I want to be jealous. I look around at other couples and make up stories in my head – their life wasn’t as hard, their losses not so grievous, their betrayal not so deep. I think, we had it worse. But that’s a lie, because everyone born into this imperfect world is touched by that imperfection. We all carry hurts and we all pass through trials – some are just less visible than others. What we do in those trials, and who we become (the plural “we” of marriage) has the power to be a witness to this wasting world.
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Dating & Marriage
In other years I’ve written about why I chose you; how I worked through insecurity and fear; how we processed our independence; how we fought for our covenant; and last year, how our community made our marriage what it is today. All those things are still true and still in process.
As Josh and Phy wrap up their series on marriage, they conclude by discussing growth: how do we grow together practically and encourage one another to be diligent workers for the benefit of the covenant? There are practical things we can do along with the more fundamental actions of prayer and communication. In this episode, Josh and Phy discuss the practical things they do to stay on the same page, set goals together, and encourage growth in the areas in which they need it.
When Josh and I started dating we didn’t have many things in common. We didn’t like the same music (and I liked concerts; Josh didn’t); we didn’t like the same books, games, or hobbies. We were drawn together instead by mutual values, which worked until we tried to decide what to do for fun! As time went on we discovered just how different we actually were (not just in hobbies, either – we are opposites on every single personality test, and have completely opposite rankings for our love languages, apology languages and more!).
How do we cultivate friendships as a married couple – both together and separately? In this episode of the Honest Marriage series Josh and Phy discuss the nuances and difficulties of friendship after marriage. Some friendships are for seasons, others are longterm. Making friends as adults can be hard, especially when you have to take into account your spouse’s preferences and opinions.
In honor of the NEW book launched by Phylicia and her friend, Lisa Jacobson, this week Josh and Phy talk about FLIRTATION! Is it wrong? What happens when we’re told flirtation is wrong and then get married? How did Phylicia’s 30 day flirtation experiment on Josh turn into a book??
Marriage and family take place within the larger family of Christ’s church. Church is not just a building or a dutiful Sunday attendance; it is a community of faith and accountability, and for marrieds, a support system and place to serve. Churches are made up of imperfect people and are therefore imperfect institutions, but it is within our church family that our marriages have a place to thrive.
We’re told that having kids can be the death knell of a marriage. We’re told kids can ruin, wreck or render painful a relationship otherwise well preserved. But the truth is that kids don’t ruin marriages; they reveal them. Serving the children God blesses us with will expose our patterns of sin and selfishness, things we were better able to brush under the rug without little humans around. In this episode of the Honest Marriage series on Verity Podcast, Josh and Phy talk about how parenting changes marriage, how they get on the same page, and how to communicate about parenting decisions (especially in the little years).
Marriage comes with its stressors and challenges. Add onto that the challenges of pregnancy and postpartum, and marriage can feel incredibly hard. Emotions and hormones are running high, both parties can feel neglected, all while caring for a tiny human! There is so much going on in this season marriage can sometimes take a back burner. But it’s a season where we need one another more than ever.
In the early years of my marriage I struggled deeply with anger. While I still struggle in this area, the amount of anger I spent on Josh in those early years was much greater than it is now. The change in my heart – and marriage – didn’t come from learning anger management techniques (helpful as those might be) or counting to ten and breathing through my nose. The progress in my marriage began with the affection of God.