Wednesday, April 27, 2016

"How to Divorce-Proof Your Marriage"


Our sweet wedding day! 8/14/2010


Let's be honest, nobody gets married with the intent to get divorced. You get married with the mindset that it's "til death due us part." Then, you are in your marriage and then you find out that you had a certain expectations in marriage that you don't feel like are getting met. Then, you begin to compare your marriage to others, nag your spouse, then he's already stressed out and then he begins to work longer and doesn't open up so you vent to your mama, sisters and girlfriends and then you both live two completely different lives, under the same roof. You kinda feel like roommates.

Those days are coming to an end. Right now. Marriages are getting tested and hit so hard, it's so important that we do OUR part to make our marriages work. Yes, it's hard. Yes, there's times where I don't think my husband "deserves" it. Yes, its a constant sacrifice. Yes, you will develop and grow in your marriage. Yes, it will stretch you like NEVER before. And, I'm 110% confident that my husband feels the same way towards me. Marriage is beautiful work. The reality is that no relationship is perfect. If people are portraying perfection then they aren't telling the whole truth. And they don't have to share their tests with you. EVERY  marriage is working itself out & going through hurdles, beautiful times, rough storms and whatever else.

There's seasons to marriage.

Now, we are in the 6th year of our marriage and we've been together for 8 years. So, how do I know we aren't getting divorced? Honey, if we were gonna get divorced it would have happened in year one. It was ROUGH. I am thankful for those rough times because now we are in a different season in our marriage. I had to press past those feelings that my life was better outside of my marriage and recognize that everything I needed was right under the roof of Cornelius Lindsey. INCLUDING my purpose. It was all right there. And, if I left my covering, I left the calling on our marriage and I am not willing to do that.  I stood before God and I said my vows which included saying "I do" to a lot of things that I "don't." Like, picking up his socks and dirty dishes that he leaves everywhere! :) Instead of complaining about housework or the fact that he doesn't clean up much around the house - I instead focus on his strengths and I go pick up those socks. He's a GREAT husband, father, leader, pastor and visionary. He literally started a church from the bottom and it's thriving. He is caring, loving and kind. He constantly considers me and our children. He never stays out late and he ALWAYS puts us first. He has godly friends. He's always home by 5pm - ready to love on and serve me & our children. You see, these are just a COUPLE of the great things about my husband! AND, they cancel out the few pet peeves. Isn't it funny how satan just gets in our head and tries to get us mad at our spouses about small things? Your issue may not be socks. It could be something big like adultery or if your husband stays out late. Well, I think that there's something beautiful about letting God change YOU and then you will watch your husband change.

You may be thinking I'm kinda' crazy especially since I don't know your husband. Well, I do know the One who created your husband in his mother's womb and His name is God. He sent His only son down to the earth to die for our sins and reconcile us back to Him through Jesus Christ. He defeated death. He defeated sin. He won for us. Can He NOT heal and fix your marriage? Can He not give you wisdom on him since He created your husband? I found that when my marriage what at it's worst, my mouth and attitude was at it's worse. I was nagging my husband's every move, I was rebellious and I didn't submit to him. How can I expect a good marriage if I refuse to develop in self control and I blame my husband for the discontentment birthed in me as a single? I realized that I have a PART to play in the success of my marriage. I cannot blame my rejection growing up, my insecurity or whatever else. I had to take responsibility for Heather. And, as women, I pray that you do the same. You know I love ya'll and I just want to see you thriving in marriage and showing others that God heals dead marriages!

So, whether you're courting, engaged or married - I wanted to share a few things that I've learned.


1. It is the Holy Spirit's job to change my husband, my job is to pray for Him. No, seriously. My nagging, complaining and whatever else will only temporarily get my husband to change. So, he will do certain things just to shut me up - not because it's real. When the Holy Spirit gets a hold of your husband, that change is eternal. 

2. Don't freak out when he tells you crazy stories from the gym, when he went paintballing or in general. I want him to share everything with me & he won't if I get overly emotional & motherly on his tail. Who wants to sleep with their mother? Nobody. Thus, let's stop talking down as if your husband isn't grown himself. And, what if he does hurt himself rock climbing up some mountain? Well, you'll be there to nurse him to health & help him to feel better. That's the testosterone in a man, sis! Just revert back to #1 and pray that He has wisdom on what to do. 

3. Marriage is a journey. So you marry someone who doesn't have your deal breakers and.. Then get ready to go on a journey. If my hubby doesn't "figure it out" in a certain area by year 2, he will figure it out in year 4. Be patient. You're both growing.  My hubby is GROWING into my dream guy. And, He is things that I didn't even know that I wanted or needed. Like, the biggest family man ever! Our family is together about 21 hours of the day and we LOVE it! #Grace

4. Shut up. Yup. We both shut up a lot with each other. There's no point in arguing because we aren't divorcing. Choose your battles. We pursue peace like crazy in our home, put on our big girl & boy pants & act like Christian adults. If an argument gets heated, we use the code word "Jesus" and all arguments cease until a later time when emotions aren't so high. 

5. Protect your marriage. Me & my husband are one flesh and I want make sure others see him like they see me. I will always be his number one fan and vice versa. I ain't sharing our arguments with people who will hold onto it long after we made up. Meaning, I am not calling my mama and complaining to her because although I may forgive my husband - it may take her longer to forgive. Although my mother is amazing and very loving - I'm still her baby girl. #Protection

6. We don't bring up the past. It's behind us for a reason. Move on. #Grace
7. If your spouse is saying a concern, listen. They know you best and believe them. #Mirror

8. You better learn to be content broke or with money because that can make or break your marriage. We had a season our first year of marriage where we ate rice for dinner most nights. I lit a candle and we had a candlelight dinner. And, you better believe if we ever got evicted, we would be evicted together in a tent on the street. Cuddling. For richer or for poor will get tested. #HesMine

9. He loves me like Christ loves the church and submits to God and I submit to him as onto the Lord. He's my leader. And, God honors us because we honor him.

10. If I ever feel like ministry or life is getting too busy and we aren't focused on each other, I tell Cornelius ..and he shuts his whole day down to spend it with me. I use my concerns wisely. I don't use them emotionally so this happens maybe 1-2x a year. We got work to do but family is first after God. #MarriageGodsWay 

11. Laugh a lot. Stop taking everything so serious!! Literally, find what is funny and do that together. (Make sure it's biblical/not making fun of others, etc)

12. Be his biggest cheerleader! The world is going to try to tear him down and when he walks into his home, He shouldn't get the same treatment - even if you don't think he deserves it. 

13. A rough patch in your marriage doesn't define your marriage. It's just a moment. Press through it and fight for your marriage and stop fighting each other. 

14. Your marriage is what you make it - so make it so good!



15. Use discernment when bringing up issues (example: if my husband just got done preaching, it's not the time to dump all of my issues onto him)

16. Your husband is not your God. He cannot solve all of your problems and fix your crazy thoughts. Only Jesus can do that so if you're feeling disconnected from your husband it may be because you're feeling disconnected to God. Let Him show you what to do. Our first relationship with with Jesus and then our spouse.

17. Find time to go to marriage retreats together. YOU NEED that time where you grow together. Our church, The Gathering Oasis has a marriage retreat every year. If you cannot make this one, find one locally but get away and try to attend one a year. You have to remember why you started together. This years retreat is Sept 31-August 4th in Scottsdale, AZ.

18. Don't let your children become first. It's hard when your kids scream louder than your husband but it's important that your husband still feels first and the kids second (of course with Jesus as your foundation). I love Logan but I make it clear to him that I make daddy's & logan's plate together but mommy serves daddy first. And, he helps me serve him. I want to make sure Logan sees it so when he starts courting, he understands how he should be treated by a woman. I don't want to look up to an empty nest "home" in 20 years and I don't know my husband because I spent more time grooming and serving my kids while ignoring my husband. Granted, if Logan is super hungry - my hubby will make him food or I will really quick but on a average day, I want him to see that I get to serve my husband.

19. Schedule date days! Every Friday, we have our date lunch and every Saturday is our family day. It's so important that you are intentional with your family.  Your family life is as strong as your marriage.

20. Lastly, seek the Lord with all of your heart and spend time with Him daily. Pray for your spouse, ask the Lord to help you to love him. Ask the Lord to help him to love you like Christ loved the church.

BONUS: Tell yourself that you have no plan "b" and that divorce is not an option. In our home, we have decided that we will not divorce. That word isn't even allowed in our thoughts or conversations! So, if you have a plan b - you need to cut that person off, quit the job because that man keeps giving you attention and do whatever else it takes to guard your heart.

You may read this and say, "Heather, this won't work for me. I have a one-sided marriage." Well, I know I've loved my husband when I felt like he didn't deserve it. My husband loved me when I didn't deserve it. We are all taking steps to love like Jesus loves us. That's the kind of marriage I want to have - a marriage centered around Christ, loving HIS way. Give marriage His way a chance. You never know what He could do to restore your marriage.

Well, that's all for now! I love you all!

Just a few things:

1. Find my (4) books (including my NEW book, "The Runaway Bride"), purity rings, shirts & all that good stuff via pinkypromiseboutiques.com!

2. We have developed an APP! Think: daily post notifications + weekly devotionals, recipes and so much more! It's out NOW for iphones + Androids. Under: Heather & Cornelius Lindsey: Today With the Lindsey's

3.  If you live in Atlanta, I want to invite you to our church. Join us on Sundays at 11:00am. Our churches name is: "The Gathering Oasis"  3600 Snapfinger Rd Lithonia, GA 30038

4. Register for the 2016 Pinky Promise in Atlanta, GA! It sold out last year so you don't want to miss out! www.pinkypromiseconference.com

5. We are headed to London for the Holy Desperation Conference! Join us! www.lindseysinlondon2016.eventbee.com 

6. As always, you can join a Pinky Promise group locally! There's about 45,000 ladies that have joined! Find a group near you by joining & checking out the intro page! Join here: www.PinkyPromiseMovement.com

God loves you all like crazy!
Love,
Heather Lindsey 


31 comments:

  1. Hey Heather, what do you do when only one wants it to work? Do you lose hope? Faith?

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    1. Hi Afro, it's normal to feel like you should lose hope but just as Heather said, we should talk to God about our husbands. I'm sure you've prayed. However I'll like you not to forget that the heart of a king is in the hands of God. Specifically ask the Lord to give your spouse (or the spouse of the person on whose you asking)a change of heart.
      Marriage is a covenant sis, and God hates covenant breakers. If your marriage ever would fail in a divorce (God forbid)it should never be because of YOU. Stay faithful in your post. God rewards faithfulness. Praying for you!

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    2. Princess Anne, thank you so much for reaching out to me. I will do that. It's been 7 years, and we are currently separated going on 6 months. He recently told me he wants to be single and do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. I've tried to plea, ask for counseling, but he's not hearing any of it. I truly appreciate this. I was just going to file for the divorce since he said he wants to be single and just co-parent for our kids. We both are in church and he's a musician, unfortunately our problems began when we started to lean towards other genres of music and playing in clubs, casinos, etc. May God bless you for responding to me and helping me through this. I've been fasting and praying about all of this.

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    3. Hey afro!its time to fight. Figjt for your home.on your knees before God.Lay this 2eight on him,the holy spirit doesnt want to have abrken home.I would pray fo4 you

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    4. Thanks so much biboblogs for your words of encouragement and your prayers!!! I have been, and will continue!!! :-)

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  2. This is exactly what I needed!!!...Thank you Heather. Glory to God!

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  3. Hi Heather, I completely understand what you are saying. But in my case, I don't nagged my husband if I'm upset with him. We are about to be a year married next month and the marriage is bad. He doesn't talk to me, doesn't spend time with me and doesn't pray for me. He is a Christian and a big leader in the church but at home he is completely different. I try communicating my concerns n how we need intimacy but he refuses. The lack of emotionall intimacy n lack of dialogue between us is damaging our sex life cause I don't feel connected to him. I try to be nice n tell him how I feel but is like he is hard headed. What to do in this situation?

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    1. I understand what you're going through. I thought I wrote this lol. Only difference is that my husband is not involved in church. We will be married for a year in June. We've had some ROUGH patches! I'm happy to say that it's gotten better. There are days when I feel like he doesn't spend time with me or our son. In fact, I feel like TV is more important to him. Instead of nagging him, I decided to look at why I was depending on him so much to make me feel better. I had to remember that God is first in my life and if I feel like my husband isn't spending time with me, then I'll go spend time with the Lord. My husband has gotten better at showing that he wants to spend time with me. I know everybody's journey is different. I want to encourage you to not to get discouraged and continue to pray. I know it's hard, but don't let the enemy win. I'm praying for you!

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    2. Sorry, but I couldn't help but reply to you message. Sister, "PRAY". Find scriptures on God honouring marriages and stand on Gods word. He will turn things around, fight for your marriage. Get angry with the enemy and start decreeing and declaring the word over your marriage and husband. The devil is a LIAR.

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    3. hey fellow sister.. im no Heather but l can try help.. Someone wise once said doing the same thing over and over again but expecting the different esults is not the best way. l think trying to talk t your man is now evident that its not working and its clearly getting you upset. so why dont you try easing back and go tell the lord everytging instead evrytime you feel like raising anything with your man. Try forgiving him first..forgive yourself and take it to the Lord. its not easy but confess wat you also want to see e.g......I am living in a great marriage....I am in love with my husband....l am married to a great man... l dont kno you..or your man but l do kno that if we give God that God spot back in our lives He will fight for us. Thank God your man is a christian at least now we know one day that Spirt in him shall convict him so lets focus on your strengths ...hs strengths and have faith in God. I am praying you make it sister........Love a sister who is concerned too

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  4. Girl, I feel like highlighting t entire blog!!!

    Now I can't wait for The Midwife

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  5. Agree. After being married for 15 years, we are constantly growing.. my husband is perfect for ME and we are perfect for each other. God put us together for a reason and I'm glad he did because I cannot imagine my life without him. I am blessed.

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  6. Hi does your church here in atlanta has a sunday school for toddlers so parents can enjoy the word being delivered.

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    1. Hey sweets, their church does have Children's church.

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  7. Hi does your church here in atlanta has a sunday school for toddlers so parents can enjoy the word being delivered.

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  8. Absolutely love it. I truly love your wisdom......

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  9. Wow! Heather! It's amazing how God always put His words in season in your mouth. You just spoke the mind of Christ to me and I am more determined to make my marriage work than ever before. God bless you

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  10. Am still very far from marriage only 20, but I've learnt so much and my perspective about marriage has changed. I watch a lot of movies so am all fairytales when it comes to relationships , well reality ain't so bad. I can't wait to finish school and get married. What a lovely and mighty God we serve he's always there and faithful to us #innerjoy...thank you Heather

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  11. Thank you for this piece. Not yet married but trying to learn everything possible. This was very helpful, especially the part about your husband not being your God and the need to connect to God. God bless you.

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  12. Keep all in prayer for those who are not married to Christian men or maybe even worse, a man who claimed over and over he wanted to be and is now struggling in his faith. Number 9 is applicable to the couple where BOTH are submitting to Christ. If more MEN feared God how different our communities and country would be.

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  13. I have been married for 8yrs in June to a man that has cheated constantly for each and every year except maybe 2 of them. I don't know why I have always accepted him back. Probably because I never truly caught him,just a woman's intuition. He has admitted to being with women when we talked on other occassions. But 2yrs ago,he had a full blown mistress that he actually fell in love with. I filed for a divorce, but last year ended up pregnant...somehow after my tubes were blocked! So, we got back together. He still have tried to talk to this woman again until I confronted her for the first time. I then tried to leave again and was turned down for a "rental "home (never was turned down before )! I can't seem to leave this man for the life of me for some unknown reason! It's like huge things keep stopping it! My coworker talked to me and told me she was the cheater in her marriage and told me some insightful things to cheaters. I am now praying for my husband, me and my marriage. You never know why GOD put a person in your life at certain times. I'm not the type to tell my business to just anyone....

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  15. I understand all the reasons to stay. But would if infidelity is involved? I wonder if that happens in a marriage would a couple still have this outlook.

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  16. What kind of advice would you give someone when there is infidelity involved? It changes everything doesn't it? When you think of someone who goes outside your marriage and does the unthinkable. Not once but multiple times. Now that is a big test to consider divorce over.

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  17. Hi Heather... I too am wondering about what to do about infidelity. I am a stay at home mom and a pastor's wife. I feel stuck. I have not confronted my husband. He will just deny it and lie. It's been going on for at least 2 years. He has cheated with several different women he met online. What do I do? I feel stuck? I can't tell anyone. I keep praying for the Lord to do something... I'm losing hope. As a Pastor's wife, can you please give me your advice?

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    1. Even with infidelity God can redeem your marriage! I'm a testament to that! Sin will take you further than you want to go and keep you longer than you want to stay. If you don't stay on your face, interceding for him, who will? Sometimes the process of coming out of darkness is longer than our flesh wants to wait. If God doesn't move you, don't go anywhere! Sis, fast, pray and fast and pray!
      Something that put things into perspective for me, because, when my marriage reconciled, I expected things to be perfectish...., was this word from my husband: "My grandparents have been married for 44 years. I'm sure they had 3 or 4 years that weren't exactly perfect. But they didn't quit. If we quit now, we will never get to 44 years of marriage."

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  18. Heather your blog was so awesome and exactly what I needed! I've been nagging my hub like crazy BC I feel that he hasn't been doing housework since he started working but he's working for our family! #princessproblems God bless you for sharing this. Also for the marriage retreat did you mean to put August 31st-Sept. 4th? Just wanted. Clarification for others that plan to join!! God bless!

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  19. Thanks a lot for your blog! I am a Clinical Social Worker registered with the Ontario College of Social Workers counselling sudbury

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  20. I love point that says laugh alot! A sense of humour is so imprtant in marriage. I also love the idea of going on marriage retreats. Mr. N and I should try that. This is an awesome post. Thanks for sharing!

    Precious Core Blog

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