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I am super excited (like, totally) about our couple in this Marriage Works post!  If you are new here and have no idea what Marriage Works posts are about, then be sure to check out our previous couples to get a feel for why we do these.

Walter and Tiffany are our first couple where both of them have given DETAILED answers…him a little more than her.  I appreciate wordy men, mainly because I’m used to it with Big Daddy and his ability to have a conversation with a brick wall.   There is nothing better than a man that can and does express himself, you will never question where you stand or what is going on.  Back to our couple!  They met in high school when she was 14 and he was 15 (sounds like me and D), they dated on and off for 3 years and met up and started dating again in 2009.  Their engagement lasted for about 2 years and have been married for a little over 2 years now.  They are both Christian, and he works full time, while she stays at home and manages the home and cares for their 2 children.  She enjoys crocheting as a hobby that sometimes she gets paid to do…and that is relevant since I knit (because we’re both awesome like that).

Those are some adorable kids!

Those are some adorable kids!

 

How did you meet, what was your first impression of your spouse (both physical and personality)?
We first met through a mutual friend in school and I thought he was really cute though I wasn’t really looking at him as a boyfriend at the time
We met through a mutual friend in high school. As I recall, she was attracted to my friend until she met me 🙂 I thought she was beautiful from the start, but wouldn’t have thought she’d be interested in me. She was, and still is, much smarter than I was/am. Much more mature too I think.

How long after meeting did you know they were “the one”?
In typical high school fashion I knew within a couple of months lol. After we met up again, it wasn’t until he got saved that I knew for sure this was going to last forever
When we were in high school I actually proposed to her, but she wasn’t ready for that. It wasn’t long afterwards, that I made a great mistake and broke up with her. About 10 years later, I looked her up and contacted her on facebook. After one of our first conversations on the phone, I knew she was the one I wanted. Honestly, breaking up with her in high school was one of my biggest regrets, and I praise the Lord that He would  right my wrong at this point in my life. 
Been there, done that:)

Tell me about an instance when your spouse made you proud. 
I’m proud of him every day, in all the little things, so it’s a little tough to say just one thing. Maybe when he got saved, humbling himself in the situation he was in when he got saved
Everyday I’m proud that my wife is my wife. Everyday she is committed to our family, and she is also committed herself to helping others through the 3 different groups she has on Facebook, and mothers’ Bible study group she’s trying to get going. She is always on the look out for someone to help or invite over to try and speak into their lives.

List 2 physical qualities you love about your spouse. 
Eyes and butt
First would have to be her smile. It brightens up the whole room, and no matter how rough the day is going, she still has the strength to smile for everyone. Second, would have to be everything else equally. I love everything from her hair, to her small feet lol.
Get a room! No, that was awesome and great answers!

Describe 3 ways your spouse shows you love/respect/care on a regular basis.
He is always giving and taking care of us, putting us and our needs first, whether that is cooking everyone breakfast on his days off or playing with our ever energized four year old so I get a small break with just the baby.
(Get ready for this, it’s awesome) 
Before Jesus Christ was invited into my heart and life to redeem me from sin, I didn’t know how to be the head of a family. Tiffany has helped me to better understand my role as the leader in our family, and she submits to my authority. That might sound bad to those who don’t understand Scripture, but the head of the wife is the husband and the head of the husband is Christ. This works out best when the husband understands the rest of the Scriptures that correspond with that commandment. In this way she has helped me grow in my understanding of what God requires of me in our home. The second thing I would say is all the little things she does to make my life easier. When we were first living together, she would spend 2 hours a day preparing all the food I would eat that day (which is much more extensive the most people). Although now she doesn’t have that kind of time, she continues to take the extra step to do the things she (hopefully) knows that I really appreciate and make my day more efficient. Like making my eggs for the next day and setting up the coffee pot for me in the morning. She stays up a little later every night just to do that kind of stuff for me. The third thing would be she is my counselor and adviser in all things. I have had to confess things to her I never wanted anyone else to know, and discuss problems I was having that required me getting really personal with her. No matter what the issues were and are, she listens without any judgement and helps me work through my problems. I would tell every man that if you can be that personal with your wife, and she is willing to listen, help guide you, and love and stand by you through it all no matter what, then you have a wife that you can spend the rest of your life with, and trust always. I know it hasn’t always been easy for her, but she has shared the load of my burdens on her own shoulders with me, and for that I will always be grateful. There is no one else on this earth with whom I trust more than my wife.
Tiffany, you need to print that and frame it!  Walter, did you just read all my posts on submission?

Describe your last date with your spouse. 
He took me out to eat four years ago just after our oldest daughter’s birth while my mom watched our baby
Date…riiiigghht. Well, our last date without any kids was when she and I first got back together and we went walking through some of the water ways around the Woodlands Mall area. It’s really nice over there, and we walked and talked for a long time. After we were married we had a really nice dinner at Olive Garden, but I think that might be it as far as an actual date goes. It might not be an actual date, but many times at night when our daughter would be in bed, we would sit in our living room, no TV on, and talk to each other about all kinds of things. We may not have been out somewhere, but these were really nice times to just have that time together. Isn’t that what dating is about anyway?
Walter, that’s what marriage is about, and you are super sweet, but take her on a date, for real 🙂

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse/marriage?
He’s a keeper! Don’t worry too much about how things look on the outside, just follow God and His word and all other things will line up
There are a lot of moments I’d like to go back to in my life, and punch myself in the face really hard, but everything has worked out as a teaching and ministering tool for ourselves and others. I would probably tell myself to concentrate on ensuring your wife knows just how much you love and appreciate her both with words and works. I would say to make an effort everyday to pay attention to all the things she does for you, and ensure that you try to ensure that everyday she knows how much you love and appreciate her, and how thankful you are that the Lord would grace you with the wife you have.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”? What does submission generally look like in your marriage? 
I guess I do. It’s not something I have to think about doing usually, it is something God has commanded of us though. We make major decisions together but he is in charge of the finances and there isn’t much I do without his input but that is because he is my best friend rather than because he is the head of the house. Our vows were traditional vows, so yes that was in there
Yes, and our vows did state “obey” if I remember correctly. I want my wife included in any major decisions making that we may need, and I want her to know that I’m willing to give of myself for her when she needs me. I respect her point of view and input, and like I said she’s much smarter than me anyway so it’s good to have her by my side to help me see what I can’t. If she needs my to do something for her, or needs to talk to me about something I do my best to adjust my schedule of plans to accommodate her. But honestly, I don’t have to do that very often.

How often do you pray or study together?
Not as often as we should but we do pray when a need comes up, pray over the food, and we discuss biblical topics often
Everyday we pray together, mostly at meal times, and at the end of the day with our daughter. We do need to make more time for study though.

How has being a Christian helped your marriage? 
We are much better people when we follow God’s principles. We treat each other and others better, sacrifice isn’t forced but is part of our love. We understand better how the marriage dynamic is supposed to work and we strive for that
I’m not sure that you can have a truly successfully marriage without a Christ centered marriage. Sure many have lasted a lifetime without Him, but the measure of success is how God will view your lives. God has taught me about guarding my heart, and always being mindful of my actions to ensure I am fulfilling my duties as a husband, and to ensure purity in our marriage.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?
I’m stubborn lol but lately I have been letting him help me more. I used to feel like I wasn’t doing things well if I needed his help
I would say at this point in my life it would be my temper. I get short tempered and cranky during certain times in my environment (hunger, tired, hot, ect. lol), and I can get a little testy at times. This continues to be a work in progress, but acknowledging this weakness has helped me identify times when I’m getting aggravated and try to be patient and calm when I can. Prayer is also my go-to when it gets a little too much for me to handle on my own.

What is/was your most disagreed upon topic as a couple? How do you handle it when it comes up? How have you resolved it, or made changes to smooth things over?
Discipline. we discuss it and try to change but it’s a long hard battle that really does take sacrifice daily and all of our energy and attention
The thermostat lol. I like it cold, she likes it hot. Honestly she usually submits and turns the AC down for me, but sometimes when I know she’s comfortable I try not to say anything. Unless it’s really hot, and I’ve had enough of that. And the dentist, I don’t like going, but she usually gets her way with that too.

How satisfied are you with your intimate time and the frequency? How do you keep this positive and on track, or what are you doing to improve this?
We have a newborn so things are not as good as they should be but I think it will get better as her sleeping pattern improves. He also had a schedule change and we don’t have any more alone time so we have to take whatever opportunities that might come
With the birth of our second daughter, and my schedule change at work, our alone time has dramatically declined. Not to mention, I’m one of those guys that will never have enough intimate time with my wife. But many times, we’ll just look at each other and remind ourselves that it’s just a season in our life and it won’t last forever.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?
Just one? My tops are learn his love language (5 love languages by Gary Chapman), burn your ships/have no back door or exit available, there are three main issues every marriage struggles with: sex, communication and money so get these straightened out and you’ll be good 🙂 God first, others second, yourself last
If you’re right with the Lord, and have put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ, then everything else will work itself out. This did not happen over night, although my wife’s forgiveness did, I can honestly say that a man devoted to God will be devoted to his wife and family, and much good fruit will be produced.

Where will your marriage/spouse be in 10 years? Describe what you’d like or your goals.
We’d like our own home and possibly another child or two. I hope we are more involved in community, church and friends by then. Right now we take it one day at a time lol
Our children will be older. Lord willing we will have more time to spend together, and maybe even go on a date or two. I pray that we will be more mature in our faith, and more involved with what ever work He intends for us. I hope that our children will be faithful, and begin to be the example of what a Godly marriage produces. 

I love you guys!  Great job on seeing your strengths and weaknesses.  For some that takes a longer time than others, and it seems you both just fell into it pretty well in just a few years.  I see lots of myself and D in you both, you guys must be awesome people 😉  It is wonderful and comforting to see other couples that are equally as in love, supportive and still learning and working on their relationship.  I think we all forget that there are couples in the same place we are, and struggling with the same things.  Reaching out and talking about those issues with other couples or women in a safe environment is beneficial and a great way to work through them.  There is a great group for Christian moms here – come on over and check it out!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChristianMomsAllTopics/

~Mel

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We are on couple number 3 (4 if you include yours truly last week)! You can see all the Marriage Works couples here. So far I’ve had some great feedback, mainly on FB or via email, but I’d love some comments and encouragement for our couples here.  So please take a moment and let them know you appreciate their candid answers.  I have had a few constructive comments that stood out, one was that there wasn’t enough questions, that I didn’t get input from a husband, and another that I shouldn’t ask about sex.  While I’m totally open to ideas, I disagree about the sex comment.  Sex is totally relevant, important and ok to discuss when writing about marriage.  I also ask lots of questions and no one has answered any question they didn’t want to.  I’m working on the husband’s responses and more/different questions for future couples though!

Let’s meet today’s couple!  Roger (27) and Rachel (25) are a little younger than our past couples and married much younger than anyone so far! Just goes to show you that happy marriages come in all sizes.  It doesn’t matter where you are in marriage, it matters how you relate and work together to make your marriage work.

You guys are adorable!

You guys are adorable!

How did you meet?

High school Spanish class. I was a sophomore and him a senior. We both got dumped, I already had a dress for prom, but couldn’t go without an upper classmen, so I asked if he’d go with me.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged?

1 year (my junior year of high school)

How long were you engaged?

1 year (2 weeks after my high school graduation)

How long have you been married?

7 years

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

Are you and your spouse Christian?

Yes, I was baptized around 9 and I baptized my husband at church camp while we were dating… he was 18.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”?

Yes. Honestly, I didn’t think about the obey issue until now. However, I’d probably still include it if we were to redo vows. He is the head of the house and I am to submit to him. He is the one with the responsibility to answer for our family on the day of judgment, and I respect his choices. He respects me enough to get my input.

How often do you go on a date?

Roughly every 2-3 weeks. 90% of time a movie and cheap/quick dinner.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?

Biggest weakness is sarcasm. It is very difficult and I’m still working on it. I am trying to take breathing breaks and relax mid-conversations.

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse?

When we were dating, he was very romantic (flowers, poems, etc.) Once we got married, the poems stopped (though I ask for them at as gifts occasionally and small thoughtful things less often). I wish I just would’ve had a heads up that was going to happen.

How many children do you have/want?

2 girls. 3.5 and 12 months. We’re done.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

COMMUNICATION.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

Frequency is not enough. We both think it should be weekly. I’m sure he’d like it twice a week, I’m more fine with once every 1-2 weeks. I thought I’d be more sensual once I got married (virgin at wedding), but it’s just not really in me. I enjoy it once start, but I usually must plan for it if I know I’ll be initiating.

Short and sweet, and I just love them!  Rachel, if you’re reading (and I hope you are), I think you aren’t alone in your assertion about how gifts and romance (or things you perceive as romantic) often stop or slow down.  Just as many things change after marriage, like date nights, sex, conversations, romance is one of those that often takes a hit.  I’d like to encourage you to show him this post and hopefully he’ll see an opportunity, or even bring it up to him in a non-confrontational way.  It’s not the time to say “you never do ____ anymore,” but at the right time and with the right tone you could say “I was thinking, I really loved when you used to write me poems or get me flowers.  I kind of miss them, is there anything you miss that I used to do?”  Maybe it will open up a dialogue and you’ll find out why, as in, does he think you don’t like them?  Did he run out of words (lol, I doubt it)?  Time?  Does he think you “know” already how much he loves you and don’t need them?  I think a gentle nudge might get him and you back on track with both doing things you used to!

What other questions should I include?  Do you have a question or want to play along?  Comment here with your email and we’ll get it set up!

~Mel

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Introducing…something new!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!  Marriage Works! Will be a series of couple profiles presented to allow us to see the people behind Christian marriages like our own.  When you’re in the day to day of real life, it’s hard to remember that you’re not alone or that other couples have the same or worse trials, issues, triumphs and good days as us.  I wanted to bring the normal out in the light. It’s not all sunshine and roses, we’re all on different paths, but a happy and healthy marriage is where we all want to be.  Hopefully this new series of quick profiles on couples like you and me will give you a sigh of relieve that you’re doing just fine, and if not, maybe we’ll find some ideas or ways to improve our own marriages.

Dean and Rachel

Our happy first couple!

Our first couple is Dean (30) and Rachel (28).  Rachel graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.

How did you meet?

We met through my best friend, who is Dean’s cousin.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged? How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated 15 months, knew each other 17 months, engaged 5 months…total 22ish months before marriage. We have been married almost three years 11/10/11.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Mine is Philippians 3:14 NIV
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians, raised in Christian homes.

Do you practice submission in your marriage?  Why or why not?  Did your vows include “obey”?

We do practice submission, but it is mutual…he knows sometimes I am more informed on an issue and lets me make the decision. I also felt convicted of the head covering passage and wear a head covering most of the time. Our vows did include obey, I believe.

How often do you go on a date?

We try to go on a date without the baby once a quarter, grab dinner, see a movie.

What is your personal biggest weakness?  How do you try to control it in your marriage?

My biggest weakness is my tongue…I can be brutal. I have told my husband to correct me and call me out on it when I am out of control

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before

married” self about your spouse?

Don’t expect him to differ greatly from the life he has always lived, just because he married me.

How many children do you have/want?

We have one, I want five or six, he wants three.

Their adorable "plus 1"

Their adorable “plus 1”

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple?   How do you handle it when it comes up?  Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We rarely disagree….maybe laundry? He doesn’t think it needs to be anything more than washed and dried….all over the floor instead of folded or hanging up is perfectly fine,

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Listen to him, even when you don’t want to, obey him…God put him there for a reason.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

We would both like more sex, but our LO is making things difficult lately…but I would say we are both satisfied generally speaking…

Are your parents and his parents helpful or a hindrance to your marriage?
If helpful, how has that benefited your marriage? If a hindrance, how do you deal with that as a couple?

Our parents generally are helpful. They help us with baby stuff, etc. Both of our families would like more time with is, which is hard. My husbands parents are incompetent on many levels, which he recognizes, and we get through the issues pretty smoothly.

Well that was nice, wasn’t it?  I can totally relate to the out of control tongue part, it’s comforting to see that I’m not alone, but it was even better to see she’s not afraid or too proud to have him call her down.  I don’t do so well with that!

How do you feel after reading about another couple and their inner workings?  Was it nice to see in?  Helpful or upsetting?  Are there any questions you’d like to see included?  Do you want to participate in the Marriage Works series?  If so, leave a comment with your email (I’ll edit it out).

~Mel

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