About the Author

Dawn Camp shares God’s gift of essential oils in her newest releases My Essential Oil Companion and It All Began in a Garden. She is a photographer, essential oil slinger, Mom to eight and Mimi to five. Dawn enjoys movie nights with her husband and steaming cups of Earl Grey.

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  1. Dawn,
    How true that “marriage is a team sport”. At our wedding ceremony the pastor challenged us, challenged those attending, “What if everyday we tried to out love our spouse?” That has really stuck with me and like you said if we attempt to live selflessly instead of selfishly our marriages would have a much greater chance at survival. Wise words here, Dawn!
    Blessings,
    Bev
    ps. I loved and got a good chuckle at #3 🙂

    • Thank you, Bev! That’s a great challenge: how often do we compete on who can love someone else better instead of what we do better for ourselves?

  2. Good word. Really like “keep trying to impress”. One exception I take is the ‘never go to bed mad”. I think it’s a good rule but sometimes situations cannot be resolved in a day and staying up all night to “fix” the problem only exacerbates because now you’ve got two sleep deprived, angry people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to bed spitting nails and wake up thinking…”what was I so upset about”. God does still speak to us in our sleep.

    “For God speaks in one way, and in two, though man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, while they slumber on their beds, then he opens the ears of men, and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deed, and cut off pride from man; he keeps back his soul from the Pit, his life from perishing by the sword.” (Job 33:14-18 RSV)

    “I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; my heart also instructs me in the night seasons.” (Psalm 16:7 NKJV)

    “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night” (Psalm 17:3 NKJV)

    Married nearly 36 years.

    Blessings,
    Lisa

    • Lisa, these are great verses and certainly something to think about.

      Some people live by the “we fight so that we can make up” mentality, but that is contrary to my personality. I tend to quietly simmer for a while, and then I clearly state why I’m upset. Of course this happened during the week between writing this post and its publication! My husband is wise enough to apologize and smooth things out before bedtime. We just really hate conflict.

      Many things that loom large at bedtime become smaller and less important by the time we wake up, don’t they?

      • Yes they do. I hate conflict as well. My husband is the one who likes to “just get it over with” but sometimes, I’m just not ready. The verse that really transformed my thinking about our marriage was about 10 years in…Psalm 139:23-24..Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
        I found that by letting God look at my heart instead of just trying to get Him to “fix” my husband, there was almost always something I could do (or could have done) to alleviate the problem. It’s not always about “being right” but “doing right” that matters.

  3. What a great word with perfect timing as I have been praying for God to breathe life into my starved marriage. We have two young children, and they seem to get every bit of who we are… Leaving the left overs for each other. This is such a breathe of fresh air, that we can still aim to impress one another, be challenged to out love the other, and put the happiness of the other first. Great word, thank you Dawn!

    • Kristen, it’s so easy for kids to steal our energy and focus and leave little left for each other. This is especially true when they’re young. Do you have a family member, friend, or neighbor who could watch your kids and allow you a date night? I’m a believer in their power, but I know sometimes they’re hard to juggle when you have littles. Even if this isn’t possible, adopt these simple steps you noted from this post and see if it breathes life into your marriage. Blessings to you!

  4. Dawn, thank you for such wise words (and thank your husband!), and congratulations on all those years of wedded bliss. Michael and I will be married forty years this November, and I always ask him if it’s wedded bliss or remiss. It’s our little joke. I love all that you said, and I would add laughter to the mix. Michael literally makes me laugh every, single day. I can tend towards depression (and sometimes, it’s full-blown). So he really balances and helps me. And funny . . . when you mentioned the “she’s always right part,” I had to smile. Mike always says I’m right, and it makes me so mad when I want to argue. He just lets the air out of my mad balloon, and if I’m right and he admits it, then I have nowhere to go with that! 🙂 This is a wonderful post, and it’s filled with great advice, obvious love and respect, and a willingness to work together. Moreover, you mention God, and He is the center of any relationship worth keeping. Again, all my congratulations.
    Love
    Lynn
    PS I saw some of your books in a bookstore, and turned them face out on the shelf. I love doing that! 🙂

    • Bliss or remiss—I like that! Yes, laughter helps a lot. This is so instinctive to my husband that he forgot to include it. Yours is a great point of view: when you concede that the other person is right, with the goal of harmony, it diffuses anger. You, too, have a wise husband!

      p.s. – You keep turning those books face out! Thank you!

      • I did it again today at a Baptist Bookstore. My pleasure. Yes, I thnk our husbands could write books….so much wisdom to share, Dawn. Love. this. post.

    • It will be 40 yr of marriage this Nov. for me too. But I don’t have that happy marriage. My husband is selfish. I don’t like conflict and right now we are at the point of breakup. Appreciate your prayers.
      Lee

      • Lee, praying through this with you …I, too, have a very selfish husband. I have been doing these things for 25 years and God told me to step back and see if he has any initiative in him for our marriage. Once I did that, it was like pulling the life support. Right now God is saying wait on Him; I am waiting, but it’s not looking good. …prayers <3

        • I will be praying for you too. I is a very hard road but we can get through with God’s grace.
          Thanks for your prayers!
          Lee

          • I hope this lets me reply to both Lee and Kelly. Years ago I talked with my mother, who was very wise, about a member of our family who seemed to have a problem with everything I said. “There’s nothing I can say to make her happy,” I said. “Kill her with kindness” was my mother’s reply, and that’s what I did. It worked like a charm. It’s really difficult to stay at odds with someone who’s nothing but positive to you. Changing from an attitude of frustration to kindness changed the dynamic of our relationship, which I would rely on more in the years ahead after my mother passed away.

            You can’t change someone else, but you can change your own actions and attitude and see what happens. Praying for healing in both marriages.

          • Your words were wonderful, and I approached the article with prayer for an open heart, as when in this state of brokenness, I can have a cynical bend. I have always been told these great truths and they probably work great when both really want the marriage to work. I was also always told that it only takes one to save a marriage …well, save a legal marriage; yes, but have a healthy marriage; no, that takes 2. I have given my husband this fantasy wife for many years (by no means perfectly), but did the whole good Godly wife with God as my strength, and that sustained us, but it wasn’t what God wanted from 2 married Christians. When a Christian man is not living up to His calling, he is not happy, no matter how hard we wives try. And when a man is not happy, he tends not to come home and finds himself in trouble. This is where we are right now. Thanks for your writing, though, and I don’t mean to put a damper on any of it; it’s wonderful! …just in a different place in my marriage

        • Kelly,
          Prayers for you and your husband! May God bring about a heart change in him!!! May your hubby come to see you as he did when you dated. Pray hard sweet sister and let God do a miracle in this marriage.
          Father,
          Please help Kelly’s husband! Change his heart and help him to see his sweet loving wife for who she is. Bless this marriage and shower them with your love, grace and mercy!

          AMEN!! (((((hugs)))))

      • Lee,
        Praying for God to change your husband’s heart! I pray your husband will come to see what he saw in your all those years ago!! Let go and let God do a miracle work in your marriage. Pray hard sweet sister and ask God what He wants for your marriage!! (((((hugs)))))
        Blessings 🙂

  5. “…in marriage, harmony matters more than winning.” I love this statement. Thank you for this post and friendly reminder. Have a blessed day.

  6. <3!!!!! This encourages me to love my husband better, despite outside menial factors. Thank you!

    • Think of how much better our marriages would be if we could focus more on loving our husbands better and less on ourselves. You’re welcome!

  7. Dawn, I love this post. We celebrated nineteen years in March. I like your husband’s list, and I loved #3. A wise mentor challenged me, just before I married my hubby, to always remember why I fell in love with him. What it was about him that made me love him. This has been helpful in those seasons where we’re busy and more likely to step on each others’ toes with our words.

    We’re heading into a very busy season with one boy now in junior high and the other boy becoming more involved in organized sports. We will have to be more intentional about keeping our relationship with each other strong. I’m still figuring out how that will look. But I know when we both seek God first and put our relationship above all other earthly relationships, we’ll figure it out.

    Wise words today!

  8. I have been married over 56 years. The secret to a good marriage is a strong love for the Lord as well as being open and honest and especially communicating. In communicating a person learns to really know their spouse.
    I have never had the openess with my spouse, but ah, the relationship I have with the Lord has kept me always looking upward. Always. I thank the Lord for all his love to me. Without his love I would never have survived the aloneness. God is ever faithful

    • Paula, what a sweet testimony you have of keeping focused on Him! Obviously it’s worked well and blessed your marriage for so many years.

  9. I love how you put it into words, harmony is more important than being right. Very true! I’ve been married to my husband for almost 21 years. I’m thankful to be blessed with such a kind and generous guy. Although, like in all marriages, we’ve had our rough spots, I would say that what you have put into words here have definitely been true for us.

  10. I find number 3 funny. Honestly, it’s my husband who is really right 99.9% of the time. I trust him and take his advice and have been known to say, “My husband’s always right.” The beauty of it is, that on those very rare occasions that he is wrong, he admits it. And that is a rare and beautiful thing that I absolutely adore.

  11. Dawn, when I first read
    through your blog, I quickly saw good things to embrace like, “People are
    instinctively selfish, and there are philosophies in this world that do not
    encourage a selfless, put-others-before-yourself attitude. Christianity doesn’t
    happen to be one of them.” Personal experience and the description of human
    hearts in Scripture makes this very real to me. Yet, there is something I have
    wrestled with over the past day since reading your thoughts (your husband’s
    toast) stating, “Son, odds are she’s right. Even if you’re not wrong, she’s
    still right. Even when you are right…she’s still right. Realize this. Accept
    this. Own this…always, put each other
    first: each other’s needs, wants, and desires. Making your spouse happy will in turn make you happy.” Though I can
    see the point of encouraging a selfless attitude (a very good encouragement),
    what I perceive needs to be remembered here is that loving and submitting to
    God, to Christ, needs to be first to have a truly Christ-exalting marriage. I
    sense a danger that without a clear reminder that speaking truth into our
    spouse is love, we may fall prey to idolizing our spouse. I have been one to do
    this for years in my marriage. Yes, I know how to please my husband, but am I
    truly loving him if his selfish desires are being constantly unchallenged? I’ve
    come to believe that truth given respectfully with a submissive attitude is more
    honoring to God than just trying to make my husband happy. Of course, admitting
    when I’m wrong is an essential way to demonstrate a humbled heart that knows I
    am often wrong in my own thoughts, desires and attitudes. Do you believe there
    is a way to submit to our husbands yet challenge mindsets in them that are not
    godly? I pray as I attempt to communicate my thoughts about this, you will
    understand I write with a desire to express myself with a gentle spirit. I so
    appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable in writing on heart issues which
    can be very challenging. My hope is to be able to look deeper into these ideas
    to see how they line up with all of God’s Word and ways. Blessings to you,
    Dawn!

  12. Dawn,
    Congratulations on 30 blessed years of marriage!!! Such wise words from your husband. My hubby and I got married after ten (10) weeks of dating. I knew he was the one God had sent to me. We didn’t have a big ceremony-partly because I didn’t want to wait & because my landlord allowed me to move out by month’s end. Needless to say we have had 11 good years of marriage. There have been ups and downs as in any marriage, but we work them out. He has always been there for me-especially when my parents got sick. I couldn’t ask for a better husband. I have always tried my best to put my husband’s needs above mine. Marriage is a compromise. I want him happy and content. I also would add that we do a devotion and pray together each night. I believe that prayer is the secret to a good marriage!!! If you would pray for your spouse and his/her happiness then God will bless you and the marriage!
    Blessings 🙂
    P.S. Go see the movie War Room!

  13. You’re welcome, Kelly. I’m so glad it was helpful! Blessings and prayers to you.