People are Watching


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Did you know that people watch your marriage when you least expect it?

This past weekend was extremely busy. My husband was directing the next episode for Pressure Points marriage ministry. He had cast two actors to play a married couple with children. The woman playing the wife was married in real life, the male actor was not. Prior to the shoot, they read through the script so that my husband could explain husband-wife interactions.

On the day of the shoot, I was responsible for craft services (translation: feed the cast and crew). I showed up with a plethora of goodies and had it all waiting to be devoured. One of the items was deli meat. After I set it out, it became clear that the filming was running behind and I don’t like to have meat sitting out for too long. During a quick break I told my husband that I was going to put the food in the fridge. He told me to leave it out, they only had 15 more minutes (translation: an hour). It was a quick, small interaction of different opinions. Continue reading

The Launch of Our (FREE) Marriage Study Guides

Pressure Points Free ResourcesI remember when God put it on my heart to help marriages. In 2008, I was a facilitator with a ministry that helped people cope with divorce. Having gone through it myself, I knew it was a great ministry. But my heart ached. Each person represented another broken heart. Another broken family. And I wanted the ministry to disappear. I wanted there to not be a need for it. I wanted to be on the other side. There just wasn’t a ministry that existed to take a proactive approach to marital conflict. The only options I knew of were church small groups helping each other and marriage counseling. Nothing on a wider scale. Despite my heart longing to do something to help, I was stuck. Continue reading

Communication is the Key


Communication

What is the one thing you want to learn most about before you get married?

This was the question we asked to three couples as we began six weeks of leading a group of engaged couples. The topic they were most interested in learning about? Continue reading

The Dangers of Reuniting with Old Flames

Most people do not reach out to old flames looking for an affair – but yet this is often what happens. Old flames have a special place in our hearts. Reconnecting with them stirs up powerful and deep emotions related to desire, nostalgia and regret.old flame Continue reading

Tell Me Something Good [Love Language #1]

You guessed it. My love language is words of affirmation.5LLcover-128

Oh wait. Let me back up.

What is a love language? The 5 Love Languages  refers to your emotional communication preference. It singles out your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to connect with your loved one with intimacy and fulfillment. Continue reading

Big Holiday Expectations – Does it Help or Hurt Your Family?

july 4thHow will you handle the holidays?

The above question is often addressed in premarital counseling. Answering it gives you both the chance to share the traditions and expectations you would like to incorporate in your new family. Reflecting on the festivities of our youth is a good starting point, but it is important to remember that our expectations are not only passed down to us from our family, but they can be influenced by our ever-changing culture.

In my marriage, our holiday conflicts have less to do with childhood experiences and more to do with a self-imposed rule of participating in social norms. See if you can relate to any of these confessions: Choosing “the perfect” Christmas card takes up more time and energy that I care to admit. I am panged with guilt on Easter morning when my children aren’t dressed in fancy new Easter clothes. I wallow in pity when we aren’t attending a grand fireworks display on the 4th of July because my husband has to work. Can you relate? Continue reading

Little White Lies: 5 Steps on How to Be Truthful with Your Spouse

shhhSet up a new pattern in your marriage… Stop lying

Your marriage can never fully grow and receive God’s FULL blessings unless you live on wings of integrity, truth and full disclosure. I’ve heard it said once that secrets are healthy in a marriage. That sometimes it’s better that… they just don’t know things. Secrets and lies are Satan’s tools. They are NOT of God in any way, shape or form. They live in walls like termites and eat through the foundation of your marriage bit-by-bit until your marriage is ruined and infested with lies and deceit. Let me ask you, if you are keeping secrets in your marriage, where do you draw the line? Is it Godly? Does it make you marriage better?

So why even lie?

Often the motivation for lying is usually tied up in self-esteem and self-preservation. We lie in an effort to create the best possible version of ourselves in our spouse’s eyes. Sometimes we do it to avoid hurting their  feelings, which also has the bonus effect of ensuring spouse (again) maintains their good opinion of us. It gives us leverage, our sins can’t used against us if they don’t know. We can preserve their trust in us. We can avoid punishment or judgement. All lies. The truth is, we dishonor God, our marriage, and we corrupt ourselves by lying. When we lie we give ourselves permission to move the line wherever we choose to for our own selfish gain. Lying is selfish. It’s wrong and it’s not Godly.longnose

What does the Bible say about lies?

  • Romans 2:16 – On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 12:2 – Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
  • Revelation 20:12 – And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.

How should I ask for forgiveness in my marriage?

Continue reading

Be His Cheerleader: Why I should Be My Husband's Biggest Fan

Chris and Mary Anne

Courtesy of Christy Martin Photography

Years ago I stopped at a yard sale and discovered a box full of business books. The books were very familiar to me since my husband and I had several of them. I looked up at the woman running the sale as she chatted with a friend and said, “Looks like someone is an entreprenuer!” She turned to me with a snort and responded, “Yes, but he doesn’t need any more ideas.” And turned back to her friend.

To say I was stunned was an understatement. In an instant she had demonstrated the lack of respect for her husband and his ideas to a complete stranger.

The entrepreneurial spirit.

I have met many men over the years who have an entrepreneurial spirit. There is something inside of them that longs to create, build, and share with others. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with succeeding in a business or project that starts with an idea.

My husband has been entrepreneurial since high school. He and a friend started a business where they traveled to parties and put on magic shows. They would be booked almost every weekend. In college, he continued as a solo act since his partner went to another school.

After we were married, he decided to serve in the Army, but that didn’t stop his desire to create and build something. Continue reading

Sex, A Wife's Ministry – 4 Tips On Improving Sex in Your Marriage

SEX.

Did you know that part of a wife’s ministry to her husband is sexual in nature?

dv267034bYou might commit yourself to praying daily for your husband and strive to be a purposeful wife, but if you aren’t directing prayer and intentionality to the bedroom then you are underestimating your role as a wife! Sex can be a touchy subject for many couples. I know this from personal experience. For several years it was the root of many arguments between my husband and I. However, this should not be!

 God never intended for sex to be a source of contention, but an incredible gift. Within the context of biblical marriage, sex is beautiful, holy, and fun. It is a foretaste of heaven, a renewal of our wedding vows, and a form of worship. It is never supposed to be boring, cause one to feel ashamed, or create arguments. That’s NOT what God intended it to be.

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So what is a wife to do if sex is a pressure point in her marriage?

1. Pray! Pray about your sex life. Pray with your husband. Pray for God to make beauty out of ashes, for Him to redeem the years the locus have eaten. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine. What about your sex life? Do you need Him to do a miracle in that area? He will. Just ask.

2. Realize it isn’t about you. If you only respond to sex or initiate sex when it is on your schedule then you are missing the whole point of intercourse. Sex isn’t about you! It is about your spouse. So, as wives, that means it is about our husbands. You might be satisfied with your sex life, but if he’s not… work towards a common ground. Make how often, where, foreplay, etc. all about him. If your focus switches from you to him – it will actually become more enjoyable for you as well. If you are the high-driver spouse then give him permission to say “no” without sulking. If you are the low-driver spouse – say “yes” as often as physically possible.

3. Third, get creative! Plan romantic gestures, send suggestive text messages, and strive to keep your bedroom ideas fresh. Don’t postpone planning special evenings for your husband, instead make it a priority. Contrary to what society tells us, sex within the boundaries of marriage is refreshing, amazing, and exhilarating. Say no to anything that would steal the holiness out of the act (pornography/erotica/etc.), but yes to anything that is honoring God.

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4. Lastly, it is important to remember that intimacy in marriage will go through different seasons. There will be times when your sex life surpasses all your expectations and other times when it will be a very intense struggle. For example, young children or serious health issues could hinder a once thriving sex life. Although, resolved conflict or a new level of openness will possibly provide a much needed revival to your stale love life. Prayerfully and intentionally work through and adjust to every season in order to achieve mutual satisfaction.

If you and your husband are truly struggling in this area, please don’t hesitate to talk to a Biblical counselor. Airing out the past, discussing expectations, finding a common ground, and offering grace are all necessary for a couple to achieve and maintain a vibrant sex life. Never be afraid, or too prideful, to work with someone who will offer you Biblical advice and prayerful encouragement in how to achieve the love life God has ordained.

This preparation works by relaxing muscles in the airways to straighten breathing. Viagra is one of the best treatment options of all season. When you get remedies like real viagra you have to know about pfizer viagra online. Medications, like Viagra, fairly, is going to improve your life. The signs of sexual disorders in men include lack of interest in sexual contact. Sexual soundness problems can generally indicate problems elsewhere. Mental health problems can reduce your will and can lead to erectile dysfunction. Depression affects all sides of life including sexual soundness.

Misery Loves Company

My husband, Jason, and I are in a season of life where we are trying to make some important decisions that impact our entire family. This has been a particularly painful season because we can’t seem to agree on which direction to take. Some days the weight of these disagreements seems so heavy I can barely breathe. (This is a good time to point out that I’m a little melodramatic.) One night, while already in a melancholy mood, the song Broken by Lifehouse came on the radio. I related to these words, “I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing, with a broken heart, that’s still beating.” Those few words so eloquently described how I was feeling so I immediately downloaded the song.

At the time, I viewed the song as a catharsis of sorts. I could relate to the lyrics, felt understood as I sang along, and appreciated the emotional release it seemed to provide. However, it didn’t take long before I became more depressed in our marriage. I dwelt on the heart ache that our difference of opinions caused and I communicated that pain to my husband. For several days in a row, I listened to that song (and few other equally depressing tunes) throughout the day. I was blinded to the fact that my mellow playlist was actually aiding in my sadness.

Continue reading