Fireproofing Your Marriage with a Giveaway from Cindy Dagnan

Okay—I am not a big movie buff. Not usually up on the latest new releases nor know who is playing opposite whom. While I can recognize many of the big stars, I don’t seem to be able to tell you their names. But this one thing in current cinema happenings I know for sure.

YOU HAVE GOT TO GO SEE THE MOVIE FIREPROOF!!!!

Last weekend I told you our president Lysa at Proverbs 31 Ministries had previewed it and raved about its virtues. Now that I’ve sat with my hubby through the entire film (crying through nearly half of it) I can testify first hand, it is MORE than worth the price of the ticket.

Why it is not a film that boasts an A list of stars with name recognition and Oscars under their belt, God has His imprint all over this story. It was made by Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, the same folks who brought the world Facing The Giants. You can read about them and their movie-making ministry here. And it stars Kirk Cameron of Growing Pains and Left Behind fame, a man of integrity who, by the way, refuses to kiss another woman –even in a movie—in fact it is really his wife standing in for the leading lady in the tear-jerking kissing scene.

So again I’ll say it: Run, don’t walk, to the nearest theater. Take your hubby. Renew your vows. Take your teens. Talk about love and respect as God does in Ephesians chapter 5 verses 25-33. You won’t regret it.

Until then, read on here on my little blog for more marriage advice as I again host my friend Cindy Dagnan. She talks this week about her wonderfully practical book Chocolate Kisses for Couples. You can even leave a comment and win a copy!!! Here is my interview with her:

 Cindy, for those who weren’t with us last spring when we featured Who Got Peanut Butter on My Daily Planner, tell us about you and what your life looks like.

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I am a preacher’s daughter, a wife, mother of four girls and a recovering Type A personality.   When I have to drive into town twice a week for errands, my highlight is stopping at Starbucks for a grande non-fat hot chocolate with whip and a regular blueberry muffin.  It’s the simple things, really.

What nudged you to write Chocolate Kisses for Couples?

 Like most of the stuff I write, it’s a subject that intrigues or interests me or that I desperately NEED to work on, but can’t find something that doesn’t seem to “expert-y.”  Sometimes, books that are so well-meaning just overwhelm you!! You know?  And Greg and I had just begun doing some mid-marriage work that was really hard.

Todd and I just celebrated our 22nd anniversary last summer. I know marriage isn’t a walk in the park. What do you find most challenging?

 Keeping in front of me the fact that there’s someone to think about besides me.  I didn’t really think I was all that selfish, but you know, my sweet husband often says, “I don’t care what we do, honey.  It’ll be fine.  If you’re happy, then I’m happy!”  And he MEANS it!!!  Sadly, I’m not always the same.  Turns out I’m ALSO happy when I’M happy! :)  This does NOT speak well of me, girlfriends.

How do you and your hubby overcome this challenge?

 I pray about our marriage DAILY.  We scrabble to have time together each week and a go-out-together date each month.  It’s hard to juggle kids, schedules and finances but ooohhh, so worth it!  In fact, we’ve just returned from our annual anniversary get away — one night and parts of 2 days that blessedly remind us that we are friends and lovers, not just mommy, daddy, cook, gardener and bill payers.

Now, what would you say is your favorite part of marriage?

 Having someone that knows you so intimately and for the most part, adores you anyway.  Greg CRACKS me up!  He is the most supportive person of all that I try to do.  He is so knowledgeable in his field [he’s a Police Chief] and yet so funny.  We’ve been having this running toilet paper gag all week and it’s my turn to get him back….you’ll have to ask him.  Or else, you’d have had to be there! :)

In what ways have you personally grown as a wife in the years you have been hitched? Anything you wish you could go back and do over?

 I am so much more secure in the strength of Greg’s love and God’s watch and care over the whole thing.  When we started out, I had been hurt so badly.

What pep talk can you give any wives who may be a a hard spot or just at a place of ho-hum boredom in their marriage?

I interviewed several couples married 50, 60+ years and they ALL basically said the same thing:  “If you young people would just stick with it, you’ll find that EVERY marriage takes work and some of it just stinks.  But the SWEET part always, always comes after some really rough times.”  I think we girls grew up on fairytales and someone did us a disservice by not telling us that ALL marriages that last take ingenuity and effort — ALL of them.  Even the good ones!  NO, ESPECIALLY the good ones.  They don’t just happen.

Any other marriage wisdom you’d like to impart?

Don’t give up!  Dig in, hang on for all you’re worth.  People are counting on you — your children; the world; the marriage skeptics; those people who witnessed your union and those tremendous vows.  Trust that God can change ANY marriage — yes, even yours, precious girlfriends and then storm the gates of Heaven. 

Thanks so much for sharing your heart with us this week!!

You are most welcome!

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Okay gals, now here is the scoop. You can win a copy of Cindy’s book on marriage by leaving a comment any day this week about marriage. Let’s stick to answering one of the three following questions:

1. How do you Fireproof your marriage by making it a priority over other demands of life?

2. If you saw the movie Fireproof—what was the part that most touched you?

3. Or—if you are in a hard place now in your marriage, in what area is it? Showing respect? Making time? Communication? Finances? (The rest of you, feel free to jump in with any encouragement you have!)

You have until 6:00 pm EST Sunday night to leave your comment. Winner will be announced on Monday!

Sweet-marriage-made-in-heaven-but-lived-out-on-earth-blessings,

Karen

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  • im62 and a member of aa have a husband who desnt get involved with it at all. our lastime drinking he broke my arm and has quit drinking.we watch the movie together and after it was over he got back on his computer game like he does every day after work and plays till he goes to bed .he doesnt spend anytime with me at all. we both hae been baptist but he wont go to church or read the bible or pray.i drive him back and forth to work cause he doesnt have a licence. he is 14 years younger than me. we need help but he doesnt think so. he sleeps on the couch of his choice.says he loves me but i dont think he does, iis my home that i paid cash for before we met and got married we are in debt about 30,000 and i was debt free when we meet. what can i do? he is so self cented and self absorbed and i keep loving unconditioally even though he flirts with other women, i fell mentally aboused and fiscially abushed also plus he has destroyed things in our home. i pray and just hang in and do the housewife chours. i pray and read the word and go to meetings ask him nicely to do things but my patiences is running low. i dont even know if i love him anymore help me please. ty God Bless You

  • I am on th Women’s ministry team at church and we have planned to get together an watch Fireproof. I am really looking forward to seeing it after reading so many great reviews. My husband and I have been married 41 years. I can’t say that there never was problems, .but what I can say is that keeping the commitment and promises we made each other on the day we married has kept us together. Never quitting on each other and learning to communicate much better has made this end of marriage so much sweeter. Unconditional love for each other even on the days we don’t deserve it allows us to be secure in our relationship.

    Marriage is a life long commitment.

  • We will be married 21 years in November. Our biggest trouble right now is Money We always seem to get bills of not our picking. Van accident someone else hit Us with no insurance and medica did not pay. now employee did not pay of insurance in June but We did not find out til October 2008 and He went out of business and We are stuck with a $2500 bill. We know God is with Us thru all this but it is hard not to be jealous of Friends and Family when they travel and We have not had one Family trip. My Husband is such a hard worker and I try to work part time but it doesn’t seem to matter thanks for sweepstakes like this to make surprises to come in the mail…thanks again

  • Karen I just saw you speak again – you are so wonderful. You have such a gift and I am so gratful you’ve answered God’s call to share it with others. I just returned home from Hearts at Home, refreshed and encouraged. It was great talking to you at your table and so far I am really getting into your latest book. My whole family will appreciate me having help getting better organized.

    Thanks for this fabulous post. I cried so much this weekend as I prayed desperately for my marriage. My husband is in a extremely stressful job – he’s a stockbroker and as all his clients lose he is on the brink of losing his job. We have been trying to prepare for this over the last year (we felt it coming) but honestly nothing could preprare us for the depression that would begin to invade my husbands heart. He is hurting as he takes his job and the livelyhood of his clients to heart. He has just recently told me that he is losing faith and giving up on God as he feels God has already given up on our country. My heart aches!!! I just heard about Fireproof last week and he has agreed to go see the movie with me. What a blessing this could be to us…he’s not a fireman but his job is still very stressful and I hope we both can learn from what we will see on the big screen. I have also made plans to take him away for our 11 year wedding anniversary on October 25th. I hope being away from our 2 very young boys can give us some much needed sleep, and space to talk honestly and lovingly to one another. I am doing my all to have enough faith for both of us right now.

    Thanks for letting me share my heart with you. I think I’ll go back now and read some of the comments … I need all the help I can get to fireproof this before it’s too late.

  • Hi Karen,

    Our church hosted Lysa for a Ladies Conference last month. I subscribe to the Encouragement for Today devotions. I loved the one you wrote entitled “Dime in My Pocket”. May I please have permission to reprint it in our ladies quarterly newsletter? I believe that all of our ladies would benefit from reading it. The analogies are great & so relatable to today’s typical routines. As I was searching the P31 site for a contact, I found your blog. Love it! Lu-huv it! Can’t wait to read your books!

    About the response to the marriage question, my husband & I have been married for 13 years. We have three beautiful girls (11, 8, 5) & a very busy farm. Keeping our marriage in-tact has been a rewarding effort & many lessons learned. Like most of the other posts have indicated, communication is integral. Early in our marriage we were exposed to personality & love language tests. When the opportunity presents itself, I tell young married folks to attend workshops or read the books “Personality Plus” by Florence Littaur or “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. To “fireproof” our marriage, I have armed myself with knowledge of my husband’s makeup to be able to effectively communicate with him. It has made an amazing difference in understanding him, his thought process, what makes him feel loved & honored, & helps me know what to do or say for him to communicate with me. We have recently been reading “Capture His Heart” & “Capture Her Heart” by Lysa; they are another goldmine of great tips.

    The second thing I do to “fireproof” our marriage is to tastefully edify, edify, edify him. I do it when we are alone, I do it in front of our girls, I do it among our peers. Some gals might call this “inflating his ego”, but I don’t. It usually sounds something like this: “My husband continues to amaze me. Last week he . . .”; “Let me ask my husband. If anyone knows the answer to that questions, he does.”, etc. It’s done tastefully, sincerely, expecting nothing in return. When I tapped into that wonderful skill, it was amazing to see the defenses & walls subtly come down spiritually, emotionally, & communicatively.

    Sorry to get so “wordy”! Thank you for your great work!