Category: Marriage

10 Fun, Cheap Date Ideas for You and Your Spouse

Christi and I maintain a date night once a week. With little kids, it’s necessary for us to stay connected with one another beyond “business talk” or “kid talk.”

However, like most couples, spending money on a babysitter and the date itself can get pretty expensive over time. That’s why we’re creative in what our date nights often look like.

Need to stick to your monthly budget?

Here are 10 fun, cheap date ideas for you and your spouse this summer:

Continue reading article by Joshua Straub>>

Q+A: Alcohol Addiction in Marriage

Q: Gary, how can you deal with alcohol addiction in a marriage, especially when that person doesn’t think they have a problem?

Gary: Well this is another very common phenomenon in our society. Alcoholism is very prevalent and often the alcoholic doesn’t see themselves as an alcoholic, they just see themselves as drinking. You see the problem, you see it effecting their lifestyle. I think we have to confront them on it, but also realize that they’re likely to push back. However, there does come a time where you say, “I love you very much and I cannot sit here and watch you destroy yourself. If you’re not going to get help then I’m going to get help because I cannot simply sit here and do nothing.” You invite them to go with you if they want. You go for counseling, you go share your struggle and let the counselor help you decide how you can be a positive influence on them trying to get them to the point where they reach out for help.

Q+A: Keeping Love Alive When Focus is Elsewhere

Q: Gary, our kids are taking more and more time and my husband and I seem tired ALL of the time. How can we keep our love alive when all focus is going elsewhere?

Gary: Well if all focus is going elsewhere, you can’t keep love alive. there has to be time to stimulate love in a marriage relationship. It’s a matter of priorities. Listen, children are important, but marriage is the most fundamental relationship in a family. If the two of you grow apart, what is that going to do for your children?

I think you need to look again at your schedule. Make time. Put it on the schedule. “We’re going to have dinner on these nights this month,” “We’re going to do this,” etc. Make plans, spend time with each other. Get a babysitter! There are people who would be happy to watch your children while you go out together. You have to make time to have a loving marriage.

Biblical Forgiveness

Biblical forgiveness in marriage is the decision to no longer credit an offense against your spouse with a view of exacting vengeance. It means you release your spouse from a debt owed to you as well as the blame he or she may deserve. Forgiveness is first and foremost a decision. It doesn’t begin with an emotion. It is not contingent on how you feel about your spouse, but rather it is a choice to no longer blame your spouse for an offense.

Continue reading article by Dr. Tony Evans >>

 

We Must Deal with Past Failures

A husband once said to me, “Why can’t we just forget the past and focus on the present and the future?” I’m empathetic with this husband, but it doesn’t work that way. We must deal with past failures before we can ‘put them behind us’. Otherwise, it keeps popping back up. The first step in dealing with past failures is to identify them. Where have we failed each other? Most of us can identify our spouse’s failures more readily than we can identify our own. However, Jesus taught that we should first – get the beam out of our own eye. So why not ask God to bring to your mind all of the times when you have hurt your spouse. Write them down. We cannot deal with past failures until we identify them.

Q+A: Pornography in Marriage

Q: Gary, my husband says he views pornography to ‘make up for time we’re not together’ and that he is not addicted. Is this wrong?

Gary: I believe that pornography never enhances a marriage because it takes the focus off of the spouse and puts it on someone else. I would never encourage a man to use pornography while he and his wife are apart for seasons of time. His focus always needs to be on you, not on another female who is simply trying to stimulate him sexually. I think if the two of you can’t solve this, I would encourage you to sit down with a pastor or counselor to talk about this together.

Q+A: Is He the One?

Q: Gary, how do I know He is the one? Friends have their opinion & so does family….but How do I decide for myself if this is the person for me? The pressure is there of not choosing someone outside of the will of God but how does one really accomplish that?

Gary: “How do I know if this is the one?” Isn’t that the question that everyone asks when they’re single? How am I going to know if this is really the person? I would say you need to listen to your friends and listen to your parents because they see things that you don’t see. Don’t discount what they’re saying to you. Sometimes we fall in love and we overlook a lot of red flags that are waving because of our feelings, but our parents and others are sometimes able to see things we don’t. Listen to what they’re saying, ask questions, and read my book Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. It’ll help you make that decision.

Holiness, Happiness, and Marriage

You may have heard the question before: Did God design marriage for our happiness or for our holiness?

My answer would be, “Yes, He did!”

Let me explain.

We tend to think of holiness as something that has to do with being good, staying in line, and doing the right things. But when we understand principles of covenant, we realize that “keeping all the rules” is an inadequate description of holiness.

Holiness is the essence of a fully honored relationship. Holiness is a covenant term which describes both the complete, undefiled union of marriage, as well as the complete, undefiled union of the Godhead.

Continue reading article by Tami Myer >>

Q&A: Commitment vs. Love

Q: Gary, my husband says he’s in the marriage now more for the commitment that he made rather than love for me. How can I stay married to him if he’s only committed, but not in love with me?

Gary: Many many people are where your husband is, they’re just not ready to admit it. The reality is that all of us come down off the high of the emotional experience of being in love and if we don’t learn how to speak each other’s love languages, then we may be staying there out of commitment. Thank God for commitment! Because that gives us an opportunity to learn how we can advance our marriage. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to read and discuss a book like the 5 Love Languages and then look over the past and see what happened and how you missed each other. Life can be different, I assure you, if you make changes.

Sexual Healing

One of the realities in contemporary society is that many couples come to marriage with previous sexual experience, either with each other, or with other partners. The commonly held idea is that sexual experience before marriage better prepares you for marriage. All of the research indicates otherwise. In fact, the divorce rate is twice as high among those who have been sexually active before marriage. The Christian answer is the confession of wrongdoing and genuinely forgiving each other for past failures. The scars of the past may remain, but the scars serve as a reminder of the grace and love of God. When God forgives us, He no longer holds it against us. We in turn, forgive each other.

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