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. Stephanie Thompson 6th November, 2018 at 2:03 am #

    Love this post! Thank you for this reminder. I am going to practice this in my own marriage. Isn’t it a great to recognize that our marriages are part of the bigger old, old stories?

  2. Rebecka 3rd November, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    Tanya, this is beautiful! What a great practice. I’m going to try to implement it in my life.

  3. Susan 3rd November, 2018 at 7:01 am #

    This is such a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing. ?

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