A Recipe for a Boring Marriage

On Thursday nights, I help lead a Young Life small group of college guys. Last week, we talked about marriage and I gave them the opportunity to ask questions. “Does marriage get boring?” was one of them. When I asked them what they thought, most of them seemed to think that it did.

How would you answer?

As I write this, Robyn and I are a little over 24 hours from hitting our one-billionth second of marriage. It’s fun that it just happens to fall on Valentine’s Day. (A billion seconds is about four months shy of 32 years for those keeping score.) So here’s what I can say about marriage becoming boring…if there’s some set period of time after which it happens, we’re not there yet.

Fortunately, our marriage is more fun and exciting and purposeful than it’s ever been. But can marriage get boring?

Absolutely. Here’s a recipe for growing a boring one…

Stop growing. Don’t read. Don’t listen to podcasts. Don’t expose yourself to new ideas.

Have no goals and pursue no desires.

Put yourself first and only meet your spouse’s needs if yours are met first.

Keep your focus on how bad your circumstances are and all the things that are wrong in your life and your marriage.

Constantly compare your spouse to others.

Go to any lengths to make your spouse understand you, but don’t try to first understand.

Live for small things like money, not great things like the Kingdom of God.

Let your appearance go.

Don’t seek help for the same negative emotions you’ve battled all your life.

If you must have sex, let it be infrequent and in the same way every time.

Let romance die after the newlywed phase.

Be serious all the time.

Be your spouse’s biggest critic. Most of your communication should be about what your spouse does wrong.

Hold grudges. Offer forgiveness sparingly.

Actually, this recipe is better for creating a marriage that ends in divorce. If, on the other hand, you’d like to create the marriage you’ve always wanted, download my complimentary eBook, “Friend and Lover.” You can get it here:

Friend and Lover eBook

 

Mother’s Day

On this Mother’s Day 2016, a tribute to my wife…

The greatest blessing in my life over the past thirty-one years has been my wife, Robyn. Through her, God demonstrates His love for me. Through her, He meets my needs and encourages me. Robyn is God-in-the-flesh to me.

When I meet with couples for marriage coaching or premarital counseling, I often tell them to learn all they can about one another’s needs and wants and then outdo each other in meeting them. Robyn does that. All the time.

Her wisdom and power come from her relationship with Jesus. She loves Him and trusts Him. She seeks Him and serves Him. He is before everyone and everything else. She begins her day reading His word and praying. And she often ends her day in the same way.

Last summer, while on assignment for a month at Sharp Top Cove (a Young Life camp), she worked six to seven days a week from early in the morning until late at night. I encouraged her to sleep later, but she continued to get up early to spend time with God. She learned long ago that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

“Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:10-12)

The Hebrew word that gets translated as “virtuous and capable” in that passage literally means: strength, might, efficiency, wealth, army and force. So to answer the writer’s question…I have. I’ve found that kind of wife. She’s more precious than any amount of money. I trust her completely. She greatly enriches my life. She’s brought me good, not harm for thirty-one years and counting.

At times, when I’ve felt myself slipping, she’s caught me. When I felt myself going under, she was my lifeline. When life was like a thick fog, she was my guiding light. Always giving hope. Always encouraging me. Always believing in me. Always pointing me back to Jesus.

Continue Reading »

The #1 Thing a Husband MUST Do for HIMSELF

Hey guys, what would you say is the #1 thing you must do for yourself?

Get in better shape?

Read the Bible more?

Discover your true passion and gifting?

Get more sleep?

Cut down on the number of hours at work?

Those would all be good things, but not the #1 thing. Not as a husband.

The #1 thing you must do for YOURSELF…is to love your wife.

“…husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)

Think about it…when you love your wife, God says you’re actually loving yourself as well. So why is that true?

Well, when you love your wife, then she turns around and loves (and respects) you in return. And I’m not talking about love the noun. If all we did was say to one another, “I have warm feelings about you”…that wouldn’t do any of us much good, would it?

No, we’re talking about the love the verb. It’s active love. It’s doing things for each other that meet our needs and make us feel good about the relationship.

When we choose to actively love another by serving one another and meeting each others needs, THEN we feel love (the noun). And that’s when marriage is fun and exciting.

Husbands, do you know how to love your wife? I mean in a way that she truly feels it. In a way that helps her feel understood, cared for, valued and desired?

This is just some of what I cover in my new video course, “How to Understand Your Spouse and Transform Your Marriage.” You can check it by clicking the button. I’ve got a sale going until Saturday, December 5th at midnight.

Whether you’ve got a great Christmas gift already picked out or not, I promise your wife won’t mind if you add in a better marriage!

By the way, loving your wife well is also the #2 thing you must do for your children. I cover that and the #1 thing in the course.

Quick note to the wives: if you’re reading this, then I encourage you to check out the course and suggest to your husband that you work through it together over the next few weeks. It’s okay to not be subtle when it comes to creating an amazing marriage. As men, we often need more than hints!

Check Out the Course Now!

What Does Your Marriage Resemble?

IMG_3347

A week ago, we received word our daughter was going to be induced due to a low level of amniotic fluid, so we began the thousand mile drive to North Carolina. Fortunately, labor and delivery went well and our grandson, Wes, was born the next morning. We enjoyed four days with him before returning home to Arkansas late last night after a 16+ hour drive.

When I woke up this morning and looked outside, my grass looked like I’d been gone for much longer than a week. Actually, the grass is fine. The problem is the weeds.

IMG_3490

Even though I’d recently mowed the lawn and put down some fertilizer and weed killer, the yard doesn’t look good. The problem is that I didn’t use any weed killer last fall. I allowed the weeds to gain a foothold.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that if you do nothing, weeds will flourish and grass won’t. Growing weeds takes no effort at all. Just sit back, relax and soon your yard will be overcome with them.

On the other hand, a healthy lawn requires time, effort and at least a little bit of money. It doesn’t just happen on its own.

Marriage is the same way. If I do nothing, Robyn and I will drift apart and begin to experience serious issues in our relationship. Misunderstandings will increase. Our love for each other will grow cold. Selfishness will take root and grow stronger. Communication will suffer. Our sex life will become stale.

Stop for a moment and consider your marriage. What does it resemble? Would you describe it as a thick, lush lawn? Or a yard full of weeds? Most of us would probably say we’re somewhere in between, but would your spouse agree with your assessment?

Matthew 7:7-8 says…

 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

On the other hand, if we don’t ask, we don’t receive. If we don’t seek, we don’t find. If we don’t knock, the door remains shut. Do nothing and we get the results of doing nothing. Do nothing to build a stronger marriage and it’ll just get weaker.

How active and intentional are you when it comes to building a stronger marriage? I’m not just talking about praying, although that’s certainly a good thing to do, I’m talking about intentionally loving and serving one another. I’m talking about putting your spouse before yourself, communicating more, resolving conflicts appropriately and keeping your sex life fresh and exciting.

If your marriage is in need of some weed killer and fertilizer and you’re not sure where to begin, let me encourage you to download a free copy of my book, “Friend and Lover.” You can click here to get it. If it feels like you might need a little more help, then please check out my marriage coaching page. I would love to help you put together a game plan for building the kind of marriage you desire.

The Lakeside Conspiracy

On Monday, March 23rd, I’m releasing my first novel. Monday is also the 10th anniversary of my father’s death, so I’ve dedicated the book to him. And Monday is also the day my son, Rob, will leave home to head to basic training for the Navy. To say the least, it will be an emotional day.

Like this blog, my intent in writing the book was to communicate truth. Only this time I would do it through a story.

As a reader or subscriber of this blog, I think you’ll enjoy reading “The Lakeside Conspiracy.” If you do, can I ask you to leave a positive review on Amazon? It helps to get the word out and I’d really appreciate it.

You can click here to order the book in the United States Click here to order it in the UK.

So what’s it about?

Max and Michelle Henry once had the perfect marriage and an ideal life in the small town of Lakeside, Arkansas where they live with their daughter, Sarah.

But can their love survive Sarah’s tragic death?

Max is angry with God and throws himself into football where he has always enjoyed coaching success. But he’s coming off two losing seasons and three is unacceptable at Lakeside High School. The pieces are in place for a championship run until his star player is killed in a mysterious accident…one Max discovers the police are covering up.

Michelle has been forced to grieve and cope with the pain of losing Sarah by herself. When she takes a trip to see her parents, she finds comfort in the arms of an old boyfriend.

Is it too late for Max to win her back?

Can he put together a championship run to save his job?

Will digging into the cover-up reveal secrets worth killing over?