Welcome to the online home of Audra Jennings, a book publicist and crafter. Here I share about both. I hope you'll find books you'll want to read and crafts you will want to order. I live a rather boring, single life. At times I would like to think I am humorous. The kids I teach in Bible class tend to think so. I also blog about current seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I don't know why, I just do.
What’s really keeping you from enjoying a better marriage?
Part 2 of an interview with Rhonda
Author of If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy
“If my husband would
change, I’d be happy” and “I’m falling out of love with him” are among several
common myths that lead women to search for marital happiness in all the wrong
In If My Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy (Harvest
House), author Rhonda Stoppe shares, with candor and humor, how to enrich the
relationship between husband and wife (even if he doesn’t change). Along the
way readers will find many helpful stories and real-life examples from other
couples and discover:
deal with unfulfilled longings
to keeping your husband’s attention
to a happy marriage
Q: What is the
biggest problem with believing our partner is responsible for our happiness?
Where should we be looking to find happiness?
We are all created to long to find our happiness and
significance in relationship. Every happily-ever-after princess story affirms
this longing in our hearts. But we were made to find true joy and worth, not in
relationship with another person, but in relationship with our Creator.
In the Garden, sin stole away the intimacy with the Lord we
were created to enjoy. In our sinful state, we look to a person to do for us
what only God can do. When we look to our husbands to make us happy, we are
asking them to be our god. When we surrender our hearts to Christ and spend the
rest of our lives learning to love Him with all our being, we will enjoy true
happiness and will learn to love our husbands — and our children — with His
perfect, selfless love. And we will have no regrets.
Q: How would you
respond to the wife who is beginning to believe she married the wrong person or
would be happier married to someone else?
God created you with a need to be loved and feel
significant. But He never intended you to fulfill those desires through
marriage. Rather He wants to fulfill the longings of your heart with Himself.
The problem is that sin stole mankind’s desire for intimacy with the Creator.
And now, because of your sin — and mine — we focus on self and struggle with
self-worship. In this state of self-love, you are susceptible to think, “I
deserve to be happy. I would be happier with someone else.” In this vulnerable
state, when one relationship fails to make you feel complete, there is a
temptation to replace it with another — and often yet another.
The only way to guard against having a distorted sense of
love and self-worth is to have a healthy personal relationship with Jesus. When
you determine to find your joy in Christ, you will be set free from looking to
others to fill the void only God can satisfy.
Q: What are some of
the other myths about marriage you explore in the book?
I address ten myths wives believe about marriage. A few of
the highlights include:
- I’ll respect him when he earns my respect
- If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy
- Our marriage would be better if bad things would stop happening
- More money equals less stress
- All he wants is sex when you long for romance
Q: A term sure to
ruffle feathers with some women is “unconditional respect” for her husband.
From a Christian perspective, what does this mean within a marriage?
Just as deeply as wives long to be loved without condition,
husbands desire to receive unconditional respect from their wives. And it is
God who made us with these unique longings. Women tend to nurture and mother
the people they care about. But your husband doesn’t need a mom. He wants a
wife who believes in him, relies on him and celebrates his accomplishments.
When a man feels disrespected by his wife he tends to pull
away and not show her the love she craves. And when a wife does not feel loved
by her husband she will respond by being disrespectful to her husband. All it
takes is one person in the marriage to make the first move toward meeting the
other’s God-given need. My husband and I have watched failing marriages be
turned around when a wife determines to obey God’s mandate to show her husband
Q: Does humor play
any kind of role in a healthy marriage? If so, how?
Remember when you were dating? How did you spend your time
together as a couple? I imagine your courtship hours were spent talking,
laughing and playing together as a couple. While the talking and listening you
experienced likely filled your romance tank, laughing and playing together
would likely have ranked number one on your husband’s romance chart.
Why is it when we get married, we take off our playful hats
and put on the “there’s work to do” hat? I know there is a lot of work that
needs to be accomplished — especially after having children — but don’t forget
the importance of a home filled with laughter. When was the last time you laughed
out loud at a joke your husband told, even though you knew what the punch line
would be? Determine to grace your husband with your laughter. In turn you will
raise children who enjoy laughing. Your home will be characterized as a place
of joy to your kids. And they will want to bring their friends home to enjoy
your laughter as well. Laugh out loud. You won’t regret it!
Q: Explain what you
mean when you write, “The key to loving your husband does not lie in how well
he measures up to your expectations but in how well you love God.”
In Mark chapter 12, Jesus said the ultimate priority of life
is to love God with all of your being. When you do so, you will find yourself
enabled to obey the second greatest commandment: “Love your neighbor as
yourself” (Mark 12:31). In this case your neighbor is your husband. I am
confident pursuing intimacy with God was the most important influence in
transforming my marriage, and that can be true for you too. When your love for
God is right, He will help you love your husband for who he is and not who you
wish he would be.
When wives learn that the secret to their happiness is not
found in how their husband measures up to their expectations, they have
discovered the first step toward building a no-regrets marriage.
Q: What are the three
steps to a happy marriage?
that the longing you have to be happy and valued can only be satisfied in a
relationship with your Creator.
godly mentors to help you learn to love your husband the way God intends for
you to love him. Look for women whose marriages have grown more loving throughout
time — marriages you want to emulate — and then make friends with those women.
Spend time with them as a couple. Ask for help.
you make the priority of life to love God with all of your being by knowing Him
through the pages of Scripture, and spend time in prayer, you will have discovered
the secret to loving your husband with God’s perfect love. When you love with
God’s love you will enjoy a marriage that reflects true joy and happiness.
Q: Why is it
important for young married couples to have older couples in their lives as
As a young bride, I knew I was not the wife I had hoped I
would be. I would buy books about being a better wife, but I soon learned the
books did not have the power to change me. My husband and I were in youth
ministry, so I looked to the marriages of the parents of the teens for help.
The Bible calls the older women to teach the younger how to love their husbands
and their children, so I asked women with marriages I wanted to emulate to be
my Titus 2 mentors. What I learned from these women transformed my marriage and
In answer to God’s mandate to be a Titus 2 mentor, I now
write and speak to help women build “no-regrets lives.” Imagine if you had your
own personal marriage mentor. In If My
Husband Would Change, I’d be Happy, I pass on the biblical principles toward
a happy marriage I learned from these Titus 2 women.
Make friends with couples who have their hearts set on
eternity and learn from their example. In one of the chapters, readers will
find a list of eight insights to a happy marriage that I learned from these
Q: Each chapter
contains wonderful love stories. Which one is your favorite?
There are so many wonderful love stories woven through the
pages of If My Husband Would Change, I’d
be Happy: Spurgeon, George Mueller, Priscilla & Aquila. But I think my
favorite (besides mine and Steve’s love story that is all through the book) is
the story of the Apostle Peter and his wife on the last day of their lives
together, as it was observed by the Roman historian Eusebius.
“The blessed Peter, seeing his own wife led away to execution,
was delighted, on account of her calling and return to her country, and that he
cried to her in a consolatory and encouraging voice, addressing her by name:
‘Oh thou, remember the Lord!’ Such was the marriage of these blessed ones.”
Can you imagine the final moment between Peter and his
wife? How their eyes must have
communicated volumes to each other as she was marched toward her execution?
What courage she must have received to hear her sweet husband proclaim,
“Remember the Lord!” as she was escorted along the path to her death. Did
Peter’s words remind her that in a few moments the Lord would be waiting to
receive her into His kingdom?