About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Robin,
    Absolutely beautiful! Your father-in-love sounds like a very loving and wise man!! You’re right, sometimes we look for complex answers, when the real answer is rather straight forward…Seek first the kingdom of God…I love the triangle image – had not heart that before – but how true it is that if we put God highest and first in our marriage, we will, as a result, grow closer to each other as we grow closer to Him. I am tucking all these words away in my heart! Thank you…thank you…
    Bev xx
    Bev xx

    • Bev, Tommy is one of the precious ones (as is his wife 🙂 ). Ha! Sometimes I find myself longing for complicated answers that are a little easier…but life never quite works that way. That triangle image has always made so much sense to me…but I don’t always practice it. Blessings to you, too!

    • Ahhh, thank you (The Essence of Love is what he suggested i change my post title to, the one I referenced above.). I’ll let him know your encouragement :).

  2. My marriage is at the cross roads and has been for some time. My husband is not a believer so it is difficult to work towards the top of the pyramid together. My heart bleeds to have us united and strong g and journeying life together as opposed to just running parallel lives. I have to trust God knows what He is doing because I don’t and I blame myself, my depression, my abuse history and my lack of zest for life for where we are. However, I stay and fight out of honour for the vows I made and the God I serve who created the sanctityo f marriage and the children that make up my family and wanting to protect them.

  3. Robin,

    The first two words that came to mind were the same as Bev’s, absolutely beautiful.

    Thank-you so much for sharing your thoughts that put this meaningful post together for us and this very special poem. What a kind hearted man. I know I couldn’t of made it to where or who I am today without Him.
    So grateful.

    Penny

    • Oh, goodness…it’s downright scary to think of my life apart from God’s graciousness to me! To Him be the glory alone for his kindness and love and concern for His children.

  4. Hi Robin,

    I took the time to read all of your links in this lovely blog. It all is so true. My parent’s marriage was not good. It made me think at various times growing up I wouldn’t want to get married. My mom through the hard places became a quiet believer. The last two years of my parent’s marriage before my dad passed away, we saw huge changes. While my Dad wouldn’t talk of his relationship with Christ, I firmly believe he received Jesus because of the drastic changes. He made amends with my mom, his wife, his children, and told me he was proud of me. Such a change coming from a who was so broken and living with his own hurts that he hurt other people who he really loved, just didn’t know how. I believe all of this change is because he put Jesus first.

    Our marriage has struggled at various times, and at one point, I didn’t care if we stayed together or not, I was numb with all that had happened. But, as we’ve been broken and sought Christ, He has spoken, words of healing ,comfort and we’ve been able, chosen to stick it out. We don’t always need someone who has all the answers, someone who by example is living what is needed for us to see. We’ve needed people who seek Christ and has weathered the tough things in life, prodigal child, babies outside of marriage, grand babies in foster care, incarceration of a family member, daughter being in a women’s shelter from domestic abuse, health issues, adopting and loving the broken children, etc. Sometimes we’ve been the one who’ve been brought to those who have experienced and lived our story, and sometimes they have been brought to us in their need to pray for, encourage, direct back to the One Who will heal them. Comes back to seek first Christ.

    Beautiful, beautiful post. God breathed. Encouraging post. Just thank you……

    Blessings,

    Joanne

    • Joanne,

      Yes…yes…to all you’ve said here. There is GREAT redemption in the hard things we endure, get through. You touched on something so key in our culture today–the choice to remain married. I wonder the percentage of marriages where people call it quits at those crossroads, that place I have encouraged friends and family to just hold on! Apathy and numbness are dangerous partners, and I’ve observed in that place regrettable decisions can occur. SO, that you and your husband have persevered is a precious thing, not to be taken lightly. You have learned such great truth in the living out of your faith, and I know that blesses the very heart of God. He wants you to know him, to love him, and to reflect his goodness and glory through your life–and you are! What a sweet stewardship of all that has come along your path, steps toward maturity and a faith of increase. xo

      • Robin,

        Truly though, it really was people who lived it out for us, and loved on us when we were desperate, and showed us what it looked like to seek first Christ, mentored and discipled us. Being Jesus with skin on. During my lowest point, my apathy point, I had a dear friend who mentored me even though she didn’t know she mentored me. She let me comes over and be broken. They had gone through so much of the same as we had. Many of the things they had not, but the largest part was showing me/us by example and being in the Word and in prayer, and listening, really listening how to live in Christ. She told me she was staked to me like a tomato plant, and she was. Loved me for exactly where I was, all the ugliness, and the pain. She gave me such a gift. She was experiencing such pain herself with her MS progressing. So, I do have to say, I was taught well by someone who had lived through the hard times and loved well. Much like your in-loves.

        Blessings,

        Joanne

  5. I’m with you… give me flames! I love this… and what a tribute (and what a poem!) xoxo

  6. Robin- So beautiful and True! I just loved this. Matthew 6:33 really does sum it for us doesn’t it? Wow, what a beautiful way to respond in our marriages. Thank you for this, I will keep this with me.

  7. Dear Mrs. Dance,
    This was a great gift to me this morning as I wondered yet again how I would ‘make it’ in this twisted version of a marriage.
    Remembering that God, Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are my best best friends and will take care of me if I seek Them first. I cannot fix my spouse. I can only turn to Lord Jesus and He will help me find joy and peace and move forward in a loving manner no matter what is happening here.
    Thank you and your father-in-love for sharing this important message and reminder. It is beautiful <3

    Love in Him,
    Jackie

    • Jackie,

      I do not take lightly you or so many others in their own “twisted versions” of marriage :(. I don’t know why something so good and beautiful can become such a source of our pain…other than the glee of the evil one :(.

      What you’re called to do is HARD WORK. I’m so proud of your willing spirit to honor God in your marriage when the circumstances are fighting against you. I’m praying over you as I write these words, hoping for healing and God’s peace and wisdom to surround you.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to a long-lasting marriage that has put Christ first in their lives. The example of two people who are still in love after 54 years has got to have more than the giddy love of the honeymoon. A steadfast and sacrificial love can only sustain such a relationship for over fifty years!

    • Kathy,

      In large part, this IS a tribute…there is so much to learn from their example! I realize all too well how fragile marriage is…for many, the line between love and hate is whisper thin.

  9. Oh, Robin – thank you for sharing, your words, your Father-in-love’s poem….they’ve blessed me today. My husband and I are reconciling after a four-month separation. Seek. First. I’ll remember that, and I’m sharing the poem with my husband, Greg.

    • ((hugs)) Nancy. Reconciliation is such a lovely word–and I’m praying full restoration into your relationship. Intellectually, so often we know “what” to do; but it’s the doing that gets us all tangled up!

  10. After infidelity, this is very hard to do. I’ve been slogging through this for six years now, doing what I believe God wants me to do. It is hard to imagine that God wanted this much pain for my life. Yet, I press on.

    • {{{Penny}}}

      S i g h…

      I’m sorry. I’m sorry for your pain and for this story of yours to be such a hard one, truly. It’s not supposed to be that way. Oh, how I’m begging God for healing in your heart and marriage this morning; for you and your husband to abound in the knowledge of Christ, for you both to learn to love Him best…and wander toward one another. I’m proud of you.

  11. Robin,
    Your-father-in-love is wise and true! A marriage based on Christ first will last years. It is only through Christ that we can get through the tough times and hang in there till the end! To often young people want to quit at the least little problem or just divorce and start over again with someone new. Not so with the older generation. I have living proof of that. My parents had their issues over the years, but when my mom got severe dementia and sundowners at 82 yr. old-my dad took care of her 24/7/365. He would get up in middle of night to wipe her, clean her, etc. He truly sacrificed for her.
    Blessings to all 🙂

  12. LOVE the triangle imagery. I have never heard that before. Great thoughts here Robin. 🙂 and the fact that the poem almost forms a heart at the bottom… <3

    • SHARON!!! HOW much do I LOVE that you pointed out the shape of the poem! I had totally missed it and had to scroll up to see what you meant! I don’t think Tommy’s original poem had the lines broken in the same places as I recorded here, but he will LOVE seeing that now! Thank you!!

      Also, for anyone who’s heard this triangle analogy for the first time, I’m GLAD to have shared it now! It’s such a great visual for understanding relationship, with God and a spouse… It makes me happy if it’s helpful for you.

      Thank you for your always-encouragement, friend. You make a difference when you have no idea you do… 😉 🙂 xo.

  13. Robin… How can I read this and not reply… And not beg for prayers for my marriage and my family… My heart is broken. This is so beautifully written.