4 Important Ways To Make Your Marriage Last

Marriage requires work.  You’ve heard that before, right?  Well, on this day exactly 26 years ago my wife and I both vowed a lifetime of love and commitment to each other.  After 26 years I can tell you that it takes a lot more than work to keep a marriage alive.

It requires L.O.V.E.

Yeah, that might sound a bit cliche’ but hear me out.  The way I see it, both husband & wife must practice giving L.O.V.E. to one another in four unique ways. See if you agree.anniversary couple

LOYAL – As defined by Webster’s Dictionary:  faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations. Simply put, we enter into marriage sharing a mutual commitment that this thing is forever.  We’re not keeping separate bank accounts or signing prenups as a back-up plan.  Allowing the thought, “In case it doesn’t work out” to resonate in our heads is like keeping a divorce attorney on the back burner. When my wife and I got married, we privately vowed that no matter how rough life might get we would never verbally or mentally consider the word ‘divorce.’  If we are not saying “I do” to forever, then why would we consider saying “I do” to today?

OPEN-HANDED – When our hands are kept open, things are able to enter and leave freely.  Keeping an open-handed approach in marriage helps to prevent non-essentials (relationships, possessions, hobbies, etc.) from shoving our spouse out of the way.  My wife and I are both 1st borns and Type-A personalities.  You know what that means?  Yup, we both love getting our own way.  So we really work at this one!

VERBAL – Here we go.  ‘Communication.’  Probably the most commonly referenced word in premarital counseling.  If you ask me, couples don’t divorce because of financial hardship, disagreements, falling out of love, or even affairs.  Those are all byproducts of poor communication.  Work hard to talk regularly about your worries, blessings, plans, needs, and even insecurities with your spouse.  Vulnerability and openness builds an unshakable foundation for your marriage.

ENTERTAINING – I don’t care if you’re introverted or extroverted.  Have fun together!  Try new things until you discover what you both enjoy.  And be flexible.  Give a little….for the sake of connectedness.  Recently, our dryer went out.  So, my wife and I have been grabbing coffee on the way to the laundromat and calling it a ‘date.’  That’s not for everyone, but it works for us.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

What would YOU add to this list for keeping marriage healthy and vibrant?


Comments, prayer requests, and questions are welcome below.

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How To Date Your Spouse On A Budget

We’re so excited…Episode #1 of the new Hot & Cold vlog is in the books!

If you enjoy this post, please consider leaving a comment below and even sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.  We’re also taking suggestions for future topics.

Lastly, congrats to the winner of the marriage book giveaway!  We announce the winner in this episode AND have a fun, new contest for you.

The new CONTEST runs through Saturday, May 20th.  Details in this video.

Resource:  HomeWord, with Jim Burns & Doug Fields, is an incredible resource to marriages and families.  We cannot say enough good about the amount of helpful information you can find throughout this website.  Check it out!

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New Marriage Vlog Promo


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7 Most Common Excuses Men Use For Not Leading Their Families

(Disclaimer) I have personally failed at this one more than I have done well.

The list below came from meeting with families in the church for over 20 years.  And if I’m honest, many of these have been my own excuses as well.  Do some self-evaluation with these.  Can you relate to any of them?

  1.  I do!  I lead my family by working hard and providing for them financially.
  2.  That’s my wife’s job.  She’s home with the kids more than I am anyway.
  3.  What if I fail?  Things are OK now…why risk messing it up?
  4.  I’m afraid that if I begin praying with my family and leading spiritual discussions it will be viewed as insincere.
  5.  I wouldn’t even know where to start.
  6.  I’m not spiritually mature enough to lead them.
  7.  It was not modeled for me as a child.  My father didn’t lead us spiritually, so I don’t even know what this looks like.


Now, experience tells me that if you are a husband or father reading this at least one of the above excuses describes where you’re at on the topic of leading your family spiritually.  Am I right?  Numbers 4 through 7 were mine for many years, and I still wrestle with them now and then.

The good news!!!  

You can begin leading your family today as their spiritual guide…and you don’t have to get it perfect right from the start.  Ha…those perfect moments are far and few between.  But I’ll tell you this, its more about effort, heart, and obedience to our calling than perfection.  If you can be OK with that mindset you can do this.  Trust me!

Note: If you are interested in receiving personal coaching on this topic, feel free to contact me at BrentDumler@icloud.com.  I’ll custom taylor something to fit you and your family.


9 Insights To A Lasting Marriage

Leadership requires selflessness, mentoring, learning from others, patience, persistence, and the willingness to grow through your mistakes.  These also apply to making a marriage work.  And not to simply ‘work,’ but to THRIVE.

Today (August 31) marks 24 years with one AMAZING woman of God!  Both of us have had to lead ourselves and each other through some pretty challenging seasons.  But we have both learned that marriage is much more than a ‘relationship status’ on Facebook.  It’s a life-long investment in a journey together.

Here are 9 lessons on marriage I’ve come to realize over the years.

Honeymoon | 1991 | Leavenworth, WA (Bavarian Village)

Marriage Insight #1 | Celebrate well, and remember often.

Turner Field | Our first MLB game
Turner Field | Our first MLB game

Marriage Insight #2 | Experience new things together.

Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR
Annual Family Vacation | Lincoln City, OR

Marriage Insight #3 | Cherish your family traditions while you have them.

Gloria Jean's Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years
Gloria Jean’s Coffee | A Favorite From Our Dating Years

Marriage Insight #4 | Don’t forget to travel down memory lane now and then.

Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN
Every Time We Visit Nashville, TN

Marriage Insight #5 | Travel and explore together often.

The 'Chick-fil-a' of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA
The ‘Chick-fil-a’ of Hamburgers | Lake Forest, CA

Marriage Insight #6 | Experience good food together.

Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR
Multnomah Falls | Columbia River Gorge, OR

Marriage Insight #7 | Family memories are priceless.  Protect them.

Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA
Marriage Retreat | WinShape in Rome, GA

Marriage Insight #8 | Invest in your relationship.  Otherwise it will run dry.

Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach, SC

Marriage Insight #9 | Don’t be afraid of displaying your love for each other publicly.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  1 Cor. 13:7

To Cailey, the most incredible and beautiful woman I have ever known….Thank You!  Thank you for loving me, especially at times when I’ve been unlovable.  Thank you for patiently waiting for me to learn what it looks like to be the Spiritual leader of our home.  I still have much to learn here.  Thank you for being a loving, guiding, teaching, and nurturing mother to our children.  And lastly, thank you for constantly challenging me to become a better husband, father, and church leader.

Happy Anniversary…I Love You!

6 ‘Easy’ Ways To Begin Leading Your Home Spiritually

If you’re like me, this DOES NOT come easy.  In fact, this topic is overly common among men.  It is also increasingly difficult for single mothers, because in the absence of a father this responsibility (privilege) defaults to them.   All children need (deserve) spiritual leadership and guidance.


Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4)

For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Eph. 5:23-24)

Now men, this scripture is NOT something we’re entitled to.  It is something to be EARNED!  It is also not something meant for us to LORD OVER our family.  The intent here is simply to give us the platform to lead our wives and kids into Biblical and authentic living.  We are to do this through love and the help of the Holy Spirit.

Let’s look at a few ways you can begin leading in your home:

1. Pray with your spouse | For many men this can feel quite awkward.  But I can tell you from experience that it’s easier than you think.  Before you part ways each morning, try just giving her a hug and whispering, “Lord, bless my wife today and keep her safe.”  Simple, but powerful…and very meaningful to her.

2. Look for teachable moments | Not every Spiritual moment needs to be a Bible study.  There are TONS of ‘life lesson’ out there.  We just need to find them.  Hear your teen comment on a  questionable post online?  Maybe your 7 year-old walks into the living room and asks why bad things are on the news channel?  These are those moments.  Run with them.

3. Be authentic | You’re not perfect!  Neither am I.  And it’s ok (even healthy) to admit it often.  When you snap at your wife because you had a bad day.  When your kids notice you falling short of the Sunday morning message.  Simply acknowledge it…ask them to forgive you, and move on.

4. Lead yourself well (in the open) | I don’t mean to be ‘showy’ here.  Simply be visible when you exercising, reading your Bible, or praying.  This is a powerful way to model right living indirectly to your family.  Let them actually SEE how you are leading yourself.

5. Engage online | Let’s face it.  Social media is here to stay.  So when you come across a meaningful Bible verse on Instagram or a great quote on Twitter…share it with your wife and kids.  Doing this communicates to them what you find to have value.

6. Model Jesus | Ok, so this one isn’t exactly EASY.  But I couldn’t exclude it.  Your wife and kids will learn more about the character of Jesus by observing you than they will by you teaching them a Bible lesson.  Jesus taught much more by example than he did by preaching.

Don’t tackle all of these at once.  Start with one or two and work from there.  It really does get easier and more natural with time.


What would you add to this list?  Leave a comment below.  I’d love to hear from you.

3 Things Every Church Leader Should Produce

Is there anything ‘good’ in what you and I produce as church leaders that God would consider honorable?  This passage struck me this morning.  Check it out.

Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.  Proverbs 3:9 (NLT)

Photo credit: christianityworks.com
Photo credit: christianityworks.com

Granted, this is mainly addressing our income…what we earn for our work.  But the Lord also challenged me in the second half of this verse.  What am I responsible for producing?

Here are what I would consider to be 3 main things every church leader should be producing.

1.  Disciples | This includes everyone in our churches, as well as our own kids and spouse.  I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when I have put more effort into discipling church folks more than my own family.  Ouch!  That’s not easy to put out there, but recognizing it helps to bring forth change.

2.  A strong marriage | For those of us who are married, we owe it to Jesus, ourselves, our kids, and everyone we influence to authentically model a healthy marriage relationship. Not perfect…..just healthy.  If our spouse can’t respect us in our home, how can we expect anyone else to respect us in the church or in our community?

3.  Personal integrity | As ministers and church leaders, are we being intensional about staying connected to Christ in His Word and through prayer?  Are we taking the initiative to build accountability into our lives.  Is the person others witness at church on the weekend the same person our family lives with during the rest of the week?  Difficult questions, but left unasked we will most likely not notice.

Is there anything you would add to this list?

The bigger question I am wrestling with is, “Am I truly honoring God in what I’m producing in these areas?”

Please join the discussion and leave a comment below.