Marriage and Family

Photo taken by Summer Dickinson at our wedding.
Photo taken by Summer Dickinson at our wedding.



I didn’t realize it at the time, but my parents made a lot of sacrifices for me. They lived frugally to put me through college debt-free. That’s no small thing in today’s economy!

My dad saved as much as possible throughout the year so each summer we could take a big vacation. “Big” did not include resorts, cruises, or flying to our destination. Like I said, they were frugal. I still remember “camping” in our minivan on our way to Disney World in Florida. We drove all the way from Nebraska. One night in Georgia, my mom put our food outside the van. Can you guess what happened? We were ambushed by hungry raccoons the size of dogs.

I was blessed to have nice, gently-used, name-brand clothes, curtesy of an older cousin with good taste. Money never crossed my mind. I thought it was Christmas every time I got a black trash bag full of hand-me-downs.

My 5-year-old self may have struggled to understand why I could not have more happy meals. But, outside of the happy meals, I never felt limited. My parents passed on things they wanted so I could have what I needed, even an expensive clarinet mouthpiece. Speaking of the clarinet, they put up with a lot of squeaks and squawks. Yet, they never missed a single volleyball, basketball, or softball game, nor a theater, band, choir, or orchestra performance.

It was not until I became a budget-creating adult that I fully recognized and valued the sacrifices of time and money my parents made for me. They taught me that marriage and family take sacrifice.

Family takes work, intentionality, and selflessness.

I hope you have good examples of loving marriages and connected families in your life. Unfortunately, many people do not. It is a major reason why co-habitation is on the rise. Couples look around and see divorce everywhere, and it tells them that marriage no longer contains value or purpose. “Family” has an ever-changing meaning in our culture.

I even heard the other day that “hacking your marriage” is a thing. Many young couples now marry with the foreknowledge that it will probably end in them “uncoupling”, and they are ok with it.

Through this blog we want to encourage your marriage and family to engage in community, mentorship, and growth. We are all riddled with imperfections; still, God calls us His children and the bride of Christ. Spirit-lead growth and transformation will continue throughout our lives, as long as we let it.


My husband and I want to enter into this portion of the blog humbly, acknowledging that we are growing alongside you. It is our goal to be vulnerable and honest with you in hopes that some of you can learn from our mistakes and our successes. I believe it is important to share both. We do not want to preach anything at you. Rather, we want to learn with you how to honor God through our marriages and families.

In the Bible, marriage is a reflection of God’s glory. How beautiful is that? Yet, with so many marriages and families falling apart, I wonder what others see us reflecting.


Join us on a journey to strengthen our homes through engaging our marriages and families in God’s design for them. Mitch and I have attended and helped host the “Art of Marriage”, and one of the most powerful things we walked away with was the power of marriage to leave behind a legacy, either positive or negative.

What legacy do you want your marriage and family to leave?

Praying for your Engaged family,

Nathana Clay

Here are some posts on to read on the topic of marriage:

Keeping Your Marriage Strong Through Life’s Changes

Our Five Favorite Marriage Books

Here are some posts related to Family:

Letters to Rebekah

Teaching Praise and Worship

Operation Christmas Child

Thankfulness Family Devotional

5 Ways to Practice Generosity as a Family

Creating Character: An Education for the Whole Family

Compassion Calling

Simple Ideas for Quality Time as a Family

Sharing the Love of Nature with Your Children

Moms are Awesome, Agree?

God Asks You to Pass on Faith to Your Children

Connecting Your Children to God

Knowing is Half the Battle

3 Challenges for Wives on Father’s Day

My Beautifully Crowded Bed

Dads Hurt Too: Miscarriage Support

Our First Date and Spring Date Ideas

10 Things I Love About My Man

Fighting Through the Fatigue

Breaking the Silence: Miscarriage Support

Keep Your Marriage Strong Through Life’s Changes

Our Five Favorite Marriage Books

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