Finally be happy in your marriage…

Wondering how to finally be happy in your marriage?

It’s not what you think…

I spent the majority of Saturday and half of Sunday lying in bed, enduring a migraine headache – it’s been well over a decade  since I’ve had one, so at first I wasn’t even sure what was going on.

If you haven’t had a migraine, I assure you, it’s an event worth missing.

Your teeth hurt.

Noise hurts.

Light hurts.

I can’t explain this, but my hair follicles also hurt. And today I have a “migraine hangover…” BLEH. 

And in the midst of my complaining, His Spirit gently reminded me I had much to be thankful for, and I decided to obey and be grateful – for the pain.

Yes, I said that.

I actively chose to thank God for the pain – and for a chance to let others do for me, and for the quiet house, and for the chance to actually spend a weekend RESTING. When I looked at Dare 9 for today, I noticed it tied right in!


I could have spent the weekend fussing about all I didn’t get to do, but then I remembered what I choose to believe – 

  • God is omniscient and all powerful
  • He allows ALL things – to work together for GOOD according to His purpose for me
  • Complaining just makes others miserable and doesn’t change a single thing
  • So I need to embrace my Now, and do my best to learn from it

I had many opportunities to overlook “insults” over the weekend. Everyone was quiet, but I was grumpy. Know what I mean? How the smallest of things seem like bigger things when you don’t feel well?  I’m glad He grabbed my attitude early! 🙂

In the past, I might have behaved like a doormat, however, insisting I could still function instead of taking a much-needed rest and letting others pitch in. I’ve learned, however, that it’s really not honoring God to fry myself in an effort to serve others.

It’s also not honoring God to LIE – especially when everyone around you can plainly see the truth.

It’s not being selfish to sometimes say, “I can’t do this,” when we’re sick, tired, or otherwise committed.

We literally steal opportunities for others to grow and learn to serve when we do.

My husband is a much better and more creative cook than I am any day, so it’s great when he takes over!

I’ve been sick in the past and kept going – and found it nearly impossible to “overlook insults.”

In the midst of that, I’ve also lied to the people around me by saying, “I’m fine,” while I was honestly NOT.

So I’ve stopped lying.

And if you are living with teenagers, you know their emotions swing high from one extreme to another, so it is really a waste of time to get exercise by jumping to conclusions! Give them five minutes – they’ll feel something else entirely! I really liked how the woman in Dare 9 dealt with her step-son! 

So today’s dare is to OVERLOOK an insult – and contrast that to showing annoyance quickly.

Do you get upset quickly and easily? Do you immediately see what is WRONG and give voice to THAT? Or are you working on seeing life through the lens of the Holy Spirit, paying attention to whatever is good,  noble, right, pure, admirable, praiseworthy, excellent, etc.?

It’s painful to be around people who are negative. The complaining is contagious and it is bad for others and bad for us. Here’s a great article on the research about how complaining is damaging to both our own and other people’s health. It’s good for your soul to find ways to be grateful – that’s why the “Gratitudes” exercises are in everything we do at Greater Impact. Not only is the concept hugely talked about in the Bible, but now there’s research supporting it.

And we can finally be happy in our marriage if we start paying attention to the right things – AND stop lying to ourselves and others.

whatever we pay attention to grows kids

Bottom line: If we want to be happy in our families, we need to start by doing these three things:

  1. STOP complaining

  2. STOP lying, and…

  3. START paying attention to what’s good – in everything

Here’s WHY: Sin (complaint & lying) and a lack of gratitude (probably also sin) SQUELCH the Voice of the Holy Spirit. We lose His peace and His presence and can’t hear His next orders.

Dare ya.


Love to you,


Here’s a few more posts you might find useful:

Want to Change Your Husband?

Why Your Husband Doesn’t Respect YOU

A WILD Story about the “N-Word” and Grace

Is Complaining Ruining Your Marriage?

How Being Defensive is Destroying Your Marriage

Six Ways to Overcome Your Husband’s Anger

One more thing?

It’s not a small thing.

Seriously, if you lead women’s studies, and you want to do marriage ministry that makes a crazy wild lasting difference, you need to pray about joining us for Boot Camp.

We have marriage and family ministry for you – ministry that makes a difference – it’s His, but it’s amazing, and we’d love to help you grow as a leader – and make a greater impact in the neck of the woods He’s entrusted to YOU.

I’d like YOU to pray about Boot Camp – September 7-12, 2016. More info HERE. Here’s a discount coupon good for $50 off each for you AND a friend – if you use it by May 15: bringafriend2016

If you feel called to lead others, to be a Titus 2 woman of influence in your neck of the woods, please seriously consider joining us in ministry. We’re training others to use the incredible discipleship method He has given us – and He’s growing ministry all around the world as a result.

titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

7 thoughts on “Finally be happy in your marriage…

  1. “Bottom line: If we want to be happy in our families, we need to start by doing these three things:

    1) STOP complaining
    2) STOP lying, and…
    3) START paying attention to what’s good – in everything”

    . . . . Thank you Nina, that is truly stinging and enough to work on for the duration. I made that my new screen saver: STOP complaining, STOP lying, and START paying attention to what’s good – in everything. . . .Thank you for teaching the hard stuff. –Wow, that is as real/authentic as a sawed-off shotgun blast at close range. HARD honesty and that is depressing too. . . . And yet, depression is the inability to trust Jesus for a future. . . . I am praying you get better (re: migraines, and STAY better. . . . I don’t think I would be able to take what truths would come out of you if new tragedies were to befall you.

  2. This is good stuff Nina, and also timely for me as I am sick right now, have been sick all weekend with the flu. I feel pretty awful. Yesterday, I did something I normally don’t do, and I asked my husband to help me make supper. (I can’t really ask him to make it on his own, because he really doesn’t know what to do on his own at this point.) He did help – and I felt happy instead of resentful. I can’t believe all this time I could have been asking for help, but didn’t.

    Interesting that you put “Don’t lie” as one of your points, because it sounds harsh but it’s perfectly valid. I often did lie in the past when someone asked me “how are you?” because I didn’t want to make the other person feel obligated to do anything for me. I never thought of it as lying, but I guess it is, isn’t it?

    I do have one question though – what do you mean by complaining in this context? Because sometimes you’ve gotta complain if you’re going to be honest. If my husband asks me “how was your day?” and it was a horrible day, the kids have been squabbling and I feel sick, I can’t answer without complaining, right? If I say my day was fine and think of something pleasant to point out about it, isn’t that lying? I guess you must been not going on an on about it, right?

    • Jeanne! I’m so sorry you are under the weather!! Flu is awful. I hope you are well soon. Praying His healing for you!

      Yes, it does seem like the concepts of “don’t complain” and “tell the truth” or stop “bearing false witness” – like so many things in the Bible – are contradictory!! If we look at the context, however, we can see it is a little more specific. 🙂

      Philippians 2:14-16

      14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. 16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.


      So when we give something to someone, it’s not with a “well, this was a huge pain for me to do, made my back sore, I didn’t enjoy it, but here’s the cake/shirt/chore/whatever thing you wanted…” is different than “Hey, I’m sick and can’t make dinner tonight – can you take care of it? Anything is fine,” or, “I am having trouble getting all this ready, I really need your help – will you please?” said gently, calmly…

      And then there’s the constant dripping of a contentious woman from Proverbs – I think she’s mentioned about 5 times… which means she was a CONSTANT complainer and arguer.

      So telling the truth and lying fit into those contexts. When asked, we speak truth. When need is necessary to communicate, we speak truth.

      Got opinions? If it’s not in response to someone’s question or we have a need to fill, we should keep our judgment to ourselves – often our “truth” is really criticism of others, which is judgment, and not our place.

      Does that help?

      Thanks for the opportunity to clarify!!

      Love to you,

      • Yes, that helps tremendously. I understand now. Complaining is saying negative things just for the sake of complaining, just to let off steam or to whine. It is not complaining if you have to say something negative in order to answer a question or ask for something you need. Got it! 🙂

  3. Great post Nina! Your comments about being hypersensitive when not feeling well resonated with me. Just to add one more dynamic to that mix, it’s really easy to start LOOKING for ways others might insult you – or even SEARCHING for fault in others. Our feeling poorly shouldn’t mean others have to as well! Blessings!

    • Excellent point, Kyle! 🙂 And for what it’s worth – we’re all just THRILLED you are up and around again! 🙂 You certainly would know!

      Blessings to you, sir!

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