We know we’re called to love the Lord with all our heart. What does it mean to take the same approach within the covenant of marriage? Susie’s good friend, Focus on the Family’s Erin Smalley is back to talk about choosing to use your influence and love within your marriage.

Erin calls these basic truths and themes that are grounded in Scripture and can apply to men and women. Specifically in this conversation, she and Susie speak to wives.

• Forgiveness – Erin compares this process to releasing the knots in a long rope. “We are the ones who suffer when we hold unforgiveness. There are deeper levels of forgiveness that we might not be aware of.” Erin points out that every spouse can choose forgiveness and lower the walls that unforgiveness maintains.

• Reminiscing – Taking steps to remember past goodness and faithfulness can be a powerful tool to join a broken marriage

• Focusing on your own walk with God – Seek first God, His kingdom and His righteousness, and let your own transformation happen first

• Comunication

• Evaluate your communication expectations. Your husband won’t engage with you in the same way a close girlfriend does.

• Learn his communication patterns and engage with him when he is mentally and emotionally ready.

• Don’t multitask while your husband is trying to connect with you. Erin explains why she chooses this approach with Greg. “I want him to know that he’s valuable to me, and I’m willing to set things aside to connect with him.”

• Give your husband a “diet story.” Give him the overall story rather than the minute details of each experience to keep him from feeling overwhelmed by what you’re sharing.

• Soften your approach. If you start a conversation with any sense of criticism, your spouse won’t feel emotionally safe.

Erin’s book is .

Key Scriptures: Ephesians 4:32; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Featured Songs: Heaven Everywhere by Francesca Battistelli; Baby Boy by For King & Country; Come for Us by Meredith Andrews

Highlight : Learning to focus on the good

The call to wholehearted love