10 Ideas for a Great Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d share the top 14 marriage and relationship posts that Katie and I have written over the years. Thanks for learning and growing with us over the years. Bookmark this page to use as a resource you can come back to. Katie and I hope this helps take your marriage to the next level.

  1. 11 Ways to Know You’ve Settled for a Mediocre Marriage
  2. 18 Things Every Husband Should Know about His Wife
  3. When You and Your Spouse aren’t on the Same Page
  4. 10 Questions You Should Ask Your Spouse Regularly
  5. When You Manipulate Your Husband, You Lose Him
  6. 10 Ways to Know if You’re Putting Your Kids Before Your Spouse
  7. 7 Reasons You Aren’t Communicating with your Spouse
  8. Stop Pretending Your Marriage is Great
  9. Lies Couples Believe About Marriage
  10. The Power of Sex and Our Longing for Intimacy
  11. When Your Spouse Disappoints You
  12. Why Your Spouse Doesn’t Listen to You
  13. 3 Things that Make a Great Marriage
  14. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to Love Those Who Mean the Most to You

Every marriage and relationship is different, and every person is different. But every marriage and relationship have one thing in common, a desire to be closer and to be more in love.

Throughout the day we send out signals, what one author called “bids.” We’ll ask people if they saw the game last night, if they watched that show, read that blog, what they’re doing this weekend.


To connect.

While some couples may feel distant and feel like the fun and love have worn off from their marriage, it is never too late.

I’m always sad whenever I hear couples talk as if their marriage is as good as it can get. We feel the same about friendships. At least I have someone to watch the Super Bowl with. Could be worse!

So, how do you build love back into a loveless marriage? How do you rekindle love that feels like it has worn out? How do you feel more fulfilled and happier in your marriage?

Honestly, it isn’t as hard as you might think.

The next time you are with your spouse or friend, ask them: What is one thing I can do to make your life more enjoyable? To make you feel more loved? To lessen the stress in your life?

The answers from your spouse might be: to have coffee ready in the morning, to pick up your clothes, to pick up the kids at school, to have dinner ready by a certain time, to have a meal plan for the week, cleaning up the kitchen before going to bed, no smartphones after 8pm. It might be more affection, more date nights, more time alone for mom, more sex, more talking, more face to face activities (what women enjoy), or more shoulder to shoulder activities (which men enjoy). It might be a huge request or a small one.

Your friend might say, “Let me pick what we do. Stop talking to me like that. Say yes to help me next time I ask.”

A few years ago Katie and I were beginning to feel like we had settled into a routine in our marriage, and we wanted to shake out of it. So we asked each other this in a conversation. We began to see how we had taken the other for granted and what would begin building back into our relationship. Revisiting this conversation can be incredibly helpful for couples.

Now a word of warning. There is a chance that what your spouse or friend will say is something you don’t want to do or think you are already doing, and they should be grateful for what you do. It can be easy to blow off what they say because you don’t want it. This response can be destructive to your relationship because your spouse or friend will probably not mention it again, and a divide will begin in your relationship.

As you move forward from this conversation, try it out for a week. See how it goes. Try it out for a month and then evaluate it. You may find it isn’t so bad. Your spouse may decide they really don’t want what they requested as much as they thought.

In the end, you are moving towards the other person and showing love to them in a way that makes sense to them, and that is never a bad thing.

3 Things that Make a Great Marriage

Healthy relationships take work. Healthy marriages that people want to stay in don’t just happen, although we think they do. We think two people magically just work together, never fight, never have an issue or disagreement to work through, but they do.

So, where do things go wrong? How can a friendship that was working so well, a marriage that seemed so right all of a sudden seem all wrong?

Here are five ways relationships go from working to broken:

1. It’s too much work. Healthy relationships take a lot of work. It means being patient, listening, hearing someone out, and putting your wants and privileges aside. That’s work.

2. It hurts too much to face their past or do the hard work. As we’ll see later, almost every fight in a relationship is not about what you are fighting about. You are fighting with a past incident, a hurt you haven’t dealt with, a person you see in the person in front of you. They remind you of your dad, your mom, they said words similar to an abuser or someone who you were supposed to trust. Healthy people face their past and in the power of Jesus see it redeemed. Unhealthy people use their past and stay the victim instead of finding healing. This is hard work and can be incredibly painful. In any argument you have to ask the crucial question, “Are we actually fighting about this? What are we really fighting about? Who am I really fighting with?”

3. They’re lazy and selfish, they want the other person to do all the work and all the changing. Just like #1, being lazy and selfish in relationships is easy. Serving, putting in the work, putting the other person’s needs and wants first takes work. Often, too, we want the other person to put in the work to become the healthy person while we stay unhealthy. “I’ll hold on to that incident and bring it up whenever it suits me. I’ll remind them of my hurt instead of dealing with my hurt.”

4. They think they are better than their spouse or the other person. Sometimes people are in an unhealthy relationship because they think they are less sinful than the other person. They look down on them. They wouldn’t say this, but they hold the other person’s sin in contempt, thinking, “How can they not see that? Why do they struggle with that?” They turn up their noses at the thought of putting in the hard work to reconcile with a spouse or a friend. They will say it is the other person’s fault, but deep down they are the least sinful person they know.

5. Confuse what reconciliation means. Reconciliation doesn’t mean you are friends with everyone. You might need to protect yourself from an abusive situation, and you may need to protect your kids as well. Reconciliation does mean that you don’t hold it against the person anymore, that you don’t bring up the past. You stop saying, “Remember…?”

So what do healthy couples do?

They do many things, but here are a few:

1. They grow close to Jesus. This may seem obvious, but if you stray from Jesus, stop reading your Bible, feel your relationship with Jesus suffer, lots of things go wrong. Your desire to fight sin goes down. Your desire to serve your spouse goes down. Your desire to love your spouse goes down. Your desire to stay pure goes down, all because of one thing. Couples who make it to the end keep God at the center of their marriage. They grow together spiritually, they take control of their spiritual lives and don’t leave it to chance. They read solid books together, they pray together, they have a plan for how they will disciple their kids (they don’t leave that to chance either). They attend church together, are in a Christian community and serve to use their gifts and talents. God is not some figure that appears periodically in their marriage but is what the marriage and family revolve around. Men are asking how they can help their wife grow and become all that God has called her to be.

2. They protect their marriage. This is something couples kind of stumble through. They take their vows, wear rings, but too many don’t protect themselves when it comes to their minds, hearts and eyes. Yes, they make sure not to sleep with someone they aren’t married to, but everything else is fair game. A couple who lasts does not do that. The only thing on their menu is their spouse. They protect their eyes, they aren’t looking at porn, they aren’t fantasizing about that girl at work or the guy in the movie. They aren’t dreaming about their romance novel, they aren’t acting out (even with their spouse) in their mind. They act out with their spouse (and only their spouse). They make sure nothing will tear them and their spouse apart.

This isn’t just about vows and promises but about the priority you place on your relationship compared to other relationships. Your kids matter and you love them, but your kids come after your marriage. One of the fastest ways to go from a great marriage to being roommates is placing your kids above your spouse. One day your kids will be gone, and you will have only your spouse. At this point, most couples split because they no longer need to stay together for the kids, and they have nothing in common. Don’t let that happen. This doesn’t mean you neglect your kids and not do anything with them, but it means they come after your marriage. If you’re not sure where you stand on this, here are 10 ways to know you are putting your kids in front of your marriage.

3. They pursue each other. Pursuit is what got you married (because you started pursuing when you dated). Pursuit is what keeps a marriage healthy, and pursuit is the first thing to go out the window of most marriages. The couples who last don’t leave this to chance. They make time for their spouse, they have a yearly getaway with their spouse, weekly date nights and they do fun things with their spouse. I’ve never had a couple who did this tell me they regretted it. I’ve had lots of couples tell me how they long for this. Here are some ideas for doing date night at home, some rules we have for date night and some help for when date night falls apart.

Know that affection is the first thing to go and fight against that. Affection is what goes first. Kissing when you say goodbye, holding hands, snuggling. Life is busy, you know your spouse, you have them now, your kids are climbing all over you, you are running late, you are tired and want to sleep, you are worried if you snuggle he will want sex and you just want to go to sleep. All of these things happen to couples who couldn’t keep their hands off each other at one time. Fight this. When you kiss, kiss for 5-10 seconds. Throw some tongue in when you are just saying hello or goodbye. Gross your kids out. Hold hands in the car. Kiss at a red light. Snuggle at night. I’ve said this before and people tell me I’m wrong, but I’m not: the amount of sex you have, the amount of affection you have, is one of the best barometers for where your marriage is. Show me a couple with little affection and little sex, and I will show you a couple going in opposite directions.

The relationships that are healthy and growing take intentionality, and they take specific choices. Otherwise you drift into unhealthiness.

An Important (And Overlooked) Part of Your Leadership

Leadership is difficult. It can be hard to be a leader. Tiring, exhausting and exhilarating, all at the same time.

People often debate what makes a leader, what they do, and what you should look for in a leader.

There is one reality of leadership that I think often gets overlooked, and that is the role that a spouse plays for a leader.

Often the only time a conversation comes up about a pastor’s wife is when considering whether to hire a pastor (I think this is too narrow for leadership, as it only looks at a man as a leader). The question is often asked, “What should a pastor’s wife do in a church?”

The reality of leadership in a church is that your spouse is an extension of you, in good and bad ways.

If you and your spouse are at a meeting but you don’t get to talk with everyone, whoever has talked with your spouse feels connected and heard by you.

While the spouse of every leader is wired and gifted differently, one of the most important things a leader’s spouse brings is their presence.

This presence can be felt through actually being there, conversations, visibility, prayer or giving ideas and leadership to certain tasks or activities.

All of those things will come out of a spouse’s level of capability, life stage of kids, desire and passion, as well as capacity to do certain things.

These are important questions to ask and come back to on a regular basis.

Because of how relational leadership is, particularly in a church, this becomes all the more important.

This also, when done right, creates a lot of energy for the church and the leader and their spouse as they are working out of their unique wiring and bringing value to each other and the church.

The Power of Sex and Our Longing for Intimacy

Many times in our lives we underestimate the power of sexuality, ours and those around us. We underestimate our desires, longings, addictions and past sexual histories.

When you read Scripture, you see that we are created for relationships, for intimacy. We are created for knowing and we long for that. Yet, our culture has connected sex, love, and intimacy and made it a big mess.

You can be intimate with someone without having sex. You can have sex with someone without being intimate.

This confusion has led many of us to look for intimacy in places we can’t find it.

We look for it in sexual relationships outside of marriage, affection from co-workers, emotional relationships outside of marriage and porn.

Often I’ll hear people say, “Believing sex outside of marriage is wrong is so prudish, so old-fashioned. Doesn’t everyone have sex before marriage, out of marriage, look at porn?” Here’s my question, “Has sex outside of marriage made your life better? Has looking at porn made your life and relationships richer? More meaningful? Deeper? Has cheating on your spouse made your life better? Less stressful?” The answer is no. But we think it will, so we do it.

Where it Begins

It is important to understand where this begins.


1 Thessalonians says: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.

We must understand as best as we can where our sexual desire got off track. For many of us, that got off track at a young age and in a painful memory.

Having sex as a teenager, being raped, abused, or molested. It was the discomfort we felt when friends pressured us to kiss someone, or struggling with same sex attraction and not being sure what it meant.

Too often in Christian circles we read verses like Matthew 5:27 – 30 on lust and adultery and look for ways to battle them, which is important, but we rarely understand where they came from.

Yet, if we don’t desire holiness and purity, if we don’t understand where things became broken, we won’t know what to fix or what we’re even trying to get to.

For me, this is facing what I learned about sex at a sleepover when I was 11, and the dad brought down a box filled with porn and said to us, “It’s about time you boys learn about this.” I need to look at what that taught me, how that shaped me and changed me. How has that impacted my way of relating to others over the last 27 years?

What is often the most painful about this looking back is we see what was taken from us.

Redemption and Sexuality

Many times we’ll struggle with this question: If God is in control, why didn’t he stop that? Why did he allow that first experience? This is a heart-wrenching question.

As a follower of Jesus, according to the New Testament, you are in Christ. You were in Christ before the foundation of the world. Ephesians 1 says that if you are saved, a follower of Jesus, redeemed, you were chosen before the foundations of the world, your eternity and hope were sealed before God created anything.

This means everything in our lives is ‘in Christ.’ Our joys and pains. All has been redeemed and is being made new. We only think about what we’re walking through right now, in the future or from the time that we became aware of Jesus. But there was a time before we were aware of Jesus that he was aware of us.

Being in Christ means that those painful moments, that abuse, pain, heartache, destruction, addiction, Jesus was not absent or somewhere else, but was with you. And, because he knows holiness, beauty and goodness, the way God intended things to be, he feels and knows your pain and my pain even deeper than we ever could, because he knows how it should be. This is what took him to the cross, to redeem and make new, that pain, that abuse, that destruction.

Being ‘in Christ’ means I have the power to battle all the sin I face and experience the life Jesus experiences with the Father.

I think it is interesting in Matthew 5 that Jesus puts anger/murder next to adultery/lust. Both destroy people, both rob people of life and joy.

What Jesus is pointing to is a greater righteousness and hope.

Many times when it comes to our love lives, dating, marriages, addictions, sexual histories, broken promises, broken commitments and broken hearts, we say, “There’s no hope.” The gospel of Jesus, the hope of Jesus says, “There’s always hope.”

Jesus came to make you whole. This doesn’t mean that your past, your hurt, the scars you carry on your body, heart, brain or soul disappear, but it does mean they change.

This is the invitation that Jesus has for us in Matthew 5. Do we trust that his picture of holiness is better than our picture of broken connection through our sexuality?

How do I get my Spouse to Notice Me?

When you were dating your spouse you couldn’t wait to see them.

I remember having conversations with Katie and falling asleep on the phone. When you get married you can’t wait to get home from work to spend the evening with your spouse.

Things are new, things are fun and your relationship is growing.

But then life happens.

Bills pile up. Kids enter the picture, and the spontaneous, last minute romance that happened now becomes less and less until it is nonexistent. Date nights that used to magically appear no longer make it onto the calendar.

Slowly, both spouses ask (for different reasons), “How do I get my spouse to notice me?”

For women, it often centers around romance, being pursued, having her husband care about her day, her dreams and longings.

For men, it centers around sex and the feeling that his wife desires him sexually, but also that she cares about his dreams.

As a couple enters the second decade of their marriage, another fear starts to enter the relationship, and noticing it is crucial in this.

The fear that they missed out on life. The fear that they aren’t enough.

For women, if they have kids, this will center on being a mom and if they are doing enough. According to the mom blogs they are probably failing. Their kids are in school now and they wonder if they are keeping up, if they are worthwhile as a mom.

For men, they wonder if they missed out on life. They expected their career to be at a certain point by the time they were 35 or 40, and it usually isn’t as far along as they expected. They are afraid to say something because saying something makes it real.

In this moment, a couple has enormous power to speak truth and grace into the heart of their spouse.

But many don’t.

Most couples keep chugging on, alone.

Men escape into porn, fantasy sports leagues, real sports leagues or get lost in another hobby.

You can see the misery on their face, the longing for a deeper connection that isn’t there. They want to know that they didn’t fail as a man but are afraid to say so.

Women escape into the lives of their kids or a career when they are old enough.

Slowly, they take a step away from each other.

At first it isn’t noticeable, but then the chasm becomes so wide that it seems impossible to bridge.

Then someone asks, “How do I get my spouse to notice me?”

At this point the answer seems to be that you have to do something crazy.

Sometimes crazy with your spouse can be a good idea.

The reality is that everyday ways of noticing will do. It won’t feel like a lot, but day after day those steps add up.

In the same way that people lose weight and get out of debt over a period of time, your relationships are healed over a period of time.

Simple things.


Words of encouragement.

Praising your spouse in front of your kids or friends and family.

Pursuing them sexually.

Planning a date night.

Sending them a text in the middle of the day that says, “I’m praying for you” or, “I’m thinking about you. Hope your day is going well.”

Picking up after yourself.

Wearing that shirt or jeans they like.

Ironically, the way to get your spouse to notice you in marriage is almost identical to how you got them to notice you when you were dating.

Loving & Delighting in Your Marriage

Most married couples would say they love their spouse, even on the hardest days, but few marriages reach the level of delight.

Loving your spouse and delighting in your spouse are two different things, and the difference, I think, is the difference between a good and a great marriage.

We all love lots of people, but we don’t delight in all those people.

To delight in someone means “to take great pleasure in them, to adore them, to revel in, luxuriate in.”

You can love someone and not delight in them.

To delight in your spouse means to look for ways to build them up, to help them accomplish goals and dreams, to help them succeed.

To delight means more than just fighting for purity in your marriage. It means delighting in purity in your marriage and holding up your love and purity for your spouse so that everyone around you knows and feels it. Here’s what I mean. Have you ever seen a couple who has been married 10, 15, 20+ years who is still holding hands, snuggling in public or sharing kisses? Pursuing each other outside of the bedroom, in front of people? This is delight.

Have you seen a couple who speaks highly of each other? When you hear the wife talk about her husband, how proud she is of him, how much he provides for her, the leadership he takes. At times you wonder if she is making stuff up, and she might be. But delighting in your spouse means seeing the person they are becoming and helping them to get there.

When we love someone, even at our best, we can often love them for what they give to us or how they fulfill us. Delight is different. Delight is a focus on the other.

How to Love the Things of God

Growing up in the church, I always heard things like, “we don’t do that, that’s of the world.” Or, “we don’t love the things of the world, we love the things of God.” This sounds nice and good, but when I asked what specifically those things were I would hear things like Easter eggs, alcohol, dancing, gambling or Christmas trees. Interestingly, other things like TV or electricity weren’t things of the world (although they were for some people in my community as I grew up near many Amish communities).

There is a desire many people have to love God and love the things of God, but we often don’t know how.

How do we know if we’re loving the right things? How do we know if we love the world and the things of the world or the things of God? (see 1 John 2:15 – 17)

Two writers help us understand this.

Augustine said, “What really makes you what you are, is not so much what you say, believe or behave, but what you love.” And James K.A. Smith more recently said, “You are what you love.” Our loves define us, not what we say we believe, but our loves. Our loves get our time, attention, talent, and finances. You can say you love friends and community, but if you never make any time for them because of other commitments, do you really love friends and community? Many men say they love their families and yet make commitments that keep them from their families.

What I never heard growing up is that after John tells us not to love the world or the things of the world, he tells us what those things are.

Three things: desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes and pride in possessions.

First, The desires of the flesh. John is speaking of a few things here.

He is speaking at misdirecting our sexual desire outside of God’s design. This can be sex outside of marriage, porn, fantasizing about someone you aren’t married to, getting emotionally involved with someone you aren’t married to, wishing your spouse was different, looked different, or acted different.

This also applies to your personal feeling of your own body and the elevated desire you have to look a certain way or have a certain body type.

This also points to what we are willing to do for love; the distance we will go for someone to love us. Or, how we will manipulate someone by withholding love to get what we want.

Here’s another way to think about the desire of the flesh – a desire to always get your way, especially in relationships.

In marriage, you stop pursuing your spouse and pursue porn or someone else. When a man pulls away from his wife and looks at porn, he shouldn’t be surprised when she pulls away from him, even if she doesn’t know why. She knows he is pulling away from her.

You stop opening up to your spouse and slowly start pulling away from them to the point that you never talk or share your dreams, hurts and joys. If you’re married, you should know your spouse’s storytheir past, their hurts and joys. You should know their dreams and how to help them fulfill those dreams.

Second, The desires of the eyes. This is the desire of what can be seen. A certain life, a certain lifestyle.

In many ways, this is your ideal and dream Instagram account, whatever that is. It could be a certain kind of house, certain kind of family, certain kind of grill, workout equipment, cars, vacations, food, clothes, closet space, hiking, or boating.

Now, John isn’t saying that cars, shoes, grills, houses or vacations are evil. They are morally neutral. It is our desire towards those things. Why? Because that desire consumes us and takes over. We do whatever we can to have a certain life or appear to have a certain lifestyle. We all have this. This is a desire of having everything. So many of us have bought the lie that you can have it all.

Men believe they can climb the ladder, have the perfect family, friends, hobbies and God. And yet, something breaks on the way up the ladder.

Mom’s kill themselves for this lie. They believe it is possible to have it all and look like you have it all so that people behind your back say with jealousy, “she has it all.” That woman who “has it all” is often cracking and dying from the pressure and the sadness that she really doesn’t have it all, but no one knows.

This can be the workaholic, taking on too much. Never stopping to ask, do I want this life? Should I say yes to this assignment or promotion? If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to? There is always a trade off.

Kids sports teams, there’s always a trade off in your life. A friend recently lamented the loss of his evenings and life as he and his wife try to juggle three soccer teams for their three kids. He’s miserable, their kids are exhausted. But there is a life he is chasing, a life they either want to have or want people to think they have. It is a dangerous place.

This is the person who can’t slow down because they’re afraid. They are afraid that if they stop moving and doing stuff, what will they do? I had a woman tell me once that she couldn’t take a day off or rest because she was afraid of the thoughts that would flood her mind. She was running.

If you’re a parent, this could be the desire you have for your kids to behave a certain way, get certain grades, or get a scholarship. We kill ourselves for that, we push our kids to insane lengths for that. Why? We say it is for them, but deep down it is a desire to be seen a certain way. Why? Because the people they are and the people they become are a direct reflection of our parenting. We want people to know that aren’t flaky parents, we are incredible parents.

Third, Pride in possessions. Again, John isn’t telling us possessions are bad. He is telling us that loving them and having pride in them is bad. Being driven by them will destroy us.

This is the desire to appear important.

This is wanting to appear smart, successful.

This is why many are in debt, or workaholics.

This is why people take certain jobs and careers. Appeasing a parent or a spouse seems more important. They give up a dream, a God-given call for something safer.

Too many of us find pride in what we acquire, what we have or the drive to get those things and it becomes incredibly dangerous.

So what do we do?

Right before these verses, John reminds us that as followers of Jesus our sins are forgiven, we know the Father, we have overcome the evil one. He tells us twice we know the Father and we have overcome the evil one. This is crucial because it takes the wind out of the sails of loving the wrong things. John is saying, young mom with young kids, in Jesus, you are enough.

To the one trying to have it all, in Jesus, you have it all.

To the one who is dying for your mom, your dad, your spouse to say “I’m proud of you”, in Jesus, God is proud of you.

To the one who is trying to climb the ladder to accomplish some unforeseen goal that is always out there, in Jesus, you are complete. In Jesus, the work is done.

To the one that struggles to believe they can be free from that porn addiction, gossiping, loneliness, anxiety, in Jesus, your sins are forgiven. In Jesus, you have the power to overcome the evil one.

To the one who is worried about how your kids will reflect on you as a parent, in Jesus, your reflection is set.

To the one who wants to be known and stop being lonely and alone, in Jesus, you are known and you have your Father in heaven from the beginning.

To the one who feels lost and left out, in Jesus, you are found. You have been brought in and you know the Father.

When You and Your Spouse aren’t on the Same Page

Have you ever felt like you and your spouse were on different roads? At the time of your marriage you had all of these incredible dreams. You were going to walk hand in hand, arm in arm through life and tackle whatever came your way.


Part of what pulled you together were these common dreams,

these common interests.

Your spouse understood you and encouraged you.

But now something is different.

Life has entered in. Kids, in-laws, health issues, debt, a mortgage. The light in your eyes has disappeared. Your excitement about crazy ideas that would change the world are met with, “Now isn’t the time.”

For men and women this can be crushing, but especially for men.

One of the underlying needs and desires of a man is to know that the people around him believe in him.

Little boys are continually asking if they measure up. This is one reason they attempt crazy things like climbing high trees and standing on walls. They want to know, “Can I do this? Do you think I can do this?”

One of the most soul crushing things a person can communicate to a man is, “I don’t think you can do this.”

The same is true for a woman.

When they are dating, most men love to listen to their girlfriend talk. To hear her heart, her dreams. He asks questions and imagines with her what their future will be like.

But something changes.


Now it isn’t as interesting as it used to be.

What you used to have in common you no longer do.

When a man pulls back and finds other interests, looks for new challenges, he crushes the spirit of his wife.

This is a crucial moment in a marriage.

At this moment you either continue down the path of pulling away, discouraging your spouse and essentially becoming your own person (this is dismal and miserable),

or you pull towards your spouse.

At any given moment you are either growing closer to your spouse or pulling away from them.

There isn’t a third direction.

Marriages do not stall out.

It is difficult to re-engage with your spouse.

Things have been said. Hurt is running deep in you. There is a chance you have felt unsupported for years.

That won’t simply go away. It needs to be dealt with, by both of you. It needs to be faced, by both of you.

You have to face what hurts. You have to face what has been said, both to you and by you.

It will also take choosing to get on the same road once again, sharing your dreams with each other and giving up some of your individual dreams because they don’t help you reach your goals as a couple. This is crucial because too many couples continue living as single people when it comes to their dreams and goals.

Many times, and don’t miss this, many times a married couple’s romance and excitement at the start of the marriage mask that they aren’t on the same page. But as time goes on and life happens (ie., stress, kids, etc.), it begins to reveal that you aren’t on the same page. Life has a way of unraveling that newness and excitement.

How do you know this is you? You’ll say and think things like, “It didn’t use to be this hard.” Or, “Why is marriage taking so much effort and work? Remember when it just sort of happened?” Or, “My spouse used to just get me. They used to be understanding and supportive, but now they aren’t.”

To end, let me give a word of warning.

It is easy to think that this should come easily and quickly once you find you and your spouse are on different roads going towards different goals.

The reason we think this is because of how quickly we remember it happening while we were dating.

The reality, though, is that you have spent years (potentially) going down different roads. It isn’t as simple as “just getting on the same page.”

But don’t give up.

The newness and excitement you once shared, the hopes and dreams you stayed up all night sharing while dating, can be rekindled. They can be found anew.

The Halfway Point of the Year & the Top 10 Posts of July

It’s the middle of summer.

In Tucson, where I live, the monsoon’s are in full swing and school is back in session.

The year is more than halfway over.

Hopefully you are closer to the goals you set at the start of the year.

If not, don’t fear.

The year isn’t over and it isn’t too late to hit restart and try again.

In case you missed them, here are the top 10 posts of the month of July. Hopefully, they are encouraging to you but also help you reach the goals you have as a leader and a person. Thanks for reading!

  1. 11 Ways to Know You’ve Settled for a Mediocre Marriage
  2. How to Share your Faith
  3. 7 Ideas to Help Your Kids Grow Spiritually
  4. 8 Questions to Ask Before You Preach a Sermon
  5. The One Thing Destroying Your Marriage That You Don’t Realize
  6. 18 Things Every Husband Should Know about His Wife
  7. How Many Times a Year Should a Pastor Preach
  8. 5 Books Every Pastor & Church Staff Should Read
  9. What Role a Pastor’s Wife Plays in the Church?
  10. When You Manipulate Your Husband, You Lose Him