up on us in the middle of one of the worst events of my life. I prayed to God, screamed at God, cried to God, but over all I trusted Him to get me through. Though some days were worse than others, God took my situation and made me strong, independent l, and helped me to love myself again. And then you know what, after I learned and grew, God led me back in to the man I love’s arms. God gave me the strength to forgive him, because I needed the destruction and the hurt for Him to show me my strength. We’ve been together ever since and I thank God for what I have today.

  242. Pamela July 20, 2016 at 11:22 pm #

    My husband and I have been married over 22 years now, and we still hold hands. I can’t tell you how special that makes me feel. 🙂 Happy Anniversary to you and your husband! Wishing you many more!

  243. Patricia Walsh July 20, 2016 at 11:24 pm #

    Liz, I fell in love with my husband in November 1970. We married in Sept 1971 and were married until Nov 7, 2015….death parted us all too soon. Six months after we married he was sent to DaNang Vietnam as a lieutenant in the USAF. We wrote every day numbering our letters. I prayed for his safety and begged God to bring him back home to me uninjured. God honored my prayers and we had many years together. The thing that kept us together, in love, and faithful to the end, was God. We were a cord of three that could NOT be broken. We prayed together, worshipped together, focused on Christ when angry, and raised our two kids to seek His face daily. As my husband was slipping away from me due to cancer, he said he knew we’d both be okay. God gifted me with blessed assurance, and my darling husband with confidence in my ability to be in ministry by myself.
    If I could tell young people marrying a bite of wisdom, it would be to always remember that magic moment when you knew that person you just kissed was THE ONE. Never forget God designed marriage, ordained marriage as one man and one woman, and blessed it. If you were meant to be, you always will be, with God’s guidance.
    God bless your years and may you have many more.

  244. Jeannie Click July 20, 2016 at 11:27 pm #

    Assume the best. Always, always assume the very best of each other.

  245. Carol Smith July 21, 2016 at 12:30 am #

    You are a true inspiration to me. I have been married for 35 years and still love my husband, more than the day I married him. Like you we stood in front of God and said I do. That has keep us together through many a rough spot. Thank you for changing your life when God told you to and married Bill, and started your ministry. It has always spoken to me.

  246. PEVENSIE /Shayna Medendorp July 21, 2016 at 1:38 am #

    I have yet to experience that type of love, but t I have been praying for my futurein hubby for 2 years now. So, I truly believe that prayer in an key ingredient for a long lasting marriage or that is what I heard.

  247. Margaret Carson July 21, 2016 at 4:13 am #

    I just discovered this awesome blog. I was looking for “love/peace” scriptures to post for seven days. My “googling” led me to you. I am thoroughly enjoying your writings.

  248. cindi bohmann July 21, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    Best advice we received….”Respect on another.”
    Unless I want to hear a sassy reply, my first response ( if I disagree!) should be given with the respect I would want to hear.
    Going strong after 44 years!

  249. Sharon Macri July 21, 2016 at 6:03 am #

    Remember always love covers. God has amazing blessings ahead for you.

  250. Diann Jones July 21, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    Just beautiful! I have to share that I was on the other side of this coin. When I met my husband in 1976 he was a young man just finding his way in Christ! I found out quickly that he was God’s man for me and we were married in 1977. His past was full of “righteous living”. A prodigal son for sure! From him I learned that TRUST was the most precious thing I could give to him! AND now 39 years later we are still traveling this path together, blessed beyond measure and loving each other more and more. Thank you for sharing how inportant TRUST is in a marriage!

  251. Dawn Barnard Sullivan July 21, 2016 at 6:21 am #

    2things that I have found to be important in my marriage:
    1)Never speak anything but positively of my husband. If I do, I am looking at my husband through the lens of the world and need to again ask God to be the center of our marriage and see my sweet love through His eyes again.
    2) when I think my husband is lacking in any way and should be doing more for me, I ask myself, “what makes you all that?”, “what do you bring to the table?”, “what would make him desire you?”. Then I realize I have been attending to work, the kids, the house; but have I been doing anything to make him feel like the Love of my life or King of the castle? That usually sets me back onto the Right path.

  252. Linnie July 21, 2016 at 6:40 am #

    Such sound advice even for those of us in the forty year stretch!

  253. julie July 21, 2016 at 6:58 am #

    I love the way God uses you to reach people!! Lately I’ve struggled with this man of mine. I know it’s because of not keeping God at the center of everything. We both have our faults but I know God is bigger and greater than anything Satan can throw at us. Praying that my man will be the man God has called him to be and I can be the wife that I’m called to be. 16 years and counting!!

  254. Laura Snowden July 21, 2016 at 7:40 am #

    Our secrets for a love that lasts:
    There are 3 in our marriage, God, my husband and me
    We never go to sleep with any unresolved issues between us.

  255. Nickie Ostick July 21, 2016 at 8:07 am #

    You are spot-on, Liz with your advice. My mantra with marriage as well as with parenting is, “Do your best, and God will add His grace to what you do!” It seems that God is always willing to graciously make up for my short-comings. I am so thankful for that!

  256. Marcia Hall July 21, 2016 at 8:12 am #

    Love that goes the distance requires forgiveness, commitment as in a covenant before God and lots of encouragement and prayer. Just celebrated 53 years. ❤️ Liz, When are you coming to Indianapolis?

  257. Kathy McGaha July 21, 2016 at 8:30 am #

    Best advice I got on my wedding day (1) never go to bed angry (2) never miss a chance to say”I love you”

  258. Linda Wheeler July 21, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Hi Liz! Jamie & I just celebrated 37 years together! One of our ‘secrets’ is to never go to bed mad (which many times has been a difficult thing to do!) and to be willing to say ‘I’m sorry’ even when it might not be your fault! We also have several secret meaning words between us…that when spoken makes us giggle a bit and we give each other ‘the eye’…keeps us smiling and the romance alive. Marriage is hard and fun work!

  259. Helen Lynn July 21, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    Commitment is the first word that comes to mind when speaking of marriage. Commitment first to Christ and then to each other.
    Commitment has brought us to and through forty-eight years of better and worse, for richer (?) for poorer, in sickness and in health. At seventy-two, we figure ’til death do us part will do it for us!

  260. Karen Whitehead July 21, 2016 at 9:19 am #

    Love is impossible. Only by reflecting the love of Christ can I make it happen. Rereading the love chapter in Corinthians is a steadying inspiration. I read Proverbs 31 to aspire to be the best I can. My parents married in the Deptession and held on 52 years by their strong faith in God and because they learned from the Depression that you don’t throw anything away.

  261. Linda Fern July 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    Dear Liz,
    Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story. I plan on sharing it with my husband Tony. I waited to say “yes” when I turned 40. Nothing felt right to me until I met this man. My Dad met Tony when we were dating, and my Dad says, “This is the one!”. I kept that comment tucked in my heart, because I wasn’t quite there yet. But when I was, boy was my Dad ever right. Tony is the one! I told Tony I was like Moses, wandering the desert for 40 years, until I found the promise land. I thank God for my best friend and love of my live. I am reminded today, to tell Tony, how blessed I am to have him in my life. Xxo

  262. Susan July 21, 2016 at 9:21 am #

    When you want to quit, don’t!

  263. Digna Kelly July 21, 2016 at 9:53 am #

    Liz,your lesson this month has helped my marriage of 17 years. I repeated your vows with our names,keeping me on track. I have all your bible studies also many of your books that take place in Scotland. I thank God for giving you your talent to write. If I don’t win I promise to read Bill’s book.

  264. Joyce July 21, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    One more thing I would like to add is “share all your financial information”. Being in the accounting world, I notice that more times than not, money is a major issue for couples–even in Christian circles.

  265. Meg Delo July 21, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    I have done several of your Bible studies in the past and enjoyed them all! We, too, had a simple “un-elegant” wedding back in 1963. I was only 18 and was in nursing school, my dress was borrowed from a cousin, and our bridesmaid dresses and hats were made by my Mama. The reception was at the church…cake, punch, mints, and nuts, and then they wished us well and sent us on our way! Our “honeymoon” was one night in a motel, and then “the groom” started a new job 2 days later, after having recently finished his term in the Air Force. I wanted to impress him with our first dinner at home, so I tried to bake “congo squares” for dessert. I had made them many times, but, due to a typographical error in the recipe, that “batch” is buried in the woods behind our first apartment with the spoon still stuck in it! Now, 3 children and 12 amazingly beautiful grandchildren later, we are getting ready to celebrate our 53rd anniversary in August! Life is good…not perfect, but God is good ALL the time, and He has seen us through! Thanks for sharing your sweet testimony with us!

  266. Rae July 21, 2016 at 10:48 am #

    My husband and I have been happily married 35 years. The key is putting each other ahead of ourselves.

  267. Gina Rampy July 21, 2016 at 10:54 am #

    I would love to win your sweet gift.
    My husband have gone on a date night every Friday night since we married, that’s almost 18 years now. We just usually go eat and rent a movie to watch but it is the time that is ours alone that makes it special. I have juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (since age 3) and as the years go on, I find it harder to get out but he helps me. 🙂

  268. Fran Phillips July 21, 2016 at 11:18 am #

    My wonderful husband, Gene, and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in the August before the following February when pancreatic cancer took him from me. God blessed me those 50 years with three sons, three grandsons, three granddaughters and great times of laughter, love and happiness with the best husband a woman could have. Our secret of a happy marriage is no secret at all. All you need is love, an understanding of each other by always keeping the lines of communication open and, in our case, when we did have harsh words with each other we said what we needed to say, apologized for the words we didn’t mean, stood by the ones we meant and five minutes later were sitting at the table having a cup of coffee like the good friends we were.

    • Shauna July 21, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      God bless you for sharing this Fran! So sorry for your loss–but you are so right, your “secret” truly is no secret at all! May the memories of your beloved comfort you in your days and may peace surround you.

  269. Pamela Blomberg July 21, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Dear Liz, Congrats on being married 30 incredible years, I know the Lord has truly blessed you and your hubby with wonderful marriage! You are an inspiration to all of us, and it is great to see in the day and age we live in that marriage is still so highly valued. I know the day when the Lord blessed me with my own husband on August 1 1992, it was a dream of a lifetime and an incredible beginning to an awesome journey. Marriage isn’t easy as you well know but each and every day it is a blessing to know I can still lay down each night and wake up each and every morning, with my beloved and just to know he is there is a comfort beyond words. I find even when my hubby doesn’t say a whole lot most of the time in how he feels toward me, that he shows it in his actions most of all. I’ve begun to treasure what he will reveal to me next with those actions and know that he truly is the love of my life no matter what! I think if I had to go back and do it all over again, I would, because knowing the Lord has been there every step of the way has made the journey 0h so worth it!

  270. Shauna July 21, 2016 at 11:52 am #

    For the last 25 years since our wedding night, my husband and I have said “I love you” before going to sleep. Sometimes that means also saying “I’m sorry” or “let’s talk about it tomorrow” when we have had a disagreement. As Ephesians 4:26 says, ” Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down in your anger.” Applies to family as well as neighbors!

  271. Billie Conrad July 21, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    A marriage founded on prayer…my husband of 45 years and I prayed together on the patio of my college dorm when we were dating (where other couples were hanging on each other with locked lips)…prayer makes all the difference!

  272. Becky S. July 21, 2016 at 2:31 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart for 31 years. I would just say never give up. Never give up on each other or on the hope that comes only from the Lord. Never stop praying. And never stop reading and applying His Word.

  273. Colleen Moody July 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

    Sometimes, my secret is to just ask The Lord to put “His” duct tape over my mouth. I pray for whatever it is I really want to SCREAM at my husband. Then, The Lord does a work in my husband’s heart, and I don’t have to say or do anything. 🙂 Our God is AMAZING!

  274. Tami July 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    I think the biggest game changer in a long marriage is to love and respect your husband as a man. That means no rolling of your eyes, talking bad about him especially in front of other people or criticizing his character. We need to show him honor and respect him at all times even when his actions disappoint you.

  275. Joan Walters July 21, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

    Oh Lizzie…you are the best! I’ve been blessed to see / hear you in person several times over the years and it’s always an incredible blessing. My wonderful John and I just celebrated our 61st anniversary (you’ve got a ways to go girl!) While we’ve had our ups and downs, we always kept active in Bible-based conservative (in the right context) churches and God never let us down, though I’m sure we disappointed him many times. I’ve mentored in MOPS for many years, we count our church friends as family and keep involved in the global missions program of our church. A strong sense of humor and a sincere desire to be the man and woman God desires has underpinned our marriage…and we’re moving forward!

  276. Kay Lilley July 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

    Another, never say I told you so. It takes the focus back to you, let it lie still, men process things without our help =)
    Going on 39 years and counting =) kay

  277. Linda D. McFarland July 21, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    Loved your post and list of things to incorporate into a marriage and love the giveaway. I think remembering that you made a covenant (vows) in the presence of God and keeping Him in the center of your marriage is number one. Also, sharing faith in God through attending church, Bible reading and prayer are foundations to build on. Commitment with a capital C! Thanks for the opportunity to win. (32 years plus)

  278. Julie Ehnert July 21, 2016 at 6:47 pm #

    I sure wish I had known you and God back when I was in a relationship. I messed that one up big-time. As much as I pray for a gentleman to come into my life, it must not be my time. God did give me a beautiful present 23 years ago, a son, with the help of a sperm bank. So, I’ve had someone to love all these years,but now he’s moving on and my life is stuck. I’ve decided to stop praying for a nice guy and told God that it’s in His hands. I just hope he decides to help me and my loneliness. Thanks for all your wonderful emails. I have saved them all!! Julie

  279. Elizabeth (Bette) Peterson July 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

    Liz, you are the best! Your story is so much like mine and I can so relate to you. Married my best friend in 1980, neither of us was saved. Had real rough times as we were both heavy drinkers but in 1998 we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior and have not had a drop to drink since!! How sweet it has been on this journey with Jesus and we are both on fire for The Lord! He restored our relationship with Bill’s daughter (yes I married a William too), and she now calls me Mom and really means it. We have a glorious and merciful God and have given Him all we have. Praise the Lord for women like you to follow as an example. Love you and your Bible Studies and videos. Bette Peterson

  280. Charletta Rupert July 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

    I have been married to my best friend for 42 and 1/2 years. I believe you keep a marriage together by keeping God first and then one another. It is give and take 100% not 50/50 like many say. I am a privileged woman.

  281. Michele July 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

    In six short weeks we will celebrate 27 years of marriage. It took quite a while to learn how to fight fair (both of us) and to let go of insecurities (mostly me), but by the grace of God we grew closer to him and to each other. God is great!

  282. LUPE FLORES July 21, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    A love that last a lifetime is having faith in one another and trusting
    each other in good and bad times believing in God and trusting him
    in the mist of the storm and knowing that God will help us through it
    all.

  283. Amber Smith July 21, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

    You pretty much covered it Liz! My husband and I have been together about 22 years. We’ve lost parents to suicide, close friends and family to cancer, and cousins to drunk driving accidents, had six miscarriages, let several teens live with us, seen many family member come to Christ, and in the last couple years we have been trying to learn to live in the new reality that my husband has a (currently) incurable, neurological, genetic, progressive, fatal disease called Huntington’s. The effects are like having Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer’s simultaneously. So, we have been through some stuff! 🙂 That being said, here are a few things I would add to your list. First of all, only marry someone if you feel God is directing you to do so. They should only be considered if together you can glorify Christ better than you can alone. Secondly, get counseling before marriage and plan on there being no secrets. Lay everything on the table. Agree on finances, budgets, child rearing, who works and who (if anyone) stays home. Then, once you are married, that is it. Divorce is not an option. Counseling certainly is a wonderful thing to help with problems and extreme situations may call for a separation during the time of counseling until you can come together, but you are stuck with them. So choose wisely! Lastly, I will give you the advice my dad gave me. Remember the old tv show Paradise Island? The little man would yell, “De plane, de plane!” Just as the plane would land, the staff would all be together and the owner would say, “Smiles everyone, smiles.” Remember, especially during the hard times, to smile. The funny thing is (I’m sure GOD was smiling about this), we went on our honeymoon to Hawaii and went straight to a little place that organized tours and gave discounts, etc. We asked the lady where some of the best waterfalls were. On the list? Paradise falls! The one shown in the introduction to Paradise Island. We had no idea that waterfall was in Hawii, much less on Kauai. Smiles everyone, smiles!

  284. Deb B July 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

    I absolutely love you Liz Curtis Higgs! My husband and I were married in 1983 and are still married today, by the Grace of God. We were going through a rough patch in our marriage and my husband actually ended up spending 5 years in prison. At that time a dear friend of mine had gone to a book signing by you and she handed me “Embrace Grace” one Sunday. I fell in love with you at that moment. While my husband was incarcerated, he started taking Bible study classes through the mail. He wanted to be Baptized when he came home.
    My husband returned home and was baptized shortly afterward. Life moved forward and I thought things were good. We had been talking and communicating which we hadn’t been doing previously. Well, another wrench was thrown into our marriage and my husband was sent to prison for another five years.
    I didn’t think I could handle the first 5 years alone, but I did with God as my Rock! My family was amazing in their support also. I survived the second 5 year stint again by the Grace of God and God as my Rock! I would not have gotten through those years on my own. I was also raising our two children alone during this time.
    I still have the “Embrace Grace” book and continually read it again. There were a lot of people who said I should divorce my husband because he was going to prison. They said no one would think less of me if I got a divorce.
    Liz, I didn’t get married to get a divorce because things were thrown at our marriage. I know I could have gotten a divorce, but I vowed to God and to my husband, for better or worse. Trust me, there were times I didn’t think things could get any worse and wasn’t sure how I was going to survive.
    I saw you in person when you were at Gull Lake Women’s Conference in Gull Lake MI a few years back. You autographed a book for me then also. Your books are so inspiring to me and get me through some tough times.
    Mu husband and I are still married 33 years later. We continue to communicate with each other, pray together and study God’s Word and ask him to walk with us each and every day.
    Thank you for your inspiration!
    Deb

  285. Sheila Rowell July 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    Our secret is to let each other be ourselves. Too many couples try to change their spouse after they are married. Why would you do this ? If you married someone for who they are, then let them BE who they are.

  286. Judith Martinez July 21, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

    The secret ingredient for us has been raw determination. Knowing that divorce wasn’t a solution and being determined to just stick it out when things get tough.

  287. Susan G July 22, 2016 at 2:17 am #

    What a great post! Loved seeing your wedding photos and hearing about your wedding. I have been married almost 42 years and I would tell those thinking of marrying to make a commitment to each other to always work things out and never think about divorce or talk about it. Even after 42 years of marriage I regularly want to hit my husband over the head with the rolling pin. He says I’m not easy to live with either… 😉
    But we are committed to each other. And no I’ve never hit him with the rolling pin. I don’t even own one. 😉
    Marriage is hard, but God is faithful!
    Thanks for this Liz!
    Bless you!

  288. Karen Kwock July 22, 2016 at 2:23 am #

    Hello Liz and Bill
    Congratulations on 30 wonderful God filled years ! thank you for sharing your lovely story with us!
    My thoughts on “Love Goes the Distance”:
    This year my husband Kyle and I celebrate 40 years ! we were married in 1976. I was 22 (almost 23) he was 25.
    What is our secret to a long and happy marriage? We try to have a “date night” once a week. Especially when the kids were young and your lives are so hectic that was important. I told him when we got married – you handle the finances, I will handle the social events. we’ve pretty much stuck to it. Each partner has a “gift”, so use those gifts to make your marriage work. Try not to criticize ( I still have to catch myself !). Lots of forgiveness and prayers ! Don’t give up on each other, stick with it, and keep on loving each other. Last but not least, Try to constantly do things together, no matter how simple , like getting a cup of coffee together or go to a park or beach and sit under a tree, have a picnic and read the paper . (since we are both 60+, we do this a lot, ha ha)!
    Thank you Liz and Bill !

  289. Peggie Cook July 22, 2016 at 5:08 am #

    I have been married almost 28 years and am more in love with my husband now than when we married. People just don’t understand when I talk about enjoying spending time with my husband/best friend. Life has been a rose garden (thorns and all), but my husband has always been there for me. As you said keeping God in the center of our lives has been the key to our successful marriage. We have raised a beautiful, strong willed, very independent red head daughter and she will be married soon. My prayer for her is to be blessed with a loving, caring and Godly husband. Thank you for sharing your wedding with all of us. I hope that I can share mine with my daughter and give her some Godly advice and words of wisdom to have a blessed marriage.

  290. Kathy Johnson July 22, 2016 at 5:15 am #

    Keeping and sharing laughter in your marriage and your heart is so important. Turning hard times into laughter can get you through so much and daily just makes life wonderful. If your spouse can make you laugh and can laugh with you trumps disappointment, no money, hard times and all the frustration that can happen along the way.

  291. Lori July 22, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    Liz, you and Bill look as young as the day you were wed! ;0) As I read thru the comments, they presented a beautiful picture of the various states of marriage; those who have never married, married and divorced etc. I appreciate the transparency of your blog readers and their perspective of living life “where they are”. We can all benefit from realizing life isn’t always going to look like we expect this side of heaven. I’ve been married 37 years and my “go-to” remedy for marriage disappointments is this verse found in Isaiah 54:5: “For your Maker is your husband—
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
    the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
    he is called the God of all the earth.”

  292. Margie Tate July 22, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    I do my best to show constant encouragement and support in whatever is going on in our lives each day. Actions of love make the biggest impact for our relationship; including the daily gestures of sending a text saying I am thinking of him or asking how his inspection at work went, and assisting him in preparing for our weekly boy scout meetings. We are definitely about the little things making a big impact in our feelings of love for each other.

  293. Kathy July 22, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Hi Liz! In August, I will be married to my childhood sweetie for 47 years. I do agree with all u shared n can only add that we made a promise that we would never go to sleep made at each other. We didn’t always agree especially in the early years but making up was always fun. I love that you share funny thoughts together. Blessings. K

  294. Tami July 22, 2016 at 7:33 am #

    Thank you, Liz! This is one of the sweetest studies I have read about marriage. I got every word ingested feeling hopeful for so many couples. When a husband leaves after 23 years because he has found her whom he loves, hope seems to disappear between the lines.

  295. Elizabeth S. July 22, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    My husband and I are renewing our vows on Sunday, just before our 5th anniversary! We have been through a LOT in the last 5 years, but what has kept us going was a steady habit of couple devotions and date-nights! Feed our relationship with God and feed our relationship to each other. We are more in love now than ever before.

  296. Dana Qualls July 22, 2016 at 9:42 am #

    My husband and I will celebrate our 42nd anniversary on Monday. We were only 19 and 20 when we married and so immature in so many ways! We have grown up together with God firmly in the mix. He is the only way we could have made it this far and I trust he will take us all the way home. One thing that has kept us together is trying to work through anger as quickly as possible. We’ve tried to live by the adage: Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. It hasn’t always worked – sometimes the sun is coming up by the time we get it worked through – but most of the time. I love our history together. I love all the shared memories of music, movies, friends and family members that are now long gone. As we “ripen” in age I am becoming his hearing and he is becoming my memory. He is truly my better half.

  297. Crystal Torok July 22, 2016 at 9:51 am #

    Thank you for sharing your sweet love story with us! It’s inspiring!

  298. Donna Scott July 22, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    Keeping the Lord in first place and trusting Him has kept my marriage for 35 years. Now abideth faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.

  299. Judy Kirkpatrick July 22, 2016 at 11:10 am #

    Your devotion was so timely. My pastor so-in-law is currently preaching a series on Marriage ?

  300. Julie Dunn July 22, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    No one know all the little pieces of happiness and pleasure of a loving spouse until they are gone.

  301. Cindy Yake July 22, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    My husband and I will celebrate 28 years Oct. 1. I asked him his thoughts and the number one thing he said was time together. To plan date nights and weekend get-a-ways, but also to just enjoy time together, without expectations, and just be together. I think it is so easy to get caught up in just day to day life, but it is important to intentionally take time to be together and to continue to nurture and grow your relationship. You can’t left life, children, jobs, or family to take over your life. Because it is easy to set aside your relationship thinking that you will have time to work on that later – when the kids are grown, when you are retired, etc. It might be too late then.

  302. Kristi M. July 22, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Hi Liz, my husband and I have been married for 26 years. We have had plenty of disagreements over those years. One thing we both agree on however, is to never go to bed angry. Every night after dinner we try to take a walk and just talk about the day and have some time alone. Something about walking together and talking just helps!

  303. Linda Davis July 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    Congratulations on 26 years of a happy marriage! I believe it takes the love of Jesus in the center of a good marriage, along with commitment and giving of oneself sacrificially to the other 100%. And, yes, never going to bed angry is a good rule for a happy, enduring marriage.

  304. Sherry Swartzentruber July 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm #

    Liz, My husband and I married May 28, 1983. We had two children, Hannah and Nathan that are now both married and they’ve given us three grandsons, Josiah, Boaz, and Samson. In March I had to put my 61-year-old husband into a nursing home because he needed 24/7 care and could no longer walk. Neurology told me that the radiation he had in 1968 for a brain tumor, although giving him 48 more years of life, sped up the aging process. He was more like an 80-year-old with seizures. In May he turned 62 (I turned 58 in May). Then June 10 he was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) only to find out that in 3 months’ time, an aggressive and extensive cancer (glioblastoma grade IV) had taken up residence in the right hemisphere of his brain (inoperable). We elected hospice care. My sister and I took care of him for three weeks in my home, until my sister’s husband had a stroke. I transferred my husband to Mercy Hospital for Hospice Respite Care for five days. Then he was transferred to our local nursing home. He went into distress and never recovered. He died within hours from either pulmonary embolisms or congestive heart failure. 450 people came through the visitation receiving line and probably 200 came to the funeral. Our children led the congregation in singing three hymns: The Old Rugged Cross, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, and the original hymn of Will the Circle Be Unbroken. Our daughter-in-law read a poem written for my husband after his passing. Our son spoke for 7.5 minutes about his dad–we laughed and cried. The sermon was a salvation message on “Will Your Circle Be Unbroken?” The casket display was red handkerchiefs with his fishing pole and tackle box and black powder pistol with his Bible open to Psalm 23. We had red handkerchiefs in two small vintage suitcases for funeral attendees to take (one per family). We’ve been with the same church family for over 30 years. We’ve put down roots in our community and invested ourselves in relationships. The outpouring of love and support manifests what a truly loving man he was, who loved Jesus. He chose to give his memorial funds to the three missionary couples we support who serve Mexico. That was my husband, James Duane Swartzentruber. 🙁

  305. Linda July 22, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    My husband and I just celebrated our 23rd anniversary. We are closing in on a record for both of our families. Our marriage and commitment to each other are growing stronger each year and it all has to do with our acceptance of Jesus as our savior almost 10 years ago. He is my best friend!!

  306. Jaime July 22, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    My husband and I just celebrated 13 years on July 19th.
    In order to keep your hearts connected to each other they must first be connected to Jesus. Walking in an attitude of forgiveness is necessary for a marriage to succeed.

  307. Debbie McKinney July 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    Doing things that interest the other, even if they don’t initially interest you. My husband and I have both broadened our horizons and our appreciation of each other this way.

  308. Jennifer Jarrett July 22, 2016 at 6:00 pm #

    Liz,
    I was deeply touched by your reflection this month. As hubby and I have reached our 28th year of life together, we’ve come through a military lifestyle of moving umpteen times, forced separations due to the call of duty, the kids phase and empty nest phase and have entered the grandparent stage. All of these phases have been wonderful, but through it all, it’s always been us.
    We made some agreements at the beginning of our life together and committed to following them. We realized that every choice has a consequence and over the years learned how to incorporate our choices with the consequences that would edify Christ in our marriage and family. While this sounds wonderful in print, it was hard, it was far from perfect, and we messed up a lot! But we firmly believe that our like-mindedness in our beginning decision that failure was not an option (yes, a military dogmatic approach!) gave us the foundation to carry on through all of the phases.

  309. Jeana Miller July 22, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Liz, Rick and I had a low-budget 80’s (pastel rainbow) wedding just three years prior to yours and Bill’s wedding. I concur with your advice for lifelong love, especially praying together. Rick and I had a very rocky, BC relationship, BUT GOD’s plan for us was Good! The voice of the LORD spoke to me, when I was seeking Him with regard to marrying Rick, “I made you a family, and I want you to stay a family.” [Previously, and separately, Rick had a similar encounter.].
    We did not truly surrender our lives to His Lordship until October 23, 1983; 2.5 months after our August 6 wedding. To this day, both of us cling to the Rock and His expressed will for us to stay together when we face the difficult trials of this life. Thank you, Liz, for your faithful encouragement to the Body of Christ. I Love you. <

  310. Theresa N July 22, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    Trust. Trust yourself, trust each other and trust the Lord.

  311. Cathy K July 22, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

    Early on we made a commitment to get away together at least once a year to re-connect and rekindle the romance. This was difficult in the early years, because our children were so close in age (They are now 45, 44, & 43!) We have centered our home on Him and have always been involved with a local church family, bringing our children along whenever possible in serving.
    Most importantly, we kept respect for each other foremost. Whenever we realized we had disrespected the other, (the tongue can be a terrible weapon!) we would work to iron it out before it festered and bitterness took root.
    I have often told women that Hospitality begins at home. One of small ways is to practice “HospitaliTEA” and bring each other an unexpected cup of tea (or other treat). God willing, we will celebrate 48 years December 6.

  312. Carrie Padgett July 23, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    Hi Lizzie! We’ll be 39 years in September. I wish there was some secret thing I could share, but I have to agree with the you and the others. Put God first, then your spouse. Always speak with respect. And of course, if he’s cranky, remember he probably wants either a sandwich or sex. One of those will cure just about anything. 😉

  313. Meadow Rue Merrill July 23, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    Love that goes the distance requires being committed to God first, keeping your eyes on him, and accepting our own humanity. People will disappoint us, but in Christ there is forgiveness, complete acceptance, and hope as we continue growing and maturing in Him. Going on 23 years, still loving God and each other!

  314. tamara July 23, 2016 at 11:29 am #

    Love this Liz ~ thank you for being a light to all of us who are broken.. This world is not our own.. heaven is our home… In Christ Alone I find my trust, identity, joy, peace, strength, love, humility and servant heart. He is my Rock, He is my firm foundation….. God bless you ~ Tamara

  315. Mrs. Judy Farrar July 23, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    I love your “rules” to keeping your marriage intact. One that I would add is accepting the other just as they are. One of the most attractive things about my future husband was that he accepted me just as I was. I’ve always been full figured. I had lots of guy friends but no dates . When I met Jim he tells me that for him it was love at first sight. He says it was my sweet nature that drew him. We will soon celebrate our 42nd anniversary. Like you, I’m more in love with him every day. I’ve been an invalid since 2010. He has faithfully kept his vowel of in sickness.i praise God everyday for him.

  316. Cindy jewell July 23, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement.

  317. Melanie G July 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    A BIG Happy Anniversary to you two! God sure had his hand on the both of you from the very beginning of this union. Thanks so much for your wonderful uplifting words. May God continue to bless you both with many more happy years together!

  318. Margie July 23, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    Love that goes the distance – what a great way of saying it and man have my husband and I tried to put some distance into our relationship. From alcoholism, to severe depression, to drinking after being sober for a few years, stealing and a stroke that totally changed my husbands personality. My husband and I have taken turns at being the one to try end the relationship but God knew better. He gave us two beautiful children and we feel so blessed to be able to say we made it through – we will celebrate 29 years on our next anniversary and I think we both feel truly grateful that we stuck it out – it hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been without major issues but in today’s toss it away world I am so glad we both fought for the relationship when the other one could not. We thank God for getting us through it all and continuing to bless us.

  319. Kathy Hertzler July 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    Liz, My hubby & I will be married 42 years this coming August. We were babies, 18, when we married and everyone said we wouldn’t make it. Both of us were just too stubborn to give up. We both always said we didn’t quit on the same day. We were not devout Christians when we married and didn’t really turn to the Lord whole heartedly until about 8 years ago. We followed with one foot in and one foot out. That really made life tough, but we still never called it quits. That was never an option. I heard you speak in So. Calif. many many years ago and loved every minute of it and have so enjoyed your books. Hopefully you will be in the Nashville area in the coming years.

  320. Kathy Michels July 23, 2016 at 4:17 pm #

    Thanks for your beautiful words Liz. I have enjoyed
    them now for many years. My secret to a long and
    loving marriage is to think really long and hard before
    you speak. Words can hurt or they can love. Choose
    them wisely. It works for me. I have been married 48
    wonderful years to the kindest Christian man I know.

  321. Pam Jones July 24, 2016 at 6:49 am #

    Love this!❤️ Thank you, Liz, for your sweet and funny heart! One of my “must do” in a marriage is a regular night-doesn’t have to be anything fancy! Light the candles on the table and have some music playing in the background, or go out. Just schedule a regular date night…hold hands and enjoy one another!

  322. Tobie Lariscey July 24, 2016 at 7:38 am #

    First of all I am thankful for a Christian husband! Two important things in our marriage are Trust and Understanding.

  323. Suzanne in RI July 24, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Each and every time you recall an offense, make a choice to forgive. Do this each and every time.

  324. Cindy Pogge July 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm #

    You are such an inspiration. I also think praying together and loving unconditionally and over looking the small petty things , that today for some is the things they hang onto helps a marriage grow and flourish. The little things done each day for each other that you dont even need to ask for is a sure sign that you are in touch. I have been married to my soul mate just about 30 years and would give up everything for him.

  325. Brandi Luiz July 24, 2016 at 5:07 pm #

    Prayer, prayer and more prayer. The Lord has had to give me a ton of grace and patience with a change (softening ) of the heart. You are a blessed encouragement!
    Thanks for your encouragement!

  326. Kelly Davis July 24, 2016 at 8:09 pm #

    Talk to each other and more importantly…Listen to each other.

  327. Annie pajcic July 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm #

    Never stop dating your husband. My mentor told me this 20 years ago and so far – we try to go on a date at least once a week. It’s sometimes hard to maneuver with four kids and busy schedules but it’s so important.

  328. Jenny Corso July 25, 2016 at 9:52 am #

    My secret ingredient – I have to remind my self to “lighten up” and remember what’s REALLY important and how blessed I am to have such a precious husband!

  329. Jenny July 25, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    Liz, you mentioned reading funny books to each other – what are your suggestions? Sounds like a fun idea!

  330. Dala Lawrence July 25, 2016 at 10:47 am #

    I love your story Liz. My husband and I are on the cusp of celebrating 38 years in November. God has blessed each of us with the other and we are truly grateful. I’ll bet I can surpass you on the “Really Bad Girl List, and my husband could probably fill a book of his own on being a really bad boy. But today we rejoice in the Lord together. We used to joke that the only thing that kept us together was our children. We had an agreement that whoever left took all 3 with them. Needless to say no one ever went anywhere. All kidding aside, we have grown together because once we decided to follow the Lord, we put Him first and said we should put in 100 percent and expect 0 in return from the other. It works because if we are both putting in 100 and expecting 0 we really get 100 back. Blessings.

  331. Tina Wilson July 25, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    Make sure God is the center of your relationship. Make sure he wants to spend the rest of his life with you and will protect you and defend you and not choose his friends and family over you. Don’t let your mom convince you he’s the right kind of boy to marry. Follow your heart. Pray for God’s will. After 26 1/2 years of trying to be the proverbs 31 wife I was sent away. Thrown away actually. I just married my first love after 32 years apart. God is the center of our marriage. For the first time since 1984 I feel loved by my husband. I pray got grants us many years.

  332. Barbara Wiginton July 25, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

    As usual, you are spot on, Liz. As a very young married couple (18 & 20yr olds), we literally grew up together. We made mistakes, had spats, made up and became a family pretty fast. But with God in our lives, we made the commitment to be one and now it’s almost 52 years. I treasure him and he treasures me…and we treasure our Heavenly Father. That’s what holds us together.

  333. Gina July 25, 2016 at 6:01 pm #

    My three secret ingredients for creating a love that goes the distance is as follows-

    First, I’d like to say that I’m only two years behind you Liz. I was married in 1988. Gee, what a small world! I’m so sure that we grew up around the same time, and share the same sort of testimony. I got saved after marriage, so I’m still working on my Jewish, plant-based eating only hubby. He’s wonderful, but I know he needs Jesus. How did I keep it together for the past 28-years? Our Lord kept it together as I cooperated with Him. Here’s what he’s taught me through my marriage journey.

    #1-Keep a positive perspective- One way to keep motivated to forgive and just love the one your with is to first look at what you’ve done and how God has forgiven you. Then, take your focus off of the one thing that drives you crazy about your mate and thank God for what you love about him. If you keep looking at the one thing that you think must change, you’ll mess up everything and kill his ego along the way.

    #2-Listen intently, and with interest-for about 10-years my husband and I had the same argument. I would say, “You never seem to want to be with me.” And he would say, “You never listen to me.” Well, it took me 10 years to finally put it together-he doesn’t always want to be with me, because I really don’t pay attention to what he says. Be attentive when he talks. Men love to talk about their jobs. When you listen, even if you have no idea what they’re talking about, you raise their self-esteem by making them feel good about who they are.

    #3-Speak his love language-I hate to talk about the ‘S’ word. But sex is important to a man. Just like your husband paying you compliments is important to you. Okay so, I will try to keep this rated G, or at least PG, as I explain. Men’s self-esteem is tied up with what goes on in the bedroom. Even if your husband seems a little too busy with work than play, initiate something that will keep him interested. This is biblical, ladies! The Lord led me one day to a scripture that talks about “getting the spices and oils ready.” He was saying that it’s important to be the planner and initiator sometimes-and that’s perfectly okay. Save your marriage by not thinking the ‘S’ word is a bad word. Do it for both of you, and keep the embers burning. Even better, keep the sparks flying.

  334. Coralie July 25, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    I’ve only been married 22 years, but I would say Keep no record of wrongs, and submit first to the Lord.

  335. Kristyn Kidney July 25, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    I love this post so much and am blessed to have a wonderful husband who also values laughter and prayer. The only thing I can add to this amazing list is “reminiscing”. I love to take time out with my husband to remember and relive the stories we’ve lived together. “Remember the time. . .” begins so many stories, funny ones and hard ones. It’s good to reflect together on the adventures God has let us share.

  336. Colleen Spaeth July 26, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    my “secret” ingredient is trusting your prayer. I had been married and divorced, had an 8 year old daughter, met this “strange nerd” in church, his mother loved me and him, and told him to call me. He represented stability and loyalty, deep love, something I had never imagined I deserved. We were complete opposites! A month before we were to be married I had severe doubts that we would “make it”. I prayed and prayed and though I still had doubts about my love and ability to make a marriage work, I trusted my response to prayers that said GET STARTED WITH A LIFE WITH THIS GUY WILL YA!
    He supported me in all the crazy things I did, including the December night I went out for christmas lights, and came home with a homeless six month old baby boy. His only comment was, “when I left today there was not a baby wrapped in a sleeping bag in our bed, there must be a story here”. Three years later we adopted that baby who is now 22 years old! David (my nerdy husband) has always trusted me more than I have myself. There is no doubt in my heart of that truth! God knew so much more than I ever did about what kinda guy I REALLY needed as a partner!

  337. Rita Davidson July 26, 2016 at 10:25 am #

    I have learned a lot in my 57 years. I am currently married to Dennis and we will celebrate 25 years this October! I have been married twice before and from those experiences I have learned much! What I learned from those experiences I have brought with me in this marriage and the sole lesson that I feel is the most important is that if God is not in your marriage then you will definitely have a difficult time staying on the right track, not hat it can’t be done but it is so much more difficult to keep it together. GOD FIRST, OTHERS SECOND YOURSELF LAST. Acronym for JOY!!

  338. Susan Hutchinson July 26, 2016 at 1:39 pm #

    Express gratitude. I appreciate how hard you work for our family. Thanks for picking up the kids, it saved me a trip. Dinner was great (even if it wasn’t). Thanks for making it. Even for things that are expected to be done, or humorous. Like, thanks for taking out the trash (duh…) or doing the dishes (even though you both ate..) Gratitude goes a long way to soothing ruffled feathers, even if you are rolling your eyes on the inside.

  339. Sally Marta July 26, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

    Only thing I’d add is…..remember he/she’s God child. Talk to them as such!

  340. Jeanne July 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    There are lots of things to “do” as your article and all the comments say. I fall back on the first thing — decide that this marriage will be forever. I did not do that the first time and it failed. In this, my 2nd marriage, I determined from the beginning that I would not leave, and I haven’t! Having Christ in this one, as we both were saved 10 years in, certainly helped!

  341. Milagros Milliner July 26, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    I’ve learned that it’s vital in marriage to treat your husband with respect, just as Ephesians 5:33 says we should. God opened my eyes to this. Just because my spouse doesn’t always do things the way I want or feel they should be done, obedience to God’s word is the way to go. I was unhappy at certain points in my marriage but God was kind enough to point out the toxic attitude, thoughts and words I carried with me concerning my husband. Things began to change as I realized that we are all a work in progress, clay in the Potter’s hand. God loves my husband just as much as He loves me. In his mercy, God revealed that it is important to treat my husband with respect, to change my attitude. Show honor to your spouse in word and deed and it will be reciprocated.

  342. Kathy Johnson July 26, 2016 at 5:24 pm #

    Hey Liz, Bob and I got married on Sept. 8, 1973. We planned our wedding in 3 weeks and with the help of Bob’s family, we had a lovely wedding and a really nice reception in the fellowship hall of our church. I wish I could say it was a “wedded bliss”, but we have had our share of ups and downs. God led us through every one and He has looked out for us many, many times. Space does not allow for all the ways God has led us through but He has brought us closer together through it all. We will celebrate 43 years this year. We have two children, a son, 42 (he was on the way when we got married) with two children. A daughter who is 13 and a son who is 9. Our daughter is turned 40 this year and she is married and has two children. A daughter who is 16 and a son who is 5!! Yes, 5!
    My family is a blessing to me and I thank God for them.

  343. Becky Frame July 26, 2016 at 8:21 pm #

    *Giving* trust has been a huge one for me.

    I was under the impression that my husband had to earn my trust, and I held that over his head for a long time, especially after he admitted to not always being trustworthy.

    But instead of rendering him flawed and assuming he is devious by default, God is showing me to render my husband *forgiven* and to assume he is good at heart. (Which, in Christ, he truly is.)

    I am learning to choose to trust, in a childlike way, that God is carrying us both, that He put us together, that He will keep us together.

    Giving trust to my husband is really, in essence, giving trust to God.

    • Debi Detroyer August 1, 2016 at 6:59 am #

      Thank you Becky for sharing that, I’ve struggled with the issue of trusting, partly from previous husband that was unfaithful, but also that my husband now wasn’t at one time trustworthy. Not to the point of infidelity, but close enough. Forgiveness is not the hard part, forgetting is. When you said”Giving trust to my husband is really, in essence, giving trust to God.” I pray that will help me to forget and move on. God bless you.
      Debi

  344. Robin July 27, 2016 at 2:24 am #

    Always be the little i …

  345. Debbie K July 27, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    Laugh. A lot. Don’t take things too seriously and expect the best from your spouse and that he means well.

  346. Jamie Joy July 27, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    My husband and I just celebrated our eighth year of wedded bliss. It seems so minuscule compared to thirty years! Happy Anniversary by the way! I’m learning in the wake of relational devastation I’ve witnessed in several close friends, that marriage is a God-given gift that must be nurtured daily to see the fullest fruit. But when both imperfect people choose to discover the humility and servant mindset of our Savior, God weaves a tale so beautifully unique that all glory must remain His.

    I am actually reading Mixed Signals right now. I didn’t realize it was your first novel. I don’t know if that gives me hope or if it plants more seeds of doubt at my own ability when considering writing my own. However, I was told once that the dreams worth chasing are those given by the Lord. I believe that statement relates right back to marriage. If we are willing to chase after the immense blessing woven into the very fabric of marriage, even through rough patches, we will discover the dreams unlocked that only God can conceive.

    Thank you for sharing your words, your heart and your love of the Lord. It shows through every word you write. And I am a blessed reader.

  347. Kay Davis July 27, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    We’ve been married over forty years and I love Terry now, more than ever. We’ve suffered some major losses, but have clung to the Lord and to each other, determined that our marriage would not be a casualty, after losing two of our precious children. We love each other, and we genuinely like each other, too! We spend as much time together as we can, and enjoy reading funny things to each other, gardening, and just being with each other. We talk about almost everything, and don’t stay angry when we have arguments or disagreements.

  348. Brenda Williams July 27, 2016 at 3:26 pm #

    I just think of how much I have loved him over the years. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs. Sometimes more down than up. We have two grown sons and two grandsons now. He’s done so much for me and with me.
    I just loved Mixed signals! What a fun book.
    Thanks for this opportunity!

  349. Kristen S July 27, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    I love your encouraging post – such wise and practical advice! I have been married for 11 years. My husband and I became best friends before we ever started dating. I think that has been one of the keys to our relationship.

  350. Karen Anderson July 27, 2016 at 11:10 pm #

    I choose to love my husband everyday. Sometimes I don’t feel like it and it’s not always easy. We’re celebrating 32 years of marriage on Aug 4! The best part, we want to spend 32 more years together! 😉

  351. Anne July 28, 2016 at 12:55 am #

    While this may sound strange and obvious, the best way to start off in marriage is to bide farewell to loves from your past. If any morsel of your heart still beats for an old flame, you’ve got to extinguish it and move forward in the direction of your spouse. You’ll be fully committed to your new life, properly focused on the future, and no distractions from the blessings that will come your way.

  352. Christy July 28, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    We have been married for 30 years and met when we were 12. We both struggled through the early years with selfishness, pride and stubbornness and have dealt with infidelity more than once. Through out we loved each other and divorce was never an option. And the fact that we have always been each other’s best friend kept us committed as well. And we make each other laugh constantly. We have had some great times in our many years but we had not fully committed our marriage to Jesus. We had a very serious event in our life that almost tore us apart but once again our love and friendship held strong and we realized that we needed to make serious changes. We chose to put Jesus in the middle and to look to the bible for guidance and chose to follow the Ephesians scripture to Love and Respect. We pray for each other and when times are difficult we remind ourselves that Jesus loves us when we are difficult and God gives us Grace when not deserving. Our marriage has become amazing and we hope to be an example to other couples.

  353. Kathy July 28, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    Today I am celebrating being married to my high school sweetheart for 37 years. There are lots of things that are important for a marriage to survive and flourish, but the bottom line is to love and put your spouse’s needs before your own, which the Word says we are to do with everyone. I think respect and trust are also essential for a relationship to last. The Lord has to be that third chord that holds the other two together. I praise God for the gift of my husband!

  354. Tammi T. July 28, 2016 at 9:07 pm #

    Our theme verses for our wedding were Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. I try to remember this passage especially when times are challenging. We’ve had trials and blessings but our third strand – God, our Father – has strengthened us by binding us together.

  355. Leslie Franklin July 29, 2016 at 2:49 pm #

    This September my husband and I will celebrate our 31st wedding anniversary. I am still in awe that I managed to find this incredible man who has done so much for me, for our son and our community. Our enjoyment of “the good life” and, quite frankly, our complacency, has been shattered. Five years ago, while a sophomore at a prestigious university, our handsome, talented and very bright son was transformed by mental illness into someone we sometimes barely recognize. My husband, though in as much pain as I, rolled up his sleeves and has become a major advocate for individuals and families with mental illness, still a highly stigmatized condition. He has been testifying at committees, leading support groups and teaching classes for similarly afflicted families and making court appearances on behalf of our son. He emptied his retirement savings, diligently collected over 33 years of working, to seek the best treatment we could find and, when that failed, he has sought other avenues to help. Through this excruciatingly painful journey he has kept optimism alive, held me when I have sobbed and, despite being well known in our community, bared his soul in an interview that was published in our local paper in the hopes of helping other suffering families. While I wish that we did not have this trial thrust upon us, I know beyond a doubt who I want to have by my side in times of trouble. The secret to a lasting marriage? Finding someone who has the maturity to stay strong and true through good times and bad, the grounded moral compass to do the right thing and the compassion to love others in all their imperfections.

  356. Martha M. Martha July 30, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Thanks always for your encouraging words, Liz. My husband and I celebrated our 62nd wedding anniversary this past May 1. We were married at the local military chapel where he served as a chaplain’s assistant. He left a week after our wedding for an assignment in England but I was able to join him there the following October as housing became available. We thank the good Lord for that as we didn’t think being away from each other was a way to start a marriage. It has been a challenge through his 26-year military career with moving many times and with two children. But I adapted to it and actually enjoyed it. We are settled down in one place now and are still happily married and are very much involved in our local church. We keep busy with volunteer work both at a local hospital and at our church. So life has been so good for us. We both feel very strong in our relationship and our daily walk with Christ. Praise the Lord for his goodness!

  357. Carole Estes July 30, 2016 at 2:08 pm #

    Thank you Liz for encouraging us in marriage. We celebrated 37 years of marriage in March. We celebrate because two different challenging seasons of 2 years each we separated due to drug and alcohol abuse. God literally grew me greatly during these times and I praise Him daily for the struggles! God has turned ashes into roses and He is using my hurts, habits and hang ups through a Celebrate Recovery group that I lead once a week. How grateful I am to minister and encourage other women who are hurting! So looking forward to to your speaking in San Antonio in October!❤️

  358. Keisha McClelland July 30, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Well, Mike and I have only been married for 3 years, and we dated for 4, but FELT that deep bond 3 months into dating. You can guess that the majority of our dating experience was marred by some toe dangling, which our loving church advised us against consistently.
    With that being said, I believe that having a body of believers around you and your spouse to help support, guide, and (when bold love is necessary) admonish you truly helps build the marriage on solid ground. I am thankful for our church, that it teaches the Word of God, and that it unashamed to teach the whole truth in love so that marriages can be what they are meant to be, an honor unto the Lord.

  359. Janel July 31, 2016 at 12:55 pm #

    My hubby and I just celebrated 25 years, and they’ve been a bit of a wild ride at times! The thing that I have learned and try to apply to our marriage is to always trust his heart for me. He chose me – I have to believe, even when an action or words might seem hurtful, that he loves me and his intentions toward me are always good. When I approach conflicts with that perspective, it helps to resolve them quickly. It also helps to maintain a happy marriage in everyday life!

  360. Joyce July 31, 2016 at 1:06 pm #

    Keep communicating!

  361. Carol Graft July 31, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    I don’t think my husband and I have ever sat down and talked about it, or been asked. 32 years so far. I guess maybe realizing that neither of us are perfect and we will disappointment each other. But we’re committed to each other.
    What an awesome giveaway! I don’t remember reading Mixed Signals. And have been looking forward to picking up Eden Hill. ( well unless I win of course. ). Looking forward to seeing you when you get to Michigan.

  362. Vickie Stockslager July 31, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

    Both husband and wife agree from day one that divorce is not an option.

  363. Stephanie Anderson July 31, 2016 at 2:04 pm #

    After being married for 24 years I would say it is important to look for and focus on the positive things about your spouse. Always be willing to let him know what you love and appreciate about him.

  364. jordan July 31, 2016 at 2:06 pm #

    i’m not married (or ever been in a relationship, honestly). But I find for me, honesty and vulnerability is what I want most. I want someone I can be open with and still love and support me, and be willing to be open with me as well.

  365. Emily Stier July 31, 2016 at 2:12 pm #

    Secret ingredient – forgive (not so secret, really). And pray to have God’s eyes for your spouse AND yourself. And certainly, enjoy the results. Marriage is fun!

  366. Pamela Jones July 31, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    Pray for your husband and your marriage. Commit to spending quality time together each week–date night. Do not go to bed angry! Hold hands often.

  367. Beth July 31, 2016 at 2:17 pm #

    Staying focused on God seems to be #1. We get pulled many directions in this world. If we stay focused on God, we at least are facing the same direction, True North, as we get pulled.
    Thank you for your ministry! I appreciate the help in ignoring the distractions.

  368. Shari Creamer July 31, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    Give enough grace every day to let the small stuff go and focus on what’s important. You’ll always be different. Don’t try to change each other. Celebrate what you each bring. It’s worth it.

    Happily married 26 years!

  369. Cassia Glass July 31, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Accepting that God designed us to change and grow, as individuals and as a couple!! Getting hung up because things change rather than supporting each other and cheering each other on in the process can lead to a lot of bitterness and separation. 20 years and counting!!

  370. Melanie Holmes July 31, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

    Thank you for your testimony Liz, and congrats to you and Bill on 30 years of marriage! My husband, David, and I will be married 32 years on December 14th of this year, and are so thankful for God’s faithfulness to us. You share some wonderful advice and I agree that all of those ingredients are important. However, to me, they all flow from one main thing. I believe that an individual relationship with Christ, and seeking to follow him together is the main ingredient for “weathering the storms”, having an enduring love, and sustaining marriage. Our son married in June this year, and the “RX for a successful marriage” I wrote to them at their reception (both pharmacists) was to ” ‘Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength’ – Be true to God and you will be true to one another!”

  371. Teri List July 31, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

    We’ve been married almost 30 years. My husband was a fire captain for many years and I felt like a single mom many times.
    About 10 years into our marriage I was diagnosed with a chronic health issue that has no cure u less God chooses to heal me(which I know He can do). That added a big challenge to our relationship.
    Through the years , we’ve had a lot of ups and downs, but we’ve always been committed to each other and to God.
    Through the years and through the tears, I’ve always turned to God for His help. I truly believe that if we weren’t Christians -relying on God for His help-that we wouldn’t be married still today.

  372. Debra Detroyer August 1, 2016 at 6:53 am #

    Oh, another thing, can I purchase yours and Bill’s first books?

    Thanks, Debi

  373. Janice Scott August 13, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Can you give us that BOOKENDS Wedding you promised for your next anniversary????
    Love Janice from the Bookends Therapy Group
    Atlanta, GA

  374. Martha Roberts August 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

    Anniversary #53 coming up this week. Only God’s grace and mercy has seen us through. We are both children of alcoholic fathers and had no skills in healthy communication. It took us years to get to where we are today, but we NEVER let ourselves contemplate divorce. We had counseling several times and we learned how to love AND how to express that love to each other. Today we are best friends and know that God has been in every situation, shaping us more into the likeness of Jesus. All our struggles are just part of the process. Facing cancer now, we don’t know how much time we have together but it is OK because we are safe in the arms of our loving Savior and will be together forever someday. Trust that God has a plan for your marriage and never give up!