When you’d like to stay in love

Mark & Holley Hours from now I’ll climb in a car, drive south, and spend a few days at a conference. I’m a licensed counselor at The Joshua Center and this conference is all about marriage, hope, and forgiveness.

I think of my marriage, now ten years old. When we did premarital counseling, all the charts said we were opposite–“incompatible.” But we didn’t care. We were young and in love. 

So we said “I do” and we learned what those differences between us meant in everyday life. How being very emotional (me) and very practical (him) can rub up against each other like sand paper.

But funny thing about sand paper–over the years it makes the rough places smooth when it’s in God’s hands. Those differences? That incompatibility? I wouldn’t trade a thing for them now. They’ve become some of the greatest strengths of our marriage.

We took another relationships assessment lately. This time? “Highly compatible. Vitalized marriage.”

We laughed out loud about that one for a long time. We grinned at what God can do. My husband is a good man–strong, steady, kind and a faithful friend to me. Maybe I’ve got some positive qualities too. But what I’m learning is that the best way to find love, and to stay in it, is to keep running back to the God who is love. 

Only He can transform our weaknesses into strengths. Only He can take two broken, fallen people and teach them how to love each other well. (And let me tell you, I can be a stinker to live with sometimes.) Only He can take a couple through over six years of storms and make their marriage come out stronger on the other side. 

I don’t know what the conference I’m going to will say about marriage. But I know this–love is more complicated and more worth it than I could have imagined over ten years ago.

Perfectly compatible? Happily ever after?

Sounds pretty boring to me.

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


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