How Slowing Your Heart Transforms Your Marriage And Linkup

My life right now is as fast and busy as ever, being overloaded with a responsibility or two that I probably shouldn’t have taken on! I’m in desperate need of slowing my pace. How about you? 😉

Unfortunately, I’ve always had this tendency. In the South they have a saying about a gal like me . . . She’s wound up tighter than a girdle on a Baptist minister’s wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast! 😉

Slowing to Know God

Even though I have too hectic of a pace, I’ve learned how to consistently slow myself during my day and do what the psalmist urges us all to do, or more accurately, to be daily . . .

“Be still, and know that I am God . . .” Psalm 46:10a

So in this series, Slow, Know and Grow,” I want to talk about the next, very vital step we need to take as believers if we hope to bring peace, perspective, perseverance and purpose to our lives, and in particular to our marriages—slowing ourselves.

First, let’s take a deeper look at the phrase, “be still.” Interestingly, the New American Standard Version says we should “cease striving” instead of the oft-quoted “be still.” I think that really captures the essence of what we should quit if we ever hope to be still.

We need to quit striving or relying on our own strength and efforts to resolve the conflicts and challenges in our lives and marriages.

Aren’t you tired of trying to fix or heal your marriage on your own?

I’m here to say, quit trying to lift and carry what is too heavy for your shoulders, my friend!

Secondly, there’s a flipside to this important phrase. If I’m choosing to quit my self-efforts, then how am I ever going to get anything resolved?

It’s only through God! (As my oldest son says, “Boom!”)

Years ago when I was in the hot messes of the messy marriage years, I learned to pull away and sit in the Lord’s presence. I often did this soon after a conflict, when I really felt the need for His comfort and perspective. But over time, this dedicated time to “be still” before the Lord transformed into so much more than what He could do for me.

[Tweet “It became about being with Him—knowing Him intimately and waiting on Him to speak. #BeStill”]

This one sacred habit has been nothing short of transformational in my life and marriage.

But, fair warning, it didn’t happen overnight. 😉

There are a lot hurting spouses out there who expect the pain and problems to be fixed . . . um . . . yesterday!

[Tweet “They don’t realize the best moments in life are found weeping in the Father’s arms. #KnowGod”]

Slowing our hearts so we can know God more deeply inherently involves the slowness of waiting on God.

Also remember that we can “be still” till the cows come home and only find ourselves frustrated at the end of that effort. (Notice the last word in that sentence?)

Being still doesn’t just involve silence and stillness before God. It comes with a heart that wants to “Know Him more deeply in our pain.

I’m no gardener. But I DO know that whenever you plant a garden or hope to cultivate a lush green lawn, you must break up the hardened soil so that the plant’s roots can go down deep. This also allows for the necessary nutrients to flow through those “broken passageways” to the thirsty roots below.

That’s a perfect picture of what God can do in and through you when you slow and still yourself to know Him. Because it’s in your stillness, brokenness and surrender that His Spirit can penetrate the thirsty roots of your heart to revive your dry and lifeless marriage.

I hope you’ll join me next week as I continue in this series, Slow, Know and Grow“—offering you the steps I’ve taken that have brought healing to my heart and marriage.

[Tweet “Christian bloggers, join us at the “From Messes to Messages” linkup! #MessyMarriage”]


What have you tried to shoulder and carry on your own in your marriage or in life?


What have you come to “know” about the Lord through times of being still at His feet?


Here are some lovely linkups I joinChristian Blogger Community, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Testimony Tuesday, Writer Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Coffee for Your Heart, Sitting Among Friends, Moments of Hope, Literary Musing Mondays, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday

Let’s Get this ‘From Messes to Messages’ Linkup Started!
Add any links that are uplifting, helpful and encouraging to our spiritual lives, marriages and families! Be sure to add a link on your blog back to “From Messes to Messages” or Messy Marriage as well. For linkup guidelines/button, click here.

Messy Marriage


  1. bluecottonmemory says:

    If I can’t be still, I can’t really give it to him. That’s a hard lesson – I understand my need to be still – but I need to be constantly reminded. When I slow down – and find the stillness – then guilt tries to creep in telling me I need to do more. Thank you for the gentle, encouraging reminder to slow down, to be still – and press closer to Him!

  2. Beth, I’m glad you added the NASB translation. Cease striving resonates with me. I see it as “be still, my soul.” That is the restless part that causes me trouble.

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says:

    Beth, I had to laugh at the title, because at the moment my heart is spookily slowing down. The pulse gets slower and slower…and then I can feel it stop for a few seconds. It’s quite uncomfortable before it reluctantly starts again. Barb says it’s tired of beating.

    This is a great post; being still in God’s Grace is very important, as I have learned – well, been forced to learn – recently. There’s so little I can really do these days. In earlier times that would have been a bad thing – speed was life, and kept the demons away – but now I can actually rest, and think about things like predestination and forgiveness with a full heart.

    Hopefully it makes me a better person with whom to spend time, but the effect of the sharp-edged ‘old me’ may be too strongly developed to quickly erase. Pity, that.

  4. I get wound up about events at church when I should just ask for help — and I’m not even a Baptist minister’s wife! 🙂 Still smiling over that image!

  5. Yes, being still in HIS presences. Jesus is enough!! My message also today! <3

  6. This is perfect for me Beth. Being still should instead say cease striving for me. I can sit and be still throughout the day but my mind is still going a mile a minute or instead of focusing on God my whole being is is pulsing with everything else that needs to be done.

    These words say it all —-> Being still doesn’t just involve silence and stillness before God. It comes with a heart that wants to “Know Him” more deeply in our pain. Thank you for speaking what I need to hear and for always making it applicable to me.

  7. Cheryl Gerou says:

    Hi from your neighbor at Coffee for your Heart. Thank you for this great post. So helpful and encouraging! I love the truth that it is “in brokenness and surrender that His Spirit can penetrate the thirsty roots of [my] heart.” I know that is truly what my heart needs for this life. May your soul be refreshed as the Spirit waters your heart and soul. Sweet Blessings to you!

  8. Oh, I like the “cease striving” as a translation of “being still”! That hit home for me.

  9. Beth,
    Thanks for the reminder to cease striving; I appreciate your wise advice 🙂

  10. Jennifer Carner Gregg says:

    Thank you so very much for this post; your words ring true, and you used my favorite verse, Psalm 6:10, Be still … every time I hear/read those words from our Lord everything inside me stops . which I so desperately needed today.
    God bless you, your family and all you do for Him

  11. As always, your topics and writing speak to my heart. Can’t wait to read the next post in the series!
    Hope you get some rest this weekend, friend 🙂

  12. I love how you brought out how the “broken passageways” enable the nutrients to flow to the roots. So good.

  13. Karen Del Tatto says:

    I have this verse on the wall over my desk. After reading your post, I have a whole new perspective of that very familiar verse.

    Thanks so much for sharing this very edifying post!

  14. pioneerpat1 says:

    Something very worth thinking about. Thanks for sharing this.

  15. That being still is like David in the 1 & 2 Samuel readings – when he seems humble or passive or soft but is in harmony with the groove of God. But not easy to do, and striving doesn’t help. I wonder if David found it easy.

  16. Well I’m no gardener either lady, in fact I am known in the plant world as the “black thumb of death.” 🙂 But I do know a thing or two about weeds. And let me tell you I loved your analogy about breaking up the hard soil (sin) and letting God’s Word get deep down. Good stuff!

  17. Mary Flaherty says:

    I have a hard time with that word, “still.” I’m not wound tightly, not stressed out, not overly committed. I just can’t do nothing. My husband says I don’t know how to relax. He’s right. I think I still battle the perfectionism monster by forcing myself to always be “doing” something. I feel guilty when I give myself permission not to task. But I’m aware of it, and that’s the first step, right?

  18. Oh Beth, how hard it is for us most times to “cease from striving” when we want to “fix” everything… But slowing down and being still before God is the only true remedy and fix we all need in our marriages.
    I tried so hard to “fix” my husband when in truth, I was the one who needed fixing… It also turned out those areas of concern, God some how smoothed them out and my husband on his own, or rather, by The Holy Spirit saw the need to make some changes.
    Looking forward to the following this series.
    Have a super blessed day!

  19. Brandi Raae says:

    I have one of those brains that seems to NEVER stop thinking. Ugh. Probably why I’ve struggled with insomnia forever. Anyway, I love sitting outside for a bit to “be still” and clear my mind of clutter. Listening to God’s creation and talking to Him is an instant chill pill for me! Thanks for linking up at Literacy Musing Mondays!

  20. Sherry Thecharmofhome says:

    That was excellent! I love that you found the word striving! I think you hit the nail on the head. (I am another southern girl!) Really knowing him is like the living word of God. The more you slow and grow the more you spend time with Him, the more he will reveal! Beautiful post! Thanks for sharing!

  21. “Cease striving” for “being still”! I hadn’t noticed that difference in translation before, but love it! And a word I need for sure. Striving is something I’ve done for a long time. I’ve made some huge improvements, but honestly where I get hung up now is in fully embracing the “still”. I wrestle with guilt and a wandering mind because of the long to-do list. Your post is an encouragement to keep on keeping on! As always, you are a blessing, Beth!

  22. I love that, “She’s wound up tighter than a girdle on a Baptist minister’s wife at an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast!” It’s easy to see that in our own lives when we take on too much and then get our eyes off of Him, isn’t it! Thanks for hosting again this week.


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