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Posted: April 7, 2011

When I am on vacation I love reading the kind of mysterious, romantic stories that have me turning the pages faster than yesterday’s wind storm. When I finally turn the last page of the book, I may be drained with emotion and tired from staying up too late, but there is nothing better than exclaiming, “That was the best story I’ve ever read.”

Too often I have picked up a book that had a great cover, outstanding endorsements by other great authors, and yet I can’t seem to get past Chapter Two. Boring!  Nothing in there to capture my attention and even though I try to like the book, I finally close it up, lay it down and shove it in a drawer.

I believe that is what happens to some of marriages. Initially the marriage had all the ingredients of making a great story husband, wife, the kids, dog, careers, vacations, computers, designer clothes and the white picket fence. Something happened to the story; slowly, subtly and silently, the story became disenchanting. Pain entered.

  • Boredom.
  • No more family meal times where people sit, talk to each other or look each other in the eyes and tell about “the best part of the day.”
  • No one is listening any more.
  • Everyone immersed in their own lives, faces stuck in the TV or computers.
  • The overwhelming demands of bills, mortgage payments took away all joy.
  • Spouses stop taking care of their appearance, gain weight and find their satisfaction by trips to the fridge instead of the gym.
  • Too tired/uninterested in sexual intimacy.
  • Dull, boring routine.
  • Fear.
  • Not taking the time to stay interesting by studying, reading or growing intellectually.
  • Everything is a power struggle.
  • Pulling away from each other.
  • Until there is nothing left.

One day, one of you is done with the story, packs a bag and walks out the door.  “There must be a better story out there somewhere!”

 I passionately believe we have the potential to write a gorgeous marriage story. Even as you read this and think you marriage is beyond repair, you can start today by re-writing your story.  Here’s how.

  1. If you want something to change-you have to change it. Nothing will change if you do not deliberately sit down and lay out specific plans.
  2. Both people must be willing to risk and participate. Come on-what do you have to lose?
  3. Start talking. Turn off the TV, computer and stop texting. Look each other in the eyes and smile.
  4. Fascinating stories have interesting characters. Become interesting again. Start to eat healthy, go to the gym, and buy some new makeup and clothes that look great on you. Get a sassy new hair color, a new pair of earrings and read some books that will give you some topics for great conversation. For goodness sakes, become interesting again!  Make yourself attractive and fun to be with. Think about some of the boring characters in a novel–you do not want to be like them.
  5. Build a story within your marriage. Intriguing stories build toward an alluring, passionate ending.  In a marriage you must be building something together. I’m not talking about figuring out how to pay off the mortgage or juggle the children’s activities. I’m talking about building some adventure, a trip to Africa, biking through the Rockies this summer, raising money to send shoes to South America, camping across Canada, working in a soup kitchen. Get the whole family involved, figure out how to do this. Sit around and talk about it, plan, share, laugh, cry, save money and get creative.  Whatever it is; do it together by talking about it and getting excited about the possibilities. This will take you out of boredom and away from the pain.
  6. Make a “Dream Wish List.” Be radically creative.
  7. Get some mentors, wise people, friends, community to help you along the journey. Don’t try to build your story by yourself; let wise people help you.
  8. It may start as a simple step, but it takes intentional work, time and some money to build a great story. Be ready to invest.
  9. Go to church and get connected to a greater power-God. The greatest, most powerful stories include a third person-God. He will be your mediator, give wisdom and discernment in every chapter you write.
  10. Romans 12:16 “Live in harmony with one another”. Listen to each other as you create, plan and build your story.

My first husband Dick was great about building stories. At times he would plan events and I would say, “Honey, we can’t afford to do this.”  He would say, “We can’t afford NOT to.”  He was so right! After he died; it was the stories that we created which kept my children and my conversations and memories funny, interesting and hopeful.  We have to make time to build stories, because if we don’t, when the children grow up and the frenetic activities are over, boredom will set in and someone may just decide to shove the marriage into a drawer. Our marriage is really no different from a novel; you decide how interesting, rewarding and fruitful it will be.

Next week – “The 3 main things!”


Posted in: Beauty through Boldness, Encouragement, Finding Truth

One response to “UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – Create a Story”

  1. Dearest Heidi ~

    Fantastic post! Many marriages now end not due to tragic circumstances like adultery but neglect and laziness. The things you described are indeed the very things we can do to keep our lifelong marriages flowing along. Even if we’re committed for the long haul, we don’t need to settle for obligation alone! With intentional investment, we can have happy, meaningful, fulfuilling, interesting marriages that inspire those coming up after us and bring glory to His name.

    Our world is full of tearing down. Jesus call us to build up. I’m with you, dear sister, in exhorting and encouraging our younger sisters to build up their marriages to make strong families, which makes strong communities and strong nations.

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