Lean In, Listen Up

Wedding Bells

Last week, Dave and I celebrated 19 years of (mostly) wedded bliss. Like so many other couples, we’d included I Corinthians 13:4-8 in our ceremony so I reminisced by reading it the morning of our anniversary.

God prompted me to lean in by personalizing the text and listen up by writing it out in my journal. (This is not unusual for me, personalizing scripture is a great way to make the text more powerful and applicable.)

After each phrase, I was then prompted to rewrite it in my own words. (You can experience a fuller measure of Scripture by personalizing your Bible reading and lean in by asking God to give you fresh eyes for familiar passages.)

The exercise was so powerful, I must share the results with you.

You don’t have to be married to reap the benefits of this sage advice. This passage on love is paramount wisdom for every relationship. *

I Corinthians 13:4-8

Love (or your name here) is patient …

Be a good listener. Don’t interrupt, roll your eyes, or tap your foot. Let him finish his sentences. Don’t push him to make decisions he hasn’t thoroughly researched or insist he do projects/chores at your pace. 

Love (or your name here) is kind …

Be sweet with your words and actions. Stand by him in battle. Affirm him in peace.

It (or your name here) does not envy …

Focus on what is without demanding or even wishing it was something else.

It (or your name here) does not boast, it is not proud. 

Do not exalt your contributions of acts of service or material possessions or compare them to what he does.

It (or your name here) is not rude, it (or your name here) does not dishonor others …

Be sensitive with your words and actions, both toward him and about him to others. Do not tease or mock him or cause him to harm.

It (or your name here) is not self-seeking …

A “what’s in it for me?” attitude undermines the mutual respect and intentionality necessary for a relationship to thrive. Die to self and live to love well. 

It (or your name here) is not easily angered …

Take up no offenses without good cause, believe his intentions are good toward you.

It (or your name here) keeps no record of wrongs …

Destroy tally sheets documenting all of his flaws, weaknesses and mistakes. Forgive the accumulation of past offenses and do not use them to justify your disrespectful behavior toward him.

Love (or your name here) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth …

Resist temptations that lead to destruction. Secret purchases, clandestine online conversations, overindulging in intoxicating beverages and substances, or angry outbursts.

It (or your name here) always protects …

Guard his heart with your love by being your very best.

always trusts …

Believe the best of him, trust his motives. Use your love to bring out the best in him.

always hopes …

Do not give up hoping your relationship will continue to get better and better as time goes by.

always perseveres …

Do not give up doing whatever you can do to bring richness and depth to the relationship – even if he cannot or will not reciprocate in kind.

Love never fails. 

God loves you unswervingly. Stand on this promise. Breathe it in and exhale it out on him.

Can I get an amen?

God generously and graciously gifted me with renewed levels of love in action toward my man and in all my relationships. How can you lean in and listen up to bring your best to every relationship?

Leave me a comment and share what works for you.

Prayer: Lord, you are LOVE. Thank you for revealing complacency and calling me into deeper relationship with you and with your people. God you are do good to us. Never leave us and always lead us. In Jesus Name, amen.

* This post is not intended to put you or keep you in danger. If you are not safe, get out now!

Bonus photos:

My dad walking me down the aisle!
Handsome, isn’t he?


Dave had never been married before or had any children.
Poof! Instant family.
Jake was 12  and Eli was 9. Eli was very happy. 


We’re still pretty happy about the union.


With my mom and dad then

and now: My dad, mom and us in fall of 2020.
Everyone is older, grayer, thicker and sooooo happy.

With Dave’s mom and dad then …

and now.

The day Dave adopted Eli and Jake 2003



Jake 2020


Eli 2020

This is us. 2020


  1. Nancy on October 12, 2020 at 1:37 am

    Beautiful family, congratulations on 19 nearly blissful years. And many more to come & lots of grandchildren,too. God bless, Nancy

  2. Cathia Fritz on October 12, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Congratulations!!! Doug and I just celebrated 49 years mostly blessed!!! We were married on my mom and dad’s anniversary and our youngest daughter chose the same day……3 generations. God has blessed us wirh 2 daughters/son-in-laws and 6 grandchildren. We are in good health and our prayer is to serve Him daily. Thank you Robin for always sharing “good stuff” from God’s word.

    • Robyn Dykstra on October 13, 2020 at 1:19 pm

      How wonderful Cathia!

  3. Dottie Bradford on November 4, 2020 at 3:13 am

    I’m a bit late commenting as I don’t always read your posts the day they come but have a file where I save them for when I can be quiet. They are all great but this one was amazing. I love the way you personalized the scripture and brought out a deeper meaning……….some of it was a wake up call! Thank you! God is still working on me!

    • Robyn Dykstra on November 4, 2020 at 3:42 am

      This post was well worth the wait. Thanks so much. Bless you!

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