Can you survive the red wagon

Red wagon

Recently I was talking to my mom…well, more like complaining to her about my car woes.  As I shared with her that we’d put my car in the shop for the third time in less than a month, my mother said “oooh! I know how you feel! I remember when we didn’t have a car and when I did the laundry I had to pull the clothes to the laundry mat in a red wagon”.

Wait. Stop! What? Did she just say a red wagon?

My mother could tell I was shocked and so she said, “Honey yes! A red wagon! We didn’t have a car nor did we have a washer and dryer. So when I had to do laundry, I would put the clothes in a red wagon and pull it to the laundry mat”.

Can I tell you the image of a grown woman (with one child at the time) pulling her clothes to the laundry mat in a red wagon was….ummm….interesting to me. We aren’t talking about a city like New York where people walk most places anyway. We are talking about in Dallas, Texas where her laundry mat wasn’t necessarily close to where she lived.

As I thought about my mother and the red wagon, I couldn’t help but think about how much she and my father have gone through and endured in their 40+ years of marriage. It reminded me yet again that in this new age of marriage, folks don’t know how to survive the tough times.  Couples who’ve been married 30, 40 and 50 years have learned the values of fortitude, resilience and tenacity that I am afraid we are losing in this day and age.  Somehow we believe that our marriage should resemble the “Cosby Show” without having to put in the work to get there.

For me, my mother sharing with me that she had to pull a “red wagon” to and from the laundry mat, was just one of many many stories she has told me over the years of challenges and obstacles she and my dad have had to overcome.  It’s easy to look at my mother now driving her luxury car and living in a home that is paid for and think “wow, she’s got it made…”.  Looking at her now you’d never think she use to pull a ‘red wagon’.

Most people marry in the hopes to get to 47 years (like my parents) and beyond, but do we really take into consideration all that happens from “I do” at the altar to forever? That journey can be filled with ups, downs, and turnarounds.  If we are going to experience forever, we must learn how to survive the “Red Wagon”.

The “Red Wagon” are those tough spots in the marriage where the picture of where you are doesn’t match where you thought you would be.  The “Red Wagon” are those times when you feel frustrated, disappointed or discouraged.  The “Red Wagon” is the “…for worse”; “…for poorer”; “…in sickness” part of the vows we so solemnly declare on our wedding day!

I know. This isn’t a comfortable read.  I get it….we don’t want to talk about this.  But see, if we don’t talk about the “Red Wagon”, when we face those experiences we don’t have tools to navigate through them.

In my 12 years of marriage, my husband and I have surely experienced our own “red wagon” moments. From failed businesses, to money woes, to health scares, to miscarriage, to feeling disconnected…I could go on and on. And I am sure we aren’t alone.  We all have experienced those moments of pulling the proverbial “red wagon” and wondered what in the world was going on!

Listening to my parents (and other seasoned married couples) over the years, I have learned critical tips for navigating the tough times.  The lessons are invaluable and I try and apply them in my own marriage.  Today, allow me to share 3 of the 6 strategies that stand out the most to me.  Check back next week for the remaining 6:

  1. Forgive and Forget

In any relationship we have the potential to be hurt or disappointed….or to be the one that hurts or disappoints someone else. That is just what happens when humans connect with one another.  In marriage, learning how to forgive and to move on from the hurt will go a long way in maintaining a strong union.  Now, let’s be clear. This concept is often misunderstood and misused. Forgiveness doesn’t give someone the license to continue destructive behaviors.  We shouldn’t abuse the act of forgiveness but accept it as the gift that it is and commit to not repeating the behavior in the future.

  1. Monitor your Mouth

Folks use to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”….but the couples I know who have survived the tough times tell me that what is SAID can destroy your marriage just as much as what is done.  Be careful what you say and how you speak to one another. In addition to that, intentionally speaking well of your spouse to others goes a long way in the relationship.

  1. Build the Bank

While building your monetary bank is important, I have learned from the wise couples I am connected too that you must also build the emotional, sexual, and spiritual banks as well.  Make sure that you are INVESTING way more than you are WITHDRAWING.  Fill your bank with love, constant laughter, private memories, and prayer.  That way, when you go through tough times, you’ve invested SO much in the bank your marriage won’t go bankrupt.

If my parents were to give me permission to share their marital story you would learn that pulling a red wagon was the least of the struggles they faced.  But, they can actually look back on that time and smile at how far they’ve come.

I believe that employing these 3 tips and also making a decision to “stick & stay” will get us all closer to “forever after”.


Your turn! What are tips, tools or strategies that you believe can help couples through the tough times? “LIKE” our Facebook page and share your comments under this blog!


Effective Communication


Rev. Larraine Forrester is co-founder of A Relationship Ministry (ARM).   Along with her husband Rev. Larraine has for over 12 years counseled couples either helping the engaged to establish a strong foundation for their union or the married to enhance their relationships. Rev. Larraine also works as a Wife Coach and shares wisdom gained during the past 28 plus years of marriage and Seminary.  You can learn more about the Forrester’s by visiting:


At the core of every marriage conflict is usually miscommunication.  Clear and accurate communication is seldom achieved when couples disagree.

Each person in a marriage is an individual who has different and unique filters through which they view the world, live life, perceive various situations and define family.  The husband who has been taught that a man shouldn’t be so emotional but instead be “hard” may not easily engage in conversations regarding his feelings for his wife.  On the other hand the wife who has been taught to easily express herself, may not understand why it takes so long for her husband to respond during conversations if at all.

When it comes to communication, couples disagree on how much conversation is necessary and when conversation is necessary.  Couples disagree on how much money should be spent, how to raise children, where to live, who’s responsible for what chores, which friends the mate should associate with, how much privacy is appropriate, and on and on and on.  In marriage disagreements are inevitable and are not necessarily a negative factor.  When couples miscommunicate they fail to look at the big picture but rather get caught up in the details.

To be too much alike can be a detriment to your marriage.  If you both love to spend, you’ll soon be broke.  If you both love to work all the time, you’ll not make time for each other.  If you both are thrifty you may miss out on some fun experiences.  When a husband and wife disagree it’s an opportunity to effectively merge their souls and bring about balance.

Following are three Power Points for Communication:

1.  Write a Marriage Mission Statement (This is the big picture.):

Before you can get to where you’re going you must determine your destination.  Ask yourself, when you decided to say “I do”, what was your intention?  Was it to love each other, to establish a home, to have children, to be in relationship with God, to be prosperous, etc?  Together discuss you plan accomplish these things?  Examples:  Date night once a week, conceive in a year, attend Bible study, save a certain percentage of income.  If the thing you disagree on isn’t in any way connected to your mission statement, perhaps it’s not worth fighting over.

2.  Be flexible in conversation:

Engage in conversations with an open mind; your mate’s opinion or perspective may just be more logical or realistic than yours.

3.  Seek to understand then seek to be understood:

If you understand your mate’s perspective you’ll have a better chance of helping them to understand yours.


Want to improve your intimacy pleasure? Eat more Apples?


New Study Says Eating Apples May Increase Sexual Pleasure In Women

(The Huffington Post – Taryn Hillin)         

It’s been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but new research suggests it can do a lot more than that.

A new study published in Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics suggests that eating more apples leads to better sex for women.

Click HERE to read the entire Huffington Post article.

Building a winning team

In marriage most of us want to be on the same team as our spouse.  As a matter of fact, often we just assume that we will be. But once we move forward in the marriage, we begin to see that it is not as easy as we thought.

So what do you do to position your marriage as a winning team? First, let’s define what a team is for marriage.  In marriage a team consists of 2 people with complementary skills coming together to complete a task.

Did you get that?  That means you and your spouse don’t necessarily need the SAME skills, but your skills should COMPLIMENT one another.  Sounds simple enough but how many times do you get frustrated because your spouse doesn’t SEE things or DO things the way you do?

Remember this! God never intended for YOU to marry YOU….He intended for you to marry someone that allows Him to do what He wants to do through you. That leads us to the other part of that definition: coming together to complete a task.

Some of us need to get an elevated view of our marriage….WE ARE TOGETHER TO COMPLETE A TASK!!! We are to show the beauty of Christ & the Church.  How YOU do that is different from how someone else does it, but it’s important that you get clear on your task!

So let’s look at the components of a team.  We will talk about what are the habits of a losing team, how to build a winning team and lastly how to be the MVP – most valuable player – on your team!

6 Habits of a LOSING Team

  1. Losing teams allow one LOSE to define their entire season. In other words, they develop an expectation of losing.  So in your marriage for example that      means you believe that just because you and your spouse HAVE had hard      times, you will ALWAYS have hard times.   That is a losing mindset.
  2. Losing teams stop practicing or preparing for all the different scenarios they may face.  So you know that every time your mother comes in town you and your spouse have an argument but instead of identifying what the issues are and making a plan to deal with it, you just let it happen.  Losing teams stop prepping for the challenge situations.
  3. Losing teams lose sight of the bigger picture.  This falls in line with getting shook up because of one lose instead of remembering we are still in line for the championship.  In marriage, don’t forget what the bigger picture is in your romance.
  4. Losing teams stop listening  to their coach. I want you to think of all the sports greats! From Serena to Jordan to LeBron to Gabby Douglas, winners listen to what their coach has to say.  In marriage what is your ultimate coach (God!) saying about your marriage? Tune in to your coach for direction!
  5. Losing teams stop communicating. Because of the frustration they are feeling, losing teams stop connecting and communicating. This happens in marriage too. We stop communication  with one another and then wonder why we aren’t winning.  Winner requires open and honest communication and feedback.

So far we’ve talked about what a team is and then habits of a losing team. Now let’s talk about what it will take for your team to win!

How to build a winning team

  1. Make sure you are on a team that is compatible! A winning team knows what skills each of their players have, they don’t fight one another on the differences in their skills and they intentionally pay attention to how each player’s skills      can best serve the team.  Follow this same script in your relationship!
  2. Make sure you Identify what a WIN is! Of course we want to have a victory, but sometimes a “win” is bigger than that.  Maybe this year a ‘win’ for your marriage is to not necessarily become debt free but to at least save a certain amount of money.  But if you aren’t clear on the win, you may feel defeated when you actually should be celebrating.
  3. Make sure you constantly revisit the rules for your team. How do you govern your relationship?  What is okay and what is not okay? You cannot  win if you don’t know the rules!
  4. Make sure you develop a winning strategy! Every team that wins a championship had a strategy that allowed them to win! In your marriage you and your spouse need a strategy that can give you the plays you need to move towards victory! (Remember by signing up for our “I believe in marriage” database, you can get the  template we use for a family strategic plan!)
  5. Make sure you find the right coach. All of us are being coached by someone whether it’s your best  friend, your mother or your pastor.  Make sure you are sensitive to whose in your ‘ear’ because that person can either help your team win or sabotage all of your efforts. As mentioned above, God is our ultimate coach, but you also need another person that can coach you and your spouse.
  6. Make sure you spend time with your teammate.  Winning teams are made up of players who know one another.  Having camaraderie is important for      victory.  You and your spouse need  to spend time together and really learn one another if you are going to      win!

Now that you know what a team is, habits of a losing team and how to build your team to win, it’s time for you to learn how to be the MVP of your team!

4 characteristics of an MVP – most valuable player:

  • The MVP puts the team’s  goals above their own! Sure, you are superstar material.  But if you are going to be the MVP you need  to make sure that you know when to put your team’s needs above your own.   Maybe this is not the time to quit your job to start that new business;   maybe this year instead of your annual girls’ trip, you need to take a family trip.  Putting the teams needs     first will get you closer to MVP status!
  • The MVP is willing to take up the slack when their teammate needs them.  Sometimes your teammate might be in a tough situation or struggling in an area.       Can you help them carry their weight when they are having a hard      time handling it on their own?
  • The MVP is consistent and reliable.  When it is time for your teammate to throw you the ball are you there ready to catch it? The MVP is  not shaky or shady. The MVP is in the right place at the right time.
  • The MVP knows their  position and they play it well. Whether their position is a point guard or a forward, the MVP knows the role they are to be playing. That’s the same in marriage.  Are you clear on your position in the marriage? Do you know the plays and are you playing the well?  The MVP doesn’t try and play      someone else’s position because they are busy mastering the one God gave      them!

Take some time to review this information.  Discuss it with your significant other.  Identify areas that your team needs to work on! I want to hear from you! Follow us on twitter: @IBIM and let us know your thoughts!


Separation, Sabbatical or Stay the Course

PictureRev. Larraine Forrester is co-founder of A Relationship Ministry (ARM).   Along with her husband Rev. Larraine has for over 12 years counseled couples either helping the engaged to establish a strong foundation for their union or the married to enhance their relationships. Rev. Larraine also works as a Wife Coach and shares wisdom gained during the past 28 plus years of marriage and Seminary.  You can learn more about the Forrester’s by visiting:



When communication turns to conflict, love turns to loathing, respect turns to resentment.

Marriage can be one of the most fulfilling relationships a person can have in life.   In a marriage a couple has opportunity to increase their own value by sharing with, caring for, giving and receiving true love.

However, as with all aspects of life, marriage has ups and downs.  Those who remain married for any amount of time can attest to the fact that marriage can be challenging.  When a couple decides to become one, the process is similar to merging two households.  Some things can stay but some things will have to be thrown out.  Couples will find that even when they have discussed and planned, there will still be many matters, scenarios or possibilities that weren’t considered. People change or perhaps they realize their visions of marriage are drastically different.  Inevitably communication turns to conflict, love turns to loathing, respect turns to resentment and on and on.

When a couple reaches a point where they seem to disagree in too many areas and are not willing to compromise it’s necessary to make some changes.  The question often becomes “Is divorce the answer?”   The “D” word is mentioned quite a bit in marriages as each individual contemplates whether they would be better off single than to remain in a marriage that isn’t fulfilling, but instead failing.

Before one makes the decision to divorce and disregard the commitments made to one another, couples often consider either Separation, Sabbatical.

Separation is usually done with little to no rules with the exception that the couple will change their living arrangements usually one moving out of the home.  The idea is that “time heals all wounds”.   Some separated couples choose to continue living together but in separate bedrooms with no real communication or togetherness.  During a period of separation one or both may decide to see other people.  Unfortunately many separations result in further distance between the two.

A Marriage Sabbatical can be successful as couples determine all the rules before separating.  Each person’s goal is to re-unite in the near future. Before taking a Marriage Sabbatical, Cheryl Jarvis, author of The Marriage Sabbatical, encourages preparation which includes the consideration of:

1. The Wait – Be sure not to leave suddenly.  “Slow change can be the best kind of change.”

2. The Logistics – Consider and plan how the household will be maintained and sustained.  Consider childcare, errands, routine house maintenance, financial obligations etc.

3.  Load Lessening – Try to lighten the load for your spouse: make list, leave detailed written instructions, important contact information etc.

4.  Goal Setting – Determine what you two want to accomplish during the Sabbatical…. Self-help concerns, learning to communicate effectively and taking time to determine one’s own desires.

5. Leave Taking – Try to make leave a smooth process.  Be sure to talk to children and others who will be affected that this is a temporary arrangement.  Try to make the leaving process as smooth as possible.

During a Sabbatical it’s very important that the couple communicates often and that each are accessible.

The third option for couples in crisis is to Stay The Course.  With this option the couple decides to stay together and actively work on themselves and their marriage.  When a couple decides to Stay The Course they both commit to doing the work necessary to make personal changes and changes in the marriage.  In this option the couple benefits from the help of a third party who is experienced and trained in marriage counseling, this person could be a Licensed Psychologist and/or a Spiritual Advisor.   This person should not be a friend nor family member of either.

To Stay The Course requires accountability and that positive progress can be noted.  Each day the couple will make it their goal to implement habits and routines that will foster a true friendship and a sincere love for one another.  As long as there is positive progress and commitment by both the husband and wife, the couple can expect a fulfilling marriage.

3 Signs You & Your Spouse Need a Vacation!


It is summer-time and a great time for you and your spouse to steal some time away just for the two of you! But if you are like many other couples, you often put time alone on the back-burner.  It’s understandable.  There are so many other things that are pressing! The kids summer camp, the family vacation, that big summer project at your job…all of those things are LOUDLY demanding your attention so of course a “luxury” vacation with your spouse just isn’t priority.

But think again!  You and your marriage may NEED to get-away in order for you to stay happy and productive for the rest of the year! Did you know that statistics state that “…due to jobs, kids, TV, the internet, hobbies, and home and family responsibilities, the average married couple spends just 4 minutes a day alone together”?  FOUR MINUTES! You and I both know our marriages need much more than 4 minutes if we are going to last a life-time.

So, it is time for you to re-consider a get-away with your boo!  Keep in mind, your time away doesn’t have to be an elaborate cruise or a 10-day trip away.  You can go away for 24 hours or for the weekend! Log-on to Groupon to find a hotel discount or use your frequent flyer miles for a quick flight to a fun destination! Even a stay-cation in your city will work…! The goal is to get away from the hustle and bustle of life to reconnect and invest in your romance!

Still not convinced?  Here are three signs you and your spouse need a vacation!

 1.  You can’t remember the last time the two of you vacationed alone!

If you’ve been married longer than a year and the last time you remember getting away was your honeymoon, that might be an indicator it is time for you to get away.  Make sure your trip is children free! Fanning the flames of your marriage is critical and children don’t fan the flame, they often put it out.

Many couples get so consumed with the demands of life….work, bills, church, children…they forget the importance of investing in their marriage.  Spending time alone helps to keep the two of you connected and on one accord.

 2.  You are in the midst of, or just came out of a stressful “life” situation!

Whether it is the demands of work, a family crisis or health challenges, stressful situations can often create tension in our marriages.  I have found in my work with couples, that many times it is not even issues in the marriage that cause tension…many times it is other issues that we are dealing with that impact our attitudes and it is then our attitudes that we have towards our spouse that create marital tension.

While we can’t expect to live a life that is problem free, we can make sure we buffer our marriage from the damaging impact of outside problems.  So if you know you (or your spouse) has had a tough time lately, schedule a get-away.  A change in scenery will do a world of good for your relationship.

 3.  Lately you both are easily irritated by one another.

Being in the same space, having the same routine and dealing with the same “life” stuff day in and day out can drive us all crazy, and if we aren’t careful we start to drive each other crazy.  Sometimes it is an easy fix…take some time to get away!

Going on a mini / or extended vacation may be just the cure to the irritability that has been plaguing your relationship.  Now, while you are away, make sure you take time to connect intimately (you know…have a lot of sex!) to help decrease agitation.  Sex plus a new environment will give you the boost you need to reengage in the demands of life.

Your turn! How do you know when you and your spouse need a getaway?


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What price will you pay?

Wise Family

Chajay Wise is an amazing woman who is passionate about helping women embrace their role as a mom and wife with integrity and creativity.  She is the mother to 4 beautiful children and is married to her college sweetheart, Darius. The couple has been married 10 years.




What Price Will You Pay? by Chajay Wise 

I am the epitomy of a bargain shopper. I do not believe in paying full price for anything, especially kids clothing. In my opinion kids grow too fast to spend lots of money on items they will out grow in the blink of an eye. But my husband on the other hand, loves to purchase quality items that he believes will last a life time! So when I purchase cheap jeans for our boys I often find myself frustrated two weeks later thinking in my mind, “you get what you pay for”, as I try to patch up knee holes from boisterous boys. If only I had paid the higher price for the jeans with the more durable material, I could have saved myself time, frustration, and money in the end.

In many ways, the same is true for marriage. If you desire a strong marriage, it will come at a higher price. Great marriages don’t just happen; they are a product of two people who are willing to pay the price to invest their best! Darius and I have specific shared goals for our lives, marriage, and family. We have learned over the years that in order for our goals to be achieved, we must intentionally maintain non-negotiable priorities. One of our goals is to grow old together, while traveling the world and watching our grand kids mature. But if we don’t make a habit of connecting daily, busy schedules have a way of leading us in two separate directions.

As married couples we have two choices. We can cover up a broken marriage to look good and pay a high price of disappointment, pain, and heartbreak. Or, we can pay a high price of doing whatever it takes to build a healthy thriving marriage. Either way we will have to pay a price.

By God’s grace we have a beautiful marriage, but trust me, it came at a high price. We had to kill selfishness, set boundaries, heal from past hurts, disappointments from people, and trust God. And now, because of the price we were willing to pay first, we are experiencing deeper love, commitment, incredible happiness, and constant support for one another!

So I ask you……What price are you willing to pay for the marriage you want?


(Interested in writing for “I Believe in Marriage”? Email us!

14 Ways to Refresh your Romance!

Ever wonder why your romance feels dull and maybe even distant? We often look for the “BIG” things that destroy relationships while ignoring the “…little foxes that destroy the vine” (Solomon 2:15).  If we are honest, we can admit that over time we become consumed with the demands of life and before we know it, we have unintentionally neglected one another.  And if we continue to neglect one another, we  find ourselves living in the same house but living separate lives.  But there is hope! Many times it just takes simple steps to invest in your relationship.  Today, consider committing to at least 4 of these practical and simple strategies (consistently!!) and watch what happens to your romance!

  1. Wave the white flag and declare a truce

Many times when the pressures of life become overwhelming we take it out on those we are closes too.  That leads to us snapping at our spouses for little (or maybe not so little) irritations.  But today, wave the white flag.  Acknowledge that you have been irritable and that you want to declare a truce.  Doing this will go a long way to reconnecting you to your partner.

 2.  Remember why you said “I do”

After dealing with bills, house maintenance, the kids, in-laws, the car that stopped working….you sometimes forget why you decided to start this life in the first place.  But don’t let the drama of life make you forget why you said “I do”.  A fun way to remember is based on how many years you’ve been married; use that number to make a list of why you love your spouse or why you said “I do”.  Give it to them as a surprise and watch how special they feel!

3. Play hooky

Maybe you don’t have the time or the resources to leave the city for a vacation or get-away.  But most of us can take one day off from work! So, coordinate with your spouse and stay home for the day!  You can either explore your city together or simply stay at home and bum out all day. The goal is to make it a full day just for the two of you.

4. Invest in your spouse’s interest

Is your spouse a sports lover or maybe really into crafts?  Find a way to invest in what they are passionate about.  Maybe you can purchase tickets to a local game or maybe pay for a yearlong subscription to a magazine that is focused on what they enjoy.  Simply find a way to show that you are paying attention to what is important to them.

5. Do what they do

Most of us show love the way we need love.  Of course we should figure out our spouses love language or “Relational Needs” and love them the way they best receive it. But most often we fall back to our default…loving the way we want love.  So, pay attention to what your spouse does for you and give that back to them!

6. Take a class together

Learning together helps you grow together. Identify a new skill, principle or hobby that you’d like to learn about and take a class. This also gives you a set time weekly or monthly to be together!

7. Spice it up

Love making does not have to be routine!  Spice up your sex lives in fun and flirtatious ways! Come up with a word that represents “I am ready” to one another and say it to your spouse while out in public.  Example: Honey, I can’t wait to go to the CIRCUS!!!  Having a secret language, handshake or look can be an easy way to entice one another discreetly.

8. Group date

Hanging out with like-minded couples is a great way to refresh your romance.  Creating a bond with other people can help you stay accountable in your own marriage.  Arrange a bowling, put-put or dinner outing with a few friends once a month or at least 3 or 4 times a year.

9. De-Clutter your bedroom

It’s really hard to be sexy when you have your daughters “baby doll” in the bed with you, the dresser is cluttered with bills and there is a basket of clothes (or 2 or 3 baskets) along your bedroom wall (am I telling my business?).  Decluttering your bedroom, adding a few romantic items (a picture of the two of you in a sexy embrace, candles and maybe even a romantic book) can do a world of good for your romance.

10. Be silly and laugh

When was the last time you and your spouse laughed until tears were in your eyes?  Do you know that laughter can actually be healing?  Stop being so serious and just have a good time.  Check out your favorite comedian or find a funny movie and just have a good laugh.

 11. Encourage your spouse

Remember we all gravitate towards where we receive the most applause.  Make sure that you are your spouse’s NUMBER ONE encourager.  Speak life, remind your spouse why they are so special, and push them forward when they feel like giving up.  Remember, it’s easy to hear the ‘boos’ from the crowd…it’s the applause that sometimes gets drowned out!

12. Stop comparing

Unhealthy comparisons can drain your relationship.  And remember, most times we are comparing our relationship or spouse to a standard that may not be what we really think it is.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn from other people, but be realistic and remember no one has a perfect relationship.

 13. Commit to connecting

Anything that is important we make sure we schedule it.  A work meeting, a doctor’s appointment, a parent/teacher conference, etc.  Why not do the same with our relationship.  Schedule 3 or 4 times a year that you and your significant other intentionally connect to talk about your relationship and what is going right and what needs to be improved! (Sign up for our newsletter to get a template to help you with this strategy).

 14. PRAY

The truth is, none of these strategies will work if we don’t undergird our relationship in prayer.  We must invite God in as THE head, as the strategist, as the guide for our relationship.  Pray together and separately asking God to create a clean heart in you and to draw you and your significant other together in every area of intimacy possible!

*** If these strategies blessed you, share them with your family & friends via social media! ***

Why do you believe in marriage?

Wise FamilyChajay Wise is an amazing woman who is passionate about helping women embrace their role as a mom and wife with integrity and creativity.  She is the mother to 4 beautiful children and is married to her college sweetheart, Darius. The couple has been married 10 years.



Why Do You Believe In Marriage? by Chajay Wise

Marriage, the union of one man and one woman, I’ve been told could be the closes thing to heaven or hell on earth:)!  And being married for 10 years, I can truly say that I agree with that statement (we’ve had much more heaven than hell, for sure:)! Marriage can be a beautiful thing when both parties agree to make it the best experience for the other and that’s the reason… “Why I Believe In Marriage”.

Today couples choose to get married for so many different reasons. Some to be happy, and others to not be lonely, but there are many benefits to being married. In fact, there are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law alone.

Here are some of my favorites not associated with the law! 🙂

Marriage & Health

• On average, husbands and wives are healthier, happier and enjoy longer lives than those who are not married.

• Men appear to reap the most physical health benefits from marriage and suffer the greatest health consequences if they divorce.

• Married mothers have lower rates of depression than single or cohabiting mothers, probably because they are more likely to receive practical and emotional support from their child’s father and his family.

Marriage & Wealth

• Married couples build more wealth on average than singles or cohabiting couples.

• Marriage offers men the kind of stability and support that allows him to succeed in all aspects of life.

• Married women are economically better off than divorced, cohabiting or never-married women.

Marriage & Children

Children raised by their own married mother and father are:

• More likely to stay in school, have fewer behavioral and attendance problems, and earn four-year college degrees

• Less vulnerable to serious emotional illness, depression and suicide

• More likely to have positive attitudes towards marriage and greater success in forming lasting marriages

Marriage and Society

• The institution of marriage reliably creates the social, economic and affective conditions for effective parenting.

• Being married changes people’s lifestyles and habits in ways that are personally and socially beneficial. Marriage makes you a better person.

• Marriage generates social capital. The social bonds created through marriage yield benefits not only for the family but for others as well, including the larger society.

So there you have it! Marriage is more than paperwork. It is a long-term investment in one person, building deep abiding love, with amazing benefits, that should last for a life time (Can I get an Amen;). Alright, I want to hear from you… Why Do You Believe In Marriage?? I would love to hear some of the benefits you experience in your marriage…

Sources: Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences (Institute for American Values); Healthy Marriages, Healthy Lives: Research on the Alignment of Health, Marital Outcomes and Marriage Education (California Healthy Marriages Coalition); Testimony of Dr. Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, National Marriage Project, before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children. This article was adapted from





The King & The Queen

Loved this picture! Do you agree?queen is hungry