If your marriage is on the brink of disaster, what do you do?
That’s the question Emily Stern faces in A Bond for the Holidays, when her longtime marriage is rocked to the core right before Christmas. A secret she thought was safe forever comes out right before the holidays, and Emily realizes she just might lose the husband she’s started to take just a teeny bit for granted. And that, she realizes, would be an epic disaster. How does she fix it? Here are some guidelines that helped Emily and Robert in my Christian romance novella, one of eight now available in the Love’s Gift collection:
- List your favorite things to do together and make it happen. Emily and Robert are barely speaking, but because they both like to cook, they make a meal together. The close quarters and yummy food actually do help!
- Remember, you’re a team. When their almost-adult son disappears, Robert at first doesn’t want to go after him. But Emily reminds him what’s important, and they work together to fix the problems that led to his leaving.
- Get help. Emily finds a Christian counselor who helps them talk through their problems. Even though Robert doesn’t relish spilling his inner feelings to a stranger, their counseling session offers some good ideas.
- Embrace your friends. Emily and Robert end up sitting down to breakfast with friends and hosting a holiday party. Being a couple among other couples reminds them how much they care for each other.
- Dress up! When Emily comes down the stairs for that party, looking gorgeous, Robert finds her as breathtaking as the day she married him. Fancy clothes may not be the most comfortable, but they can really be worth the effort.
- Write notes. When Robert can’t bring himself to be warm and kind in person, he jots a note that lifts Emily’s spirits.
- Pray! Emily and Robert pray a lot, together and separately. Marriage is too hard to do alone.
I wish I’d followed these guidelines better myself. I’m not the marriage expert! When my ex-husband decided to leave, my hurt feelings and pride kept me from making a strong effort to keep the marriage together. If I’d followed these guidelines, our family might not have had to go through the pain of divorce. Maybe that’s why I felt Emily and Robert’s heartache so intensely… and why creating their happy ending meant so much to me.
A Bond for the Holidays will be published as a single novella in November, but it’s available right now as part of the boxed set, Love’s Gift: 8 Christian Romances Celebrating the True Meaning of Christmas. It’s just 99 cents. I hope my story, and the other wonderful novellas in the set, give you relaxation and renewal this holiday season.