Battle Ready Marriage: 8 Tips for Preparing Your Family for Any Challenge with Tamara Clymer, Her Wisdom

They met and fell in love in high school, sweethearts married over 30 years now. When her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor, glioblastoma, everything in Tamara’s life turned upside down. CrossRiver Media Publisher Tamara Clymer came on the show to talk about battle ready marriage.

Tamara and Shad are savoring the moments together with their battle ready family.

How we can all get our families ready for battles we don’t expect to fight?

Can we build a healthy marriage, strong enough for victory in all circumstances? Of course! But it’s not so easy in a culture that seems pretty crazy. Add an unexpected crisis like cancer and battle ready status becomes essential.

People everywhere face daily challenges to their families and marriage. There is no need to feel isolated or defeated. (Find more about Glioblastoma.)

Mental Fog and One Word Prayers

“When Shad was first diagnosed it was really easy to get bogged down. Honestly, there for quite awhile, I was numb. So, just kind of overwhelmed,” she begins. “All I could do was just pray one word sentences.” 

But as that fog cleared, she began asking God all kinds of questions. God reminded her He took care of her all along her way. 

“I can look back now and say, Oh, you know what. That was preparation for what we’re going through. I could see His hand at work,” she reports. 

In this episode, Tamara shares more personal stories about how God prepares us to have a  battle ready marriage. Plus, she spontaneously offers a special treat to our listening friends. (Code at the end of today’s blog.) Find more podcasts at Fireside Talk Radio.

Battle Ready Marriage

How do we build a marriage to withstand all the challenges we face, many of them sudden and unexpected?

According to Tamara, one crucial preparation is to note God’s faithfulness all along the way.

“Because you never know when a battle is gonna hit ya,” she says. (If you or someone you know has glioblastoma, find support.)

#1 Understand the Threat

Tamara warns the enemy will try to isolate us. From God and from each other. 

“When you’re in the middle of a battle, it is so easy for the enemy to say God is not here. He has left youYou’re on your own. There’s nobody here to help you with this.”

In the midst of our scariest moment in our marriage, I felt isolated. In fact, both David and I just thought we were bad at marriage. We felt so isolated we didn’t realize we had communication issues that could be easily corrected with practice.

All around us, our friends looked so perfect to us. Unfortunately, we didn’t know everybody has to work out how to be married to each other. David and I didn’t know, that is, until we started sharing our stories and found out others struggled, too.

#2 Review God’s Faithfulness

One of Tamara’s biggest tips for building a battle ready marriage is to note God’s faithfulness in the past.

“When you can see what He has done in the past that has a way of carrying you in the present,” say Tamara. She cites King David in the Bible as someone who noted God’s faithfulness.

“David talked about encouraging himself by remembering what the Lord had done for him. That really is so key,” Tamara explains.   

#3 Claim Peace That Passes Understanding

“Again, as we talked about last time, you know this world is just crazy. And it’s not getting any better,” says Tamara. “As we see the world falling apart around us, we can still have that peace that passes understanding. We can be battle ready.” 

Tamara emphasizes to prepare now before crisis hits because of the times we live in. She travels the country with her work and hears from women daily via her website.

“For the women I’m talking to, one of the biggest things is the culture’s impact on our family. Kids are bombarded,” she reports. “The enemy just has a lot of weapons he’s throwing around right now.“

I agree. Whenever I give a speech now, it seems folks come up afterward to talk about some weird things happening to affect their marriage or their kids’ or grandkids’ marriage.

For just one example, another common crisis might include when people lose a child or spouse in a drug-related death. Or suicideHealthy conversations bring comfort, that’s for sure.

#4 Have Great Family Conversations

Tamara points to family conversation as a way to address fear or anger with God. 

“One of the first things I did when we told the kids, I made them promise first of all they would always talk to me about their fears,” Tami shares. “But I also asked them to promise me that they would never blame God for this whole thing.”

She chose a favorite verses to comfort her kids.

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” ~ Matthew 7:11, NKJV

“They don’t want to lose their dad in any way shape or form. But they are able to see what God is doing and how He’s moving in the midst of all this craziness, “ says Tamara. “That’s the number one really good gift is just taking the time to sit down and talk with our kids about ‘Okay, yes, this is horrible. But what are the good things that are coming out of this?’”

Their kids tell Tami and Shad the time they do have together means so much more. 

“They’re not taking it for granted any more. That’s one of the good things. That’s been such a blessing to see them be able to do that,” she says tenderly. (Find more about brain tumors.)

#5 Look for God’s Gifts in the Midst of Crisis

Tami did a good job of communicating God’s heart and the way He wants to give us gifts. 

Still, some of God’s gifts are not what we expect, that’s for sure. How could cancer be a gift, for heaven’s sake? Often, we know some of our experiences are NOT a gift. 

But Tamara emphasizes God meets us in the midst of those traumatizing moments, when our brain fogs over and our heart breaks. His presence is the gift. If you’re not sure of your final destination, check this out.

#6 Create Community With Good Conversations

Additionally, Tamara recommends using empathy to redirect the focus of your pain. Focusing on others’ needs can build community and increase comfort for everyone. 

“It is so easy to become very centered on me and focused on me and all the stuff that’s wrong in my world,” she says. “But if we can help them [our children] to see outside of our world, our situation, we can have them see the people across the street are hurting.”

This allows your children to offer empathy and comfort to, say, the couple across the street with totally different circumstances, but similar pain. For instance, a young couple with a baby diagnosed with a severe ailment or a middle-aged couple with aging, dependent parents. Our children can learn to translate pain into comfort in any circumstance. 

(For a great book on comfort, read Lindsey Bell’s book, Unbeaten, about how the pain of infertility translated into comfort throughout her life.)

#7 Pray God’s Promises Back to Him

Going through the Bible and finding verses to apply specifically to your emotions or situation can help, according to Tamara.   

“As far as building your battle ready faith, I think it’s also important to pray God’s promises back to Him,” she says. “And really just internalize those promises. Pray them back to Him.”

She finds praying His promises back to Him increases her faith. 

Lord, You promised this. You said this. I’m trusting in You. I’m believing You. You will work all things together for good for those that love and are called according to Your purpose,” she prays.

#8 Collect Excellent Resources

In my opinion, CrossRiver Media has really surprised the publishing industry because of their rapid growth and the quality of authors they attract. I love the way the CrossRiver authors give their own personal stories as a way to help readers through similar crises.

“You can have these tools at your fingertips ready for when you need them,” says Tamara. “That’s such a gift.”

Of course, I’m not surprised. Listening to Tamara, you can easily understand why I chalk CrossRiver’s growth up to her and her key people, including her business partner Editor Deb Butterfield and Connections Expert DeeDee Lake. 

I’ve benefited immensely from the battle worthy CrossRiver Authors I’ve come to love. 

You, too, can find many of their personal stories on Fireside Talk Radio. Look for Lindsey Bell,  author of UnbeatenCatherine Brakefield, author of the Destiny SeriesDeb Butterfield, author of Carried By GraceBrooke Frick, author of Hands FullNancy Kay Grace, author of The Grace Impact; and DeeDee Lake, author of Next Step. Also, some of them have interviewed me, including the amazing Andy Lee, author of Radiant Influence.

Finally, A Treat for YOU from Tamara

As we talked, I mentioned how much I love Tami’s devo, The Benefit Package for gifting to my work friends. It’s filled with very personal stories from some of my favorite authors. Each one has a Bible verse and a prayer. Find out more and read the full article.



We LOVE to hear from YOU!

How has God’s presence comforted you in an unexpected battle? What have you done to build a battle ready marriage? When has God answered your prayer in surprising ways?

May we pray together?

Dear good Father, We think the crises we face are unexpected. We tremble and panic. We shake our fists at You and cry hot, messy tears. Yet, all the while Your heart bears our griefs with us. Your Spirit resides in our hearts deeply reassuring us that we are Yours, beloved and dear to Your heart. Comfort us now as we face the battles You have already prepared us for. Remind us of Your unfailing love and faithfulness. For those who have not chosen Your Son as Savior, we pray now. Teach us to rest in Him as we share His suffering. Then, in Your perfect time, bring us home to eternity with YOU. Joyful and reunited forever. Bless us now because that is Your heart’s desire. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Cathy Krafve, host of Fireside Talk Radio and author of The Well: The Art of Drawing Out Authentic Conversations and Marriage Conversation: From Coexisting to Cherished. We welcome your stories, ideas, and questions at

❤️ Truth with a Texas Twang! ❤️

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A Semi-retired Mom, Queen of Fun, and Coffee Cup Philosopher Cathy Krafve pulls in exciting guests from all walks of life who rejoice in deeply spiritual truths.

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