#671 - WEEKEND TO REMEMBER (DAY 1)

On the first day of the Weekend to Remember marriage conference I am attending with several other couples from our church, my big takeaway was this:

RESPOND TO FEELINGS WITH FEELINGS AND RESPOND TO FACTS WITH FACTS.

This was a principle given during the session on communication, and I can see how this can be super helpful to how my wife and I communicate moving forward.

If she shares feelings with me, I need to share feelings with her. If she shares facts with me, I need to share facts with her. Nothing is worse than having your feelings responded to with facts, and your facts responded to with feelings!

So simple, yet so helpful!

#657 - FLEE

Pastor, leader, husband...this is for you. This is for me. This is for us.

When certain temptations come your way (you know what it is for you), you shouldn't "hang around." You shouldn't "wait and see." You shouldn't "stay just 10 more minutes." You shouldn't "be nice." You shouldn't "try not to be rude." 

YOU SHOULD FLEE. IMMEDIATELY. 

Get in your car and leave. Ask for a ride home. Leave. Run. Get out of there.

Staying, could cost you everything. 

#616 - HOW TO RE-IGNITE INTIMACY

After nearly 14 years of marriage and after counseling a countless number of marriages throughout my years as a pastor, I have discovered a very simple "fix" for re-igniting relational, emotional, and sexual intimacy between you and your spouse...

MAKE OUT.

Unfortunately, I have discovered that many married couples no longer kiss for extended periods of time. They may kiss each other on the cheek or lips before going to work and when seeing each other when they arrive home, but they don't make out anymore. 

Somewhere along the way, they just stopped. They don't know when. They don't know why. But, kissing ceased.

This doesn't work all the time. I don't want to over-simplify. Sometimes, the problems go a lot deeper, and cannot be fixed in this way. 

But, other times, kissing can actually be the remedy for a marriage that has lost its "sizzle."

SO KISS. FOR A LONG TIME. WITH TONGUE. 

The magic in your marriage may just be one make-out session away!

#373 - 11 YEARS MARRIED. 11 LESSONS LEARNED.

Today my wife and I celebrated our 11-Year Wedding Anniversary. I am so blessed and grateful for the love that we've been able to share thus far, but in an effort to make the next 11 years of our marriage even more harmonious and enjoyable than the first 11, I figured it would be wise to reflect upon the primary lessons I've learned about marriage during the time we have spent together so far as husband and wife. 

1. Selfishness Separates

The times when I have felt most disconnected from my wife is when I have been thinking and acting selfishly. It's very hard to be connected to someone you're not thinking about. In other words, whenever selfishness is present, intimacy is absent. 

2. Finances Frustrate

Marriage and money "issues" go hand in hand. It's not a matter of "if" money will become an issue, it's a matter of how big of an issue will we allow it to become? Matthew 6:25-34 has become particularly helpful with this. Here are the Cliff's Notes: "Do not worry."

3. Patience Prevails

So many arguments, disagreements, and frustrations can be avoided by exercising patience in the midst of tension and uncertainty. Patient, thought through responses trump impulsive, knee jerk reactions. Always. 

4. Purpose Points

In the times when I am confused about the trajectory that our marriage is on, it is the purpose of marriage that always points me back in the right direction.  The purpose of our love for each other is to become a visible representation of God's love for the world.

5. Experiences Enhance

Very few things have strengthened our marriage like our intentional effort to create new memories through fresh and unique shared experiences. The quickest way for your marriage to feel old is to eliminate trying things that are new!

6. Occupations Occupy

Our responsibility to work our jobs can very easily begin to take precedence over our responsibility to love each other. If we are not intentional about disconnecting ourselves from our work, our work will disconnect us from our marriage.

7. Surprises Satisfy

Surprise gifts. Surprise dates. Surprise plans. Surprise cards. A well thought out surprise can showcase the intentionality, ingenuity, and interest you have for your marriage in a way that the same ol' executed routine, many times, just can't do.

8. Actions Accentuate

Being that I'm a guy who talks for a living, my wife is not impressed by the words I use to express my love. She doesn't want to hear me love her, she wants to see me love her. She doesn't care about what I say , she cares about what I show !

9. Laughter Lifts

If I want to gauge how healthy my marriage is, all I have to do is pay attention to how often we are laughing together. No laughter. No love. If laughter is not lifting your marriage up, it is very likely that taking yourself too seriously is bringing your marriage down. 

10. Community Contributes

Our marriage was not meant to be lived out in isolation. Having a community of people around us who can share in the ups and downs of our marital journey is a necessity. I strongly believe that our ability to "go the distance" in our marriage has much to do with being surrounded by a community of people committed to seeing us "go the distance" in our marriage!

11. Humility Honors 

One of the greatest ways I can show honor to my wife is to admit when I've messed up, made a mistake, and missed the mark as a husband. Nothing else reveals a lack of honor for my wife than a habitual display of my pride. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the things I've learned, but I am confident that as I take the lessons above to heart, our marriage will continue to grow stronger as the years go by! 

Please let me know in the comments below what marital lessons you have learned. I sure could use the help! 

#297 - AN URGENT MESSAGE FOR AMBITIOUS HUSBANDS ONLY

Let marriage be held in honor
(esteemed worthy, precious, of great price,
and especially dear) in all things.

Hebrews 13:4a (AMP)

If your wife resents you…
Who cares if you’re respected by thousands?

If your wife feels neglected…
Who cares if you’re helping hundreds of people?

If your wife hates your schedule…
Who cares if you’re working extremely effectively?

If your wife despises your work…
Who cares if you’re feeling so fulfilled by what you do?

If your wife wishes that you would quit…
Who cares if you’re experiencing unexplainable momentum?

The truth is…

If your wife regrets marrying a man who loves his work more than her…
You may have won a few battles, but you’ve lost the war.

#224 - A HUSBAND'S CREED

My wife is the most important person in my life.

She is the one I will be most consumed with loving.
She is the one I will be most concerned with serving.
She is the one I will be most committed to prioritizing.

My wife will get the best of my time.
My wife will get the best of my ideas.
My wife will get the best of my energy.

My relationship with my wife will be my most treasured relationship.

Why?

Because if I have positively influenced the lives of countless men, women and children but have not won the love, respect and admiration of my wife…

I have failed.

#49 - IN REGARDS TO LOVING MY WIFE

Sacrificially loving my wife is not easy.

I have such a selfish nature. My chief aim is usually to do what I want to do when I want to do it. My daily agenda is typically filled with activities and things to do that will fulfill my needs and desires.

Sure, I’ll help around the house, engage in quality conversation and do thoughtful things for my wife, but only when it’s convenient for me.  And rarely is it convenient.

This is not OK. Things need to change. I need to change.

The directive from God and the timeless truth from His Word is very clear:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her… – Ephesians 5:25

And what did Christ do for the church? He died for her.

The very least I can do is take out the trash without being told.