The intense stress that comes from having a special needs child can put an incredible strain on even the healthiest of marriages. The difficulty in the day in and day out can be overwhelming. Some special needs people have a difficult time performing even the simplest of tasks such as dressing, toileting, and general self-care. Exhaustion sets in from lack of sleep and that can wreak havoc on any sane person, and a lot of times special kids barely sleep at all. The financial stress that comes from therapy not being covered, the endless doctor appointments, or because anything with a special needs price tag comes at an astronomical cost. The grief that comes from unmet expectations, the heartache that comes from comparing your child and their abilities, or sometimes the guilt alone from blaming yourself or your spouse is enough to tear a marriage apart.

Spiritual Confetti

 

My husband and I have experienced all of this and more, but things really came to a head in our marriage when our son was a baby. I was a weary young mom doing my best to make it from day to day. Our precious little man screamed at the top of his lungs all hours of the day and night and didn’t sleep at all for the first three years of his life. We were constantly in the doctor’s office and in and out of the hospital.

I don’t know about your husband, but my husband is a fixer. He can not stand it if there is something wrong with me or one of our children. Since he is a problem solver, he wants to fix things. However, there are some problems that man can not fix, no matter how hard he tries. This took a toll on my husband and thus took a toll on our marriage.

Things got really ugly between us. This wreaked all kinds of havoc in our personal lives and with each other. I will spare you all of the gory details, just know it was bad enough that I ended up in Lawyer’s office seeking counsel to get divorced. But God—God divinely entered into the midst of our pain and difficulty, and we took the “D” word off the table and choose to commit to each that no matter how bad things got that we would stick it out with God’s help.

 

 

Reduce Stress

We forgave one another and choose to love, not in our strength and might, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. In those moments, everything changed. Our circumstances with our son didn’t change, but our perspective on our situation changed. We faced our problems together with the strength of our mighty God to carry us through. Life didn’t become easy—there was no instant healing. In fact, the years that followed were much more stressful than the previous years. The difference was our relationship to each other and our reliance on the Lord.

Our marriage has been tried and tested and forged in the fire for nearly 25 years. My husband is my best friend and He loves me like Christ loves the church. Through the years, we chose to love one another and submit to Christ, and his plan for our marriage. We now have an incredible relationship. My husband is the biblical leader of our home, and I have embraced my calling of biblical womanhood.

Jen Weaver

These same principles that have guided our marriage are discussed in Jen Weaver’s book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. I love this book! From the sparkly cover to Jen’s modern interpretation of the Bible to practical wisdom this book offers to women, Jen has such a great conversational style that you feel like you are sitting across the table from one another sharing your hearts over a cup of coffee.

There are eleven chapters in the book, and each chapter highlights a particular blessing God wants to provide to in your marriage and a conflicting “wifestyle.” A wifestyle is a habit or way in which our routines as wives either attract or reject God’s divine provision. Each chapter contains a wifestyle or a real life story used for practical application.The first blessing is the blessing of three strands, which is taken from Ecclesiastes 4:12:

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken -Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV

 

Cord of Three Strands

This principle takes the heart of two people and binds them together with God to make a marriage that is not easily broken. It is the supernatural strength that comes from the Holy Spirit being alive and active in our marriage that I spoke of earlier.

Jen does a great job of handling some difficult subjects that come up within a context of marriage from leaving and cleaving and becoming one, to submission, to the beautiful gift of sex. In the chapter on the blessing of unity, Jen uses a great analogy of dancing to talk about submission in marriage.

A tango cannot have two leads, and our Marriage instructor, our third strand, calls us to submit to our husbands that we may have unity in our relationships and live in concert with his spirit. -Jen Weaver

 

More Than Enough

There is bonus material to delve deeper into each subject that is available online. This book is a must read for young women preparing for marriage, as well as married women. I wish I would have read something like this before I got married, it would have made the first few years of marriage a lot easier. Jen Weaver nails the secret to happiness in marriage through receiving, honoring and celebrating God’s role for you in your marriage.

A special thank you to The Blog About Network, The Blythe Daniel Agency and publishers for providing a copy of this book for review and one to giveaway.

Leave a comment below with your best piece of marriage advice below, to be entered to win a copy of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. 

Jen

Jen is married to her best friend Jared and mom to their adorable toddler, Dillon. Jen is an author, marketing professional, Bible study teacher, conference speaker, and a host for The Declare Conference – a blogging conference in Dallas, Texas. She is passionate about sharing strengths with others through her stories of humor and hope.

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness(Leafwood, March 2017) is already receiving rave reviews from Jim Daily, President of Focus on the Family, Associate Senior Pastor Pastor of Gateway Church, Allan Kelsey, Author of Breaking Busy, Ali Worthington, Author of A Mary Like Me, Andy Lee, and many more! www.TheJenWeaver.comchristian-marriage-motherhood-1

button-125px





Posted by Misty Phillip

By His Grace: Seek Jesus, Study the Word, Grow in Grace Bible Study Author, Christian Lifestyle Blogger, & Speaker www.MistyPhillip.com

33 Comments

  1. welcomeheart 03/17/2017 at 12:51 pm

    Best marriage advice: Your husband isn’t designed to meet all your needs. (duh but it was helpful!) – and Marriage is not a sprint – it’s a marathon. AND, one I gave to a women’s retreat last weekend: Expressing gratitude to your husband helps make him be who God wants him to be and i the best thing you can do for your marriage. (Does three pieces of advice equal three entries??(: )

    Reply

    1. Love this Sue! Great advice!<3

      Reply

  2. A great testimony! So glad you stayed and chose to love when it was hard. If people could only understand that love is a decision and make the decision to stick together when things are hard. Their lives and the lives of their children would benefit so much, and even when their feelings of love have declined, when they choose to love and go through the motions of loving, the love feelings will return. How sad when couples give up on one another instead of keeping their vows. So much hurt ensues from broken homes.

    Reply

    1. You are so right MJ! Love is a decision, and when you chose to live for God in your marriage He blesses it. Thanks for your wisdom <3 Misty

      Reply

  3. I can so relate to everything in this post as a fellow special needs mother. LOVE love love everything about this post, haha. Adding this book to my to-read list stat. My greatest revelation that worked wonders for my marriage was to embrace the way my husband cared for our family, rather than expect him to do things like I would, or even how my dad did. It is freeing, yet challenging to just let him be who God created him to be.

    Reply

    1. Jenn, I love your revelation and that is so true! For years I expected him to do things they way I thought they should be done. I would have saved myself a lot of heartache if I would have learned to submit to God’s plan for my marriage sooner. Thanks for your sweet comment! Happy Monday <3 Misty

      Reply

  4. Wow that book sure sounds great! My husband and I have been married for 23 years now and have certainly seen our share of hard times. I think the best advice I could offer a younger woman would be to stay close to Jesus. I can think of so many different pieces of advice to share, but really, they all come back to loving well and staying close to the Cross. When we are submitting daily to the Holy Spirit and spending time in the Word, our marriage will show it.

    Reply

    1. Christine, Hi! Nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by today and sharing your wisdom. You are absolutely right, we need to love God and submit to him first then when we do everything else falls into place! Beautiful advice. Blessings, Misty

      Reply

      1. So nice to meet you too, Misty!! May God bless you and your blogging beyond anything you could think to ask or imagine!

  5. Beautiful message and advice. God wants marriages to last and there is so much that can tear them apart. Being under the wings of our Creator is our first step. Thank you so much.

    Reply

    1. Thank you, Being Woven! BTW, I love the name of your blog. Our lives are a beautiful tapestry being woven together by our maker, both the good, and the bad and everything in between! Thanks so much for your comment. Blessings, Misty

      Reply

  6. helloleahgrey 03/20/2017 at 4:09 pm

    I am a special needs stepmother, it’s a whole different, difficult ballgame! Throw that in with my husband’s addiction, things were tough and I can relate to much of what was said above. This book looks GREAT I will definitely be checking it out!

    Reply

    1. Hi! Thank you for your comment. it sounds like you have your hands full. Please let me know if I can pray for you, you can email me at info@MistyPhillip.com. I would be delighted to lift you in prayer! Blessings, <3 Misty

      Reply

  7. My best marriage advice would be to treat your husband how you would want your son’s wife to treat him. And always to honor Christ.

    Reply

    1. Oh Sarah, That is so good!! Thank you for sharing! Have a fantastic day! Misty

      Reply

  8. I think books like these need to be given to newlyweds… and with a good amount of counseling to remind them that marriage is hard work!! There are many wonderful times, but since we are all self-centered creatures, we have to lean hard on the Holy Spirit to give us an ‘other-centered’ mindset. Thanks… and PS I am married to a fixer as well!

    Reply

    1. Karen, I completely agree with you!! In fact as soon as I finished reading this book, I gave my copy away to my future daughter-in-love! Marriage is hard work and we have to choose to love and forgive, especially when things are difficult. Glad to know I am in good company being married to a fixer. Have a great day! Blessings, Misty

      Reply

  9. Hearing your honest story-telling of your own journey (oh, girl, I’m with you and I’ve been there!!! “BUT GOD…”) helped bring home the meaning of the book even more – thank you!! Best marriage advice? A dear older-mom friend once told me, during one of our weekly walks together, “When you feel like pulling away from your husband, lean in closer.” This has helped me countless times when irritation, selfishness, justifiable preferences and countless other “little foxes” made me want to run from my husband. Instead, God called me to “lean in closer.”

    Reply

    1. Angela, Thank you for your sweet comments. I LOVE your marriage advice! The enemy of our soul would like nothing better than to drive a wedge between a Godly husband and wife. I am going to put your advice into practice the next time I want to run to the hills, I will lean into my husband. Great advice. Thank you so much for sharing!! Blessings, Misty <3

      Reply

      1. Amen, and Amen!!!

  10. We have been in “that place” a couple of times now where I have said, “I just do not see how divorce isn’t the only outcome.” Life feels so hopeless at that point. The first time it was 51% my hormones and 49% him sending messages that threatened our marriage. I wish I had taken care of those hormones sooner! (I was pregnant and my hormones were incredibly crazy. Within hours of her birth, the fog began to lift. By the end of 6 weeks I was me again.)

    But I learned in all of that to just wait. Let it hurt and just wait. We did all we could to fix things (went as far as we were selfishly willing to go, that is), and all I could do was wait for God’s intervention. And it did come. In His good timing, our “impasses” became passable again and our willingness to give more of ourselves increased over time.

    My best advice is to lean in on God and just wait. Do your work if there is work to be done, but trust him to resolve the unresolvable. In our case, this took months. Months that felt like they would never end. But things did start to change and our commitment in the midst of impossible circumstances paid off beautifully.

    Reply

    1. Janis, Hi! Thank you so much for opening up and sharing part of your story here. Hormones can really cause us women problems! Believe me, I have had my share of hormonal issues too! My family would be happy to attest to that.

      Sometimes all we can do is to just be quiet and wait on the Lord.

      “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

      I am so happy to hear that you got through the rough spots and held it together and that God intervened. Rejoicing with you that He is the God of the impossible! Have a wonderful day! Blessings, Misty <3

      Reply

  11. my best advice is to make sure you agree on the things that are foundational – your faith and your values – or the big things. I’ve found that if you agree on the big things it gives you perspective on how to handle the other things. Oh, there will be fights, arguments, bad moods, etc but your foundation won’t waver. Also as a wife – have an intimate relationship with God; know the word for yourself – this will give you insurmountable strenght.

    28 years on 3/25 – I can’t believe it!!!

    Reply

    1. Congratulations on celebrating 28 years of marriage! Being in agreement on the big things is so important!! Agreed, having an intimate relationship with God and spending time in the word is paramount! Thanks so much for giving your marital advice and congratulations avian on 28 years!!!! PTL! 😊 misty

      Reply

  12. Not in our might but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen. I don’t know that two humans have enough of their own strength to live together in harmony. So thankful for the Holy Spirit and for God’s presence and protection in our marriages. — I’ve been married for 24 years – will celebrate the big 25 Oct. I guess my advice would be to let small things be small things. That took me too many years to realize. — Looks like a great book, thanks for sharing a review, Misty. ((hug))

    Reply

    1. Brenda, Hi! I like the song by Casting Crowns, Broken Together. We are all sinful broken individuals who need God’s grace and help to love others. Congratulations on your upcoming 25th!! It is easy to blow things out of proportion. You are right we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but sometimes that is easier said then done! Yes, I loved the book and gave my copy to my future daughter-in-love! There are several biblical marriage principles that I wish I had learned before I got married, that would have saved me a lot of heartache in my early marriage years.
      Hugs
      ~ Misty

      Reply

  13. […] need your help today! Recently, I posted a review for A Wife’s Secret to Happiness- #Wifestylin. As a part of this review, I entered a writing contest, and that is where you come […]

    Reply

  14. Misty, another great post. When we find ourselves at the bottom with no where to turn, that’s when God steps in and brings restoration if we are willing to surrender. I love those two words “But God”. How many times have I seen them manifested in my own life.
    As I mentioned before, I have 6 children, here, still with us. What you don’t know is that my wife and also had a little boy with Trisomy 18 who only lived 56 days. He required 24 hour care from the time he was born. Like you, we gladly cared for him and would have continued to for the rest of our lives, but that wasn’t His plan. I believe we, your family and ours, were chosen for the great honor of being the parents to these special little ones. Be encouraged by that. Thank you for all that you give to your little boy. I know you count it a privilege. Blessings, Trayc

    Reply

    1. Trayc, Thank you for your encouragement today! Sometimes we can feel so alone in the trials that we face. It is an honor to know others who have walked a mile in our shoes. I love 2 Corinthians 1:4, “who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Thanks for sharing with me today! Blessings, Misty

      Reply

  15. […] please continue voting for me in A Wife’s Secret to Happiness- #Wifestylin writer’s contest. You can continue to vote daily on this link: Writer’s Contest by […]

    Reply

  16. Love your family! You are all so amazing and inspiring. I’m so glad God has allowed our paths to cross. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Junne, thanks so much for your sweet comments! Blessings, <3
      Misty

      Reply

  17. Thank you to everyone who entered this contest! Congratulations Junne you are the lucky winner!!! Please send me your address and I will send your book! #wifestylin
    <3 Misty

    Reply

Leave a Reply