Tag Archives: Marriage

Three Resources from @DonaldMiller Designed to Help You Be Better at Relationships

As I mentioned in my previous post, Donald Miller has long been one of my favorite writers. Blue Like Jazz introduced me to Don while Searching For God Knows What introduced me to a better way of seeing Jesus. Don’s new book, Scary Close, shows us all how to be better at relationships. I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of the book a couple of months ago (it resonated with my soul as I’ve always longed for greater intimacy but haven’t always been willing to take the risks to get there; I have the courage to now).

In addition to the new book (which you must read ASAP), Don and his team have created  3 online courses that will help you become better at relationships (2 are available now; the marriage one will be soon):

Pre-Marriage

Pre-Marriage

Marriage Coming Soon

Marriage

Parenting Buy Now

Parenting

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your turn… If you know someone who would be blessed by these resources, share them with them today and/or via Social Media.

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Three Books I’m Looking Forward to Reading this Fall

I love to read and to learn and to share resources with others… and I’m really looking forward to reading these 3 books this fall by 3 of my favorite authors:

“We all pray . . . some. We pray to stay sober, centered, or solvent. When the lump is deemed malignant. When the money runs out before the month does. When the marriage is falling apart. We pray. But wouldn’t we like to pray more? Better? Stronger? With more fire, faith, and fervency? Yet we have kids to feed, bills to pay, deadlines to meet. The calendar pounces on our good intentions like a tiger on a rabbit. And what about our checkered history with prayer? Uncertain words. Unmet expectations. Unanswered requests. We aren’t the first to struggle with prayer. The first followers of Jesus needed prayer guidance too. In fact, prayer is the only tutorial they ever requested. And Jesus gave them a prayer. Not a lecture on prayer. Not the doctrine of prayer. He gave them a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Couldn’t we use the same? In Before Amen best-selling author Max Lucado joins readers on a journey to the very heart of biblical prayer, offering hope for doubts and confidence even for prayer wimps. Distilling prayers in the Bible down to one pocket-sized prayer, Max reminds readers that prayer is not a privilege for the pious nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and his child. Let the conversation begin.”

“Despite the divorce statistics, people are still committing to each other, instinctively believing and hoping that theirs is a sacred union that will last forever. Yet when these couples encounter problems, they often lack the resources that keep them connected to this greater mystery surrounding marriage. Rob and Kristin Bell introduce a startling new way of looking at marriage, The Zimzum of Love. Zimzum is a Hebrew term where God, in order to have a relationship with the world, contracts, creating space for the creation to exist. In marriage, zimzum is the dynamic energy field between two partners, in which each person contracts to allow the other to flourish. Mastering this field, this give and take of energy, is the secret to what makes marriage flourish. Rob and Kristin Bell are brutally honest about their own struggles, their ups and downs, as together they pass along what matters most for couples. In this wise book, they explore the secret of what makes a happy union—probing the mystery at the heart of the extraordinary emotional connection that binds two people. With his down-to-earth charm, a dose of whimsy, and memorable stories, Rob, writing with his wife Kristen, changes how we consider marriage, providing insight that can help all of us create satisfying and sacred unions of our own.”

“Christians are taught that prayer is the main way to experience God. But aside from learning prayers by rote, few receive guidance in how to make the most of this essential Christian act. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller shows us how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. With his trademark insight and energy, Keller offers brilliant and inspirational biblical guidance, as well as prayers for specific situations, such as dealing with grief, love, and forgiveness. Using great model prayers from the Bible and great Christian teachers throughout history, he discusses ways to make prayers more personal and powerful, and how to establish a practice of prayer that works for each reader.”

Your turn… What books are you looking forward to reading soon?

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Three Most Important Things in a Happy Marriage via @MarriageHelper

bigstock-Sweet-in-love-couple-dreaming-53338750-1024x682

I came across an important article for couples the other day via Joe Beam’s website, Marriage Helper. The focus is on the 3 most important things in a happy marriage as established by Genesis 2:24. Here are the 3 things:

  1. Leave Father and Mother: Leave childhood and embrace adulthood.
  2. And be joined to his wife: Leave the single life and establish a new family unit.
  3. Two shall be one flesh: Leave virginity (or fornication) and have safe sex for life.

Your turn… What are your thoughts on this article?

 

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Three Marriage Related Articles via @RELEVANT Magazine

Here are 3 marriage-related articles I recently came across via RELEVANT Magazine:

Your turn… What are some other marriage-related articles worth reading?

 

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Three Top Posts — Year One

One year ago today I started this blog to share resources that help make us better. Here are the 3 posts that have received the most views this past year:

Your turn… Take a moment to share which posts have been most helpful to you.

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Filed under APPS, Articles

Three Articles to Help Make Relationships Better

These articles provide some great insights to making relationships better:

relationship  5_Expectations_Marriage_Doesnt_Meet SG_7WAYS

Your turn… What are your thoughts on these articles? What are some other articles focusing on relationships we should consider reading?

 

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Three Simple Ways to Keep Your Marriage Strong via @RickWarren

Rick Warren recently shared an article focusing 3 simple ways for ministry leaders to keep their marriages strong. These practices are applicable for all marriages. Here is an excerpt of that article (you can find the full article here):

Here are three practices for keeping your marriage strong.

Pay Attention to Your Spouse

Attention means love. It’s one of the most loving things you do when you give somebody your attention. When you’re paying attention to somebody you’re saying to them, “I value you. You matter to me. You’re worth listening to.” When you give somebody your attention you’re actually giving them your life. Your time is your life and you’re never going to get that time back. The truth is, that’s how you fell in love. You fell in love because you began to pay attention to somebody and somebody began to pay attention to you.

Do you remember how much attention you used to give to your husband or your wife before you got married? You bought flowers, wrote notes, made phone calls and talked for hours. You spent a lot of time together. In many, many ways during dating and engagement you said, You have my undivided attention. In fact, you thought about them all the time when you weren’t with them.

Over time we tend to pay less attention to our spouse rather than more attention. We start paying attention to things like bills and babies and budgets and ministry and work and hobby and sports and all kinds of other things. When that happens the marriage begins to deteriorate.

I show I care by staying aware.  If your marriage is going to keep on growing you’ve got to figure out a way to keep on paying attention to each other.  If you don’t do that, your marriage is going to start to crumble.  You’ve got to keep on paying attention.

Show Affection For Your Spouse

The Bible tells us in Romans 12 to, “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” I’m sure you would all agree that it’s easier to fall in love than it is to stay in love. How do you rekindle lost love when the feelings aren’t there? How do you rekindle the affection you felt for each other at the beginning of your marriage?

You do what Jesus told a church to do. In the book of Revelation, Jesus told some Christians at the church of Ephesus, you guys have lost your first love for Me. Here’s how you get your first love for Me back. And He tells them four things to do. I’ve found that these are the same four things you need to do if you’ve lost the romantic feelings of affection for your husband or your wife.

The Bible says in Revelation 2, “Jesus said ‘The love you had at first is gone.  Remember how far you have fallen.  Return to Me.  Change the way you think and act and do what you did at first.” He says here four things: remember, return, repent, repeat.

Give Affirmation to Your Spouse

One reason that you fell in love with your mate is they affirmed you. You fall in love with people who express the fact that they love you. Your mate desperately needs affirmation from you. One of your God given roles as a husband/as a wife is to be your husband/wife’s greatest fan. It’s desperately needed in a world where there are a lot of critics. So one of the most important things that you do is you lift up your husband, your wife by affirmation.

How often are we suppose to do this? The Bible says in Hebrews 3:13, “Encourage each other every day while it is today.” It’s a daily habit, something we do everyday.

What do you affirm? Three things you can affirm in your spouse:

1.  Affirm their value. You can raise someone else in value as you appreciate them. As you appreciate them you raise their value and you raise the value of your marriage. Proverbs 12:25 says, “A word of encouragement does wonders.” 

2.  You can also affirm each other’s strengths. You build each other up. The power of praise of seeing someone’s strength and praising that strength is amazing. All of us blossom with affirmation. That’s how our lives are strengthened. We become what other people see in us. As you affirm those strengths you help someone to grow.

3.  You can also affirm each other’s ministry. Affirm what you’re doing for God’s sake in the world today. Romans 1:12 says, “I want us to help each other with the faith that we have. Your faith will help me and my faith will help you.”

The most important thing you must do in order to keep your marriage growing is to keep on following Jesus. He is the glue. He is what holds you together when ministry gets hard and the demands get high. Pray with and for each other. James 5:16 says, “Make this your common practice. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed.” 

Your turn… What are your thoughts on these practices?

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Three Top Posts So Far

I recently passed the 4 month mark of my blog.  These 3 posts have received the most page views so far (in case you missed them):

Your turn… Which resources have helped you the most so far?

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Filed under Books, Marriage, Technology

Three Series that Focus on Relationships

Here are 3 series I’ve been listening to lately that focus on relationships:

  • Friending by Craig Groeschel and LifeChurch.tv

“Friends love you at your worst and can help you be your best, but many of us don’t realize the importance of whom we choose to surround ourselves with. The friends you have help determine the quality and direction of your life. Where are your friendships leading you? Come learn what the Bible says about Friending.”

Erich’s note: Make sure you check out the resources that go along with each message (great for personal study or small groups).

“While some of us loved our “growin’ up” years, others of us couldn’t wait to move out and start fresh. Either way, we want our Future Family to be a step up from our families of origin. Most of us want something better for our children. But what? When it comes to family, what does a preferred future look like? What exactly are we aiming for? Well, whether you’re starting a new family, leaving an old one, or wondering if it’s worth the effort at all, join us this Sunday as we go back to the drawing board.”

Erich’s note: We are going through it in our Young Couples 30s class at The Hills. Make sure you check out the discussion page for each lesson (great for small groups).

  • Sequels by Jonathan Storment at Highland Church of Christ

“There are over 1500 services for online dating today. We’ve invented internet dating, speed dating and even television dating. But more relationships are falling apart than ever before. Which begs the question, why is a culture that is so focused on falling in love, so bad at staying in love?” 

Erich’s note: I mentioned this series and Jonathan’s sermon podcast in recent posts. Make sure you get the free Sequels ebook as well.

Your turn… What are some other series you’ve heard recently that focus on relationships?

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Three Resources Designed to Make Your Marriage Better

Last month the post, Three Resources Designed to Improve Your Marriage, was the most viewed post in the short history of my blog (and that’s not saying much but it did hit on a topic many people felt was relevant). I believe the primary reason for this is because marriage can be difficult (so we are always looking for resources to make them better). Growing a better marriage takes a lot of work (and sacrifice); so, here are 3 more resources designed to make your marriage better:

“There are over 1500 services for online dating today. We’ve invented internet dating, speed dating and even television dating. But more relationships are falling apart than ever before. Which begs the question, why is a culture that is so focused on falling in love, so bad at staying in love?” 

Erich’s note: I love the creative approach that Jonathan and his team at the Highland Church in Abilene, TX is taking with this series that talks about a new perspective on love, sex, marriage and dating.  Make sure you take some time exploring The Sequels website and all the resources associated with this series, especially the free Sequels eBook (you will be blessed and your marriage will be better for it).

“Modern culture would have you believe that everyone has a soul-mate; that romance is the most important part of a successful marriage; that marriage does not mean til death do us part, but merely for as long as my needs are being met; and that when serious differences arise, divorce is the best solution.  

According to the bible, all of these modern-day assumptions miss what marriage is all about. In The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy Keller, along with Kathy, his wife of thirty-six years, draws a profound portrait of marriage from the pages of Scripture that neither idealizes nor rejects the institution but points us back to the relationship between God and man. The result is a vision for marriage that is refreshingly frank and unsentimental, yet hopeful and beautiful. This book is for anyone from singles, to couples considering marriage, to those who have been married recently or for a long time.”

Erich’s note: I love everything I’ve read by Keller so far (The Reason for God; The Prodigal God; Counterfeit Gods; Generous Justice and Galatians For You to name a few — you can find more info on all of Keller’s books on his website). This is one of the best books written on the subject of marriage (you really should read it; in fact, my 17 year old son, Spencer, has read it a couple of times already and recommends it to his high school friends which just goes to show you can never start too early preparing for marriage).

“Growthtrac.com is a Christian non-profit media ministry — we are a marriage organization that strengthens marriages by providing life-changing, Christ-centered resources through innovative online media. Our objective is to support marriage through expert content — unique content that is practical and culturally relevant. Our world cannot settle simply for “good” marriages. Marriages can and must grow into great marriages. With the right support, strength, and resources, every marriage can become the exhilarating, rich union God intended. Those marriages can change the world. That’s our passion.”

Erich’s note: I just recently discovered this website but have bookmarked it as I’ll be going back often to find resources to help me build a better marriage (looks like they have lots of great content). You might want to start with this article first, It Doesn’t Begin in the Bedroom.

One last note: Before I close I want to mention another resource a friend recommended in a comment from the post last month (I haven’t read the book yet but I’m familiar with the author and know that it will be one you’ll find helpful) — What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul Tripp.

Your turn… What are some other resources you’ve used to improve your marriage?

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