She’s To Die For

Loving Your Wife Like Jesus

Heather and Sonny Melton

With the horrific tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting came stories of sacrifice, heroism, and bravery. In the face of evil came multiple accounts of first responders, off-duty cops, and ordinary citizens doing everything necessary to save lives and bring comfort.

One of the stories that gripped the world was that of a married couple from Tennessee, Sonny and Heather Melton. They had traveled to Las Vegas and were attending the Harvest 91 concert.

Recounting what happened Heather said, “When we realized it was gunshots going off and not fireworks like everyone thought, I said let’s get down and he said, ‘No, we’ll get trampled. Let’s go, let’s go.’”


The importance of actively investing in your marriage


Have you ever played on a sports team—even a neighborhood pick-up game—where one of your teammates wasn’t giving their best effort? Perhaps they were barely trying at all.

In the meantime, you are out there giving 110% to the game. You want to win, but you need the effort of your teammate. As you see their passivity, you get increasingly frustrated and angry at them for not engaging as they should.

Men, that’s how wives can feel toward their husbands.

Resolutely Protect Your Marriage, Part 4

Being wise in relationships of the opposite gender

Protect your marriage

It is absolutely vital that you be vigilant in protecting your marriage. No one else will care as much as you for your marriage. One of the dangerous attack points that the Enemy can use against you is through personal relationships with the opposite gender.

We all have friendships of the opposite gender. God created us to be in community with one another. But Satan likes to take anything that God created for good and turn it around for evil. We have seen unhealthy relationships develop in church settings, work environments, at the gym, or within friendships with other couples.

We are going to provide seven hedges to put around you and your spouse to help you maintain vigilance in protecting your marriage relationally.

Habits Of An Effective Husband (Part 2)

Husband Romance

What habits form your life? In the course of most people’s average day, a huge percentage of decisions aren’t decisions at all, but actually habits. In Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, he cites a report by a Duke University researcher that “more than forty percent of the actions people performed each day weren’t decisions, but habits.”

To be extremely simplistic, with Duhigg’s work, habits are formed by a “cue” that launches a “behavior” followed by a “reward” that is established over time and choice into habit. For example, “When I get up (cue) I  brush my teeth (behavior) and enjoy the fresh breath and smooth teeth (reward).” If the reward is good enough, I’ll keep up the behavior and form a habit!

As part two of our “Habits of An Effective Husband” we’ve included five more habits that we believe are vital for a husband to build into the rhythm of his life. Add your suggestions and insights below, too!

1. Protect her

Habits Of An Effective Husband (part 1)

Husband and wife

Recently Brad was asked by a friend, “What are the two or three top habits of a highly effective husband?”  Brad thought for a moment and then shared the first five top habits of an effective husband that came to mind.

After their conversation, the list continued to grow in Brad’s mind. So here are the first five habits that Brad shared with his friend and next week we’ll present part two. Each of these take proactivity on the husband’s part, but they are actionable for every husband. 

Who’s Cheering For Your Marriage?


Who do you have cheering for your marriage? Are the voices speaking into your marriage offering words of support, encouragement, respect, wisdom, truth and hope? Or do they tend to offer up only what you want to hear?

On a regular basis we are seeing marriages undermined by family, friends, and co-workers who are for the individual but not for the couple. As a result, their conversation doesn’t build the marriage and support commitment. Rather, advice is given to seek happiness and fulfillment even at the expense of the marriage.

In that context, read these words from Proverbs 16:28, “A perverse man (or woman) stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.” In your marriage, anyone who sows seeds of division between you and your spouse is not your friend!

When you choose to build your marriage, life and Satan will throw everything at you to keep you from succeeding. To counter those pressures you need people who are lifting you up, cheering for you, and supporting your commitment to your spouse.

Three things you can do to build a “cheering section”


1. Be respectful

Speak well of your spouse in front of others. Let them know that your marriage matters to you. Tell others the positive traits you respect in your spouse. Share good stories about your mate and your marriage. This sets the tone for others’ support for the two of you.

2. Be committed

Make sure everyone knows of your love for your spouse and your commitment to your marriage. Your verbal boundary around your marriage will steer others’ advice and conversation toward your stated desires.

3. Be pure

Build your close friendships with the same gender as you. You may relate better with the opposite sex, but you cannot guarantee what will happen with another person’s affections toward you—or yours toward them if the conditions were right. Your marriage is worth you focusing on same-gender friendships.

Four factors in identifying your “cheering section”


1. They commit to pray for your marriage

When a friend commits to be your marital cheering section before God, you can be certain they will do all they can to see those prayers answered in your life!

2. They speak respectfully of your spouse

If someone uses derisive language about your spouse, gently correct them and set the record straight about who your spouse really is! If they continue to degrade your spouse, make the decision to distance yourself because this person is stirring up dissension in your marriage. (Proverbs 16:28) It’s time to find a new friend.

3. They are personally pro-marriage

If you aren’t sure where a person stands in their position about marriage, ask them!

4. They encourage you to spend time with your spouse

This can be subtle but people who are cheering for your marriage will encourage you to be with your spouse, not away from them. It’s great to have and build friendships—we certainly work on that as well. But we’ve watched as husbands and wives get pulled by guy-friends or girl-friends who put undue pressure on spouses to “get away” on a regular basis from their spouse. Your marriage cheering section will respect when you say you need to be with your spouse.

What else would you add to the lists? When you are intentional in developing your marriage cheering section you will have momentum and support as you build your marriage!

You Can Do It!

You Can Do It

As we raised our three children there were numerous times when they needed a boost of confidence from us. They trusted what we said because we knew them the best. Our encouragement often gave them the gumption to press ahead whether it was:

  • Learning to ride a bike
  • Trying out for a team
  • Auditioning for a play or musical
  • Struggling in a class at school
  • Working through a relationship struggle
  • Applying for a job
  • Or simply a word of affirmation

Our children drew strength from our belief in them.

It’s the same in marriage, isn’t it? We have observed far too many couples where one or both have lapsed into beating the other down verbally. It may not be outright abuse, but little demeaning digs which wear down the other’s spirit. Statements like:

  • “You can try it, but I don’ think you can do it.”
  • “Do you really believe you’d even get the opportunity/job/promotion?”
  • “Don’t even try.”
  • “Just give up.”

Will eventually kill the spirit and keep our spouse from achieving their potential. And when our spouse doesn’t reach their potential they lose and we lose.

Compare those comments with these nuggets of wisdom from Proverbs:

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (12:25)

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” (16:24)

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (25:11)

Here are three things you can communicate to your spouse that over time will lift you both to a higher level:

1. You have character

What do you see in your spouse’s character that you admire and respect? Character is the heart and soul of who a person is. When you acknowledge their character, you bless them at the deepest level.

Give careful thought and write down the character traits that come to mind. We found a very helpful list here (click the link and scroll down) if you need some creative help.

Make a conscious decision to affirm one of those traits in your spouse every day. You are the closest person to them. You see your spouse and know them intimately. What you say matters to them. God has placed you in their life to be the one to cheer them on!

2. You have strengths

There are all kinds of books out today to help people discover their personal strengths and how they are wired. The tools and ideas in many of these books are helpful, yet the greatest strength-finder your spouse has is YOU.

What do they do well? Where are they gifted and specially suited to excel? Tell them what you see in them. Talk about ways they might lean into and develop those strengths. Brainstorm ways you can support and encourage their next steps in exercising their strengths.

Do you know their dreams? Ask—and listen. Then follow up with, “You can do it!”

3. You have…my heart.

The ongoing confidence of unconditional love and commitment regardless of success or failure is vital for you spouse in knowing you believe they can do whatever they set their mind to do.

Practice saying, “You can do it!” and watch how your spouse responds as you build your marriage!

Choosing The Right Word

Couple talking on couch


Wouldn’t you agree that most arguments happen over the dumbest things? Often there’s a misunderstanding or a careless comment that is made and later regretted—but only after the damage is done.

How can we minimize the careless comments in our marriage? How can we change-up our pattern and begin to say the right word at the right time?

The wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon, wrote: “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11) In the original language, the idea is a word given at just the right time is beautiful and valuable. Wouldn’t you agree that holds true in marriage as well?

Often the right word comes at a time when we are struggling, sad, angry or needing to be lifted up. When the right thing is said there is connection, care, compassion, and encouragement. We feel understood and our spouse’s words are actually a blessing to us.

Here are four things to keep in mind this week so that your words are “aptly spoken” and become a treasure to your spouse:

1. Listen and ask

We have to hear our spouse’s heart to have the right word. What are the things that are burdening them? What do they talk about? Ask follow-up questions that help bring understanding. Sometimes a simple, “Tell me more…” or “Help me understand…” opens the door for them to go deeper in their explanation. Keep listening.

 2. Watch and ponder

Life can get busy and we can easily become self-focused on our personal to-do’s and projects. Pull back and watch your spouse. What is consuming their time and energy? Work that they brought home? Tasks or deadlines that need to be completed? Projects at home? Activities or stress with the children?

Enter their world. You know your spouse…what is life like for them right now? Perhaps you will observe them serving the household doing menial tasks no one else will do (including you!), or working hard to succeed at their job, or pouring themselves into your children.

Imagine you are in their skin. What would you like to hear?

3. Pause and pray

Before you speak the “apt word,” take a moment to breathe a prayer to God. Ask Him what your spouse needs to hear from you. It may be a word of encouragement or affirmation. Perhaps they need appreciation or even a word of advice. Maybe all they need is a hug and to hear, “I love you.”

4. Speak and repeat

When you are confident you know what to say, be sure you have eye contact and good timing, go ahead and say the right word! Once you’ve spoken the right word, go back and repeat the first step.

Fill your relationship with the right words and you will bless your spouse as you build your marriage!