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About Hope For Your Marriage

Clayton and Ashlee Hurst share the principles and Scripture they have learned to lean on and preach at Lakewood Church. 

Are you willing to do whatever it takes to have the marriage you dreamed of? Interestingly, this is the question Clayton and Ashlee ask young couples before they get married and married couples in crisis. If they answer yes, then there is hope for the couple. If they humble themselves and are willing to commit to the work ahead, they will have a successful marriage.

Hope for Every Marriage is a book designed for couples who desire to have the best marriage possible. Every marriage has the potential to be incredible when God is at the center.

In Hope for Your Marriage, Clayton and Ashlee share personal stories on overcoming fairy-tale pitfalls; keeping Jesus at the center of your marriage; practicing healthy communication on sex, conflict, and forgiveness; declaring life over your marriage; and leaving a God-honoring legacy.

Praise for the book

"Ashlee and Clayton transparently tell their story of honestly misunderstanding each other - a story of every husband and wife! Yet, God revealed insights that enabled them to love and respect each other in meaningful and friendly ways. They model what happens to a married couple when acting on Ephesians 5:33. We are blessed by their lives and testimony."

- Dr. Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs, Love and Respect Ministries

Marriage often requires for you to hold up a mirror and deeply examine who you are, and when that reflection is not desirable, you may feel hopeless. Clayton and Ashlee Hurst, share in their new book, Hope For Your Marriage how you can regain confidence in yourself and in the marriage God blessed you with.  I believe that this book, layered with scriptures and personal stories of overcoming obstacles, will bless every couple ready to have a healthy and happy marriage with God at the center!

DeVon Franklin, bestselling author of The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success, The Wait, and Produced by Faith; CEO of Franklin Entertainment

"Clayton and Ashlee Hurst are on the forefront of marriage ministry. This book is full of practical wisdom that's a must read for anyone looking to grow in their marriage.”

Jimmy Evans Founder & CEO MarriageToday

Hope for Your Marriage holds an incredible promise for every couple - and it delivers. With practical wisdom and real-life application, Clayton and Ashlee provide a treasure-trove of insights for building a God-honoring marriage. Every couple needs to read this fantastic book!

Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott, Bestselling authors of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts

“Marriage matters to God. That's why the devil hates it so much. The blessings and benefits of a healthy, God-centered marriage cannot be overstated. I am exponentially better due to the arrival of my wife Aventer in my life. What Clayton and Ashlee have done in crafting this beautiful, honest and hope-filled tome is share the truths of marriage while offering practical places of applicable wisdom that we can all implement.

We are so happy for this message to marriages and the offering of the truth of the way marriage matures and grows us.

We encourage every married couple to not just buy this book, but live with it, mine its depths and live out its principles. You will be better for it!”

John and Aventer Gray

Associate Pastor of Lakewood Church

Director of Dance at Lakewood Church

Written out of the overflow of their own journey, Clayton and Ashlee share how God transformed their marriage.  A hope filled book for all those who desire a loving, supportive relationship. 

Gary Chapman, Ph.D.  author of The Five Love Languages

“The key to success in any media, especially as authors, is to identify so thoroughly with the audience that they feel the story is about themselves. That’s what Clayton and Ashlee Hurst have so masterfully achieved. If you want a great marriage, not just a good one, read this book!”

SQuire Rushnell & Louise DuArt, New York Times bestselling authors

Godwinks book series & 40 Day Prayer Challenge

In this candid, heartfelt book, Clayton and Ashlee Hurst offer a portrait of their own marriage and detail the steps they took to come out of the valley. Whether you are a newlywed or married for decades, this encouraging book will give you new and practical insight into how to make your marriage the best relationship in your life.

- Shaunti Feldhahn, social researcher and best-selling author of For Women Only, For Men Only, and The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages

“Where the grass is greener, there is a septic leak. Stay home and water your own lawn. You can enjoy high levels of marital satisfaction with your current spouse. I promise! Too many marriages end today because one or both spouses start looking for someone more compatible and more fun. Hope For Your Marriage paints a beautiful picture of lifelong love, fun and commitment. Stop looking for greener grass. Read this book. Not only will it help you increase marital satisfaction, but it will lead toward a marriage you never dreamed possible.”

- Ted Cunningham, Pastor of Woodland Hills Family Church, Branson, MO and Author of Fun Loving You

“You’re holding the quintessential playbook for a thriving marriage. No matter what marital season you find yourself in, this incredible resource will help you take your most-prized earthly relationship to the next level. HOPE is a powerful thing and this book generously offers it!”

- Chris Brown - Ramsey Personality and Nationally Syndicated Radio Host

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Hope for Your Marriage book cover

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4 Foolproof Ways For Better Communication with Your Spouse

When we began leading the Marriage & Parenting Ministry at Lakewood Church, we didn’t want to assume that all married couple dealt with the same issues we had dealt with in our marriage over the years. So we decided to send out an anonymous survey to about 14,000 couples in our church to find out what their biggest hurdles
were in their relationships. One of the questions we asked was, Name the top 3 challenges you are currently facing in your marriage? Each couple had the ability to choose from answers like intimacy, finance, communication, etc. We were shocked when we discovered that 98% of those that filled out the survey said that communication was the #1 biggest challenge in their marriage.

After 21 years of marriage, we have definitely been handicapped in this area. It’s an area in our relationship that we constantly work on to get better. We have learned that communication really comes down to when, where, why and how. As we explain these foolproof lessons, they can help you develop and strengthen the way in which you communicate with your spouse while add a new found depth to your relationship.

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#1 Timing is Everything!

Timing is so important when it comes to communication. When we have a romantic conversation, timing is important. If the conversation is about our future, timing is important. The timing of our talks are even critical when we are dealing with a conflict within our marriage. When we choose the right time, for our different types of conversations, we drastically improve our communication with each other. Make sure when you need to have a talk with each other that you pick the perfect time so that your conversation will be the most productive.


#2 Location. Location. Location.

Just like many things in life, location is essential. When you and your spouse have an important talk that needs to happen, where it takes place is just as important as the topic. Sometimes talks just need a simple place like the car, the park, or the mall. Then there are important convos that need the right location so that there are no distractions. The key to great communication is to be strategic in picking the right setting for the best results. We highly recommend a date night each week. For a healthy marriage, time away from the kids, work, and everyday challenges is a must. The right location on a date night can be the perfect way to talk about your challenges, hopes, and dreams.


#3 The Heart of the Matter

In the story, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her friends were shocked when they saw
behind the curtain at the all powerful Oz. Just like in that story, there is alway the heart perspective behind every conversation. The key to great communication is to examine our heart first, before we engage in a conversation. This way no matter what type of talk we need to have with our spouse, it begins with a pure heart from us.


#4 Consider your tone!

I am fine! This statement can mean something completely different each time we say it. When we say it with a happy tone, it means something completely different than if we say it with a sarcastic tone. Our tone sets our spouse up for how they will receive what we are about to say to them. Since we are on the same team and we want our spouse to win, our tone plays a vital role in establishing a great conversation. The right tone can make or break a conversation.


About Clayton & Ashlee

Clayton and Ashlee Hurst are the directors of Marriage and Parenting at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, under the leadership of Senior Pastor Joel Osteen. Their ministry focus is building families and strengthening marriages through the hope and power of Jesus Christ. Clayton and Ashlee have been married for over 20 years and have two daughters and one son.

Clayton and Ashlee Hurst

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5 Hacks to Keeping the Romance Strong in Your Marriage

When we conduct pre-marital counseling with engaged couples we always have them fill out a survey to analyze their expectations of marriage.  One question that is asked is how many times do they anticipate having sex in a week.  The women typically put once or twice a week, the men typically put once or twice a day.  For woman, we have found that sex for her is a very emotional connection, while for men it is much more physical.

Let's be honest 90% of men are ready anytime, anywhere to have great sex.  Men are like microwave ovens quick and ready in seconds.  Women are like crockpots. They sometimes need all day to be in the right frame of mind and mood.  Men can have the worst day ever at work and his wife can walk in the room and give him the “let’s get it on” look and he can switch gears instantly.  A woman on the other hand can have a terrible day and it will take many foot rubs and hugs and telling her it’s going to be ok and maybe….maybe she will be ready.  So after 21 years of marriage here is our best 5 hacks for keeping the romance strong and having the best night of your life.

#1 Talk about your sex life.

If you aren’t talking about your sex life you probably aren’t having a great sex life.  That’s where we were many years into our marriage.  I (Ashlee) had some deep hurts and regrets from her past that I was too embarrassed and fearful to share with Clayton.  That put was a stronghold in my life that hurt the intimacy in our marriage.  When I finally opened up and talked about it our relationship became stronger thus our intimacy went deeper. We also shared how we both like to be romanced and things we didn’t much care for in the bedroom.  When we began to discuss how to meet each other's needs our own needs were met in the process.


#2 Spoil each other in your love language everyday.

Invest in your marriage by reading books to help your relationship.  Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The 5 Love Languages is a marriage ‘game changer’.  When you read the book and take the test you will find how you and your spouse receive love.  This is GOLD!  Husbands especially...when you know your wife’s love language and start spoiling her in it when you wake up in the morning then you may be one load of laundry away from the night of your life!


#3 Honor your husband in everything.

Honor is so important to a man.  The words we say to our husbands are everything to him.  Someone else can mock him, and he can usually recover, but if his wife ridicules him it can be destructive.  There was a time when I (Ashlee) did not want to honor Clayton.  I didn’t feel like he deserved it.  But the Lord spoke to my heart one day and said, “You need to honor your husband at the place you want him to be and not where he is at right now.”  When I did that he started recognizing it and it made him want to treat me better.  Another way I honored him was to plan out what day we would be intimate together.  His drive is much stronger than mine, so sometimes I have to consciously remember to plan that day or days out during our week.  When you have three kids with ages ranging from 2 to 17 you have these romantic moments.


#4 Security is her everything.

The number 1 need of every woman is security.  Every kind of security you can imagine like emotional, physical, financial , and psychological.  I (Clayton) realized that as her husband, I was responsible for her self esteem, and I also held the keys to strengthen her security in all of these areas.  She will ultimately get her security from God, but many times He uses husbands to help solidify it within her.  Never let a day go by that you haven’t told her how beautiful she is.  Also, never let a day go by that you haven’t answered her questions.  When she says how was your day she wants details, not just a “good” as your answer.   When your wife knows that you only have eyes for her and your care enough to tell her what is going on in your life, it brings peace to her mind and security to her heart that only you can give her.


#5 Don’t stop wooing each other.

Husbands, remember back in the day when you were pursuing the girl that is now your wife?  Maybe you would call her and stay on the phone for hours, or perhaps you planned out elaborate dates, or maybe you wrote her songs/poetry.  Whatever you did to woo her don’t stop.  Wives, remember those days when you put on your cutest outfit and wanted to look your best for your date?  Just because you are married doesn’t mean the pursuit is finished.  No way! It will continue until one of you draws your last breath. Your spouse will know their worth by the passion of your pursuit.  We recommend weekly date nights.  Budget for it, schedule that babysitter, and have that romantic date.  Then go home to have the best night of your life...well if your 17 year old finally goes to bed and your 2 year old doesn’t wake up during the night.  (LOL!)


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