Caught Off Guard in the Bedroom

Caught Off Guard in the Bedroom

Sex. It seems like such a short, simple word, but it has so much power—power to greatly enrich a marriage or to destroy it. I have personally experienced both sides of this. During a season of my marriage, sex was used as a weapon and became THE issue that caused bitterness and anger between my wife and me. At one of the worst points, I would describe it as a quiet rage that … [Read more...]

Talking about Sex with Your Spouse

Talking About Sex with Your Spouse

My husband and I used to fight about sex. A lot. It was an ongoing war with many battles. If you had told us when we were dating that one day sex would be a hot-button issue in our marriage, we would have thought you were crazy. It was all we could do to NOT have sex back then, so surely when we got married it was going to be incredible. Sex all the time. (Give me a minute … [Read more...]

Managing the Tension Between Work and Home

Managing the Tension Between Work and Home

“You are a husband and father first, before you are a pastor.” With this declaration, based on 1 Timothy 3:4-5, my wise friend and mentor began my ordination charge. He then shared how his failure to build this priority into his own ministry had cost his family dearly. Years of unintended neglect had sown seeds of bitterness and dysfunction in his home. More than a … [Read more...]

Not Keeping Record in the Bedroom

Not Keeping Record in the Bedroom

When my wife and I got married, my aunt gave us a “treasure box” with an explanation to drop in a quarter every time we, ahem, stopped to “treasure” each other. Later, we found out that the more current version is the “Passion Pig,” where you use a piggy bank for the same purpose. It was all in fun, and my wife started buying up piggy banks for all her unmarried friends. … [Read more...]

Giving Your Spouse the Benefit of the Doubt

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We all have expectations of our spouse. Some of these expectations come in the form of daily tasks to be completed, such as meal planning or yard maintenance. Other expectations are met emotionally, through intentional communication or sexual intimacy. If effective communication is occurring in the marriage, these expectations are clear. For example, I know my husband … [Read more...]

Looking Ahead: Trying to Avoid a Child-Centered Marriage

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A month before Melissa and I were to be married, we were sitting in a church. The setting sun fragmented by the ornate stained glass had held me in a distracted daze until the priest said something that made my ears perk up: “From this day forward, your life has changed. Your life now revolves around her.” We weren’t in a premarital counseling session or at a wedding. … [Read more...]

The Problem with Viewing Marriage as a Contract

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“You do your job, and I’ll do mine.” This is how many marriages function. As long as your spouse keeps his or her end of the bargain, your marriage will last. This begs the question: What happens when your partner doesn’t? I’m often guilty of viewing my marriage as a contract. When my wife doesn’t stick to the “terms of agreement,” I feel victimized by the “heinous … [Read more...]

Keeping Our Problems Inside the Marriage

Our Ground Rules on Communication

I’m not a blogger or a public writer, but I love words. I love reading, and I love writing in my many personal journals. I love being surrounded by words on the walls. And being around like-minded readers is a favorite of mine. Words are important. They can make us feel alive and inspired, or defeated and willing to quit. I can’t pinpoint the exact time, but probably … [Read more...]