Marriage, Postmarital, Uncategorized

And Even More Ways to Love your Spouse

I hope you are generating your own ideas by now. If not, here are 20 more ways to love your spouse. (Forwarding this today as next weeks post.)


  1. Be open and cooperative when your partner desires to have sexual relations
  2. Run errands gladly
  3. Make a fuss over one another and touch frequently
  4. Never withhold the truth from each other – no secrets
  5. Go for a walk and find more alone times
  6. Stay up past your bedtime to solve issues
  7. Get up in the middle of the night to care for the children
  8. Frequently help and serve one another
  9. Establish a family budget together with a spending allowance for yourselves
  10. Do a Bible study together or read a book together
  11. Help your spouse with hospitality
  12. Take care of the children for a few hours so your spouse can have some alone time
  13. Be polite to one another
  14. Do a retreat weekend together and evaluate, as well as, setting goals for the future
  15. Develop mutual friendships
  16. Care for one another when not feeling well
  17. Do not nit-pick and find fault or expect perfection
  18. Tease and flirt with each other
  19. Watch out for and be mindful of how much time you waste, e.g., TV, personal recreation
  20. Play together
Encouragement, Marriage, Postmarital, Premarital, Uncategorized

Ways to Love our Spouse

For the next several blog posts I would like to take some time and share with you various ways that you can incorporate aspects of loving your spouse in your marriage or your marriage to be. Too often we simply walk through life and allow it to just pass us by, one day waking up to the fact that our marriage has become boring and predictable. Rarely is engagement boring and predictable and I believe marriage can continue to be spontaneous and fun. So, here you go…images-8


  1. Frequently tell each other that you still love one another
  2. Pray together and lead family devotions together
  3. Do some things spontaneously and zany
  4. Share household chores and get them done sooner
  5. Set a regular date night
  6. Do the “fix-it” jobs around the house, not letting them pile up
  7. Greet each other with a smile and a kiss several times a day
  8. Provide a lingering hug often
  9. Hold hands often, e.g., in the car, under the table, at churchimages-5
  10. Listen to one another without counseling one another
  11. Sit close as often as you can
  12. Rub one another’s back
  13. Take time to look good for one another and wear each other’s favorite cologne or perfume
  14. Write love notes often – send text messages and email to one another
  15. Thank one another for the mundane household tasks accomplished daily
  16. Surprise one another by serving each other in some special way
  17. Always talk about one another favorably in public and to your children
  18. Brag about one another among friends and acquaintances, letting them know how proud you are of him/her
  19. Attend fellowship together and have a church family to challenge your marriage and family
  20. Maintain your own spiritual walk with God
Leadership, Small Groups, Training, Uncategorized

It’s a Good Time for the Plane to Break

It always intrigues me how people respond when they hear their flight is being delayed or canceled due to needed maintenance. First there is this huge sigh, then a buzz of talking (mostly to complete strangers about how badly run this particular airline is) and then they head for the gate agent to release their tension and anger. At that point, I really feel bad for the agent who has to take the customers’ entire wrath. My question of relief is, “Do you want the plane to break in the air or on the ground?” Yes, it’s inconvenient, time-consuming, and a huge bother but when that plane gets in the air I want it to stay there. There is actually very little you can do to change the situation, so…what are you telling yourself?images-4

Self-talk is constant, even while we sleep. But, what may not be constant is listening to our self-talk. Stop right now and ask yourself, “What am I thinking at this very moment even as I read this blog?” What we are telling ourselves (our self-talk) is what we will eventually react to. If we tell ourselves that a broken down plane, being late and missing our connection is anxiety producing it will be. But, if we tell ourselves it’s an opportunity to grab a bite to eat, it may even come as a relief. Listening is an acquired skill. People pay people $150.00 per hour to be listened to and quite often feel better. Why? Someone is listening in order to understand them. If you’ll take the time to listen to your self-talk, you’ll discover a lot about yourself. You’ll discover both lies and truths, the latter leading to right action and the other leading to wrong (re)actions. In the future, when a “plane” breaks in your life, stop and listen to your self-talk, you may discover something you didn’t know about yourself.


Why Forgiveness is so Important

ImageCorrie Ten Boom, arrested and placed in Ravensbruck concentration camp for concealing Jews in their home once said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” Oscar Wilde said, “Always forgive your enemies – nothing annoys them so much.” I’m pretty sure that forgiving someone is not the best way to annoy them, but I get the point. From the cross Jesus said, “Father forgive them…” Were those words spoken as an act of His will in order to annoy His enemies? I do not know who first said it, but I remember reading a statement that went something like the following: forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. Now that seems like more of a daily reality to me.   Truthfully, Jesus gave up His “right” as the Son of God to pour Himself out on the cross for our forgiveness.

 Author Louis Smedes wrote that to forgive is to set a prisoner free only to discover that the prisoner was you. When we do not forgive we are actually crying out to God for our own retribution and yet there was a spoken condition for you and me when it came to our own forgiveness. In Matthew 6 Jesus said to forgive others and your Father will forgive you. Today, we are not throwing a stone, that’s an Old Testament concept, however; He is saying that there’s a condition with our own forgiveness – we must forgive those who wound us. Certainly easier said than done, but God will give us the grace to do so and even to humble ourselves and initiate the process. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. (Col. 3:13)

Encouragement, Leadership, Prayer

Sitting by the Lake: The Value of Rest

Internally, we know that a church, a ministry, a business cannot be built on one person or personality alone. In 1991, after surveying 1,000 pastors, the Fuller Institute of Church Growth reported the following:

–       50% felt unable to meet the demands of the job, and 84% felt that their training was inadequate

–       70% reported working more than 60 hours per week, and 45% did not take a regular day off

–       53% averaged five to six hours of sleep each night

–       85% spent two or less evenings home per week, yet 73% stated that they had no close intimate relationships beyond their spouse

–       80% believe that ministry negatively affects their family

–       40% reported serious conflict with a parishioner monthly

–       37% confessed an inappropriate sexual behavior with someone in the church

–       50% admitted they had considered leaving the ministry in the last 30 months

ImageWhile those stats seem alarming, Jesus has a prescription for the weary, the burdened. He said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt 11:28, 29) Jesus did take time away, time off for reflection, for refocus and for rest. In Matthew thirteen, verse one we are told that He left the house he was staying in and “sat by the lake”. Jesus, not unlike you and me, knew the value and the refreshment of sitting by a body of water. Later in the next chapter, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place (V. 13) and again by the end of this same chapter He dismissed His disciples and went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When Jesus and His disciples were worn out from ministering He said, “…Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 31b) I love that the Son of God was an example to us in the area of rest and spending time with His Father. Where is your “lake” and in what ways are you resting?