What Makes My Marriage Work?

Welcome  We’ve been working through a theme this month, focusing mostly on marriage and family.  It never hurts to make in improvements in these two areas of my life.

Nothing is perfect, but as I have learned in recent years, life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.  The same is true for our marriages.  No marriage is going to be perfect.  No spouse is perfect, husbands or wives.  No home or family is going to be perfect, no matter how many ways we try to appear so across social media or among our peers.  But in my fifteen years of marriage, I have learned that sometimes those imperfections are what make us compliment one another so well.  I’ve learned a few other things, as well.

Food For Thought  I have really enjoyed the marriage Bible study and journaling prompts I’ve worked on over the past month.  It’s given me a lot to think about and I’ve enjoyed sharing some of those insights with you, too, over the past week.  Today, I want to share some of the key components that make my marriage work.  I mean, I’m no expert at all, but sharing thoughts among friends can often make the bumpy road of life a little less difficult to travel.

My husband is different than any guy I had ever dated.  Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be, though?  Shouldn’t the person we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives with be set apart from all the rest?  I think when we find the person that truly loves us unconditionally, we have found the perfect match.  This unconditional love is what sets my man apart from all the rest.  This unconditional love is how I knew that our relationship was meant to last over the long haul.  This is how I knew he would love me for who I truly am, for better or worse, as long as we both shall live.

I can say, too, that I love him unconditionally.  Here is a key piece, though, that cannot be overlooked.  We love each other unconditionally, but we do not always love what the other person is doing.  That is what this unconditional love involves, loving one another even when he’s doing that “thing” that absolutely drives me crazy or I say or do that one thing that he just cannot stand.  But we each come back around and say, “Hey, I’m going to work on that.  I know you don’t like it and I love you, so I’ll try to do better.”  And there’s no grudges or conditions placed on our relationship because of what we do or don’t do.

Basically, what I’m saying is, unconditional love leads to forgiveness, over and over again!  These two components, unconditional love and forgiveness, combined with the third powerful piece that is faith, are the nuts and bolts of our marriage.  Our relationship is held together by these three key components.  If we do not keep these three pieces, our marriage will unravel.  And that, to me, is unthinkable, because I can say, the longer I’m married to my husband, the more I love him and want to be married to him.

Today’s Scripture  This is another verse shared from our 14 Days of Scripture for Your Marriage from the first part of the month.

Today’s Recipe

We haven’t had a Two-For-Tuesday in quite a while, so let’s go with a two-for using our favorite simple dinner hacks, the slow cooker and the skillet meal.

Our first recipe today is for Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken. Two frugal ingredients and the slow cooker…what’s not to love? This pulled chicken can then be transformed to any number of dinners, from pulled chicken sandwiches to chicken burritos to chicken fried rice. The recipe easily morphs into two dinners, but can just as easily stretch into three or four different meals for the week. Prep the chicken over the weekend and you have a stash of meat ready for several weeknight meals. What a time saver!

The second recipe uses a portion of our Pulled Chicken to complete our homemade skillet mac and cheese as a full meal in Skillet Mac & Cheese with Pulled Chicken and Bacon. This has turned into, quite possibly, my family’s favorite meal.

Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken

  • 6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 bottle Italian salad dressing

Spray a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Place all chicken breasts in the pot. Cover with salad dressing. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. When cooked, shred with fork or place chicken breasts on cutting board and chop with large knife.

Reserve the amount needed. Divide remaining portions into containers, cover and refrigerate for up to five days.

Skillet Mac & Cheese with Pulled Chicken and Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 8-oz box elbow macaroni
  • 4 strips center-cut bacon
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cups pulled chicken (from the Simple Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken Recipe)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 cup milk (give or take)
  • 1 8-oz pkg shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh cracked black pepper

Directions

In large pot, cook macaroni according to package directions.

In large skillet, fry bacon until crisp. Place on paper towels to drain; set aside. Add diced onion and fry in bacon drippings until just beginning to brown. Add pulled chicken and toss until heated through. Remove chicken and onion mixture to bowl.


Add butter to same skillet, melting over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to form roux. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly add milk, continuing to whisk, making a light sauce base. Add half the cheese and whisk until melted. Whisk in remaining cheese.

Drain macaroni and add to skillet, stirring until coated with cheese sauce.

Top the mac and cheese with the pulled chicken. Top the chicken with crumbled bacon. Sprinkle entire dish with fresh cracked black pepper.

This dish makes 8-10 servings.