July 27, 2016
According to Money Magazine, 70% of married couples argue about money – more than about sex, household chores, time spent together, what’s for dinner and snoring. What does that say about the state of our money situation? Studies also show that what happens before marriage will probably happen during. To head off money conflicts from the nuptial-planning beginning, employ these techniques to find out what you need to know about the situation.
The money-spat breakdown of couples, according to the Money survey, show the categories as follows: Spending 55%, Saving 37%, Deceit 21% and Exclusion from decisions 11%. The money-fight within the money-fight, if you will.
So how can we move forward as lovers instead of warriors?
Continue reading article by Deborah Hightower>>
July 22, 2016
Q: Gary, my fiancé is a bit undependable (paying bills, chores, being on time, etc.). How can I Trust him with bigger things if he doesn’t take care of the small things?
Gary: Excellent question, and a question that should always be asked and answered before you get married, because whatever patterns are there before you get married will follow into the marriage. That’s why these things need to be discussed openly, you need to share your concerns, share your thoughts. If a person can’t grow in these areas before marriage, then they’re not going to grow in them after marriage. So these are the kind of things that need to be settled before you get married.
July 20, 2016
I’m not convinced God calls anyone but Jesus to save the world.
Sure, there are world leaders who can influence the world greatly, and if we all believed our lives had an effect on the world maybe we would see a little more Kingdom Come here on earth. But no one is capable of saving the world except God Himself.
So when I look at front-line leaders who believe they are forced every day to put their vocation before their marriage and family, I wonder what they think they are going to accomplish. No one is indispensable. God can raise up another to do what they are doing. Don’t get me wrong; I admire their courage, success, and endurance, but I can’t help but wonder if there is a misunderstanding of their calling.
Continue reading article by Lindsay Hall >>
July 14, 2016
Before marriage, we are carried along by the emotions of the “in love” obsession. After marriage, we revert to being the person we were before we “fell in love.” This reality has implications for the single who is contemplating marriage. Before you marry, you had best find out what your potential souse was like before the two of you “fell in love.” Ask parents, siblings, work associates and friends, but by all means ask them questions. Did they have an anger problem? Where they depressed? Were they friendly or selfish? Dependable or irresponsible? Did they have a problem with alcohol, drugs or other addictive ? Get the facts. Don’t let the “in love” experience blind you to the truth.
June 18, 2015
In all of my counseling, I have never met a perfect husband or a perfect wife. Yet, when there is a problem, we tend to blame the other person. I have often given individuals a sheet of paper and asked them to list the faults of their spouse. They make long and impressive lists. Then I ask them to list their own faults. Seldom has anyone come back with more than four. What does this tell us? That the spouse really is the problem? Hardly, for each spouse has a grand list of the other’s faults. It tells us that we have become accustomed to our faults, and they don’t seem so big.
Remember the words of Jesus, before you try to get the speck out of your mate’s eye—behold the beam in your own eye. Personal confession is the first step in improving a marriage.
June 15, 2015
Q: Gary, my wife and I attend separate churches because of our differing opinions of what a “good” church is. It feels awkward sometime, but I just don’t know how to come together on this.
Gary: I have known couples that have gone to separate churches for over thirty years. I don’t, however, think it is the healthiest thing. Sometimes, one individual is so “married” to a particular church that they are unwilling to budge at all and this becomes inevitable.
It’s much healthier for your marriage to find a place you can go together. My suggestion is to challenge your spouse to visit another church with you, at least once every month or two—not her church, not your church. By doing this you open the possibility of finding a church you both feel good about.
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.
June 12, 2014
Is there something your spouse has expressed a desire to do? Such as: loose weight, write an article, go back to school, or learn to ski? Then why not encourage their dream? Many dreams are killed by a spouse or friend who says, “It’s not realistic.” “We can’t afford it.” “You won’t follow through.” Why be a dream killer? Learn to speak encouraging words such as: “I know you can do it because you are an excellent writer.” “If you want to go back to school, we’ll find the money.” “If you decide to go on a diet, I’ll be happy to join you.” One encouraging statement can be the difference between success and failure. Remember, we give life or death to people’s dreams by what we say.
February 13, 2014
The euphoric experience of ‘falling in love’ gives us the illusion that we have an intimate relationship. We feel that we belong to each other. We feel altruistic toward each other. One young man said, “I can’t conceive of doing anything to hurt her. My only desire is to make her happy.” He believes also that she will make him happy. Such thinking is fanciful. Not that we are insincere in what we think and feel, but we are unrealistic. We fail to reckon with the reality of human nature. By nature, we are ego-centric. Once we come down off the ‘in love’ high, we begin to assert ourselves. Without the help of God, marriage will become a battlefield. It’s time to pray; to read; to listen.
February 11, 2014
Falling in love is a euphoric experience. We become emotionally obsessed with each other. We wake up thinking about them. All day long they are on our minds. The person who is in love has the illusion that his beloved is perfect. Her mother can see his flaws, but she can’t. His friends will say, “Have you considered…?” But he hasn’t and he won’t because he is in love. What no one has told us is that this euphoric experience is temporary. We have been led to believe that if we are really ‘in love’ it will last forever. The fact is, it will last for about 2 years. Then you will realize that what your mother said was true. What your friends tried to tell you was real. Why can’t we listen before we leap? Family and friends are God’s gift. Accept the gift.