Category Archives: Devotions

Devotion 10 – Communication is the Name of the Game

The number one complaint among married couples is the breakdown in communication after the first few years; in some cases after the first few weeks. Those conversing times before the marriage must continue after the ceremony. Your commitment to time with each other is as important as your vows of faithfulness to each other.  Women thrive on conversation because it says, “You really care about me and my feelings.”  Men talk mostly about external things.  Women live in the Information Age while many of us men are still enjoying the Stone Age.

Communication involves more than the verbal exchange of words.  Body language is as important if not more so than what is spoken.  It takes discipline to continue communicating after the vows are spoken, but it is well worth the effort. When the lines of communication are broken the marriage is soon to follow.

After reading together Psalm 37:30, and Matthew 15:11, talk to your spouse about the things which initially attracted you to her/him.  Plan a time each week where you and your spouse do nothing but talk and listen to each other concerning your feelings about the challenges taking place in your marriage and family.  Listen intently.  Speak carefully.

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 11 – Listen to Your Spouse

This is the hardest thing to do in the area of communication.  Usually we are either preparing our reply when our spouse is talking, or tuning them out altogether. Listening requires intense concentration.  The older couple was walking through the woods one afternoon and he turned to his wife and said, “It’s windy isn’t it?” She replied, “No it’s Thursday.” He paused a moment and said, “Me too, let’s get something to drink.”  Sometimes neither party listens.

Sometimes silence is the best thing as a story told to me by a friend who was a highway patrolman illustrates.  He pulled over a man for speeding on the interstate. As he approached the car he noticed the radio was so loud the car was rocking. When the driver rolled down the window my friend said, “Do you know you were driving 90 miles per hour?”  The driver’s wife said, “He always drives fast.”  My patrolman friend noticed the driver was not wearing his seat belt.  When he asked him about this the wife said, “He never wears his seat belt.”  Then my friend said, “How could you hear me with your radio so loud?”  Again the wife said, “He always plays it loud.”  The driver turned to his wife and shouted, “Will you shut up!”  My friend then looked across the car at her and said, “Ma’am, does he always talk to you like that?”  She replied, “Nope, only when he’s been drinking!” Sometimes it’s just best not to say anything.  

After reading together Proverbs 2:2, and Colossians 4:6, take a walk with your spouse and just listen to the sounds around you without speaking. When the walk is finished discuss the various sounds you heard.  If you can attune your ears to hear the sounds around you, you can listen even more intently to each other.

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com. 

Devotion 12 – Never Insult Your Spouse

Nothing tears at the fabric of a marriage more than being insulted and ridiculed by one’s own spouse.  Name calling, mocking, and belittling have no place in the building of a marriage in private or public.  My wife and I were chatting with a group of couples during a Hope for the Home conference and one of the husbands made a comment regarding his wife’s weight so that all could hear.  Everyone could see the hurt and embarrassment on her face.  Encouragement and reassurance are basic components in a strong marriage. Words of contempt, disrespect, and sarcasm will tear down a marriage. Words of acceptance, approval and support will build one up. 

After reading togetherProverbs 11:17, and Matthew 5:7, make a list of words which hurt your feelings when spoken about you.  Ask your spouse to do the same. Share this list with each other.  As you share the list file these words away in your “heart drive” and never use them again.  Better yet, put these words in the Permanently Delete file.  

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 13 – Do Not Be A Fault Finder

Lips of praise are the antidote for the lips of poison.  Fault finding is not a sign of strength, but a display of weakness.  A husband or wife who is constantly pointing out the faults in their spouse does so because of the unwillingness to face the faults in their own life.  It is always easier to criticize others than correct the imperfections in your own character.  The harsh tongue reveals a blackened heart. He who is the first to condemn is often the last to forgive.

The Bible tells us that as a little rudder can turn a great ship, so a little tongue can either bless or curse. Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me,” didn’t understand the power of the spoken word.  Cruel words are sharper than razors and the damage they do leave scars below the surface.  Before marriage you could not say enough kind things to your future spouse, so why change the course of the ship after marriage?  You have heard the expression, “I love you warts and all.”  There is much wisdom is this old proverb.  Once you board the ship of marriage there is no reason to abandon her or run her aground.  

After reading togetherEcclesiastes 9:9, and Romans 12:10, make a list of the top ten things you like most about your spouse. Wrap these in a box like a present and give it to him or her just before you go to bed tonight.  It’s a great way to end a day and start the next.   

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 14 – Remember Promises and Keep Them

The vows exchanged during the marriage ceremony are sacred. The vows made after the ceremony are equally important. Good intentions never substitute for following through. A promise broken is a memory made just as one that is kept.  We should not promise what we cannot perform.  A spouse who does their best to keep their word is a person of character.  Keeping your promises develops strength in a marriage. This strength, like a fortified castle, will withstand the attacks from all the enemies which seek to surround a marriage and tear it down.

The husband and wife who can be counted on to keep their word is a spouse who can be counted on to defend and protect the marriage at all cost.  I know there are unforeseen circumstances which can occur, but when these become the norm rather than the exception, then promises become fabrications which can unravel the marriage.  Promises delayed need not be denied. As soon as possible fulfill the purpose for which the promise was made. This will restore the bonds of trust and respect.  A promise, like truth, is a standard by which all things are judged. It is the foundation of a solid marriage, the measurement of character, the pattern of faithfulness, the banner of loyalty, and the rule of honesty. Spouses who keep their promises are likely to have children who will do the same.      

After reading together Numbers 30:2, and Romans 4:21, share with your spouse the value of keeping your word. When was the last time you failed to keep a promise?  Have you asked forgiveness and have you made provisions to redeem the promise?

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 15 – Respect Each Other in Sexual Matters

Husbands are visual. Wives are emotive.  Husbands are instantaneous. Wives are reflective.  Husbands gulp. Wives sip. Husbands are Stone Age. Wives are Renaissance.  Any way you cut it there is a difference between husbands and wives. Thank the Lord for that. 

However, both husbands and wives are sexual in nature. It is this area of married life where you either share the deepest form of communication on a mutually enjoyable level or find that what is pleasurable for one maybe embarrassing for the other. The act of sexual intimacy was designed by God to be one of the greatest pleasures a human can experience. Intimacy is like an equilateral triangle.  Its three sides are sexual, sensual and spiritual. Sexual is the physical side. Sensual is the emotional side. Spiritual is the foundational side. If all three sides are not in proportion to each other, then the intimate part of the marriage becomes one sided and out of balance. If you wish to become a great lover to your spouse then an understanding of the three sides of intimacy is vital. By the way, a “scientific survey” for husbands found out that if a husband is balding in front this proves he is a great lover. If he is balding in back he is a great thinker. If he is balding all over he just thinks he is a great lover.  

One of the most significant ways a married couple can honor God is to honor their vows. Great sex in a marriage requires openness, honesty, and trust without violating either God’s laws or your spouse. 

After reading together Song of Solomon 1:2; 7:1, and I Corinthians 7:2-3, discuss the triangle model of intimacy with your spouse. Are there any adjustments which need to be made? Share these with each other.  

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 16 – Be a Person of Integrity

I have a friend who is in charge of the vault in a very large bank. Every day he watches people either deposit valuables in their lockboxes or withdraw them for various reasons. He said some individuals will just turn their boxes upside down on the table with thousands of dollars pouring out and enough jewelry to turn the Pirates of the Caribbean green with envy. You can be rich with the trappings of this world and be impoverished in the area of character and integrity. A great marriage is not built on the things you can store in a lockbox, drape around your shoulders, or park in your garage. A great marriage is built on the intangibles of life; character, honesty and integrity.

Integrity is the foundation of all this is high and noble. It flows in the deep clear waters not in the shallows. It associates with that which is superior and does not keep company with that which is inferior. Integrity comes from those who are honest, sound from center to circumference, condemn wrong in friend or foe and especially in themselves; who are devout in their dealings, earnest in their expectations, genuine in their relations, and pure in their motives.

Integrity is not developed suddenly.  Just as an icicle is lengthened one drop at a time so is integrity in the seasons of marriage. If the water which forms the icicle remains clear, then it sparkles in the winter sun and is a source of wonder. If the water is muddy, then the icicle becomes an object of repulsion. We as husbands and wives must walk in our integrity drop-by-drop, day-by-day. Like the icicle, if our lives are pure and right, our marriages will be bright and clear.  However, if we say one thing and practice another our marriages will become tainted and polluted. The price of integrity is a righteous life which will strengthen your marriage. There is a high price to be paid for low living.

After reading together Proverbs 20:7, and Philippians 4:8, share with your spouse what the word, “Integrity” means to you. How is it demonstrated in your marriage, family and work? 

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 17 – Maintain Your Marriage while Working Your Work

We have become a nation where many a husband and wife stay married to their work while divorcing their spouse.  The lie that it may be necessary to sacrifice your marriage and family to be successful has claimed many a victim.  At the conclusion of one of our Hope for the Home conferences, a gentleman approached me and asked if he might have a minute of my time. As we stepped outside into the hot, humid August night he related to me his story. He said that as a young pastor he modeled his ministry after men who pastored the mega-churches.  His ambition was to become the pastor of the largest church in his state.  In just a few short years he achieved his goal. He was well known among his peers and was a much sought after speaker in the major conferences and conventions of his denomination. Then he stopped talking. Tears began to fall from his eyes and splatter on the hot asphalt pavement and then he said….  If you want to read this pastor’s heart breaking confession it is on page 113 in my book, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage.

A man may pastor and fail to pastor his own family. He may listen to the voices of other wives in his church and never hear the cry of his own wife. He may seek to save other children and lose his own.  Preaching at conventions, selling your books, and serving on executive committees may elevate you in the eyes of your peers while lowering you in the hearts of your spouse and children.

After reading  together Proverbs 13:7, and Mark 8:36, discuss with your spouse what, if any, stress is being created by the hours you put in at work.  Be open to the comments you receive. 

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com. 

Devotion 18 – Be Sensitive and Not Stubborn

Stubbornness is only a sign of strength when it comes to standing firm for that which is right and good.  The smallest amount of common sense is needed to makes that choice.  Otherwise, obstinacy becomes a source of pride which leads one to think they can do no wrong.  Pride and stubbornness are double first cousins.  A stubborn person is like a bass drum in that both sound loud only because of the emptiness inside.  A husband or wife who is obstinate resembles a pit bull which only lets go after the damage is done both to the dog and the victim. Being sensitive enough to admit you are wrong leads to the healing of a relationship.  Many a marriage has dissolved and passed down the drain of stubbornness and pride.  A stubborn husband or wife insists they are always right and pride makes them think of no one but themselves.

Jesus chose a clinging vine not a sturdy olive tree to teach us about our relation to Him.  He chose a defenseless lamb not a dominate lion when His earthly ministry was introduced on the banks of the river Jordan.  He chose a scrub bush not a lofty cedar to reveal himself to Moses.  A husband or wife who allows stubbornness and pride to control their lives is truly not in control of their marriage.  These two vices changed angels into demons.  Humility will give you the attribute of the angels. Someone once said that a humble person is like a good fruit tree – the fuller of fruit the branches are, the lower they bend themselves.  

After reading together Job 6:24, and James 5:19-20, ask yourself , “Are there areas in my life where stubbornness dominates?  Has pride created cracks in the foundation of my marriage?  Remember, what rests below the surface determines the strength of what stands above.

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.

Devotion 19 – Develop a Sense of Healthful Humor

Healthful humor stimulates wit and stirs up laughterIt creates closeness and intimacy between people.  Hurtful humor creates pain and distance.  Healthful humor and laughter are never used to cause pain, but spring from the smiles which originate in the heart and explode in the face. Humor brings a spice to marriage that has its own unique scent.

A doctor friend once told me that people who have a genuine sense of humor seldom have ulcers.  Laughter releases stress and puts circumstances in perspective. Laughter also lowers blood pressure, increases oxygen in the blood and promotes healing in the body. Laughter gives our bodies a good workout. Laughing is better than sweating any day.

When tragedy strikes a marriage, as in severe illness or death, the memories of the happy, humorous times filled with laughter and joy will serve as a source of strength. The laughter of children will echo throughout the years when the rooms stand empty and the trophies sat gathering dust. When your spouse of many years has departed this world those occasions of humor will be engraved on your heart and will live again as fresh as the moment you laughed together. The scriptures tell us in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart does good, like medicine.”  Laughter is truly the best medicine.  It is one of God’s gifts. 

After reading together Psalm 126:2, and Ephesians 5:19-20,  ask your spouse to share a funny memory of some special event. You do the same before going to bed.

This series of devotions relating to marriage are taken from, 44 Ways to Strengthen Your Marriage, by evangelist and pastor Dr. Jerry Drace.  If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or copies of the entire bookyou may contact Dr. Drace at: jdeainc@juno.com.