The Work of a Good Marriage

Great marriages don’t just happen, they take work, talking face-to-face, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, intimacy, and even some wise planning.  When two sinners join together – for life – hard work will be required to love one another deeply and have a joyful and productive marriage.  After nearly 28 years of marriage, Russ and I still yearn to grow closer and know each other with even greater depth.

We were able to get away for a few days and with the help of our older children and friends, our younger kids were in good hands.  I made sure their days were filled with fun activities and all in all, they did quite well.

Russ and I traveled a few hours away to our friends’ vacation home on the Yakima River where we rarely saw a single person in a day.  The view out the windows was of the river, snow-covered grasses, and leafless trees that were beautiful as they cast shadows on the snow.  We packed good food, snow boots, our camera, books, Bibles, and laptops – although we were very careful not to work much at all.

We did some planning and talked about our priorities, goals, dreams, and wondered how we could ever accomplish it all. This is the way we want to order our lives:

1. Our relationships with God

2. Our marriage

3. Our children

Relationships with other people, and Vocations/Callings/Careers/Ministries all follow these three.  It is very easy to get this all out of balance.  As we talked it through, we decided to individually make a careful accounting of all of our activities and commitments in order to see how they fit with our priorities and goals.  It’s going to be interesting to share these lists and talk about them together.

We want our lives to be fruitful, but if we are too scattered and fragmented in the way we spend our time, our efforts will be far less effective.  I recognize the need for more structure to my days;  homeschooling demands it and given that our children are number three on my list, I need to sort it out.

Have a great day, friends.  As always, I have a dozen blog posts swirling through my mind and limited time to write them.  I am continuing to work on my Tell it Well series and hope to post more of it soon.




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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Haley
    February 7, 2012

    This is such a great reminder, thank you Lisa! I've been enjoying the 'marriage letters' series from Amber at worth checking out.

  2. Kim
    February 7, 2012

    Oh, so, so true. We have reached 7 1/2 years, and we have honestly been more in love with each passing year. I know the addition of two children, though, will greatly strain our relationship. I pray that we, like you, remember to prioritize. If you have any tips for how to do that in the midst of the early stages of parenting??

  3. Laurel
    February 7, 2012

    I love that you said marriage should be "productive." That's a great reminder that we are in this to accomplish something great for the Lord, together. Thanks!

  4. julie
    February 7, 2012

    So, so true:)


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