One Sunday morning, something caught our eye with an older couple at our church who seemed to be laughing, holding hands, and madly in love. Curiosity turned to near stalking as we carefully observed how they interacted with each other. We gathered up the courage and invited them to lunch and asked them what felt like a million questions on marriage. We learned that they too felt alone and empty inside long ago and that it was normal, which instantly caused us to let down our guard, lean in and learn from them.
Brené Brown says the two most powerful words when we’re in a struggle: “me too.” We’re all in a struggle, have been in a struggle or will be in a struggle. That’s encouraging . . . not so much. But if we embrace the “me too” life we don’t have to do it alone.
Our romantic pre-Valentine’s dinner consisted of an expertly prepared steak, served on the finest of paper china, and serenaded by the sound of laughing children and the soundtrack of The Land Before Time 14. OK, it was a far cry from the romantic, fireside, quiet evening I would have planned 10 years ago when we were newlyweds. After all, being overwhelmed by the crowds at what is arguably the most artificial of all holidays is for rookies . . . or suckers. Real men make Valentine’s Day look weak. We don’t need some fat cherub shooting love arrows or disappointing overpriced boxes of mystery chocolate (that make you bite each one until you get that one caramel piece you want, but let her have) to show just how much we love our special someone. So here is the manly man’s guide to not just be a player, but how to change the romance game.
Life for newlyweds is full of new beginnings, opportunities and decisions. They face questions and decisions surrounding education, debt, houses, cars and growing families. There probably isn’t another season in marriage when a couple is faced with as many major decisions—especially with the added factor that they are learning how to work together. And because of that, one of the best ways to help newlyweds is to help them learn how to make those choices.
A woman came up to me after a talk about gender differences and asked, “My husband and I were watching that new Tom Hanks movie, Bridge of Spies, and near the end I looked over and my husband was crying! I mean, it’s great that Tom Hanks saved the day, but why on earth would that make my husband cry?”
I knew exactly what scene she meant because I too had looked over and seen tears sparkling in Jeff’s eyes, and I’ve heard that same story from others. The man in your life likely felt the same way — whether or not he showed it. And the reason provides a vital glimpse into your man’s inner life . . .
I wasn’t surprised by Lisa’s question, it’s a question I have heard many times. “Is working at the church as wonderful as it is attending here?” I’m a pastor, and all of my years in the workforce have been spent working in growing, healthy churches. I don’t know the “ins and outs” of corporate world or life in the marketplace, but I do know that working in a church isn’t always butterflies, unicorns, and whistling while you work. There is more at stake in what we do than a healthy bottom line. Through the work of the Holy Spirit we are part of shaping eternity for men, women, and every generation. As leaders, we pour more than our time and talents into this vital work. We give our hearts, because we are driven by compassion for the hurting and lost. And sometimes these passions, emotions, and the value of our work can lead to conflict.
by Dave Willis I often write about the things that a married couple needs to do to strengthen their relationship with each other, but this particular list is going to be a bit different. While these tasks can certainly strengthen your relationship, they’re more aimed and protecting your children and your legacy. Sadly, most married… [read more]
For most of us, the beginning of a new year usually involves a desire to do something or some things better. We want to become a better us.
We want to be better at eating, because we’re starting to feel the effects when we don’t.
We want to be better at exercise, not to become a fitness model, but to get less winded when climbing the stairs.
We want to be a better parent, because there’s always those situations we wish we would have handled differently.
And for many, we want to be better at our relationship with our spouse.
We want to be the best US we can be. Not some carbon copy, cookie cutter, clone version of another couple, but the best version of our US.
The habit or practice of reflection has increased and become very important to me over the years. I have noticed people are running so fast and not taking the time to sit, think, review, remember and re-adjust their lifestyles and schedules. With some regular times of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual reflection, it can lead to peace, stability and very purposeful living. The following questions are to get us thinking about this past year and prepare us for “The Best Year Ever.”
Despite the fact most of us have some time off around Christmas and New Year’s, our marriages are more stressed than ever. All the parties and purchasing can be exhausting. Then throw kids into the equation . . . and forget about it. Many couples are already living like roommates, passing in the halls, passing information about how to survive the next 24 hours. But Christmas, as they say, comes but once a year. And if you have kids, then Christmas is only delightful for a few years until your kids can create their own wish lists. So for all you parents, like us, who want Christmas to be special and memorable for your kids, there is one thing I want you to add to your already crazy Christmas to do list: Kiss.