Success and Heroism in Marriage

Heroism Inspirational marriages Grow Lasting marriage love Dollar photoThis morning, as I was perusing through the various marriage web sites I visit regularly, I came across an inspirational quote from the ministry of Marriage Works. It points out the type of heroism it takes to grow a successful marriage relationship. This quote summed up so much of what my husband Steve and I have learned about marriage:

“Successful marriages aren’t reserved for ‘special’ couples. Rather, they’re attained by couples who do ‘special’ things, like putting forth effort when they don’t want to, and showing love when it’s undeserved. They forgive when they’re offended, and are present physically and mentally when they’d rather be somewhere else.

“When you and your mate begin practicing any one of these things, you’ll be one of the couples who has a successful marriage.”

I can say AMEN to that! And that’s especially true after last night. My husband Steve came through as a hero for me (which he often does). We have a very “successful” marriage, but Steve stepped forward in BIG ways. Please, let me explain.


Not many people know, but shortly before Christmas, my younger brother (by 6 years) had a heart attack in another state on the other side of the country. He lived, but not without complications. He had to have quadruple bi-pass surgery. This was all complicated by the fact that he recently lost his job (because his health issues dragged him down to the point where he became too slow at work).

Somehow, he drove himself to the hospital (while having the heart attack), and was checked in. There, he was cared for by the hospital (for which we’re SO thankful). He then had to have emergency surgery. When we got word, our first concern was whether he would live or not. Then, it became apparent that he needed on-going care and a place to recover. In all of this, he lost his place to live (because of no income). As a result, he essentially became homeless. Not only did we realize we needed to step in to give him a safe, clean place for any true chance of recovery, but we needed to give him a place to live until we can all figure out his living situation in the future.

My Husband, My Hero

My dear, dear husband didn’t hesitate to let it be known that our home would be his for whatever time it was needed. We secured a place for my brother to stay immediately after his release from the hospital. He could stay there until one of us would be able to fly in to bring him here. My husband wanted to be the one to do it. He wanted to do this because of the many complications, which needed to be worked out. (There is also the fact that my brother is a big man. He needed my husband’s strength to lean on during the trip, rather than mine, which pales in comparison). We all agreed.

Not only did Steve take time off of work, he flew across the country. He took my brother back to the hospital for his Post-Op appointment, and helped my brother pack up his few belongings. Steve then brought him here, which was extremely difficult. Bringing a newly operated on heart patient on an airplane across country —made it a TOUGH flight for both. Steve has been as gracious as he can be —despite the inconvenience this brought.

We’ve had some difficult days because we have no doctor care available, up to this point. Again, my brother has no job, and he lost his home. We are his only support through this time. So we’re doing the best we can.

God’s Grace and Help and Husband’s Heroism

Yesterday, there was an upsetting incident (for my brother’s privacy, I can’t go into details). It tested all of our resolve to go the extra mile in trying to make this work. We’re WAY over our heads medically and such. But God is gracious, gives wisdom and we’re making it minute-by-minute. His grace is sufficient.

So, I want to brag on my husband a bit. He’s stellar! As I told him this morning, “There aren’t many husbands who would put up with all of this —especially with such a great attitude.” The tranquility of our home is definitely being challenged right now. But that’s what happens in life. It most often doesn’t go, as we want it to. Living on this side of heaven gets messy. But it’s in midst of trying circumstances, that the character of who we are is challenged. How much I love and appreciate my husband’s character (and more)!

I’m just so blessed to have my brother alive. I’m also blessed have a husband who is helping to keep it that way. It’s like the quote, which I began this blog with, it’s the “special things” that are put forth —the times of “being present physically and mentally when they’d rather be somewhere else,” which helps make marriages successful.

God at Work

Trust me when I say, there have been SO MANY TIMES during these past weeks (and before), when Steve and I have wanted to check out. We wanted to quit and say, “This is just too much, too hard. I’m done. We’re done.” But I’m so thankful that God is working in us and through us to help us work through our inner temper tantrums. God strengthens us to keep plodding through TOGETHER. May we keep persevering! May we do things God’s way, rather than giving up and doing them in ways, which entertains and helps the cause of the enemy of our faith. We want God to be lifted up, no other.

Going this route seems so taxing, so unfair. But then again, life IS unfair! …at least life in this fallen world. But on the other side… it will be oh, so different! Thank God. Thank, thank God!!!

I hope that whatever you may be going through, you work it out to choose to do things as God leads. Work as a team —you, together with your spouse, and God. May we draw inspiration from each other, pray for one another, and keep keeping on. As it says in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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4 responses to “Success and Heroism in Marriage

  1. (USA)  Wow you guys have a rough row to hoe right now. Steve told me he was traveling in the email about the article the other day. I guess this is why.

    I feel for your situation right now as I know that one day if my younger brother out lives my parents I’ll be in a similar one, but he’ll never be able to live alone. My younger brother by 3 years has Downs Syndrome, and will need supervision for the rest of his life.

    One day years ago after my wife moved in with my family while she was pregnant with our first son at 15 my mom got angry like she unfortunately often does. She said some things to the effect of sending him to a home if anything happened to my dad. My wife, and this is one of the many, many, many reasons I love her, told my mom, “Over my dead body!” My mom about fell over. The look on her face was just one of total disbelief. She couldn’t believe that a 15 year old girl cared that much about her boy friend’s fiance’s family.

    My wife actually told my dad about it when he got home from work, and my dad was very impressed. Not only that she’d stand up to my mom in my brother’s defense, but also that she wanted to take my brother if need be. Honestly I doubt my mom really meant it, it was just her getting mad, and yelling like she did a lot back then. Looking back with everything going on I suppose there was a lot of stress in our family. I’m just really proud that my wife, even way back when we were just kids having a kid, had that kind of heart for my little brother, and though he’s an even bigger pain now, she still feels the same way.

    Way to go Steve. Just be sure to keep the communication, and romance with Cindy going through all of this. It’s times like these that you two will need your time together even more than any other time in your lives.

    1. Dennis, Thank you for your affirmation. I know a lot of people don’t understand “why” we would do this. When I flew into Detroit I had to rent a car and as I was filling out the paperwork at the counter the young lady asked, “What brings you to Michigan?” I explained the situation and she just looked at me and said, “I have NEVER heard of any one doing something like this.” And then she asked, ‘What made you do this?” My answer was simple: “For the love of Christ compels us.” She just smiled and nodded her head.

      If, as Christ-followers, our purpose is to reflect and glorify Him in every area of our lives, there was no way I COULDN’T do this.

  2. (USA)  My heart is touched by your care and concern for your brother. Thank God for Steve’s willingness to let love prevail. I needed this witness of God’s goodness. When you mentioned your brother drove himself to the hospital, struck a cord. I have been there recently. I didn’t have a heart attack but a broken heart and spirit. In the midst of serving and seeking God discouragement and hurts came up. I needed to be loved back to wholeness. I needed to realize that completely dependant God’s love and mercy.

    I had to walk away from a place where I served and lived and completely trusted God to lead me. The love and support of my family is literally keeping me alive and restoring my passion for the things of God. God is working on trust. He told me I’m not supposed to go from one project to another as if He didn’t care about me also. So as I pray for direction and favor and the stength to obey and I thank God for the hugs and kisses of my nephews. There’s healing in their touches and I so need it.

    I thank God that He doesn’t despise a broken and contrite heart. Matt 11:28-30 is where I’m learning from Him, recieving His care. Sometimes we have to drive ourselves to the hospital and trust God as we are completely dependant on Him and are unable to care for ourselves. I’m there at the Jordan in need of miracles and He is yelling my grace is sufficient. I will make all things new.

    Thanks for your trust in God from a desperate person in need of care and home and provision and God’s voice and love and miracles and all the things and people that help us be who God’s called us to be.

    Lord, help us embrace today and all the new mercies you provide for us. Thank you for being glorified in our lives in whatever state we may be in and thank for the future and the hope you have for us. Thank you that we can do it all through Christ who strengthen us. Reveal yourself in our evey day as you prepare us for tomorrow. Thank you for caring for us when we are unable to care for ourselves and providing the strength to be able to care for another by the power of your love.

    1. Dear Quiana, Thank you for your gracious words. They mean a lot. I thank God you have the family you do, who can hug and care for you as you need it. I pray the Lord binds up your broken heart and ministers to your every need –especially to be able to trust, wisely trust. I also pray the Lord, in His timing, directs your steps to a new ministry, with renewed hope. “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ to whom be the glory for ever and ever.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)