Marriage is hard.

You enter into marriage on a flower-strewn path, down the aisle into the arms of the man you love.  As you exchange vows, your mind skips over the words “bad”, “sickness” and “death” because this is the happiest day of your life and those things will never happen to you. Dreams for your future as husband and wife probably include a home, a family and a living happily ever after ever after.

A few weeks, months or years down the road, things start to change. Being a wife is not exactly what you expected. This man, who you thought would make all your dreams come true, just leaves dirty laundry and dishes all over the house. Date nights become few and far between and after kids you are too tired to even think about the act that created those kids in the first place.

No one wants to admit that their marriage isn’t perfect. If you have a marriage that is struggling, you don’t want anyone to know. Maybe you paste a smile on your face and pretend that everything is okay.  Secretly you wish your husband would help out more around the house or whisk you away for a romantic weekend. You would settle for him at least getting up 2 AM to comfort your toddler who had a nightmare, so you can just get some sleep.

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness

Jen Weaver’s new book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness, is about setting aside the expectations and dreams of a perfect marriage. That perfect, ride off into the sunset with your prince, happily-ever-after marriage (the one, that in case you haven’t caught on by now, DOES NOT EXIST), and to open your eyes to the practical blessings that God provides to you as a wife.

A Wife’s Secret to Happiness is split into 11 Chapters that focus on a different practical blessing of marriage. These include the blessings of unity, a Godly husband, a provider, a safe haven and intimacy.  Each chapter ends with a quiz about your “Wifestyle”, tips on how to receive your blessing, questions to consider, and a short Real Life #Wifestylin story from other wives.

I know Jen from the Declare Conference, which I have attended for the last few years. She is likable, relatable and passionate about investing into the lives of women. One of the reasons I enjoyed this book, was the warm tone and ease with which she shared her personal experiences. As a storyteller myself, I also appreciated the women who contributed their one wife stories at the end of each chapter. Knowing that other women and wives have struggled but succeeded in their marriages is a source of hope.

My Story

Unfortunately, I am a double-product of divorce. I was fifteen when my parents divorced and my first marriage only lasted four years before we realized our happily ever after was… not so happy. While I don’t consider my first marriage a blessing, it did open my eyes to the reality of marriage compared to the expectations I had placed on that first, fragile union.

The REALITY of marriage does not always measure up to your EXPECTATIONS Click To Tweet

Now I’ve been married to my sweet husband for almost 13 years and we have two kids. While our marriage is far from perfect, it has grown stronger since the day we said “I do”.  Early in our relationship, both my husband and I made the decision to put God first in our own lives. I know, without a doubt, this is the reason God has poured out his blessings on us as husband and wife.

Our marriage has experienced seasons in the desert, dry periods in our faith and in our love & affection for each other (kids can have that affect on your relationship). However we did not abandon each other in the desert. We walked side by side, searching for life-giving water to invigorate our spiritual faith and our relationship. After the desert, we returned to the lush, green wilderness of God’s abundant blessings. We learned that, like our faith, our marriage will not survive if we leave it in the desert.

Blessing of Three Strands

In the first chapter of Jen’s book, she talks about the Blessing of Three Strands and I love the imagery of this blessing. My husband and I each make up a strand in our marriage and God is the third strand. Not a third wheel, which is unnecessary and unwelcome, but a third strand. One that binds us together, makes us stronger, and pulls us back together when we (physically or mentally) go our separate ways.

A bond between two people may shatter with ease, but “a chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Jen Weaver, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness

God knows that marriage is hard, so he designed for both a husband and wife to turn to him daily for strength in their marriage. Jen’s tips for growing as a Braided Wife include: spending time in prayer, asking for blessings for your husband and to make intentional choices to build trust in God’s leadership.

If you are a nearlywed, newlywed, or the wife in a decade(s) long marriage, you will benefit from reading A Wife’s Secret to Happiness. I can tell you the secret has nothing to do with nagging your husband about leaving his laundry on the bedroom floor. Amazon is running low on inventory so order your copy soon!

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