Sometimes our best qualities hurt our relationships the most. (17)

Interviews With Wives – Debbie Taylor Williams

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Debbie, tell us about you! 

 

What a blessing to get to share about marriage with you! I’m blessed in that I married my college sweetheart and we just celebrated 42 years together. HOW did we get to 42 years? Prayer! We have a 37 year old son and 34 year old daughter. Our son, Taylor, is married and they have 6 year old Grace, 4 year old Charlie, and one on the way. Our daughter, Lauren, is married and they have two boys – Logan, who is almost 9 and Hudson, who is 7.

 

I’m the founder and president of Hill Country Ministries, a non-profit, 501 ( c ) 3 whose mission is to spread the Word and love of Jesus. I speak nationally and have published 7 books.

 

What difficulties have you faced as a wife? 

 

Keith went to law school and became a trial attorney who was very good at winning. He’s now a State District Judge. I’m a strong willed woman who manages a ministry. The most challenging issue we’ve faced is that we’re both such strong personalities. That’s also a great blessing. But, early in our marriage, we struggled with control. Keith wanted to control. I wanted to control. We both would think we were right. I had to learn to major in the majors and minor in the minors. In other words, if something didn’t make a difference in the grand scheme of life, I learned it’s better to let it go. And, I learned that the greatest thing I can do for Keith and our marriage is to pray for him and decisions we face. Then, to trust God.

 

In what ways have you struggled with intimacy with your spouse?

 

My hubby and I enjoy intimacy.…even after 42 years. But, when the kids were little, sex was sometimes the furtherest thing from my mind. It’s tough to juggle chores, driving carpool, working, and managing a zillion things. What helped then, and continues to help is remembering that God designed us for intimacy. My advice is to keep the spice in the marriage; better “in” it than “out” of it.

 

In what ways have you struggled with communicating with your spouse?

 

Keith is an unbelievably hard worker. In the mornings, after breakfast, during which time he has his devotional, he’s off to work. When he gets home and after dinner and a short break, he typically has more work to do that he’s brought home. For a break, he likes to read or do yard work. So, it’s challenging to find a good time to talk about more than small talk. It seems what works best is to tell him when there’s something I need to visit about; and ask him when we can talk. That way, he knows we need to sit down and give attention to whatever it is – our calendar, finances, a purchase, the kids, etc.

 

How did you connect with your spouse when you were raising your children?

 

Raising kids is an incredible blessing, but one of the most difficult and challenging callings I’ve experienced. And, news flash – being a parent doesn’t end when kids go to college, get married, or have children. Once a parent, always a parent; although the parent/child relationship most certainly changes.

 

Keith and I connected, and still do, by being open and honest about how we’re feeling. We attempt to sit and genuinely listen to each other’s perspective – because often they are different. Keith comes from a male, more tough, buck it up attitude. As a female, I’m more nurturing. Kids need both perspectives. After connecting by listening to each other, we connect in prayer. We take our perspectives to the Lord. I honestly don’t know of a better way for a couple to connect than through prayer. We physically connect while praying by holding hands.

 

If you could do the season over with young kiddos, how would it look different?

 

That’s a tough question to answer and one I occasionally think about. I think I would have them be more engaged in daily household chores so they would be as routine as brushing their teeth and dressing. Our kids picked up their plates and put them in the dishwasher. They made their beds. But, I became lenient about them keeping their rooms picked up. Also, we had a housekeeper during several years. It was a huge help to me, but I don’t think they learned to clean as good had we not had her. I would also place more emphasis on doing for others on a routine basis. They helped deliver Toys for Tots and helped me take meals to someone who was sick on occasion. But, I would make it more of routine to help others in need.

 

What do you see young wives struggling with today? What do you wish they knew?

 

Take care of yourself – physically and spiritually. On airplanes, the stewards always say to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, then on your children. Wives and moms need to do that. But often, we don’t. I didn’t realize the importance of sleep until a few years ago. I prided myself in that I could manage on 5 hours; with a lot of help from my coffee! That was ignorance on my part. Too much caffeine robbed my bones of calcium. There are tons of health benefits from getting 7-8 hours of sleep, including improving emotions, memory, focus, weight management, and overall health. We don’t think as good if we get less than seven hours of sleep. As moms, we need to be on the top of our game. We need everything firing at optimum speed in our brains; not going around with mom fog and having melt downs.

 

If you were to look back at yourself on your wedding day, what do you wish you would’ve known?

 

Life is hard. It’s not the fairy tale. It’s not the Hallmark movie. Everything doesn’t always turn out perfect. Jesus tells us that in the world we have tribulation. The word tribulation means stress, pressure. He doesn’t say we may have it. He says we have it. Our hearts rightly long for perfection, love, and beauty. That’s because we’re created in God’s image. And, He is love, perfection, and beauty.

 

But, we have to realize that what we long for is what we’ll experience in heaven. This world is a battlefield between evil and holiness. As Christians, we are Christ’s ambassadors on earth. We’re His salt and light. We’re called soldiers. We’re given the armor of God. We’re warned that we wrestle not with flesh and blood but world forces of darkness. Our husband, boss, child, in-law is not the enemy.

 

From the cross, Jesus prayed, “Forgive them. They know not what they do.” Luke 23:34. We might argue, “Of course they knew what they were doing when they drove the nails in his hands.” But, Jesus said they didn’t know what they were doing. We might look at the person who has hurt us and say they knew what they were doing when they had the affair, lied to us, stole, got drunk, or whatever. But, we’re a deceived people. Satan has a way of often blinding us. So, in our imperfect state and living with others who are imperfect, give yourself and others a break. I’m not saying, don’t hold yourself or others accountable. Rather, realize that earth isn’t heaven.

 

Rather than compare yourself to others and long to have what your friends have, learn to seek the things above. Your relationship with Christ can’t be taken from you. Building your relationship with Christ is the best investment you’ll make.

 

Anything else?

 

Begin your day in prayer and reading the Bible; even if it’s for only a few minutes. Return to God in prayer throughout the day when you’re tempted, tired, upset, or don’t know what to do. Learn to listen to God’s voice. Follow His direction. He always has your best interest at heart.

 

Ephesians 4:26 is Keith’s and my bedrock Scripture when we’ve disagreed or had an argument. “Be angry, but do not sin; don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” We may not solve our problem before we go to bed, but we say, “Good night. I love you. We’ll talk some more about this tomorrow.”

 

I have Marriage and Parenting Tips on my website; as well as Bible studies, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion, and Prayers of My Heart, endorsed and used by Beth Moore. I’d love for you to visit my website, browse around, or send me a note. You can also sign up for my free daily or monthly blog. And, I’d love to come to your church and speak for your women’s events. Let’s stay in touch!

 

debbie

 

Debbie’s passion for Christ is evident in her energetic style and insightful application of the Scripture. Having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 29, Debbie brings spiritual maturity and biblical depth to her audiences. Her spiritual beauty and willingness to be led by God bring a relevant message to women of all ages, backgrounds and denominations. Debbie is an authentic servant of Christ with a focus to encourage, challenge and equip her audiences to live out their faith as women of passion, purpose and prayer.

 

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