Do you ever feel like happy times are always just out of your grasp? No matter how much you try to plan time to enjoy one another, something always seems to highjack your plans? I know there are seasons in marriage when there is so much work to do that it seems impossible to make time for each other.
When our children were young, there were days when I was simply exhausted. Our youngest daughter, Kayla, was plagued with ear infections that would inevitably flare up in the middle of the night. And after staying up through the night to comfort her, I could not go back to bed because our two-year-old son would wake up and need my attention. Have you had similar experiences?
I remember how difficult those days of raising little ones were. I recall how Steve would attempt to bring a jovial atmosphere into our home only to have one of the kids spill their milk at the table, causing more work for me, as I so rudely chided. Even as my harsh words were leaving my lips I would immediately regret them. My poor husband didn’t stand a chance with my hormonally imbalanced, sleep-deprived disposition.
Are you the mom of little ones? Or maybe you have teenagers in your home who are skilled at working mom and dad into an argument so they can get their way. Raising kids is both hard and wonderful— exhausting and exhilarating.
In my own experience, when I allowed my circumstances to dictate my joy, my family was destined to ride with me on the roller coaster of my emotions. I did not become a joyful wife and mom until I learned the importance of spending time in prayer and daily Bible study. In other words, I needed to look to God. I could not expect Steve to give me a life free from difficulty so I would be happy. I could not ask him to do for me what only God can do.
The only way you can experience true joy—no matter what your circumstances—is by pursuing intimacy with Christ on a daily basis. As you determine to seek joy in your relationship with Him, you will discover that your happiness comes not from how well your day turns out, but from Jesus Himself.
As a young mom, when I determined to be daily cleansed by “the washing of water by the word” (Ephesians 5:26), I came to know a deep, abiding joy within my heart—regardless of how the day unfolded. When you determine to know Christ through the pages of Scripture, then God’s peace, wisdom, and joy will spill out of your life and into your home.
You may be tempted to believe you are too busy to practice the spiritual disciplines required to be a happy wife. Don’t fall for that kind of thinking—don’t allow the urgent to take priority over the essential.
While kids and their needs often present a sort of urgency, what they really need is a mom filled with God’s wisdom and joy. Take this advice from an older woman: The season during which your kids need you will be over before you know it. Your husband, by contrast, needs you for a lifetime. Devote yourself to becoming a happy wife, and you will build a marriage both you and your husband will enjoy for the rest of your lives.*
Rhonda Stoppe is the NO REGRETS WOMAN. With more than 20 years experience of helping women build a no regrets lives. I could have listened to Rhonda talk all night, is what women say about Rhonda’s enthusiastic, humorous, transparent teaching, and zeal as an evangelist.
She’s committed to fulfill the Titus 2:4 commission by mentoring, teaching and writing books that are inspiring, grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you’re visiting with a friend over coffee.
Rhonda is the author of 6 books and appears on numerous radio programs including FamilyTalk with Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family, Family Life Today and hosts The No Regrets Hour. She speaks at women’s events, Pastor’s Wives Conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Sharing the gospel is her sweet spot––she’s an evangelist at heart.
Rhonda ministers alongside her husband Steve, who pastors First Baptist Church of Patterson, California. They live out their own Real Life Romance writing books and speaking at their No Regrets Marriage Conferences, but their favorite ministry is their family. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren. To learn more about Rhonda’s speaking topics, watch her teaching and to book Rhonda for your next event visit: NoRegretsWoman.com
*Excerpt: The Marriage Mentor. Copyright © 2018 by Rhonda Stoppe. Published by Harvest House Publishers