You may not know this, but…

I have failed at being good at being married.

Hundreds of times, failed.

What does that look like? I think you might know.

So because God wired me to not take “failure” as an end result of much of anything, I literally have a few hundred books on marriage.

And I’ve read them all.

Cover-to-cover style read. them. all.

I typically have between four and eight books going at a time, and my nightstand usually hosts a precariously perched cup of coffee on top of my book stack.

(I have a kindle, but you can’t put post its in it, nor can you write in it and yes, I’ve tried the notes and highlights and my brain HATES it – so I keep it for fiction).

So here’s the thing. I studied marriage because I was lousy at mine.


Thought I’d married the wrong person just six short months into it. That was back in 1991.

If you heard the Focus on the Family interviews, you heard me rate my marriage a low “2” on a scale of 1-10. 

And so I started reading, studying, taking classes, etc.

When God pulled me out of the corporate training job I loved in 2006 to do ministry for Him, for His children that are wives, specifically, I had no idea I would be writing about all these things for you. But as I started learning, the more I also started seeing the many many broken hearts around me. Yes, Shaunti Feldhahn’s new book shows that 80% of marriages are “happy” but did you know those people she interviewed had been married for more than 25 years? And that a majority of them were Christian?

Have you ever had the joy of the Lord when you have found out your husband has a congenital heart defect and could literally die at any moment?

Have you ever had the joy of the Lord when not one but TWO of your children have to endure “the most painful surgery we do at Children’s Hospital” and have metal bars implanted in their chests to pull their sternums out of their hearts and lungs?

Have you had the joy of the Lord when one of your best friends dies after a long painful hideous battle with breast cancer?

I have.

And it is NOT because I find my happy spot in the middle of some sadistic experience, nor is it because my marriage is so bad and it’s all his fault and I hope he just dies, to make a really bad attempt at a not-funny joke. It’s because of my relationship with God. I know Him (not anywhere as much as we are capable of, but am working on my relationship with Him relentlessly) and He. Is. Everything.

He IS joy. 

So I think we need to temper this recent research of Shaunti’s with what is also true – that marriage is HARD. 

Sticking it out requires a lot of learning, growth in our relationship with God, skill development, and a support group.

So I humbly present you with a place to learn and grow with us. You can sign up for this blog, of course, but if you haven’t joined our TIPS email subscription, you’re missing out.

I’m about to start adding a TON MORE awesome information, stuff you’ll actually experience as skill development in Daughters of Sarah when we release it, but regardless of whether you ever take the class, I want you to have this help NOW.

We’re currently doing a survey that is helping us give you exactly what you want – if you have a few moments, you can fill it out here. So far we’ve learned that there’s a few topics to cover: angry or unresponsive husbands, and how to have healthy boundaries. You also want the articles to be shorter. We can do this! 🙂 Can’t wait to get started!

There’s a verse in Corinthians that talks about how our sufferings are purposed to help others be comforted as God has comforted and encouraged us through our own difficulties. THAT’s the purpose of the TIPS, Daughters of Sarah, The Respect Dare, and the 12 Truths to Change Your Marriage book we just released.

My hope is that you’ll be a faster learner than I and that this information will bless you in some way. Feel free to share them with whomever you think might benefit.

I’m so glad you are on the journey with me!

Love to you,



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2 thoughts on “You may not know this, but…

  1. Nina, it really blessed me when you said, “Marriage is HARD”. Suddenly it hit me: I need to marry someone who I believe will honestly put the effort forth to make it work, and who will go the distance, no matter how hard it is.

    The only way a marriage will work and will be a good marriage is if both partners will put the necessary effort forth, and will go the distance, no matter how hard it is.

    • Yes, marriage is hard. Very. I’ve been married for 23 years also. I am so thankful to have heard your interview on Focus on the Family which led me to purchase your book! Ahhhh, you have helped me see and hear in words I can receive, the hope and joy that is waiting for me (and my husband). Thank you Nina. You are a shining example of being obedient to God’s calling. You are blessing others with your transparency and honesty. For that, I am very grateful. Love to you sister, Sherri

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