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  • Writer's pictureJen Henry

I Do

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Hello there, I hope you have been well and enjoying every day as I believe each day is a true gift from God. There is always something new to experience or learn on a daily basis even though some days can be much easier than others. I apologize in advance, as this post might be a little long due to the several pictures I am adding and the passion I feel toward this post. I also ask for grace as it took me a bit longer to get this post out as we have had a lot on our plate and we were also preoccupied with attending the most fabulous and magical wedding this past weekend, I think I have ever had the pleasure of attending. My youngest son Chase got the opportunity to marry the love of his life, my oldest son officiated the wedding, and his two year old son was the cutes ringbearer ever ;-) What a weekend it was! Using the word fabulous is most definitely not based solely on the fact it was held at a stunning ranch in the hills of Malibu California just north of the coast surrounded by oak trees, flowers, running water, lush grass, greenery, white lights, and loved ones who hadn't seen one another for quite some time. It was truly magical (even though I don't always like to use that word as a description) but on the lighter side, I think you know exactly what I mean. It was truly dazzling which is the word my son uses to describe his wife's wedding ring!

I don't know how to explain it perfectly because even if I tried, you would have a difficult time grasping the 30 + years of relationships with people coming together under the same roof, in celebration of this wonderful couple. It was folks reuniting and enjoying friends of old and of new who were there to support Chase and Ann. There was a depth even I couldn't fully grasp because many of the attendees I met that evening, were friends of theirs who are also in the medical field as the newlyweds are. They either shared blood, sweat, and tears through nursing school or work with one another caring for others and saving lives. These are people with some big hearts.


"The I Do!"




I am not going to try and take on the word love and what it means because it is so multifaceted and also because this post would probably never come to an end. I don't think there is a bottle big enough in this world, to contain the love that was felt there at their wedding. The love between Chase, Ann, their friends, and family is about the closest I have ever felt to pure love on this earth in a long time. Only God's love for us could beat it or maybe the love I see on my oldest son's face, when he looks in admiration at his two year old son as the ringbearer, could come close.


(A perfect delivery)




(Like Father, like Son, like Uncle)





(Me and the Lil Champion)









I know I might be sounding a bit extreme, but I am so in awe at the way Ann and Chase even look at one another. It almost makes you cry when you see it. I am in such awe at the way they love their friends and family and how their friends and family love them right back. It is almost indescribable on paper. Maybe Shakespeare could take it on, but since I can't get ahold of him at this time, I will use a perfect statement expressed by one of Chase's best childhood friends at the reception. He said, "I have not felt this at home, in the last 20 years!" Doesn't that just say it all?! I told everyone at the reception when I spoke, that I have been praying for Ann ever since Chase was a young boy, before Ann was even born. Be assured, God hears our prayers, so if you are still waiting in hopes for that special someone, keep praying, believing, and enjoy life right where you are.


(Moments of Pure Connection, Support, and Celebration )










(One of many highlight to the celebration. The father/daughter / son and mother dance)









I can't write about the subject of love and not include what the bible says about this it in

1 Corinthians 13.

...Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails...


If we want to see if we are on track with how we love others, this is the perfect resource to read over frequently if we are open to what it says and means. We might think we have a clue of what perfect love is, until we read this chapter. How can we fully grasp love if we are not God, because God is love. The closer we become to the Almighty God, Abba Father, the closer we will become to knowing what true love is.


Chase and Ann asked me and a few others to write down some marriage advice, so I thought I would include what I came up with in this weeks post and pass these thoughts on to you. I am so impressed that they would even ask. It shows me they are teachable and that is huge for their future. I also can't tell you how much we have all gleaned from their relationship and how they treat one another. The bullet points I came up with were completely from my heart and and I researched scriptures to go along with them. I am sure there are many enlightenments you would add to this list and I would love to know what they are. This is what I came up with off the top of my head, even though this post took longer than most to put together, unlike my oldest son Jordan who constructed a poem at the reception for Chase and Ann, a half hour before he stood up and read it in front of everyone. I was in shock as I watched him creating it on his phone right next to me. So impressive!


I reiterated to the happy couple, I would most definitely not consider myself an expert on marriage, but I sure have learned some valuable lessons along the way. Some of these lessons I have learned have been extremely hard, and I would only hope that any bit of advice coming from me, would help keep anyone reading this, from experiencing some of the heartache I have felt in my lifetime. On the other hand I have also experiences many beautiful moments having to do with love and pure joy. I hope you will be able to take some of my enlightenments and refer back to them periodically, as a preventative and a loving guide to help you along in your love life. I would love to learn some from you as well. I don't think Chase and Ann realize how much me and many others have learned just by watching them interact with one another. These two truly have one another's back and have great respect for one another. They stive for peace and harmony in their relationship and it shows. They are not in competition and they are each other's number one fan. Those few things alone are huge. If you are interested in commenting on these bullet points or you have some relationship advice of your own to share, please include them in the comments section at the end my post. I so value you and your brilliant thoughts.


Here goes:


· Keep God #1 and in the center of your lives

gods can come in many different forms in our lives. Keep Father God front and center.

Exodus 20:2-3

“You shall have no other gods before me.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a three strand cord is not quickly broken.


· Be quick to forgive and compromise to bring about harmony

Colossians 3:12-17

Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. ...


· Be each other’s best cheerleader and don’t hold back a compliment.

Be quick to notice and uplift, if you don’t, someone else will.

Most people would rather get a compliment from their significant other or friend versus a stranger or an acquaintance. Noticing and verbalizing the good you observe can make your loved one’s day.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.


· Try to make what is important to your spouse, high on your priority list

Take your eyes off yourself and what you are not getting. Take your concerns to The Lord and Pray, Pray, Pray. Cast your cares on God.

Ecclesiastes 3:4

There is a time to cry and a time to laugh. There is a time to be sad and a time to dance.


· Look to see the bigger picture and don’t die on every hill

Examine your heart first and be willing to work on yourself and your downfalls. Don’t make winning your main goal in discussions.


Matthew 7:3

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

Sometimes you win the battle but lose the war- Pyhrrus of Epirus


· Communicate - Don’t assume your significant other reads minds

Although it can take much effort, communication will bring clarity and closeness. Don’t allow resentment to take root. Be teachable.

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.


· Try and see one another as God sees them. Look beyond the outward appearance

Always remember what you first loved about one another and continue to look for one another’s admirable character qualities and how God see’s them. Don’t believe the lies and deception of the devil.

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him (Eliab). For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”


. Be on the same page with finances - I can't believe I forgot to add this one when I first made this list!

This is essential to get ahead and will cause a wedge between you and your spouse if you don't have a healthy financial strategy and outlook together and individually. Work together as a team in all areas including finances, and keep debt down to a minimum (I am all for "healthy debt" to buy a home or for a good business strategy) Unhealthy debt is a stronghold, save for a rainy day- those days will inevitably show up, but if you are prepared for them you will weather the storm and be ok. If you manage your money well and be on the same team you will thrive and not just survive. Live within your means and invest well. Ask The Lord for guidance and direction with your financial decisions- He will show you the way! How awesome would it be to be able to retire at a reasonable age :) Don't choose bad credit card debt (you will live in bondage and not feel freedom in your life, make it a priority to pay your debt and your credit cards off entirely each month. Added interest will eat you up, if you only pay the minimum due each month. Pay your bills on time. Live within your means. Here is the definition: Living within your means is a basic financial principle that involves creating a balance between your income and expenses so that you meet your financial responsibilities without resorting to taking on debt. I am sorry, but I am so passionate about this little piece of advice. My parents instilled this in our lives at a very young age and I see it is a good thing. And lastly, tithing 10 % of your first fruits (not what's left over) back to God, it works! Think about it, Almighty God is the one who is blessing you with your job and in your life in the first place. It is the only thing in The Bible we are given the permission to test God on (I realize this can be a tough one, just pray and ask God for guidance and an understanding in this department, and have an open heart. This financial principal can be a hard pill to swallow and a challenge for many of us to wrap our arms around at first until you test it) Sorry folks, but I am ultra passionate about living in financial healthiness together. Financial freedom puts us in a better position to bless others!

Malachi 3:10

Bring the whole tithe (10%) into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

(The storehouse is where you get fed spiritually)

Here is an article written with many scriptures to bac this point up - I didn't make this stuff up, I promise!


· Introduce your children from day one to: The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and help them to cultivate a relationship with all three.

Actions many times, speak louder than words.

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.


· Pray for one another daily

God can and will do miracles if you seek Him and pray.

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.



(Prayer is the main reason our family members had the strength to attend this wedding. Here are several pictures of some of the Superhero's of the bunch)





(Ann's Grandparents in their mid 90's and family members who flew in from Taiwan to support them, so impressive!)





(Proud Mom and Dad of the Bride and their family members)





(Valued friends who love and support Chase and Ann)






As I bring this in for a landing, which is a line I hear my husband say frequently, I hope this weeks post is a reminder to all of us to reach back into your memory bank of what you once felt in your marriage and why you married your spouse in the first place. Whether you are married, dating, single, or are not remotely interested in entertaining a relationship at this time, be reminded that although it might sound a bit peculiar, God has called all of us who trust Him and have accepted Him into our hearts as Lord and Savior, as His bride, and He refers to Himself as The Bridegroom. This imagery and symbolism has been used many times through out the Bible especially in Revelations when He speaks of the rapture and the believers. At the Rapture, the church will be united with the Bridegroom and the official “wedding ceremony” will take place and, with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will be actualized. I took this eloquently written sentence from an article on Gotquestions.org I have found it to be a very helpful resource to find solid answers to questions we might have backed up by scripture. I have included the article here https://www.gotquestions.org/bride-of-Christ.html


I encourage all of us to dig a little deeper and read what Jesus calls us to do in our marriages and family in Ephesians 5. Be willing to be open minded to what the scriptures say and continue to remind ourselves, we are a work in progress, no one is perfect, and we are getting better every day :)


Don't shoot the messenger, people! As you approach verse 21 in Ephesians 5, and you open yourself, your mind, and your heart to what it says regarding instructions for a Christian household, be reminded of what it reads in Ephesians 5:21.

Submit to one another (out of reverence for Christ.) As I reread parts of this chapter today (out of reverence for Christ) is what stood out to me like a flashing neon sign on a dark streetcorner. If for no other reason, we are asked to do this out of reverence for Christ, even if we may not feel like doing it for our spouse. I personally do not believe it is talking about submitting if you are being physically abused etc. You obviously need to seek professional help and get away from the situation. Christ has inspired these instructions because He knows what works, even though we tend to think we have all the answers. If you read just about any book on marriage it is frequently said that the number one thing men desire to feel from their wives is respect and women want to feel loved. Remember guys, it is easier for a wife to respect you when you do your best to conduct yourself in a respectful manner, and women it is easier for your husband to show you love when he sees you more as soft and cuddly, than sharp and prickly like a porcupine, just sayin' I am working on this one. If we make it a priority to find a daily way to connect, we are taking a giant leap in the right direction.


Actions can speak louder than words so be reminded, there is always someone watching. I believe we are called to be an example, to our children and others. How do we expect our children or others around us to be respectful or loving when we are not being that way ourselves. Treating people pleasant and those you love with respect and in a loving manner will serve us all well. We never know how long we will have one another.


As I come to a close for this post, I want to encourage you to have a lovely weekend and be kind to yourself and others. Consider prayer as your number one go to for change in yourself and others. Prayer is more powerful than you can possibly imagine. God is waiting, listening, and ready to be invited into your life and your situation. Thank you for spending your time with me today! Let's continue to keep one another in prayer and remember to uplift the young people in our lives as they walk through life. Prayer will make the difference.





(Welcome to the family sweet Ann :)






I would love to get any feedback you have in the comments section or you can message me as well. I invite you to explore more on my website www.intoyourgrowth.com The "About" section will help you to learn more about my inspiration for writing this BLOG if you would like to read it. I invite you to click on "BLOG" to see more of my previous posts, as only a few are shown on the front page or click on "All Posts" to read more. If you view this on your cell, you can click on the brown square menu button at the top of the HOMEPAGE or you can use the arrows below under the most recent posts, to find more. I have added links in the FOOD FOR THOUGHT section as well. If you are encouraged by what you read, I invite you to "SUBSCRIBE" to this Blog (if you have not already done so) and you will receive notification via email when I publish a new post.


Big hugs to you all and know I am keeping you frequently in my thoughts and prayers,


Jen Henry

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angarthur
Oct 30, 2023

Sooooooo going to bookmark this one Jen. Wow! What solid, Godly, bullseye, amazing advice to give about relationships and marriage. You're just incredible my friend. I love seeing you live each of these out. You're not one to give it and then, not live it. Thank you.

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Guest
Oct 30, 2023
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Thank you my treasured friend. It's having spectacular, quality, and ultra supportive friendships like yours that make me feel so loved and blessed, so similar to the love the kids felt at their wedding and reception 😍 Thank you so much for sharing your insights with me frequently. I am always in awe of you as well.

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