See Your Spouse Through Jesus’ Eyes

See through Jesus

Tim was a hard working man who loved his family. He had been a good father to his children and was climbing the corporate ladder quickly. We met for lunch one Friday afternoon just to catch up on each other’s lives. Sandwiched between a conversation about fishing and hunting Tim said “Things aren’t so good in my marriage”.

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Your Identity

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A very close friend of mine (we will call him Eric) grew up in a very abusive home. His parents rarely (never) verbalized their love for him nor did they share the words “We are proud of you”. His father was physically abusive to him and his siblings. The long list of trauma had a deep impact on his self identity. “If only I could become someone great, THEN, maybe my parents would love me!” he murmured to himself as a little boy.

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Loading the Dishes and Marriage

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What does your dishwasher say about your marriage?

Do you load back to front?

Front to back?

Dishes facing in or out?

Knives, forks, spoons in their own compartment?

Rinse or no rinse before placing the dish in the washer?

Whew, so many questions.

 

Matt’s Method

Throw everything in there till it’s packed to the brim. The dishes don’t care where they are in the scheme of life. They all get cleaned regardless of the order they are in. As far as back to front, front to back…..who cares? Jam it, stuff it, cram it or place it. This is not an area of precision for me.  Continue reading “Loading the Dishes and Marriage”

Are you a Superhero or a Supersissy?

When I was 9 years old, I would play ‘super hero’ with my twin brother Mike. We would trade off between Superman, Batman and Robin. It was fun to fantasize about our abilities to fly, leap over the house and obtain unbelievable strength.

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 2.28.14 PMOne day, as Superman, i was running fast with my arms out in front of me with my little cape flying in the wind. I leaped up on an old rusty tractor my dad was storing in our back yard. the villains were closing in while my brother “Robin” was hiding in the shadows waiting to join me in the fierce battle. Quickly I opened a little tool box sitting next to the tractor seat. It was old and rusty. As I lifted the lid to grab a weapon of choice out flew 20 wasps, each stinging me at will.

BAM!, WHOP, ZING! You should have seen me. I immediately went from SUPERMAN to SUPERSISSY! Screaming like a girl, “no offense to girls”, I jumped to the ground and ran by “Robin” at the speed of light. I was crying and screaming with my little arms flailing wildly. I ran straight to my mommy.

Mike “Robin” fell over laughing. All in one split second, I lost my superpower and “Robin’s respect”.

You would think, as I grew up, that story would subside and no-longer have any impact on my life. WRONG!

Recently Pam and I were going for a walk by a lake. I parked my truck then proceeded to the trails. About an hour later we returned. In the back of my truck were two kayaks with fishing poles sticking out. As Pam and I got closer to the doors I noticed wasps all around my truck. It was like my horror story all over again, only now with my wife standing by my side instead of “Robin”.

Without even thinking I turned and ran, leaving Pam behind. I was so scared I ran right into my fishing poles. When they snapped back into their prior position, they snapped Pam right on her leg. (drawing blood) I was long gone before I even noticed what happened. Standing 50 feet away I looked back and there she stood slowly swatting the wasps away, one by one. She had NO FEAR, I was so embarrassed. The wasps didn’t even bother her. I thought to myself  “I think I married a wasp whisperer!” (not sure there is such a thing).

Life is so similar. We all have our superhero moments and our supersissy moments. The cool thing is we can always run to God. He won’t laugh at us, make fun of us or rebuke us. All we have to do is run to him. He finds a way to comfort our soul. As you may know, Jesus tells us to come to him.

Matthew 11: 28-30

28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

When you are feeling like a superhero: Run to HIM

When you are feeling like a supersissy: Run to HIM

After all, even Superman has his own personal kryptonite.

Now you know mine: WASPS!

Now go and be different.

www.daretobedifferent.com

 

 

 

 

Her Smile Tells A Story

A very wise woman was the key note speaker at a marriage conference. As she was leaving a young couple rushed up to her for an autograph, without even a pause, she looked at the young man and said “You sir are an amazing husband to your wife”, he was a little embarrassed “How could you possibly know?” he replied,  she paused for a moment then said, “Easy, by the countenance on your wife’s face!”

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How about you? What does your spouse’s face tell you? Does it scream “God take get me out of here, take me home!”…trust me, that will happen. It is not the brief setbacks that I am on the lookout for, it’s the pattern. Pam is by nature a happy person with a beautiful smile. Her countenance usually lights up a room.

When her smile is absent for a while I would REALLY take notice. Before I give you a list of things to do when that happens, please know the same is for both husbands and wives. Sometimes great men who are usually happy go through a slump. Wives, keep a lookout for that to be a pattern. Men tend to hide their emotions more than women so you may have to look harder.

 

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Great negotiator! Great marriage!

Negotiating may seem easy. You might think you’re great at it. Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 7.58.12 AMThe truth is, you may be horrible and don’t even know it. The best way to find out if you are good at negotiating is to simply ask your spouse. Brace yourself for the answer.

Negotiating requires a specific environment in order for it to happen and happen well. The problem with most marriages is what I call “selfish” communication. We are very selfish in the way that we talk to each other. Interrupting, negative body language, rolling of the eyes, shaking of the head are all signs of  “selfish” communicating.

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How to propose to your future spouse

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 9.04.12 AM Proposing to your boyfriend or girlfriend can create a lot of anxiety. Do you go ‘all out’? Do you keep it  private? Will they say yes? Do you talk to her parents first? So many questions, so many options. I found that proposing to Pam, I was VERY anxiety stricken as I took her shopping and carefully found out what kind of a ring she wanted. I asked many questions and found out how the proposal was to be set up in a way that SHE would like which was quiet and secluded with no extra bells and whistles. Continue reading “How to propose to your future spouse”

“Living together” before marriage…. Yes or No?

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 When Christian couples decide to move in together.

Living together before marriage is becoming more and more popular. Many good-willed people with great intentions are feeling more  and more “comfortable” living together before marriage. Why? Because everybody is doing it. Maybe it isn’t you, but rather a child or grandchild who is planning on living together prior to marriage. What do you say or do when the world around them is shouting, do it? Marriage mentors across the country are faced with this as they try to help couples prepare for marriage, God’s way. In an effort to give couples biblical guidelines to assess their risk of divorce (prior to marriage) we encourage them to use a tool called, Continue reading ““Living together” before marriage…. Yes or No?”