Nathan & Stephanie Faught Revisit Their Vows

Marriage Vows for Blog (21)

To Have

The trait that Stephanie feels makes Nathan uniquely hers is that he is a “Super Dad.” She explains, “I have never met another man that delights in his children and wife like my man. There is no place he would rather be than with us, and knowing someone desires to be with you that much is one of life’s most incredible feelings.”

To Hold

When Stephanie is in Nathan’s arms, she feels calm, connected and accepted.

For Better or For Worse

The Faughts feel like an area they could do better in their marriage is, “Coming to the Lord TOGETHER more often.” When asked about the worst year of their marriage the Faughts responded, “We don’t feel like there was the worst year, but our hardest years were the years were following the birth of our first and third son. They both were very sick and cried all the time! We were often sleep deprived and running low on energy, so it was hard to give of ourselves to one another fully. Even so, the Lord was always faithful to guard our marriage and keep us close.”

For Richer or For Poorer

Nathan and Stephanie have found their marriage to be rich in laughter, long-suffering, friendship, understanding, faith, intimacy, consistency, and gratitude. When there is poor communication in the Faught household “Lots of inaccurate assumptions are made, and we are often left feeling disconnected.” 

Through Sickness and in Health

The Faughts have fought through great trials with sickness. “Our third son had a digestive disorder that made him very ill and extremely unhappy. He cried MOST of the time and was in constant pain. We desperately asked the Lord to heal him and end our suffering. His healing did not come immediately, but the Lord was WITH US! Each day was a challenge. There were days I was so exhausted, I didn’t know how I would have the energy to care for the baby and our other children. Nate would get home from work and quickly jump into action while I escaped to the shower. That year, Nate saw me at my worst, and yet he loved me the most! Such a trying time could have torn us apart, but instead, the Lord used it to strengthen my level of trust in Nate and to show us how to better care for ourselves and our marriage.” 

The Faughts maintain the health of their marriage by creating a routine and maintaining an early bedtime. “Once our boys are in bed, we guard our time, so we can consistently connect. Don’t underestimate the power of an at-home date!”  

To Love and to Cherish

Stephanie shares how her perception of marriage has changed over the years, “I used to think that marriage was all about usour dreams, our love for one another, our happily ever after. Now, I realize how marriage is all about God’s Kingdom- His purposes, HIs love, His plans, His molding us through the many moments of marriage.”

Nathan cherishes his wife by listening to her. He loves her where she is. He tells her how much he values her. He challenges himself for her benefit. He trusts God, even when it’s hard. He never makes her feel weak, and he expresses his gratitude often.

 

Til Death Do Us Part

When asked to share how death makes her appreciate her husband Stephanie replies, “I can’t imagine doing life without him. He makes me a better woman. I’m extremely passionate, too easily anxious, and a bit of an overachiever. His nature is steady and calm, so he balances me out.”

Marriage Vows for Blog (6)

Something Old Something New

Nathan’s old school advice to husbands is, “Never speak poorly of your wife.” His new school advice is to “Always tell your wife how beautiful, irreplaceable, and valuable she is to you and how you could not do life without her.”

Something Borrowed Something Blue

His borrowed advice is to “Love your wife through all the different seasons of life.” He adds, “Find activities you can do with your wife that you both enjoy.” The question that he would like for his wife to answer is, “What could I do on a daily basis that would encourage you?” Stephanie’s question that she would like her husband to answer is “What is your favorite thing about our marriage?”

         

If the Faughts had the chance to do it all over again, Stephanie says, “I would feel more secure in my husband’s love. I spent the early years of our marriage concerned that if he saw my weaknesses, he could not love me the same. I WAS WRONG! Oh, how he has loved me through my good, and my bad and seeing it has only increased our love!” Nathan says, he would have learned to consider what his wife needed more in the early years of their marriage.

 

For the reader: If you have any questions or encouragement for the Faughts feel free to share in the comment section below.

 

Marriage Quote (6)

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Anniversary Q&A

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1. What is something quirky about me that you love?

Toya- I like that you talk to yourself.

Melvin- I love that you are a black girl who can’t dance.

2. How did you know I was the one?

Toya- I knew you were the one because you loved all the things I didn’t like about myself.

Melvin-I knew you were the one because you weren’t naive and you survived meeting my mom.

3. What song would you say is “our” song?  (Old School & New School)

Toya- Old School, It’s Our Anniversary by Tony, Toni, Tone. New School, What Do You Say by Proverbalist.

Melvin- Don’t You Know by Heavy D. New School, My Whole Life Has Changed by Genuine

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To hear a song my husband wrote for me click photo.

4. What is your favorite book and why?

Toya-The Bible. It’s the perfect blend of drama and hope.

Melvin- The Bible. It’s always applicable.

5. What is one of the first things I did that made an impression on you?

Toya-You heard me.

Melvin-You gave me your number.

6. What is a goal you have for our marriage?

Toya-I’d like for us to leave a legacy of love in the earth. One that impacts our children’s children. I would love for us to write a book on marriage.

Melvin-I would like to experience more firsts together.

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7. What is your absolute favorite memory with me?

Toya- Traveling to Honduras.

Melvin-It’s not a memory, it’s a feeling.

8. What advice would you give to a couple about to get married?

Toya-Pray for, praise, protect and pursue one another.

Melvin-Put your spouse before yourself.

9. Would you rather time travel with me into our past or into our future?

Toya-I would choose to travel to the past, I would like for you to meet my father.

Melvin- I would like to travel to the future to meet our children’s children. To see space travel or find out if we all become zombies.

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10. When was the last time we laughed uncontrollably?

Toya-Yesterday. You did an impersonation of Jeff Bridges in The Giver.

Melvin-In Mississippi when our son asked the preacher why he said “Ha!” between every word.

11. Would you rather have more money to spend on me or more time to spend with me?

Toya-I would rather have more time to spend with you.

Melvin-I want more time to spend with you and more money to spend on you because you were with me when I had no money.

12. What has been our greatest trial?

Toya-Adoption.

Melvin-Raising children.

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13. What has been our greatest triumph?

Toya-Adoption

Melvin- Being “happily” married.

14. Tell me one thing that I do for you that no one else does? (Outside of the obvious.)

Toya-You listen when I’m hurting until pain leaves and love returns.

Melvin- Give me purpose. Make me feel special.

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15. What is the very first thing you thought of me when we first met?

Toya-I thought you were a flirt, I didn’t like your cologne, you were light-skinned…

Melvin-I thought you were a cute girl that I wanted to flirt with.

16. What is my greatest weakness?

Toya- Your rigid paradigms.

Melvin- That you love people so deeply.

17. What is my greatest strength?

Toya- Your ability to compartmentalize.

Melvin- That you love people so deeply.

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If you have any questions you would like to add to our list we welcome you to do so in the comment section. To listen to What Do You Say, written by Melvin Poplar Jr. (vocals by Adam Sullivan) click image under question number three. Thanks for taking the time out to help us celebrate our anniversary! We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our marriage.

Toya & Melvin Poplar

P.S. Don’t be shy, we would love to hear from you. If you are married how many years have you been married, what advice would you offer a couple about to get married?

 

Prison Cells and Potholes

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Friends, we once were, now we are foes.

Fluid with our words, now nothing flows.

You say you care, I cannot see.  

If you truly cared, you would see me.

Invisible I sit, though I am here in plain sight.   

I think you’re wrong, you think you’re right.  

Why cast pearls, to be trampled in the dirt?  

I wish you could feel the depth of my hurt.  

A pain so deep, that words cannot paint.

Daily I pray my heart will not faint.  

I am growing weary, I am not doing well.  

You think I’m free but I’m locked in a cell.  

Bars, they confine me, constraints of time.

I’m serving a sentence and love is the crime.  

Does your marriage feel like a prison cell? Are you serving a life sentence with someone, but feeling like you are in solitary confinement? You used to stay up all night, sharing stories of what life was once like on the outside (when you were single). Now you’ve grown so distant that it’s as if you’ve been thrown into the hole. The wife of your youth has started to feel like the old ball and chain. The husband who once wooed you has taken the role as warden.    

The Bible paints a much brighter portrait of marriage. It is not an image of burden and restraint but a brush stroke of blessing and assistance. God’s word frowns upon the thought of man being alone.“It is not good for the man to be alone, so I will create a companion for him, a perfectly suited partner.” (Genesis 2:18 VOICE) Sadly, many Christian couples spend their days fantasizing about breaking camp rather than enjoying the companionship of their perfectly suited partner.

My husband and I have always been close however, recently we hit a bump in the road that felt like a pothole on a Detroit street.  We’ve officially been together for longer than we had been alive when we initially met. Honestly, we’ve enjoyed our journey—until now.  Marriage has not been a perfectly smooth ride, but it has been pleasant. A year ago, I have felt like our marriage is in need of a tune up.  We are both native Michiganders and we know what happens if someone drives over potholes long enough, either you do major damage to your vehicle or decide to buy a new car.  

The more innovative technology gets, the faster we cycle through vehicles.  When I was little, I remember my Mom talking about repairing the car replacing struts, shocks and  realignment.  It was the same for marriage.  I remember people working hard at fixing their marriages, but our more innovative society wants to simply replace a broken marriage.

It was the same way in the Bible. Jesus said,

 “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But divorce was an innovation, an accommodation to a fallen world. There was no divorce at creation.” (Matthew 19:8 Voice)  

If you are feeling like your marriage is a prison cell, I hope you will find a way to develop both a thicker skin and a softer heart.  I pray that you will see your spouse as a soul mate and not a cell mate.  Fantasizing about your escape only makes things worse…  Even if you did escape and jump in the first fancy car you see, until you deal with your issues, you are bound to hit a pothole. Eventually the new car will break down too. It’s a lot less expensive to repair your current ride than to buy something new that’s going to depreciate the moment you drive off the lot.    

“So wives should submit to their husbands, respectfully, in all things, just as the church yields to the Anointed One.  Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially, so that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for his bride, the church.” (Ephesians 5:24 & 25 Voice)

The night this poem was written, I was in a prison cell of emotion and could not see beyond my paradigm.  Everything inside of me was screaming, “This car is beyond repair, it’s time for some new wheels!” I woke up the next morning and my husband had written me a beautiful poem and posted it on social media. I wish I could say the moment it was read, my heart melted and we lived happily ever after… That was not the case, but it was the first step towards trusting the Master Mechanic (God) to repair our ride.  

Maybe your marriage has hit one too many potholes and you feel like you are in a prison cell. If that’s the case, there is only one thing that can truly set you free and fix what is broken, forgiveness. Forgive your spouse and forgive yourself. When you said “I do,” you had no idea what you were capable of doing or saying to this person you loved so dearly.  Revisit your marriage vows to remind yourself of what you signed up for. The only true way to see your spouse as your soul mate and not your cell mate is to allow the Lover of your Soul to set you free from the prison of your mind, and make you whole.  

Is your marriage in need of a tune up or is it a smooth ride? List some routine maintenance measures you and your spouse have implemented that keep your marriage riding smoothly.