Telling the Old, Old Stories – in marriage and faith

At this year’s anniversary dinner, Jon and I were exhausted from moving house, our brains fried. As we stared blankly across the table into one another’s blood-shot eyes, we couldn’t think of what to say. Our entire conversation for so many weeks had been taken up with paint samples and carpet colours that we’d forgotten who we were before we were House Planners.

What do you do when you’re in a relationship and tired? You tell the old stories. That night, we rehearsed again our well-told love story. We told it not because we had forgotten it, exactly, but because we needed to live it again.

‘Remember when you went really quiet and blushed when I teased you about looking for a wife, and I thought, ‘oh, he really is.’’

’Remember that first date? I hadn’t a clue what to wear – in case it wasn’t actually a date.’

‘Remember when I first said I love you in London after the nail bombing?’

‘Remember how small he was when he was born – and how you baby-whispered him to see what he needed? You were so amazing.’


This is what we do when we’re first in love – we gush about the stories of our love and make long lists of what we love about our beloved.

And when that love has gone on for many years – still, we tell the stories of our love.

We tell our love stories to remember our history, the path we forged alongside one another, the foundations and pillars that hold us together.


So, too, with God. When you are tired and God seems distant, don’t reach automatically for the new and shiny. Tell the old, old story.

Remember when God created the heavens and the earth?
Remember when Jesus welcomed the outcast?
Remember when the Spirit came down like fire?
Remember when you first met Jesus? How everything clicked for the first time and you saw things in a different light?

It’s what we do when we fall in love or renew our love: we tell our story. This is how we stay in love with God – we tell the story.

Tell the old story. Tell it again. Tell the story anew. Tell it afresh. Fall in love again.


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever…
who by his understanding made the heavens,
His love endures forever.
who spread out the earth upon the waters,
His love endures forever…

to him who led his people through the wilderness;
His love endures forever.
to him who struck down great kings,
His love endures forever.
and killed mighty kings—
His love endures forever…

He remembered us in our low estate
His love endures forever.
and freed us from our enemies.
His love endures forever.
He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.

– Psalm 136:1, 5-6, 23-25 – a psalm that tells Israel of their (and our) love story  with God

Linking with #fiveminutefriday – my best [ten] minutes on ‘repeat’. 

Over to you:

  • What are the old, old stories you need to remind yourself of when you feel distant from God?
  • How does storytelling help you in your faith or in your relationships?


'Tell the story anew. Tell it afresh. Fall in love again.' - @Tanya_Marlow on marriage and faith: Click To Tweet 'What do you do when you’re in a relationship and tired?' @Tanya_Marlow Telling the Old, Old Stories: Click To Tweet

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12 Responses to Telling the Old, Old Stories – in marriage and faith

  1. Marie 3rd November, 2018 at 3:06 am #

    Lovely, Tanya. I have needed to remind myself of the old stories lately – the Promise, the Babe, the Carpenter, the Cross, the Hope. And in the old, I have found little glimpses of new depths and perspectives that I had not considered. Our Lord is truly good.

  2. Margie Berry 3rd November, 2018 at 1:30 am #

    Tanya, this was such a beautiful rendering of your feelings and emotions. Getting back to our roots is terribly important. It is something I find myself doing a lot. For some reason, I tend to drift easily, which I suspect has something to do with my ADD. My mind wanders easily and, before i know it, I realize I don’t feel as near to my Saviour as I once did. Sometimes i go back to the beginning of my faith and, believe me, that goes back many, many years. I remember the wonderful fellowship I shared as a teenager in our little church, and I think of those dear loved ones who nurtured me in my young faith and loved me and even sacrificed for me in many ways. Those loved ones are enjoying heaven now, basking in God’s light, but how fresh those memories are at this moment. Thank you for reminding me to remember our first love(s), Jesus foremost but all of his faithful children as well. What a glorious reunion it will be, when I go to Jesus or He comes to me. –Margie

  3. Andrew Marsh 2nd November, 2018 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi Tanya! Sorry I’ve not been in touch for a long time. I’ve had a long deep, down period and have felt so very low and separate from God and any fellowship. I have, in the last couple of days read three similar items, yours being the third, about rekindling your first love. I’ve always subscribed to the old adage, “When God seems far away, who do you think moved?” so I knew I had to take positive steps back to the Father. And yours is the, and I use this next phrase very advisedly, “making love” part of my return. I’m going to go over and remind myself again of all the times my Heavenly Papa has loved and caressed me, brought me close to him and nestled me in His Arms. And I’m going to remind myself of the comforting times I’ve spent in His Presence and speak His Promises over my life anew.
    Thank you, Tanya, for your continuing faithfulness and example of obedience in discipleship, whilst being physically limited by your horrid illness. I’m afraid I let myself be beaten on my bad days and become a bit of an Eeyore. Yet I’d always believed I was a glass half full person! Father God, please have your way with me!

  4. Richard Starling 2nd November, 2018 at 10:16 pm #

    Excellent, thank you.

  5. NW 2nd November, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

    “When you are tired and God seems distant, don’t reach automatically for the new and shiny. Tell the old, old story.”

    So true, so helpful. Thank you.

  6. Diane McElwain 2nd November, 2018 at 8:03 pm #

    Coming here from FMF#20. This is nice! I was out for my birthday and we were both tired and had little to say. Our 47th anniversary comes up later this month. I think we should remember the old stories!

    • Margie Berry 3rd November, 2018 at 1:23 am #

      Hi Diane and happy birthday! We share the same date! Hope yours was as pleasant as mine was! Margie

  7. Miccah 2nd November, 2018 at 7:29 pm #

    I love this! What a wonderful way to rekindle love. My husband and I just shared our 4th wedding anniversary last week, and he makes a photo album of the past year for me as a gift each anniversary. It’s so fun to look back and see what we did in the last year.
    How true that we can apply this to God. It’s so helpful for me to remind myself that God pursued me, even when I was trying to run away. There were very specific times when I could hear God speaking to me, and recalling those times refreshes my soul and reminds me that he never lets me go.

  8. Martha Brady 2nd November, 2018 at 7:11 pm #

    i loved your sweet post tanya:) it reminded me of the early days of our marriage, days we have revisited recently as we have looked over old photos and remembered things from the past that we nearly forgot! beautiful:) i’m your next door neighbor at FMF today:)

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