For those of you who don’t get the weekly newsletter, Sheila’s 50th birthday is today!
In the Friday newsletter last week I (Rebecca) sent out a request for birthday wishes and wow–we got a lot!
Sheila started this blog in 2008. That’s twelve years of doing this. Twelve years of helping marriages and families grow more like Christ. And so today I want to give a few stories of how my mom (Sheila) has helped marriages across the globe. Thank you to everyone who sent in your well-wishes, here are some highlights:
Thank you for helping couples start off well
Dear Sheila, I’m praying that you have the happiest and most blessed 50th birthday celebration ever!!! You don’t know me, but from the bottom of my heart, I am so thankful for your ministry. Your writings have been used by the Lord to do so much healing in my life and to help me look forward to a joyful union with my husband-to-be – I think I would still be too messed up to even think about getting married if it wasn’t for the help I’ve received from your book and your blog!
So thank you again and may you know the Lord’s richest blessing on your life as you continue to serve Him.
Happy birthday! I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your ministry. I read “The Good Girl’s Guide” before I got married last June- I can’t emphasize to you how much your ministry has benefited me. You helped me to fill my head with positive, biblical messages about sex with my husband. It’s so easy to let bad messages from tv shows, movies, even the church sadly, fill up your head with all the wrong ideas. You have helped me so greatly, and I deeply appreciate it!! Your articles and blog are always a blessing and encouragement, and I appreciate you for taking on the hard task of talking about sex! Thank you, thank you for your work! God bless you in your 50th year!
Thank you from people who needed a “reset”
I cannot begin to tell you the impact your ministry has had on my life and my marriage. I didn’t even know how damaging the thoughts I had internalized about sex were, I just knew that I didn’t feel the way I wish I felt about it. And then a few years back, thank God, I stumbled on your blog. It helped me to finally realize why some of my beliefs were there in the first place and why they were so damaging. I am so thankful for you both acknowledging teachings that are harmful so we know we are not alone in feeling and believing certain things, and also for sharing biblical teachings about sex to help us heal and understand more of God’s design and love for us in our marriages.
Thank you for following God’s calling. Thank you for enduring the hardships that come with hearing hard stories, speaking against the grain, opening yourself to backlash and criticism, and doing the hard labor of your work! So many women, men, and marriages are being positively impacted by your work and I am so thankful God chose you to do this important job and that you said yes!
About 7 years ago (13 years into my good marriage) I decided to stop being sad about our sex life and changed my attitude. I had seen the damage I had done by not dealing with my insecurities and gatekeeping our sex life. With your help…I embarked on a new journey to take back what the enemy wanted to destroy! Our sex life has done a total 180! We are more connected now emotionally and physically – and continue to work on communicating our needs to one another without embarrassment.
I’m now at the place in our marriage where I desire sex and more adventure than he does! Neither of us could have imagined that 7 years ago.
Your blog, books and podcasts are a healthy, encouraging, realistic approach to an otherwise sensitive topic. The fact that you don’t shy away from anything that seems to come your way is incredible. It takes a lot of courage!
Happiest of birthdays to you! Thank you for giving us the tools to strengthen our marriage and our marriage bed!
Thank you, Shelia, for your work. I started my marriage believing a lot of lies about marriage, myself and sex. I stumbled across your blog looking for housekeeping encouragement and read a couple marriage article and then started following you. Your blog totally transformed my marriage. It changed how I view my husband, myself and especially how I viewed and enjoyed sex. It has been such an incredible gift and blessing for both me and my husband and I feel our marriage has thrived thanks to it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me that gift and allowing me to better understand God’s plan for me and my marriage.
Thank you for speaking truth–even when it’s hard
A big thanks to Sheila for putting a healthy spin on sexuality from a Christian perspective. And drawing attention to how the church has dismissed and failed women. Jesus did not. Challenging the Christian status quo can be a voice in the wilderness with the resulting feedback that this ministry has experienced. Both positive and negative. Keep it up Sheila. So many on your side. To all those who keep ” To Love Honour and Vacuum” a big hip hip hooray!
I have gained more wisdom for my marriage (of almost 19 years!) on your site then any other, but these last few years have been extremely difficult and the insight I have found has helped me to stand up and fight for what is right. It has given me clarity when I was truly praying and searching for the good. You have helped me to step out of my boat, to find truth (aw man sooo much truth!) and shown me that intimacy is worth working for.
The Lord has created you, bestowed the knowledge, given you Keith as a husband, made you, YOU to help all kinds of ladies (and men!) who have needed help! Wow! I believe the Lord has used it to better my marriage in so, so many ways! It isn’t even describable, however, the ripple effect of how you have helped me in my life, and in turn the example and legacy my husband and I are leaving our children and how that will in turn affect so many others… it is truly priceless. I know it is hard for you at times, but I believe in heaven some day, you will be blown away by all that God has done using your life.
Thank you for creating resources that can help marriages across the globe
Happy Birthday, Sheila, You are a great blessing!
I learned about your blog a few months after I got married. I was a shy church girl, who always dreaded going to bed with my husband and still felt that sex was a sin even in marriage. Following your blog was and is still a great blessing. I have learnt a lot about myself and how to enjoy sex.
I look forward to receiving your emails every morning and I sometimes share them with my husband. Thank you for all the insights, humour and the encouragement to become a better wife, mother and mentor.
You are doing a good job. Keep up!! Happy Fiftieth Birthday!!
I have just started doing your boost your libido course and I already feel God is guiding me through you in my marriage that had a dead sex life for years.
You are a Godsend and I wish you a happy and blessed 50th all the way from Singapore.
And if you’d like to check out that Boost Your Libido course, you can do that right here!
But most of all, thank you for helping others discover who Jesus truly is.
This was a sentiment in so many of the messages we received. Sheila’s ministry is about more than just good sex–it’s about the gospel. Listen to these testimonies:
Words can’t describe what a Godsend blessing you are to me. In my life, one of your blog posts was the beginning of the unveiling and unraveling of my abusive marriage. Now years later, my faith is stronger than ever and my thinking and understanding of who Jesus is is more clear than I ever imagined. Your teaching plays an enormous role in this ongoing journey.
One attribute about you I’ve observed in years of reading your articles, blog comment responses, listening to podcasts, and more is your relational and compassionate style. You extend empathy and grace in so many beautiful ways. And your advice is always so God centered and valuable. You aren’t afraid to tackle hard questions. You never give pat answers.
I also admire your work ethic and commitment. You’ve built an incredible ministry and I pray God continues to expand your territory in the next 50 years.
Sheila’s compassionate heartfelt, clear, and biblical teachings Have helped me immensely. I’m 7 years years into a tremendously happy marriage, and without her practical advice on everything from in-laws, to communication, to how to relax and really learn how to love your husband; I would not feel near the amount of confidence in learning all the time to be more like Jesus.
Even though it is completely virtual via TLHV Blog, may I say it has been my pleasure to know you for the past 4 years of your 50! In the past 4 years you have been part of my life in many important ways. You have been part of my marriage as I continue to work and grow in His Word. You have taught me that marriage is a beautiful way to express God’s love. You have been an important part of my spiritual growth. The number one way you have been part of my life is by watering my garden when I found Jesus. And you did it all from a computer all the way from Canada! For that I am so thankful. You are my e-mentor and have shown me by your example that JESUS is who I need to chase. I pray and hope that you continue to be blessed as you deliver God’s Word in the work you do.
Sheila, you have changed my marriage, you have made me a better person, a better Christian, a better wife and a better mother. Thank you for always pointing me towards God. Happy Birthday!
I think that does an excellent job of summing it up.
Thank you to everyone who sent in birthday wishes. I had to edit some down for brevity and couldn’t include them all in today’s post but I’m planning on sharing all of the messages with her in full later today. So she will see it, even if it wasn’t included in the post!
If you would like to give Sheila a birthday gift today, please leave a comment about how this blog, Sheila’s books, or Sheila’s speaking ministry has helped you or your marriage.
Our job is hard at times. And hearing how others are helped makes all the hard days worth it!
Thank you for everything, Mom. We love you so much, and I hope you have an excellent birthday.
You have changed my marriage and my life for the better! I wish you a very happy birthday! You at 50 is #goals for me!!!
I’m so glad, Lindsey! Thank you.
Hey Sheila happy birthday! I have been reading your blog for about 9 years, I dont always comment but I read it every day. You helped me so much. I had so much pain when I got married during intercourse and I had no idea what to do and how to make it better. I think God led me to your blog. Now I have a wonderful intimate life with my husband and your practical advice and tips helped me sooooo much. And my husband is super grateful too! May God bless you and your family and give you the strength to keep doing what you do. Also may He bless you with many grandchildren;)
Thank you for standing up to challenge the damaging teachings about sex and marriage that so many of us grew up with! Your work truly matters, and may God continue to bless it for many more years to come. Congratulations on another trip around the sun!
I found you, years ago, in the midst of difficult times and have stayed because you , your family and your blog are a joy. Thank you and…
Thank you Sheila so so much for your amazing ministry! So thankful that God is using you in what is so needed! I stumbled across your blog a few years ago in desperation. years married and was struggling to cope with all the fights we were having about sex and my lack of enjoyment. We still have a bit to go but I keep gpin back to your blog and I know we will get there! I hope that I can share your resources with anyone in same boat, especially knowing that God is at the forefront of them all! Happy Birthday! Hope you get spoiled! You serve deserve every bit and more! Xo
Happy birthday Sheila! 🥳🎉
I found your blog around 2008/2009 and what a blessing it was and is! I am thankful for your courage to
“go there” and be used of God to help marriages unique ways. You’ve been a great encouragement in my blogging and marriage ministry as well. I hope you have a beautiful day!
Happy Birthday, Sheila! And thank you for all that you do!
I’ll echo Kya and say that your calling seems to be countering the damaging teaching about sex and families that CLAIM to be Christian but are not actually biblical.
So thanks again, enjoy your day and keep on teaching!
Happy birthday! Thank you for your blog.
Thank you for your ministry, Sheila! I don’t comment often but I’ve been following your blog for the past three years. Your advocacy for women in the church and for a healthy, positive theology of sex has given me so much encouragement and hope. Happy birthday!
Sheila, I hope that your 50th was a GREAT birthday ! You are such a “young pup” !
I really enjoy your daily e-mails, blogs, and everything. Keep up the good work !
Happy birthday, Sheila! I’m very glad that I found your blog, as it’s been the one place that gives me answers and hope that my sex life can get better. I’m thankful for all that you do.
Happy birthday Sheila!!! 🥳🥳🥳 Thanks for making the best corner of the internet! 🎁 For all the sad, terrible stories and topic you and your team have to cover, I hope today is the opposite of that and filled with reminders of how much good you and your team do, and how often God works total 180 miracles in your readers’ lives through the work you guys do. Thank you! I’m so thankful for this blog and the messages you all promote!
Whenever someone has a birthday on May 25th, I always think of Arthur by Marc Brown, since his birthday was the same day too. And I think both of you have positively impacted me and others over the years. So Thank You, and Happy Birthday!
Happy Birthday Sheila!! 🎉 I can’t begin to tell you how much your work has meant to me. I started reading you avidly in a time that I was struggling with my faith and questioning Christianity because I could barely see the gospel without all the toxic teachings about women. You are one of the main thinkers who helped me to see that there is nothing Christlike in a system that oppresses women or abandons their needs. Jesus is more than doctrine, more than theology, more than the church’s views; Jesus is love over anything else. You and your amazing team have reminded me of this. I can’t tell you how much it means to see such a strong woman fighting for true spiritual freedom.
My prayer for you is that you will feel so encouraged and so accomplished in all the tireless work you’ve poured into this ministry. I pray this year you will enter into a new realm of love and intimacy with our amazing God and be overwhelmed with how good he is and how much he wants to bless you. I also pray you keep up the courage in this fight because I know you have to deal with a lot of blowback and I know that has to take a toll. I hope you know that we are SO appreciative of your personal sacrifices and we have been so blessed by your work.
I am a single woman, and I found your blog when I was 17 or 18. I grew up with a very shy, reserved mother who didn’t tell me anything about sex until I was 14, beyond the “your period is about to start” conversation, when I was about 11. I asked questions before then, but was told that I was too young for that conversation. That lead me to try to figure answers out on my own, and I became addicted to erotica for several years as a young teen.
I am so beyond thankful for your ministry. I truly don’t know where I would be if I didn’t stumble across it 5 years ago. I know that I would still have a very unhealthy viewpoint of sex and marriage, and likely still resentment towards my mother for her strict view on submission in marriage. There are still so many areas I need to work through, but your blogs have made me feel so much less alone. You have given me a way to put a name to my issues so that I can look for help. You have given me hope that I can have a better future and marriage than I would have otherwise had.
Thank you so much for all you have done for me and for God’s kingdom. I wish that I could possibly put into words how much you have challenged and helped me. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day!
Happy birthday, Sheila! Thank you for all you do! So glad I found my way to your blog!
Sheila, I appreciate you, and you have had a hand in shaping me. I still remember the compassion and empathy you showed when I told you my engagement was broken, and I appreciate the friendliness/friendship when I’ve sent you the occasional email too. I keep telling myself to take a step back from your stuff for this season of my life because I don’t need to be parading happy marriages right under my own nose and inducing envy into my life, nor to be inserting myself as the solution to problems I’ve never even encountered, through the comments section… and then you go and write great content that I want to read and I get reeled back in again, lol. But I am glad to know you, in a portal way, and do holler if you’re ever in the UK again! Keep up the good work, God bless xx
Sheila, Even though, what you share has not had any effect, sexually, for my marriage, I appreciate what you have done for others. Happy 50th. Birthday.
Happy birthday, Sheila!
I can’t tell you how much your (and Rebecca’s) writings on parenting have positively influenced me. My church had a very authoritarian view on training and discipline that seemed at odds with the picture of the Jesus who said that one must have faith like a child. But I didn’t know how to articulate what was wrong with their teachings or what a viable alternative looked like. I thank God I stumbled across your blog while my children are still young!
Happy belated birthday Sheia! I’ve appreciated your thorough research and willingness to talk about hard topics, challenging cultural norms even in the church!
Reader from Texas
Thank you so much!
Happy 50th Birthday, Sheila!! I am so thankful that I found your blog 7 years ago. You have tackled many subjects right at the time I needed the advice and support. God’s timing is amazing! Your willingness to be a voice to stand up for what’s right helps me and others to do the same! The impact on the countless number of lives through the generations will be amazing! Thank you so much for standing up for God’s truth, even when it’s the difficult road. I hope you have a fun and wonderful day with your family celebrating you!!
Thank you for reaching out to us singles once in a while even though your blog is primary about marriage. I appreciate all the attached links and books you provide that have been the cause of sooo many of my belief changing regarding single hood, family and worldviews. You already know this is my favorite blog on the internet, i don’t say that lightly because i read many, many other blogs too. I love that you are not afraid to stand up for truth so that the name of Christ is not tarnished. Continue to do that for the next 50 years, Sheila.
Happy Birthday. Don’t have 50 different desserts now, you’ll regret it later. lol! Enjoy!
Sheila – thank you. I have been reading your blog for over 5 years, prekids and when my marriage was going pretty well. God was still using you and your blog to make things better, and unknown to me preparing me for what would come. Now we’ve had some more issues in our marriage (this year is 10 years), but what could have derailed us, has been a mere blip on the radar. Thank you.
Thank you for sharing your family and encouraging them. Rebecca, Katie and Keith have also been a blessing to me and increased my understanding.
Thank you for sharing your life, challenging our thinking and encouraging us!
From your posts about Kenya inspiring me to buy lacy bras for a mission trip seeking bras and undies, to your heartfelt sharing of the rough patches you are going through.
You are authentic. You are real. You are generous. You are brave. You love.
So, happy birthday! & Thank you. (And I’m sure my husband says thank you too 😉)
Happy birthday! You have done so much for me and my husband, thank you, and wishing you a lot of happiness!
Happy belated birthday Sheila! 🎂
Happy belated birthday! 🍰