Love Stimulates Love

July 31, 2014

Love is a choice.

We can request love, but we cannot demand love. We cannot make our spouse speak our love language. However, though we can’t control our spouse, we can control our attitude and our behavior.

The good news is that love stimulates love. And though the object of love is not getting something you want but doing something for the well-being of the one you love, it is a fact that when we receive love, we are far more likely to be motivated to reciprocate and do something our spouse desires.

Try this…

Choose an attitude of love. Learn the love language of your spouse and speak it on a regular basis. Then, three months down the road, you can say to them,

‘On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’

If they give you a seven, eight, nine, ten—you’re at the top. Or if they say anything less than ten, you say,

‘What can I do to bring it up to a ten or bring it up to a nine?’

They’ll probably give you a suggestion. To the best of your ability, you do that.

Repeat this process every two weeks by simply asking your spouse what you can do to love them better, and taking their answer to heart.

There’s a good chance that, before long, they’re going to say, ‘Well, wait a minute here. I’m turning this around. On a scale of zero to ten, how much love do you feel coming from me?’”

Before you know it, they’ll be working to love you as well as you have loved them.

And that is exactly how love stimulates love.

*This article is one of many featured in Marriage Hacks: 25 Practical Ways to Make Love Last by Tyler Ward.
To find out more, or to download for free, CLICK HERE.


Investing Your Life

July 29, 2014

“It’s not how long you live, but how well you live.” You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. But, it’s really true. Ultimately, age has little to do with success. It is not how many years we have to live, but how we use the years that we have. My sister died at age 58. I have a close friend who died at 52. Recently, a 24 year old graduate student in our church died. As I listened to the eulogies, I realized that
he had accomplished far more in 24 years than many people accomplish in 80.

The key is to invest life one day at a time. Do something kind for someone every day. When you do, any day will be a good stopping place. It was said of Jesus, “He went about doing good.” We are called to follow His example. He said, that we are to love one another as He loved us.


Seasons of Marriage

July 15, 2014

If we use the seasons to describe the quality of a marriage, many people have a ‘winter’ marriage. Their marriage is characterized by coldness, harshness, and bitterness. The dreams of spring are covered with layers of ice and the weather forecast calls for more freezing rain. Have you been there? Are you there now? The good news is that you don’t have to remain in a winter marriage. No, I’m not suggesting you leave your spouse in hopes of a new “spring” relationship with someone else. I’m suggesting that you determine how long you stay in winter by your attitude and your actions. The first step out of winter is to say, “I’m sorry.” I know it’s not all your fault, but neither are you perfect. Blame your spouse and winter continues. Admit your failures and spring is on the way.


Q&A: More like a Mother than a Wife

July 11, 2014

Q: I feel more like a mother to my husband than a wife. He is unwilling to change. What should I do?

Gary: There are many couples who are in a situation similar to yours. Part of it has to do with personality, but sometimes a husband doesn’t take initiative because when he has in the past his wife has condemned him. If she does so verbally and his love language is Words of Affirmation, this is extremely painful to him. From there, he decides that it’s better to let her make the decisions. Whether or not this is your situation, ask yourself why he is not taking initiative in the relationship. Ask him directly. You may discover that you need to change the way you respond to him when he takes initiative.


Nurturing Your Teenager

July 8, 2014

Teenagers are like tender plants that need to be nurtured. To nurture is ‘to feed’ the inner spirit. The opposite of nurture is abuse. Hostile, cutting, harsh words from parents kill the teenager’s spirit. Slapping, shoving, pushing, and beating will almost always produce a rebellious teenager. Nurturing parents are encouraging: looking for the positive things their teenagers do and say and commending them. I do not mean that you sit idly by and let them do things that will be destructive. The nurturing parent says, “What you did was wrong and you must suffer the consequences. But I want you to know that I believe in you. I don’t think that this behavior reflects the real you. I think you are a caring person. I love you and want to help you.”


Accepting Your Teen

July 3, 2014

In order to feel loved, teenagers need to feel accepted. The opposite of acceptance is
rejection. Research indicates that almost all violent teenagers feel rejected by their
parents. But how do you communicate acceptance, when you don’t like their behavior?
God is our model. We are “accepted in Christ,” even though God is not always pleased
with our behavior. The message we seek to communicate is “I love you because you are
my child. I don’t always like what you do, but I will never reject you. I will always be
here doing what I believe is best for you. I will love you even if you don’t follow my
advice, but because I love you, I must give you my advice. I love you no matter what.”


Connecting With Your Teen

July 1, 2014

We’ve heard a great deal about the importance of bonding between parent and infant. What we haven’t heard is that bonding is no less important for the teenager and his parents. Bonding requires time together spent in a positive atmosphere. The opposite of feeling connected is the feeling of abandonment. The teen who feels abandoned will have emotional struggles. Emotional connectedness requires communication. Where do you talk with your teenager? I’d like to suggest a radical thought. Have at least one meal a day with your family, and share what is happening in your lives. A second thought: Do something with your teenager at least once a week. Follow these suggestions and your teen will likely feel connected.


Q&A: Non-Christian Friends of Your Teenager

June 30, 2014

Q: My husband only wants our teenage daughter to have Christian friends. What do you think?

Gary: Teenagers are going through a very dramatic stage of life. They’re changing physically, emotionally, and intellectually, rethinking their spiritual values; it’s such an important time. Yes, I think we need to be friends with Christians and non-Christians but be very careful whom your teenager spends time with. If they spend time with non-Christians who have a non-Christian philosophy of life, they may well get pulled into that lifestyle. I think both of you have legitimate concerns. Continue having conversations with your child about what is going on in their life. Don’t back away from them this is a time during which they need parental guidance.


Q&A: Casual Physical Touch

June 27, 2014

Q: My primary love language is physical touch. I am not currently in a dating relationship, and I live far away from my family. How can I best seek out fulfillment of my primary love language in a casual or platonic manner?

Gary: A lady once said to me, “You know why I go to that church? Because people hug me there. It’s the only place all week long that I get hugs.” And I do believe the church is a good place to be hugged. I mean this in a positive way. Christians are loving people, often reaching out with handshakes and hugs. If you’re going to a church that doesn’t, I suggest you look for a different church. I believe the church is one of the best places to meet the need for love in a casual relationship.


The Importance of Parental Love

June 26, 2014

A mother recently said to me, “I don’t know if I’m ready for my children to become teenagers. It seems like all teenagers are having sex, using drugs, and carrying guns to school. Is it really that bad?” The answer is no. It is true that 10% of teenagers are troubled and get into trouble, but most of them were troubled children. Good kids don’t suddenly go bad in adolescence. When teens are secure in the love of their parents, they will have confidence to face the negative influences in our culture. In my opinion, nothing is more important than parental love. The teen wants to feel connected, accepted, and nurtured by parents. When this happens the teen will move through adolescence in a healthy manner.