Blog posts, written by Heidi, available through Concordia Publishing House, on Marriage and Family…
Naked and Unashamed
One of the hallmark phrases you’ll hear at ilovemyshepherd.com - Naked and Unashamed is a reflection of the design and invitation to grace God gives in Genesis 2:25. He offers us an intimate shame-free relationship with Himself, as well as deep and authentic relationships with those He places in our lives, again without shame living in His grace. Find out more in this short video. Then scroll down to find articles and tools for the relationships in your home. Find articles on friendship and church relationships throughout the ilovemyshepherd archives.
Why the Fallen World Matters in My Marriage
“First I need to see my husband as broken. Not broken to fix him, not broken like the world would see him, but broken and fallen just like me…”
Riding the Storms of Marriage
“We remember that we got married for reasons other than baseball. We got married for times like this, for joy and for sorrow…”
When Contempt Threatens a Marriage (3 Ways to Respond)
“We want to be heard and understood. We want our spouse to get the point, to see from our perspective. The thing is, we get so desperate to make our point sometimes, to be heard, that we trample over the very one we treasure…”
What's Love (And Respect) Got to Do With It?
“I’m not talking about a marriage that’s any easier than your neighbors’, or a marriage that’s “happier” or more “successful.” I’m talking about a marriage that’s fulfilling through the hard work and effort of each spouse…”
What's Love (and Respect) Got to Do With It? Radio Spot
30 minutes, KFUO Faith and Family, with host Andy Bates, Dr. Joel Lehenbauer, and me!
Men Who Pray (And Women Who Love Them)
“She wants you to pray with her not only because this is a work of the Church on earth, but also because she wants to know you and she wants to share all of it—the joy, the suffering, the struggle, the wrestling, the confidence before the throne—with you and with her God.”
Stop the Marriage Blame Game
“Psalm 18 (above) tells us that we are blameless, that we are free from guilt, that our hands are clean. This is because we have Jesus. We can offer love and forgiveness and real, palpable grace to our spouse by seeing him or her as God does in Jesus—blameless.”
The Best Christmas Gift for Your Marriage
“We aren’t wrapped up in all things material; we haven’t lost the real meaning. But we have managed to ignore an opportunity that I think God may be presenting to us to honor our marriage. We think we are sacrificing what we want or need so that our children can have a few special items, but what we’ve really done is send them a message: “You matter more than our marriage.”
The Marriage High Five
“In the good and the hard of marriage, giving ourselves permission to recognize what is good and what is hard can go a long way.”
Finally Finding my Knight on a White Horse
“As a married woman, I still put a ton of pressure on my husband. I want him to fill me. I want him to be funny when I need him to be funny. I want him to be intensely romantic, but not embarrassingly sensitive. I want manly and rugged and handsome and artistic and well-groomed and . . . and… and . . . I want it all. But that is not his job. That is His job.”
Naked and Unashamed
Naked. Unashamed. If we cannot be naked, be ourselves, stripped of all the societal small-talk niceties, able to share our inmost thoughts and beliefs, able to be right and wrong and everything in between, then we have opened the door to shame. And that is something God did not intend for our marriages.”
A Marriage That Bends But Does Not Break
“When you ask couples whose marriages have stood the test of time, over and over the answer you will hear is that there were good times, and there were bad times, and then there were really, really bad times. There were the 'almost' times. Almost done. Almost lost it. Almost gave up. Almost walked out. What was the difference? What turned 'almost' into 'not quite'?”
The Best Way to Encourage Your Husband
“Husbands also have to live in this culture of ideas. Whether our husbands are pastors, teachers, businessmen, engineers, landscapers, or anything out there in the world, people have ideas and opinions about what they should do, how it should be done, and how it is judged as successful.”
Why the First Year of Marriage is so Stinkin’ Hard
“That first year was special, memorable, exciting, and mostly . . . it was hard. Since that first year, I have heard from countless couples the same thing—good and hard, wonderful and a struggle, a time for joy, a time for learning, and a time to batten down the hatches…”
Radio Interview – Why the First Year of Marriage is So Stinkin’ Hard
On the air with Andy Bates at KFUO discussing grace and growing, particularly in the first year of marriage.
The Law and Gospel and Grouchiness in Marriage
“The Law applied to motivate in marriage leads to death. It slowly prickles and smothers my beautiful husband’s soul. Every time I think it will work—“maybe he’ll listen to me more now, he’ll do what I want, and our life will be so much better because I know best”—it doesn’t work, no one listens more, no one’s life improves, and we grow further apart, the ice fields we need to cross to share forgiveness and restoration growing wider. That is not the marriage I want to live in…”
Naked and Unashamed: Around the Table
“Imagine how many conversations would be missed without our tables. Husbands, wives, children, and friends all find a safe place as they gather around food and drink provided by a God who loves us. Sometimes there is laughter and joy, sometimes tears, sometimes even anger and frustration—all expressed appropriately in this very safe place. This is around the table at its best.”
The Plank and the Log – What to do when your spouse gets on your nerves
“When we feel that prickle of nerves on the back of our neck from something our spouse is doing, instead of grumbling and mentally eating our spouse alive, let’s try something different. We’re going to lean into it…”
Open Doors, Closed Doors: Family, friends, drama, and boundaries
I love people. I really do, but I am completely aware that they come with drama. I’m sure you are too. I know I’m not the only one going to great lengths to remain hidden, sneaking upstairs before the door-visitor can spy me. The question is … how much? How often do I put up real and imaginary closed doors to my heart, my life, and my home? When am I just hiding from the things that matter in life, the people who are very much valued by God, because relationships seem like so much work?
Marriage and Mexican Sponges: Why repair attempts matter
Repair attempts help us to return to that tenderhearted place where the forgiveness of Christ can roll out of our hearts. When emotions overload and we feel like we’re coming undone, we need Jesus to step in and remind us that our spouse is the very image of God, His precious child, dearly loved, by Him and us. A repair attempt reaches out the hand of kindness so that forgiveness can happen. But how does this work?